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Yoga Asanas

Yoga Asanas
[AHS-ahna]
(Asana = Posture)

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Virasana Virasana

 

VIRASANA
[veer-AHS-ahna]
(Vira = a hero)

This is a great pose for relaxing the legs when they are tired.1. Sit upright on the heels with the knees level and facing forward.

2. Take the feet apart and slide a block between the ankles and under the sit-bones.

3. Hug the inner ankles into the block.

4. Place the hands in Namaste.

Keep the head straight forward and gaze inward, following your breath.


 

Down Dog

 

ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA
[AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-ahna]
(Adho – downward; Mukha = face; Svana = dog)
Downward-facing Dog or Down Dog.

This pose rests the heart and is good for stretching out the leg muscles.1. Lie face down on the floor; bend the elbows and place the hands beside the rib cage. Open the palms and spread the fingers with the middle fingers pointing forward.
Keep the hands in line with the feet.2. Tuck the toes under and come up on the knees.3. Straighten the legs; lift the hips higher and take the truck towards the tops of the things. Make the knees firm.4. Press the heels of the hands into the floor and stretch the fingers.

5. Raise the shoulders and move the shoulder blades into the back ribs and up.

6. Relax the head and neck.

BREATHE EVENLY.

Exhale and come into Child’s Pose.


 

Child's Pose

 

BALASANA
[bah-LAHS-ahna]
(Bala = child)
“Child’s Pose”

Toes together; knees apart; relax down with your arms stretched out.


 

Tadasana

 

TADASANA
[tah-DAHS-ahna]
(Tada = mountain)

1. Stand straight, facing forward.
Keep the big toes and ankles touching.
Stretch the toes forward from the centers of the arches.
Raise the heels, extend them back from the centers of the arches and put them down again.
Keep the weight even on the inner and outer edges of both feet, and on the heels and soles.2. Extend the legs up vertically; draw the knee caps up; lift the thigh bones and pull the thing muscles up; draw the muscles to the bone. Take the tops of the thighs back.3. Move the tail bone and sacrum forward and up, then length the spine and the trunk.
Move the lower abdomen and the abdominal organs up and back without tensing them.4. Lift the diaphragm and the rib cage.
Open the diaphragm and the floating ribs outward.
Move the shoulder blades in.
Open the chest by widening the front ribs away from the sacrum. 5. Relax the shoulders and keep them down, shrugged away from the ears.
Widen them horizontally a t the front, away from the neck.

6. Turn the upper arms out and stretch the arms down.

7. Stretch the neck up; lift the back of the skull away from the neck to make the head light.

8. Keep the chin level.
Relax the face and look ahead, keeping the eyes soft.

BREATHE EVENLY.


 

Tree Pose

 

VRKSASANA
[vrik-SHAHS-ahna]
(Vrksa = tree)

This pose gives a beautiful upward stretch and a sense of balance.Stand in Tadasana.

1. Be firm and stretch the toes on the left leg.

2. Bend the right leg and tuck it in to the top of the left inner thing.

3. Bring the hands into Namaste at the center of chest.
Bring them on to the top of the head and take the elbows back.

4. Then extend the arms up.
Take the hands shoulder-width apart with the hands looking at each other.
Keep the elbows straight and extend the sides of the body up.

BREATHE EVENLY.


 

The Triangle Pose

 

TRIKONASANA
[trik-cone-AHS-ahna]
(Trikona = triangle)

This pose teaches alignment and strengthens the leg muscles.1. Stand in Tadasana. With a deep inhalation, jump or step the legs 4-feet apart. As you jump, stretch the arms to the asides at shoulder level. Stretch from the top of the shoulder out to the finger tips on each hand.

2. Keep the feet in line, pointed forward. Straighten the knees and stretch the shins, knees and thighs up. Take the inner thighs away from each other. Extend the trunk up and open the chest.

3. Turn the left foot in 15-degrees.
Turn the right leg 90-degrees so that the centers of the knee and the big toe are in line.

4. Adjust so that the right heel is in line with the left arch.

5. Exhale and bend sideways toward the right leg, placing the right palm or fingertips on a block or on your ankle.

Stretch the left arm up with palm facing forward.

In going down, move the hips to the left. Revolve the trunk up and extend it towards the head. Take the head slightly back and turn it to look at the right thumb.

6. BREATHE NORMALLY. Inhale and come up.

Go to the other side.


 

The Warrior Pose

 

VIRABHADRASANA II
[veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-ahna]
(Virabhadra = a warrior from Indian mythology).

1. Stand in Tadasana; inhale and jump or step the feet 4-feet apart.2. Turn the left foot in at a 15-degree angle and the right at a 90-degree angle.

3. Exhale and bend the right leg to a right angle. Tuck the top of the outer right thigh into the right hip joint.

4. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and extend the arms f rom the shoulders to the finger tips.

BREATHE EVENLY.

Inhale and come up and go to the other side.


