The word Yoga literally means union; union of your soul with the universal.
Yoga is an ancient philosophy of life as well as a system of exercises that brings together union of mind, body, and spirit. Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras says “yoga is the ability to focus the mind on a single point without distraction.” Yoga is physical discipline; it uses the body and breathing to develop self-awareness along with mental clarity.
Yoga brings together the body, mind and spirit, all in one practice. Yoga is a spiritual path based on ancient sacred philosophy;the holistic benefits of yoga are suitable for the young or old, sick or well regardless of your background. The secrets of yoga are inwardness, concentration, and purification of mind and body with cleansing thoughts and food.
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ASANAS : Yoga Asanas or postures are body positions associated with the practice of Yoga. They are intended primarily to restore and maintain a practitioner’s well-being, improve the body’s flexibility and vitality.
Akarshan Dhanurasana – Pulled Bow Pose : “Akarshana” means ‘pulled’ and “Dhanur” means ‘bow’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the final posture resembles an archer when taking aim before shooting an arrow.
Anantasana – Sleeping Vishnu Pose : “Ananta” is another name for Vishnu. This pose reflects the sleeping pose of Vishnu on his serpent.
Ardha Halasana – The Half-Plough Pose : “Ardha” means ‘half’ and “Hala” means ‘plough’ in Sanskrit. This pose is the first step to doing the full Halasana posture.
Ardha Matsyendrasana – The Half-Spinal Twist Pose : “Ardha” means ‘half’ in Sanskrit. In this pose we perform the half spinal twist as the full twist is very difficult to achieve. The asana gets its name from Matsyendranath, one of the propounders of Hatha Yoga.
Ardha Padmasana – The Half-Lotus Pose : “Ardha” means ‘half’ and “Padma” means ‘lotus’ in Sanskrit. Ardha Padmasana is half of the Lotus Pose. Those who cannot practice Padmasana can start with Ardha Padmasana and then move on to doing the full Lotus pose.
Ardha Shalabhasana – The Half-Locust Pose : The word “Shalabh” means ‘locust’ and “Ardha” means ‘half’. This pose is an easier version of Shalabasana performed with one leg at a time. The final posture resembles a feeding locust, head lowered and tail up.
Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose : The word “Baddha” means ‘locked’ and “Kona” means ‘angle’. In this posture the body is locked in a typical angle.
Baddha Padmasana – Locked Lotus Pose : “Baddha” means ‘locked’ or ‘bound’ and Padmasana is the Lotus Pose. In this pose the arms and legs are locked to provide steadiness.
Balasana – Child Pose : “Bala” means ‘child’ in Sanskrit.
Bhadrasana – Beneficial Pose : In Sanskrit the word “Bhadra” means ‘beneficial’
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose : In Sanskrit, the word “Bhujanga” means ‘cobra’. In the final posture of this asana, the trunk resembles a cobra with its hood raised while the joined legs represent the tail.
Chakrasana – Standing Wheel Pose : “Chakra” means ‘wheel’ in Sanskrit.
Chakrasana – The Wheel Pose Supine : “Chakra” means ‘wheel’ in Sanskrit. In the final posture of this pose the arched body resembles the rim of a wheel. Hence the name Chakrasana or Wheel Pose.
Dandasana – Staff or Stick Pose : The word “Danda” refers to ‘staff’ or ‘stick’ in Sanskrit. In this pose, the spine, arms and legs are kept straight and stiff like a stick.
Dhanurasana – Bow Pose : In Sanskrit the word “Dhanus” means ‘bow’. The final posture assumed in this pose resembles a tightly drawn bow. Your trunk and thighs represent the curve of the bow and the hands and legs the bowstring.
Gomukhasana – Cow Pose : In Sanskrit, “Go” means ‘cow’ and “Mukh” means ‘face’. The final position of the legs in Gomukhasana looks like the face of a cow.
Halasana – Plough Pose : The word “Hala” connotes ‘plough’ in Sanskrit. In this posture the practitioner’s body is akin to an Indian plough.
Januhastasana – Knee-to-Hand Pose : The word “Janu” means ‘knee’ and “Hasta” means ‘hand’. In this pose the hand is placed just beside the knee, hence the name.
