Ardha Kapotasana – Half Pigeon Pose

Ardha Kapotasana or the Half Pigeon Pose resembles a pigeon in the final position. In Sanskrit, Ardha means half, Kapota means Pigeon and Asana means a pose. It is an intermediate level pose and helps to open up the hips and groin muscles.

Ardha Kapotasana is an excellent pose to bring flexibility to the hips and legs. Those who wish to master Padmasana can practice Ardha Kapotasana to open up the hips and to make the leg muscles flexible.

Utkata Konasana – The Goddess Pose

Utkata Konasana or the Goddess Pose is also known as the Fierce Angle Pose. In Sanskrit, Utkata means fierce, Kona means angle and Asana means a pose. Utkata Konasana, also called the Goddess Squat Pose benefits the hips, the abdomen, chest, groins and leg muscles.

Utkata Konasana is easy to perform and is excellent practice for women to widen and strengthen the uterus before and during pregnancy.

Pawanmuktasana – The Gas Release Pose

Pawanmuktasana or the Gas Release Pose improves digestion and relieves constipation. In Sanskrit, Pawan means air or wind, Mukta means to free and Asana means a Pose. This pose is known to relieve gas and improve digestive function and hence the name.

Baddha Padmasana – Locked Lotus Pose

Baddha Padmasana or the Locked Lotus Pose is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita. Baddha Padmasana is a meditation pose that gives physical and mental stability. In Hatha Yoga Pradeepika, Padmasana or the classical Lotus pose is considered one of the four main siting poses for meditation. Baddha Padmasana is an enhanced form of the classical Lotus pose

Yoni Mudra – Mudra of the Source

Yoni Mudra is so called because the practice leads the yogi to a state of mind similar to the one experienced in the womb. Yoni Mudra involves closing the two ears, the two eyes, the nose and the mouth with the fingers. This helps to cut off all the external inputs to the sense organs and the gaze of the practitioner is fixed on the inner activity.

Sirsasana – The Yogic Head Stand

Sirsasana or the head stand pose is the most important among inverted asanas. In Sanskrit the word ‘sirsha’ means ‘head’ and ‘asana’ means pose. Sirsasana is considered the king of all asanas and is usually done at the end of the yoga asana practices.

Seated Eagle Pose

Seated Eagle Pose or the seated Garudasana opens up the joints in the arms and shoulders. In Sanskrit, Garuda is the name of the eagle which is the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. In the seated eagle pose, the two arms are brought together and the two fore-arms are twisted together. It gives a good stretch to the arms and the shoulder muscles.

Maha Bheda Mudra – The Great Piercing Attitude

Maha Bheda Mudra or the Great Piercing Attitude is mentioned in both Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and Gheranda Samhita. In Sanskrit, Maha means great, Bheda means to pierce and Mudra means a gesture, attitude or seal. Maha Bheda Mudra is to be practiced along with Maha Mudra and Moola Bandha. It is highly recommended by yogis.

Eka Pada Sirasana – One Leg behind Head Pose

Eka Pada Sirasana or One Leg behind Head Pose is practiced in the sitting position. It is an advanced yoga pose and requires very good flexibility of the leg and groin muscles.

Padma Mayurasana – Lotus in Peacock Pose

Padma Mayurasana or Lotus in Peacock Pose is done by first assuming the Lotus pose (Padmasana) and then performing Mayurasana or the peacock pose. It is an advanced asana. It requires good strength of the arms and the abdominal muscles along with a good sense of balance.