Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Yoga Exercise - Friday




Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings and groin.

1. Come in to a kneeling position with the thighs perpendicular to the floor.

2. Bring the right leg straight out in front of you with the heel on the floor.

3. Begin to slide the right heel forward, keeping the right leg straight, until you have also brought the left leg as straight as possible extending behind you.

4. Keep the hips parallel and facing forward.

5. To come out, bend the right leg and draw it back toward the body.

6. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

Place your hands beside your hips and lower yourself down gently. It takes a moment for the muscles to release and sometimes after a hard practice there is swelling and an inflammation present. This makes it a little harder to enter and even more time must be given for the muscles to relax. If the body is properly warmed up the muscles will relax quicker.

This posture can be done with props and supports if the leg muscles are not flexible but it is probably better to spend time in effective hamstring stretches until the muscles are flexible enough to comfortably enter this posture. Spending all day getting into one posture sacrifices other postures that are necessary for progression. Work on the most effective ways to gain flexibility and introduce advanced postures like this when the time is right.

Beginners: Place a blanket under the front heel to help you slide forward.

Use a block under each hand to support yourself, if you cannot straighten the back leg completely. You can also place a block under the front leg for support, if it does not come down to the floor.

Be careful! This is an intense hamstring stretch. Only come down as far as is comfortable.

Advanced: If you are able to straighten both legs and come all the way down to the floor, interlace the fingers over your head and take a slight backbend.


Garuda = eagle, the name of Vishnu’s vehicle.

Type of pose: Standing, balancing
Benefits: Strengthens legs, improves balance, stretches the shoulders


1. From Utkatasana shift your weight onto the left leg.

2. Bend the right leg, lifting the foot from the floor and cross your right thigh over your left.

3. Hook the right foot around the left calf.

4. Bring the arms out in front.

5. Cross the left arm over the right and bring the palms to touch.

6. Lift the elbows while keeping the shoulders sliding down the back.

7. Hold 5-10 breaths.

8. Repeat on the other side.

Beginners: If you have trouble with the balance, rest your backside on a wall. If you can't hook the lifted foot around the calf, put a block under the foot instead.

Advanced: Start to come into a forward bend, bringing the elbows in front of the knees. Bring the thumbs to your third eye.




1.Sit straight and stretch your legs forward. Bend your right leg so that its sole is against the right thigh .

2. Press the perineum with the heel. While inhaling, raise both the hands over your head. Now exhale and bend forward and try to touch the left knee with the forehead.

3.Hold the left toe with the right hand and let the left hand rest on the back. Your right elbow should touch the ground. While inhaling, return to normal position.

4. Repeat the same procedure on the other side.


Repeat this asana three times. If your body is not flexible enough, try to touch the respective knee with your hands and gradually you will be able to touch the toes. Do not bend your knees while bending forwards.

Benefits & Precautions:

Those suffering from hernia, colitis and slipped disc should avoid this asana. This asana helps to massage the heart and the abdominal organs. It is very useful in reducing excess fat in the abdomen, hips and thighs. It cures constipation, dyspepsia, seminal weakness, and belching and digestive disturbances. It also helps overcome several menstrual disorders.


Translation: Bow To The Ear

This pose is meant to mimic the shooting of a bow. Yoga practitioners attempt to identify patterns and perceptions that interfere with progression to an awareness of oneness. In old times these distractions were expressed as various demons and spirits or entities. This posture is performed as an expression of identifying these distractions and removing them.

From a seated position straighten one leg forward. Grab the toe or the foot. Bring the foot to the ear and bend the elbow back.  Stretch the other arm forward and hold the big toe on the straightened leg.

It may be hard to bring the foot up with just one arm especially if the hip is inflexible and many muscles are acting against us. If this occurs use the other arm as well.

Place the hand on the extended leg if your hamstrings are not very flexible and it is hard to grab the foot of big toe.

There are few postures that stretch the big toes. It is important to have the big toes flexible. The usually turn inward and as a result vital energy currents do not run up the inner anterior leg. This affects almost every standing posture. Get the big toes flexible. There are many opportunities to grab them in other seated forward bends as well.

1. It is a good posture to remove the pain of back and lumbar region.

2. It increases the elasticity of thigh joint and shoulder.

3. It is also useful in arthritis and rheumatic condition.

1. In this asana the direction of strain is towards the joints of the waist.

2. Persons with weak waist joints should not do this asana as it brings great strain to the joints.

Eka Pada Sirsasana

One foot to head pose

Sit with legs stretched in front. Keep the back, head and neck upright straight.
Bend the right knee, turning it slightly out to the side.

Bring the right arm under the calf muscles and hold the out side of the leg just above the ankle. With the left arm hold the outside of the right ankle.
Raise the right leg slowly using the arm and hands.

Bend the trunk forward and twist slightly to the left.
Place the right leg on top of the right shoulders.
And keep the right foot behind the head (by bending the head forward) at the nape of the neck.

Finally, place the hands in front of the chest.
Try to straighten the spine and hold the head upright. Close the eyes and hold the pose for as long as comfortable.
Slowly release the leg and return to the starting position. Repeat the practice on the other side.

Breathe normally while moving into the pose. Breath slowly and deeply in the final position.

Those having sciatica, hip problems or hernia should not do this asana.