Janusirsana – Head to Knee Pose : “Janu” means ‘knee’ and “Sirsa” means ‘head’. In this posture head and knees are brought close together.
Kandasana – Upward Ankle Twist Pose : The word “Kanda” means ‘bulbous’ in Sanskrit. In this posture the feet of the practitioner resemble the bulb of an onion.
Konasana – Angle Pose : “Kona” is the Sanskrit word for ‘angle’. This pose serves as a warm up pose for more complicated angle poses like Baddha Konasana, Upavistha Konasana etc.
Makarasana – Crocodile Pose : “Makar” is Sanskrit for ‘crocodile’
Mandukasana – Frog Pose : The word “Manduk” refers to ‘frog’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs of the practitioner look like the hind legs of a frog.
Matsyasana – Fish Pose : In Sanskrit “Matsya” means ‘fish’. If you attain this posture in water, you will be able to float just like a fish with out any support of your hands or legs.
Mayurasana – Peacock Pose : The word “Mayur” means ‘peacock’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the body looks like a peacock, hence the name.
Natarajasana – Lord of Dance Pose : “Nat” refers to ‘dance’ and “Raja” to ‘king’. Lord of Dance is one of the attributes used for Shiva. The final posture is a representation of the dance of Shiva.
Naukasana – The Boat Pose : The word “Nauka” means ‘boat’ in Sanskrit. The body resembles a boat in the final posture.
Oordhwa Padahastasana – Hand-to-Feet Pose : In Sanskrit, “Oordha” means ‘lifted’, “Pada” means ‘feet’ and “Hasta” means ‘hand’. In this pose the hands touch the raised feet of the practitioner.
Padahastasana – The Hand-to-Feet Pose : “Pada” means ‘feet’ and “Hasta” means ‘hand’. In this pose the hands are brought to the feet to catch the toes.
Padmasana – The Lotus Pose : “Padma” means ‘lotus’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the feet and hands are akin to the petals of a blooming lotus, hence the name.
Parvatasana – The Mountain Pose : “Parvat” stands for ‘mountain’. In this pose the hands are kept in a position that resembles the peak of a mountain.
Paschimotanasana – The Posterior Stretch : “Paschim” stands for ‘posterior’ or ‘back’ and “Uttan” refers to ‘stretched’. In this pose the entire back region of the body gets stretched.
Pavanamuktasana – The Wind-Releasing Pose : “Pavan” means ‘wind’ and “Mukta” means ‘free’ or ‘release’. This posture helps in removal of excess wind in the digestive system.
Purna Titali Asana – Butterfly Pose : The word “Purna” refers to ‘complete’ and “Titali” means ‘butterfly’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs are spread out the way a butterfly opens its wings in flight
Samasana – Equilibrium Pose : “Sama” connotes ‘balance’ or ‘equilibrium’ in Sanskrit. In this posture the body is in such a position that it can be divided vertically into two identical parts.
Sarvangasana – All-Parts Pose : “Sarva” means ‘all’ and “Anga” means ‘part’ in Sanskrit. This pose exercises the entire body, hence the name.
Sasankasana – Hare Pose : “Sasanka” means ‘hare’ in Sanskrit. The final body posture in this asana looks like a leaping hare.
Savasana – Corpse Pose : “Sava” means ‘corpse’ in Sanskrit. In this asana the whole body is relaxed by remaining motionless just like a dead body.
Shalabhasana – Locust Pose : In Sanskrit “Shalabha” connotes ‘locust’. The final posture resembles a feeding locust, head lowered and tail up, hence the name.
Siddhasana – Pose of an Adept : “Siddha” refers to a person who has attained spiritual enlightenment. This pose is generally performed to attain spirituality.
Simhasana – Lion Pose : “Simha” means ‘lion’ in Sanskrit. In this pose you assume the posture of a seated lion.
Sirshasana – Head Stand : “Sirsha” means ‘head’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the practitioner balances his body on the head
Sukhasna – Comfortable Pose : “Sukh” means ‘pleasant’ or ‘comfortable’ in Sanskrit. This is a cross-legged posture where you are totally at ease.
Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclining Bound Angle Pose : In Sanskrit, “Supta” connotes to ‘reclining’, “Baddha” means ‘locked’ and “Kona” refers to ‘angle’. In this posture, the practitioner leans back, hence the name.
