Asana in Sanskrit literally means seat but in yoga terms it also refers to the body postures and position in relation to divinity. yoga asanas not only leads to a healthy, flexible and energetic body but also a peaceful and composed mind to cope with stressful situations. In addition it gives a boost to ones confidence, will-power, and concentration.
There are 84 asanas in yoga which are either performed in a seated or standing posture. The standing postures often act as a < warm-up exercise and a starting point for other asanas. The seated postures help in breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation.
The Basic Yoga Asanas
The various bends in postures provides flexibility to the body and also regulates breathing. This asana is a mix of a couple of easy flowing asanas and serves as a good warm-up exercise. It is great for yoga beginners, children and old people.
Stand with your feet parallel and hip distance apart. Extend your arms directly above your head. Shift your weight to your left leg and plant inner foot into ground. Bring your right leg out in front of you and bend your right knee. Use your right hand to grab your right ankle. Place the sole of your right foot on your left inner thigh, slightly above the knee, toes pointing towards the floor. Your right knee should be pointing outward. If this is too difficult, you can modify this pose by placing your right foot on your calf or ankle. You can leave your arms above your head or bring them to your heart’s center with palms pressed together. Try to maintain this position for a minute.
Regular practice of this asana provides relief to back aches and the abdominal organs are massaged. Sit on the floor with legs stretched out, heels joined and slowly bring both hands palms down towards the toes. While doing so bring the head forward with an attempt to touch the knees. The initial stages might be difficult but regular practice makes it possible.
Practice this regularly to experience flexibility in the body, relief from stomach related ailments, and an increased appetite. Thisasana is especially beneficial for women since it provides relief from problems of the uterus, ovaries and menstruation.
Lie on your stomach and gradually lift the head backwards. Hold for sometime and come back to initial position. Pregnant women should not perform this asana.
Performing this asana helps strengthen the lower body.This is quite the opposite of the bhujanga asana. Lie on your stomach and with regulated breathing lift your legs giving the spine a backward bend. To experience maximum benefits perform both bhujanga and salabha asanasback to back
This asana not only strengthens the spine and the functioning of the thyroid but also nourishes your inner cells and tissues thereby bringing about a feeling of youthfulness. In this asana you will have to balance the entire body weight on your shoulders. In the initial stages perform this asana under supervision and take care to perform it only once in one sitting.
This yogic posture resembles a dead body. This is an excellent posture to relax the mind and body. All that you need to do is lie on you back with palms on the floor facing the sky. Though these asanas are the very basic ones yet it is advisable to start performing them under supervision.
Once you have practiced them and are comfortable you can continue on your own. If you have a medical problem it is best to consult your doctor before you begin. So go ahead have a healthy mind and body and enjoy the gift of life.