Benefits of Eka Pada Sirsasana

This yoga pose increases the blood flow especially in your back and improves your hemoglobin levels. With the increased blood flow toxins are removed that accumulate if the blood flow is slow or interrupted. Eka Pada Sirsana helps people who suffer from anemia and also from nervous trembling.
Eka Pada Sirsasana is an intensive work for your body that activates fire and thus helps your body to digest food quickly.
And of course you can imagine that it increases your flexibility.

Focus Points

As soon as you are able to actually bring your leg behind your head, you should concentrate on your breath and make it slow and steady. Try to relax in the posture while straightening your spine as far as possible.

Tips and Help

Don’t despair if you are not able to get your leg up in the beginning! This is a yoga exercise that needs practice and patience!
If you have mastered it and would like to go further, you can either begin practicing Dwi Pada Sirsasana or place your hands next to your body and lift your body up with the other leg stretched out in front of you.



Ananta = the name of the thousand-headed serpent upon which Vishnu rested at the bottom of the primordial ocean.

Amongst other things, this is a very interesting (i.e.: tricky) balancing pose that is organized in the pelvis. The more stability you can crate in the core, the easier it will be to balance.


• Lie on the left side of the body.
• Flex the left foot, plant the palms and press up, lifting the hips. Press the outer edge of the left foot down and stretch the outer left leg as you bring the hip down.
• Lengthen the side of the waist out along the floor. Lift and draw the rips out and lie back down on the left side.
• Extend the left arm out, resting the head on the upper arms. Inch the fingertips away from the foot, lengthening the left armpit.
• Bend the elbow and rest the head in the hand. Look down at the floor.
• Rest the right arm on the right side of the body.
• Hold this position. If it easy for you to balance here, proceed on to the next step.
• Bend the right leg, reach past the inside of the left thigh and grab hold of the right big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of the right hand.
• Hold this position. If you are able to keep your balance, proceed on to the next step.
• Exhale and stretch the right leg up towards the ceiling. If you find you are unable to extend the leg fully, hold onto the foot with a belt.
• Hold this position for several breaths.
• Come out of the pose by reversing the sequence until you are resting on the left side with the right hand on the thigh.
• Repeat the pose on the other side, taking care to hold the pose for the same amount of time as on the first side.


'Chakra'  refers to 'Wheel' , and in this yogic practice, body should bend and resemble a wheel.  This exercise can be done either in standing position or in  lying position.


1.  Perform Tadasana.

2.  Place the legs apart, about one-foot.

3.  Raise the hands above the head.  The hands should be straight.

4.  Inhale slowly and then bend the body backwards.

5.  Slowly bend the body and then place the palm on the ground just behind the ankles.

6.  The hands and legs should be erect and firm.

7.  Hold in this position for a few seconds with normal breathing.  Come back to the normal position and relax.

Benefits & Precautions:

1.  This exercise is very good for those who are suffering form back pain.  In this exercise the entire back position is exercised very well so it is very useful to sportsmen.

2.  This exercise helps to correct the disorders of the kidney.

3.  Cures the disorders of the neck, shoulder and the spine.  It helps to make the spinal column more flexible.

4.  It helps to cure throat problems, tonsils and chronic headache.

5.  Improves vision power and corrects eye disorders.


Keep the crown of the head on the floor.


Recent or chronic injury to the legs, arms, hips, shoulders or back, unmedicated high blood pressure, or detached retinas.


Lying on your back and arching your chest

The fish is the stretch that counters the Plough, and so follows them in Yoga session. The name of the posture derives from the fact that if you adopt the position in water, you will float quite easily. The Asana does wonders for your respiratory systems; when you assume this position, your chest is stretched open and your bronchial tubes are widened to promote easier breathing. In time your ribcage will expand, and this will also encourage you to breathe more deeply. By lifting your chest and tucking your arms underneath your body, you will combat postural defects such as rounded shoulders and the cervical region of your spine, thus releasing pressure on your nerves. Try to hold the pose for half of the time that you spent in the Shoulderstand, in order to equalize the stretching effects on your spine ans muscles.

Objective: To ease tension and improve spinal flexibility.
Assume the Corpse Pose and, when you are ready, begin to come into the fish. Stay flat on your back, and bring your feet together. With your arms straight by your sides, lay your palms on the floor, then tuck your hands in underneath your buttocks. Starting Pose: Prepare yourself for this asana by relaxing in the Corpse Pose for as long as you need.

Having arched your spine, tilt your head so that your crown rests on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. To come out of the Fish, slide your head back and then lower your chest. To finish, relax by lying in the Corpse. Chest Lift: Press your elbows down on the floor, inhale, and arch your chest upward as far as you can.

Try this variation if you are flexible enough. In the Easy Pose, clasp your toes. Lie back, arch up, and rest your buttocks on your heels. Lay the top of your head on the floor.

Knees Bent - Sit cross-legged, then put your arms down behind your knees and catch hold of your toes.
Fish in Lotus - This pose is an advanced variation on the ordinary Fish. It is similar to the Easy Pose variation shown above, except that it begins with the Lotus. Practitioners of yoga use this variation for staying afloat in water. The Fish in Lotus pose should not be attempted by beginners, or even by more experienced yoga students, until the full Lotus position can be held comfortably for a long period of time.

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