Supta Udarakarshansana – Lying Abdominal Twist : “Supta” means ‘reclining’ and “Udarakarshan” means ‘twisting’. In this pose the abdomen is twisted while lying down.
Supta Vajrasana – Reclining Adamant Pose : “Supta” means ‘reclining’ and “Vajra” means ‘adamant’ in Sanskrit. In this posture the yoga practitioner will be lying down in a supine position in Vajarasana.
Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation : “Surya” refers to ‘sun’ and “namaskar” means ‘salutation’ in Sanskrit. Surya Namaskara involves series of 12 yoga postures which are done in one long continual process.
Swastikasana – Auspicious Pose : “Swastika” refers to ‘auspicious’ in Sanskrit.
Tadasana – Mountain Pose : “Tada” means ‘mountain’ in Sanskrit. The hands in this posture form a peak, hence the name.
Talasana – Palm-Tree Pose : “Tal” refers to ‘palm tree’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the upper part of the body is extended straight up like a palm tree.
Tolangulasana – Weighing Scale Pose : “Tolangul” means ‘weighing balance’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the body posture is balanced on your waist and resembles a weighing scale.
Trikonasana – Triangle Pose : In Sanskrit, “Tri” means ‘three’ and “Kona” means ‘angle’. In ‘Trikonasana’ you assume a posture whereby your feet resemble the three sides of a triangle.
Ugrasana – The Difficult Pose : The word “Ugra” refers to ‘difficulty’ or ‘frightening’. This posture poses difficulty to the practitioner and hence the name.
Upavistha Konasana – Wide-angled Seated Pose : “Upavishtha” means ‘seated’ and “Kona” means ‘angle’ in Sanskrit. This is a warm-up pose for most seated poses.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose : “Urdhva” means ‘up’, “Mukha” means ‘face’ and “Svana” means ‘dog’. In this pose the body is stretched out with the face pointing up like a dog.
Ushtrasana – Camel Pose : “Ushtra” refers to ‘camel’ in Sanskrit. In this yoga pose the practitioner’s body resembles a camel, hence the name.
Utkatasana – Half-Squat Pose : The Sanskrit term ‘Ut’ means ‘raised’ and “kata” refers to ‘the hips’. In this pose the hips remain raised above the ground, hence the name.
Uttanapadasana – Raised Leg Pose : In Sanskrit, “Uttana” means ‘raised’ and “Pada” means ‘feet’. In this yoga posture, the feet are raised up.
Uttanasana – Intense Stretch Pose : “Ut” connotes ‘intense’, and “Tana” means ‘stretch’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the legs and spine are stretched, hence the name.
Vajrasana – Adamant Pose : In Sanskrit, “Vajra” means ‘adamant’ or ‘firmness’. This pose gives firmness and stability to the body
Vakasana – Crane Pose : “Vaka” connotes ‘crane’ in Sanskrit. The final posture of the body resembles a crane.
Vakrasana – Twisted Pose : “Vakra” means ‘twisted’ in Sanskrit. In this pose the practitioner’s trunk gets twisted to the left and right sides.
Veerasana – Warrior Pose : “Veer” refers to ‘warrior’ in Sanskrit. In this posture the body assumes the position a warrior takes before attacking. Hence the name Veerasana or Warrior pose.
Viparit Karani – Inverted Pose : “Viparit” means ‘inverted’ and “Karani” means ‘action’. In this pose the body is kept inverted.
Virabhadrasana – Warrior Pose : “Virabhadra” is a warrior incarnation of Shiva.
Vrikshasana – Tree Pose : In Sanskrit the word “Vriksha” means ‘tree’. In this pose the practitioner holds his body still like a tree.
PRANAYAMA : Pranayama is an aspect of Yoga that deals with breathing. It is the breathing process or the control of the motion of inhalation, exhalation and the retention of vital energy. Proper breathing is to bring more oxygen to the blood and to the brain, and to control Prana or the vital life energy.
Agnisara : “Agni” connotes ‘fire’ in Sanskrit. In this pranayama the internal fire is stirred up, thus increasing the body heat.
Anuloma Viloma – Alternate Nostril Breathing : In this pranayama, you breathe in and out through alternate nostrils. Hence the name.
