Kakasana or the Crow Pose looks like a crow pecking on its food. In Sanskrit, Kaka means crow and Asana means pose. It is a good arm-balance pose for beginners. Kakasana strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders and develops coordination and balance.
Tiryaka Kati Chakrasana or the Swaying Waist Rotation pose strengthens the hips, shoulders and back muscles and removes fat round the waist. In Sanskrit, Tiryaka means oblique, Kati means waist and Chakra means a wheel. It can be roughly translated as swaying waist rotation pose as the body is swayed from side to side in the final position.
Natvarasana or the Lord Krishna’s pose is a balancing pose that develops balance and concentration. In Sanskrit, Nata means dance and Asana means a yoga posture. Natvara is also a fond name of Lord Krishna. He is popularly depicted in this pose, playing the flute.
Kati Chakrasana or the Standing Spinal twist pose makes the waist and the spine flexible and supple. In Sanskrit, Kati means waist, Chakra means wheel or in this case, twist or turn and Asana means a pose. Kati Chakrasana is a simple pose and can even be integrated with loosening-up exercises before the start of asana practice. It is an easy pose and can be practiced by anyone.
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana or the Upward Extended Feet pose strengthens the back muscles and the core abdominal muscles. In Sanskrit, Urdhva means upward, Prasarita means extended, Pada means leg and Asana means a yoga posture. Urdhva Prasarita Padasana is an intermediate level pose and can be done by all age groups. Beginners can initially take assistance of a wall to master this pose.
Balancing poses are interesting. Along with restoring the physical balance and correcting our posture, these Asanas also teach us how to stay grounded and balanced even when tumultuous situations strike us in life. Meanwhile, these poses could be slightly challenging if our core muscles are weak or if we are under tremendous stress. So how do we practice them?
Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana or the Standing Split pose stretches the back muscles, hamstrings, groin and leg muscles and improves body balance. In Sanskrit, Urdhva means upward, Prasarita means spread out, Eka means one, Pada means leg and Asana means a yoga posture.
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana or the Revolved Half Moon pose is a challenging balancing asana that strengthens the core abdominal muscles, the spine, the hamstrings and the leg muscles. In Sanskrit, Parivrtta means revolved, Ardha means half, Chandra means the moon and Asana means a yoga posture. Parivtta Ardha Chandrasana improves digestion and metabolism and creates a sense of awareness and balance, improving confidence level.
Natarajasana or the Lord of Dance pose is a balancing asana that strengthens the back, shoulders and the arms. In Sanskrit, Nata means dance, Raja means king and Asana means a yoga posture. Natarajasana is good for improving body balance and for developing concentration.
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana or the downward facing dog pose stretches and straightens the spine, strengthens the leg muscles, flexes the hamstrings and thigh muscles and improves balance. In Sanskrit, Eka means one, Pada means leg, Adho means down, Mukha means face and Svana means a dog. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana is an intermediate level pose that can be attempted by most practitioners.