Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Yoga Exercise - Thursday



This is the basic and the starting yogic  exercise.  "Tada"  refers to a mountain.  This refers to stand like a mountain.  This is nothing but to know the correct standing position.


1. Come to stand with the big toes touching.

2. Lift up all your toes and let them fan out, then drop them down creating a wide solid base. You can separate your heels slightly if your ankles are knocking together uncomfortably.

3. Bring your weight evenly onto all four corners of both feet.

4. Let the feet and the calves root down into the floor.

5. Engage the quadriceps and draw them upward, causing your knee caps to rise.

6. Rotate both thighs inward, creating a widening of the sit bones, and tuck your tailbone in between the sit bones.

7. Tone the belly, drawing it in slightly.

8. Widen the collar bones and make sure the shoulders are parallel to the pelvis.

9. The neck is long, the crown of the head rises toward the ceiling, and the shoulder blades slide down the back.

It may seem like you are just standing there, but bringing the body into alignment is hard work. The alignment for Tadasana carries in to many of the standing and inverted poses.

Therapeutic Advantages

1.  This yogic exercise helps  to give the complete knowledge of perfect standing position.

2.  Helps to give control over muscular movement.

3.  In this yogic practice the entire body weight lies on the heel or on 5the edge of the feet.  It gives enough strength to legs and feet.  It also stimulates the entire nervous system of the body.


A strong, straight lower back is the foundation of every correct position and is consequently important in any Yoga pose. In this exercise, you strengthen the lower back and the legs and by doing so, you create more space in the chest and belly.

STEP 1: Start with the Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
STEP 2: Inhale and stretch your arms, lengthen the spine, and be careful not to press the lower ribs to the front.
STEP 3: Exhale and bend your knees and move your upper body forward at 45 degrees.

See to it that your lower back is straight. You can do this by letting your hand feel whether there is a "groove" in the middle of the lower back. If this is not the case, then stand up straight again, bend your body forward, and feel if the "groove" is there. Let the weight of the upper body sink into the pelvis, relax the calve muscles so that the weight of the body can be most efficiently directed into the ground.

The chest bone is moved slightly towards the belly. The breathing is relaxed and goes through the belly or towards the chest bone. Build up the exercise quietly and remain focused on a correct position of the back, chest, and pelvis.

For a good position, it is essential that the lower back has a natural, slight degree of being sunken. Otherwise, the space disappears from the chest, the movement no longer falls back towards the pelvis and it becomes impossible to breathe through the belly correctly. This means that before you start building up strength in your lower back, it is important to place the lower back in the right way.


Type of pose: Balancing, standing

Benefits: Strengthens legs, improves balance.


1. Come to stand in tadasana.

2. Feel your weight equally on all four corners of both feet.

3. Begin to shift the weight over to the right foot, lifting the left foot off the floor.

4. Bend the left knee, bringing the sole of the left foot high onto the inner right thigh.

5. Press the foot into the thigh and the thigh back into the foot.

6. Try not to let the right hip jut out. Keep both hips squared towards the front.

7. Focus on something that doesn't move to help you keep your balance.

8. Repeat the move while standing on the left foot.

Beginners: If you cannot bring the left foot high inside the right thigh, bring it lower on the right leg -- but be careful to avoid placing the left foot directly on the right knee.

Use the wall for balance if necessary.

Advanced: Bring the arms up towards the ceiling with the palms touching. Open the arms out to side.

Try closing the eyes and see if you can stay balanced.




This is the advanced stage of Vakrasana. Here the spine is twisted with the support of the knee alongwith the shoulder, and hence it involves more strain.

Pre position   

Sitting Position.

Bend the left leg in the knee and place it near the thigh of left leg.
Place the right hand beyond the folded knee of the left leg and in front of the left hand. Keep the palms of both the hands in opposite direction. There should be a distance of one foot between the two hands.
Press the standing left knee with the right hand and shoulders, and twist the neck to the left. Turn the sight also in the same direction and continue normal breathing.

In this Asana the spine is to be kept straight.
The lower end of the spine and both the hips be placed well on the floor and stabilize them.
Then with the support of the neck and shoulders twist the upper vertebrae to the left. Alongwith the neck, the sight should also be turned to the left side and stabilize it in that direction.
In Vakrasana (Type 1) the spine is twisted only with the help of the shoulders. Here the shoulders, the knee and the hand are placed in such a way that there is more pressure on the spine.

Turn the neck and the sight to the front.
Restore the right hand to its place and set right the palm of the left hand.
Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.

Note: Perform this Asana by taking up the right leg making relevant changes.

It should be maintained for two minutes on each side to have the expected benefits. With practice, it can be maintained up to six minutes.

Internal Effects   
The elasticity of the spine increases as it gets twisted in its erect position. Alongwith the spine the belly and other internal organs also get twisted and receive the desired strain. It also has very good effect on the spinal cord and its functioning is improved.

One should avoid the temptation of attaining the ideal position if strain is unbearable.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha-Matsyendrasana, the half spinal twist, is ninth in the sequence of 12 basic postures of hatha yoga. There are many benefits to this posture, but the most important is that the entire length of the spine receives a lateral twist in both directions - first to the left and then to the right.