Bhramari Breathing : “Bhramar” means ‘bee’ in Sanskrit. In this pranayama a humming sound is produced while breathing just like a bee.
Bhastrika Pranayama – Bellow Breathing : “Bhastrika” refers to ‘bellows’ in Sanskrit. Air is drawn in and out of the abdomen just as a blacksmith uses his bellows.
Dirgha Pranayama – Complete Breath : “Dirgha” connotes ‘long’ in Sanskrit. This pranayama involves a long and deep breath which fills all the three chambers of the lungs.
Kapal Bhati : “Kapal” means ‘skull’ and “bhati” means ‘shine’ in Sanskrit. This pranayama cleanses the respiratory system, particularly the nasal passages in the skull.
Moorcha Pranayama : In Sanskrit, “Moorcha” means ‘fainting’ or ‘swooning’. This pranayama involves slow inhalation and retention of air for a long period.
Sheetali Breathing : “Sheetal” means ‘cool’ in Sanskrit. This pranayama has a cool effect on the body by lowering the body temperature.
Sheetkari Breathing : Sheetkari breathing has a cooling effect on your body.
Surya Bheda : In this pranayama, inhalation is done only through the right nostril.
Ujjayi Breathing : The word “Ujjayi” means ‘victorious’ in Sanskrit
BANDHA : Bandha is a Sanskrit word related to our English words “band”,”bind”, “bond” and “bound.” They are particular actions involving pressure or strain on the muscles. Each bandha is a lock, meaning a closing off of part of the interior body. These locks are used in various pranayama and asana practices to tone, cleanse and energize the interior body and organs.
Jalandhara Bandha – Chin Lock : “Jala” means ‘net’ and “Dhar” means ‘to hold’. In this bandha the network of energy channels or nadis of the body is locked. This bandha is also known as chin lock.
Moola Bandha – Anal Lock : “Moola” means ‘root’ or ‘source’ in Sanskrit. The other meaning of moola is also ‘anal’. In this yoga bandha anal lock is performed.
Uddiyana Bandha – Abdominal Lock : In Sanskrit, “Uddiyana” refers to ‘flying’. In this bandha the diaphragm is raised up to the thoracic region.
MUDRAS : Mudra is the science of hand and finger postures. It can help to cure bodily ailments in a wonderful manner. It affects the body’s energetic sysytem and the flow of prana (life energy) within it. It actually helps in balancing the five elements ( panch-tattvas ) in the human system to their optimal levels.
Abhaya Mudra : “Abhaya” means ‘fearless’ in Sanskrit. This mudra is a sign of benevolence and peace.
Dhyana Mudra : “Dhyana” connotes ‘meditation’ in Sanskrit. This mudra is assumed during meditation.
Gyana Mudra : “Gyana” refers to ‘knowledge’ in Sanskrit.
Linga Mudra : “Linga” or “angustha” refers to ‘thumb’ in Sanskrit.
Mritsanjeevani Mudra : “Air” is referred to as ‘Mritsanjeevani’ in Sanskrit. This mudra helps in balancing the air element in your body.
Prithvi Mudra : “Prithvi” means ‘earth’ in Sanskrit. This mudra restores balance of the earth element in your body.
Shunya Mudra : “Shunya” refers to ‘zero’ or ‘sky’ in Sanskrit. This mudra helps to connect your mind.
Surya Mudra : In Sanskrit, “Surya” means ‘sun’. Sun is the source of energy. This mudra provides energy.
Vaayu Mudra : In Sanskrit, “vaayu” connotes ‘air’. Air element of the body gets properly balanced with this mudra.
Varuna Mudra : “Varuna” means ‘water’ in Sanskrit. This mudra helps maintain balance of water in your body
Benefits of Yoga :
- Increases flexibility in muscles
- Strengthens the spinal cord,
- Recovery from aches,
- Improves digestion and elimination,
- Stimulates internal organs likeglands and endocrinal system,
- Improves heart condition,
- Improves blood circulation,
- Improves breathing disorders,
- Boosts immune response,
- Decreases cholesterol, diabetes,
- Maintains blood pressure level,
- Increases the stamina &
- Maintains a balance and grace all over.
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