Utkatasana – The Chair Pose

Utkatasana or the Chair Pose comes from the Sanskrit words Utkata meaning fierce or intense and asana meaning a pose. Utkatasana is a yogic pose which resembles sitting on a chair (without a chair, of course), and hence popularly called the Chair Pose.

Virabhadrasana – The Warrior Pose

Virabhadrasana or the warrior pose is a series of yoga poses each having its distinctive benefit. In Sanskrit, Vira means brave, Bhadra means friend and Asana means a Pose. Virabhadrasana is named after the legendary warrior Virabhadra in Puranas. In the Puranic lore, it is said that Virabhadra was created by Lord Shiva from his hair, to destroy the arrogance of Daksha who refused to invite his daughter Sati while conducting a Yagna.

Utthan Pristhasana – The Lizard Pose

Utthan Pristhasana or the Lizard Pose is a good hip opener. In Sanskrit, Utthan means stretch out, Pristha means the back and asana means a pose. Utthan Pristhasana opens up the hips, groins, hamstrings and the hip flexors.

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.

Supta Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Reclined Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana or the Bound Angle Reclined Pose can be used as a relaxation pose as well as a hip opener. In Sanskrit, Supta means lying down, Baddha means Bound, Kona means an Angle and Asana means a Pose.

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.