 

Utthita Parsvakonasana

 

UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA
[oo-TEE-tah parsh -VAH-koh-NAHS-ahna]
(Utthita = extended; Parsva = sideways; = Kona = angle)

This pose builds strength in the legs and lower back.1. Stand in Tadasana. Inhale and jump or step the feet 4-feet apart.

2. Turn the left foot in 15-degrees and the right foot out 90-degrees. Line the feet up.

3. With an exhalation, bend the right leg to a right angle; bend the trunk sideways towards the leg and place the right hand beside the outer edge of the right foot.

4. Stretch the left arm over the head. palm facing down and upper arm over the left ear.

5. Extend the trunk; turn the head and look up.

BREATHE EVENLY.

Inhale and come up.

Repeat on the other side.


 

Wall Stretch Wall Stretch

 

ARDHA UTTANASANA
[ARE-dah OOT-tan-AHS-ahna]
(Ardha = half; Uttana = extension)

“Wall Stretch”

This is a great pose if you have a sore back or cannot bend because of tight hamstrings.1. Stand with the feet hip-width apart. Bend forward so that the hands come to the wall at hip level.

2. Bring the hips in line with the ankles.

3. Push the hands into the wall and extend the hips away from the wall. BREATHE.

4. Walk the hands up the wall in line with the shoulders.
Straighten the arms and shrub the shoulders away from the ears.

5. Step one foot into the wall with its toes on the wall and its heel on the floor. Lift the chest.

6. Make sure the heel of the back foot is straight.

BREATHE.

Step the front foot back to meet the other and repeat on the opposite side.


 

 

UTTANASANA
[OOT-tan-AHS-ahna]
(Uttana – extension)

This is a relaxing pose which helps stretch the hamstrings.

1. Stand with the feet hip-width apart. Clasp the elbows, inhale and stretch the arms over the head, taking the elbows back.

2. Exhale and take the trunk and arms down keeping the legs firmly stretched up and vertical.

3. Take the tops of the shin bones back and up. Stretch the knees up and tuck the kneecaps into the knee joints.

4. Bend the knees and roll up.


 

 

JANU SIRSASANA
[JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna]
(Janu = knee; Sirsa = head)
“Forward Bend”

This pose eases stiffness in the shoulders and hips. Calms the mind.1. Sit on a folded blanket with the legs stretched out.

2. Draw up the right leg and tuck the foot into the top of the left leg.

3. With an exhalation bend at the hips and trunk down, stretch the arms forward and hold the left foot (you may need to use a strap to catch the foot).

Keep both sides of the body parallel. Take the shoulders back to lift the chest.

4. With an exhalation take the trunk down over the left leg. Take the head toward the knee.

5. BREATHE EVENLY. Inhale, come up and go to the other side.


 

Set-up for Shoulder Stand

Shoulder Stand Halasana

 

SARVANGASANA
[sar-van-GAHS-ahna]
(Sarvanga = all parts of the body)
Shoulder Stand

and
HALASANA
[hah-LAHS-anna]
(Hala = plow)
“The Plow”

This pose soothes and nourishes the whole body.1. Place 3 folded blankets exactly above each other on the floor, with the folded edges in line.

2. Lie with the shoulders and arms on the blankets and the head on the floor.

3. Press the shoulders down, clasp the hands and draw the shoulder blades in toward the waist.

4. Press the elbows into the blankets, exhale and left the trunk bending the legs over the head. Support the back with your hands.

5. Raise the trunk and legs up until they are vertical. With the help of your hands raise the shoulder blades and extend the trunk up. Keep the head relaxed and BREATHE.

Take the legs overhead into HALASANA (“The Plow”) and slide down carefully.


 

Supta Baddha Konasana

 

SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA
[soup-TAH BAH-dah cone-AHS-ahna]
(Supta = lying down; Baddha Kona = bound angle)

This is a resting pose and is very helpful during menstruation to relieve congestion in the female organs.1. Fold two blankets into quarters, with the folded edge lengthwise and toward your spine. Sit with the soles of the feet together.

2. Take a belt over the head, thighs, shins and under the feet.

3. Lie back over the blankets. If necessary, support the head.

Stay for 5 to 10 minutes.

Support the knees if necessary.

Watch your breath.

Feel the extension of your inner organs.


 

 

SAVASANA
[sa-VAHS-ahna]
(Sava = corpse)

This is a relaxation pose that quiets and calms the mind. 1. Lie comfortably on the floor, turn the upper arms out, palms up.

2. Allow your eyes to close. Extend the feet and legs. Then let them drop evenly to the sides.

3. Keep the breath normal and let it become quieter. Watch your breath. If the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath.

4. Keep the gaze of the eyes directed down toward your heart. Relax everywhere. Allow the body to sink into the floor. Stay quietly for 5 – 10 minutes or more.

5. Then stretch your arm above your head; bend the left knee and roll over to your right side; slowly push your left hand into the floor to help yourself up.