Physical Benefits
Increases flexibility in each vertebrae of the spine, from the base of the spine through the neck
Stretches the back muscles and hips
Massages the abdominal organs, helping to relieve constipation
Breathing becomes more rapid, speeding up circulation and creating an aerobic effect
Brings more blood flow to the spine
Energetic (Pranic) Benefits
Helps rouse the Kundalini Shakti

Mental Benefits
Brings peace of mind
Helps to cure nervous disorders


The half spinal twist begins from the child's pose resting position following the bow pose.

From the child's pose, slowly roll your body up, bringing your head up last. At this point you will be sitting on your heels.
Drop your hips to the right of your feet so your sit bones are on the floor.
Bring the left leg over the right so that the foot is on the right side of the right leg with the foot as close in to the body as is comfortable. The closer in to the body the left foot is, the more difficult this posture is. For people with very inflexible hips, the half spinal twist can be done with the right leg completely straight. Be sure to always use the same leg position on both sides of the body.
Make sure that both sit bones are on the mat. If necessary move the right ankle away from the hips until you can feel both sit bones squarely on the surface of the mat.
Bring your left hand behind you and rest it on the floor.
Inhale and lift your right arm straight up over your head, stretching the spine upwards.
Exhale and turn the body to the left bringing the right arm outside the left knee. Look over the left shoulder.
Keep your spine straight and be sure to keep the weight of the body mainly on the spine and not on the left arm. More advanced students can actually lift the left arm from the floor, wrapping it around the back.
In the beginning it is not necessary to be able to hold onto your left ankle with your right hand. It is okay to leave your right arm straight from the knee, always working to move it closer in to the left ankle. You can also use your right hand to pull against your knee or calf of the opposite leg.
Make sure the shoulders stay parallel to the floor.
Try to make this an active posture, twisting the body a little bit more to the left on every exhale.
Be sure not to hold extra tension in the hips, shoulders and face, relaxing into the posture as much as possble to get a good twist. You should feel an equal stretch in every vertebrae of the spine.
Hold this posture for 30 seconds to begin with, working up to 2 minutes or more.

To come out of the posture inhale and lift the right arm over your head, stretch up, and exhale and release the hand back down to the mat.

The half spinal twist continues by twisting the opposite direction.

To begin, return to the sitting posture on top of the heels.

Drop your hips to the left of your feet so your hips are on the floor.
Bring the right leg over the left so that the foot is on the left side of the left leg with the foot as close in to the body as is comfortable.
Make sure that both sit bones are on the mat.
Bring your right hand behind you and rest it on the floor.
Inhale and lift your left arm straight up over your head, stretching the spine upwards.
Exhale and turn the body to the right bringing the left arm outside the right knee. Look over the right shoulder.
Keep your spine straight and be sure to keep the weight of the body mainly on the spine and not on the right arm.
Relax into the posture as much as possible, holding this side of the body for the same length of time as the other side.
To come out of the posture inhale and lift the left arm over your head, stretch up, and exhale and release the hand back down to the mat.

(Cow face)

The root "go" in Sanskrit is a distant relative of the English word "cow". Mukha means face. The parted thighs in the asana resemble a cow`s lips and one arm up and one down look like the cow`s ears and so on.


To begin with gomukhasana, sit in Dandasana.

Bend your knees and put your feet on the floor.

Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip.

Try to bring the heels equidistant from the hips: with the right leg on top you`ll have to tug the right heel in closer to the left hip. Sit evenly on the sitting bones.
Inhale and stretch your right arm straight out to the right, parallel to the floor.

Rotate your arm inwardly; the thumb will turn first toward the floor, then point toward the wall behind you, with the palm facing the ceiling. This movement will roll your right shoulder slightly up and forward, and round your upper back. With a full exhalation, sweep the arm behind your torso and tuck the forearm in the hollow of your lower back, parallel to your waist, with the right elbow against the right side of your torso.
Roll the shoulder back and down, then work the forearm up your back until it is parallel to your spine. The back of your hand will be between your shoulder blades. See that your right elbow doesn`t slip away from the right side of your torso.

Inhale and stretch your left arm straightforward, pointing toward the opposite wall, parallel to the floor.

Turn the palm up and, with another inhalation, stretch the arm straight up toward the ceiling, palm turned back.

Lift actively through your left arm, then with an exhalation, bend the elbow and reach down for the right hand. If possible, hook the right and left fingers.

Lift the left elbow toward the ceiling and, from the back armpit, descend the right elbow toward the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and lift your chest.
Try to keep the left arm right beside the left side of your head.

Stay in this pose about 1 minute. Release the arms, uncross the legs, and repeat with the arms and legs reversed for the same length of time.

Remember that whichever leg is on top, the same-side arm is lower.

The anatomical focus of the body is the recipient of maximum advantage, they are thighs, hips shoulder chest.
You can vary the asana from the full pose by leaning forward and laying the front torso down on the inner top thigh. Stay for 20 seconds, then inhale and come up.

Aid: Amateurs often have a difficult time getting both sitting bones to rest evenly on the floor. This can make it difficult for the knees to stack on top of each other evenly. When the pelvis is tilted, the spine can`t properly extend. Use a folded blanket or bolster to lift the sitting bones off the floor and support them evenly.


The asana stretches and tones the ankles, hips and thighs, shoulders, armpits and triceps and chest.

Precautions in case of:

Serious neck or shoulder problems


setu bandhasana

(SET-too BAHN-dah)
setu = dam, dike, or bridge
bandha = lock

Step by Step

Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.

Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.

Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.

Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it's resting on the blanket) up into the torso.

Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.


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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