“Yoga is not just exercise and asanas. It is the emotional integration and spiritual elevation with a touch of mystic element, which gives you a glimpse of something beyond all imagination.”
TYPES OF YOGA
KARMA YOGA- path of blissful action
Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
Hasta- hand; Padah- foot; asana- pose
How to do Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
- Stand straight with feet together and arms alongside the body.
- Balance your weight equally on both feet.
- Breathing in, extend your arms overhead.
- Breathing out, bend forward and down towards the feet.
- Stay in the posture for 20-30 seconds and continue to breath deeply.
- Keep the legs and spine erect; hands rest either on the floor, beside the feet or on the legs.
- On the out breath, move the chest towards the knees; lift the hips and tailbone higher; press the heels down; let the head relax and move it gently towards the feet. Keep breathing deeply.
- Breathing in, stretch your arms forward and up, slowly come up to the standing position.
- Breathing out, bring the arms to the sides.
Benefits of the Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
- Stretches all the muscles of the back of the body.
- Invigorates the nervous system by increasing the -blood supply.
- Makes the spine supple.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
Contraindications of the Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
Back injury: People suffering from lower back injuries, Spondylitis, Cervical pain or any kind of back and spinal problems should not do this pose.
Tree Pose - Vrikshasana
Vriksha - Tree; Asana - Pose
The asana is pronounced as VRIK-shAH-sana
This posture replicates the graceful, steady stance of a tree. Unlike most yoga poses, the Tree Pose requires keeping our eyes open in order to maintain body balance.
How to do the Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
- Stand tall and straight with arms by the side of your body.
- Bend your right knee and place the right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be placed flat and firmly near the root of the thigh.
- Make sure that your left leg is straight. Find your balance.
- Once you are well balanced, take a deep breath in, gracefully raise your arms over your head from the side, and bring your palms together in ‘Namaste’ mudra (hands-folded position).
- Look straight ahead in front of you, at a distant object. A steady gaze helps maintain a steady balance.
- Ensure that your spine is straight. Your entire body should be taut, like a stretched elastic band. Keep taking in long deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Just be with the body and the breath with a gentle smile on your face.
- With slow exhalation, gently bring down your hands from the sides. You may gently release the right leg.
- Stand tall and straight as you did at the beginning of the posture. Repeat this pose with the left leg off the ground on the right thigh.
Benefits of the Vrikshasana / Tree Pose
- This pose leaves you in a state of rejuvenation. It stretches the legs, back and arms, and invigorates you.
- It brings balance and equilibrium to your mind.
- It helps improve concentration.
- This posture has been found to relieve some cases of sciatica.
- It makes the legs strong, improves balance, and opens the hips.
- Helps those who are suffering from sciatica.
Contraindications of the Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Avoid doing this posture if you are suffering from migraine, insomnia, low or high blood pressure (those with high blood pressure may do this pose but without raising their hands overhead, as this may further raise their blood pressure).
Trikonaasana - Pose
The asana is pronounced as Tree-kone-nah -sah-nah
Unlike most yoga postures, the Triangle Pose requires keeping the eyes open in order to maintain body balance.
How to do the Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Stand straight. Separate your feet comfortably wide apart (about 31/2 to 4 feet).
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees.
- Now align the center of your right heel with the center of your arch of left foot.
- Ensure that your feet are pressing the ground and the weight of your body is equally balanced on both the feet.
- Inhale deeply and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight, allowing your left hand to come up in the air while your right hand comes down towards floor. Keep both arms in straight line.
- Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the waist. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left palm.
- Ascertain that your body is bent sideways and not backward or forward. Pelvis and chest are wide open.
- Stretch maximum and be steady. Keep taking in long deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Just be with the body and the breath.
- As you inhale, come up, bring your arms down to your sides, and straighten your feet.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
Tips to do Trikonasana
- Make sure you have done a good warm up exercise of the whole body before you do the asana.
- While bending forward do it slowly and gently so as not to lose balance.
5 benefits of the Trikonasana
- Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms and chest
- Stretches and opens the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine
- Increases mental and physical equilibrium
- Helps improve digestion
- Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica
Contraindications of the Trikonasana
Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from migraine, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, or neck and back injuries. Those with high blood pressure may do this pose but without raising their hand overhead, as this may further raise the blood pressure.