beginners yoga
Yoga Starter 1
June 8, 2016
Yogasanas
Yoga Starter 3
June 9, 2016

Yoga Starter 2

yoga for health
  • uttanapadasana raised legs pose 1

    Raised Legs Pose Utthanpadasana 1

    Practice I:

    Utthanpadasana (raised legs pose)

    Lie in the base position with the palms flat on the floor.

    Inhale and raise the right leg as high as is comfortable, keeping it straight and the foot relaxed.

    The left leg should remain straight and in contact with the floor.

    Hold the posture for 3 to 5 seconds, counting mentally and retaining the breath.

    Exhale and slowly lower the leg to the floor.

    This is one round.

    Practice 5 rounds with the right leg and then 5 rounds with the left leg.

    This may be repeated raising both legs together.

    Breathing: Inhale while raising the leg(s).
    Hold the posture and the breath. Exhale while lowering the leg(s).

    Awareness: On synchronising the movement with the breath, the stretch in the legs and mental counting in the final position.

    Benefits:

    This asana strengthens the abdominal muscles and massages the organs. It strengthens the digestive system, lower back, pelvic and perineal muscles and helps correct prolapse.

     

    uttanapadasana raised legs pose 2 1

    Practice note:

    Utthanpadasana may be repeated raising the legs to progressive heights of 15, 25, 35,45 cm respectively
    in each round.

  • chakra padasana leg rotation 2

    Leg Rotation Chakra Padasana 2

    Practice 2:

    Chakra Padasana (leg rotation)

    Stage I:

    Lie in the base position.

    Raise the right leg 5 cm from the ground, keeping the knee straight.

    Rotate the entire leg clockwise 10 times in as large a circle as possible.

    The heel should not touch the floor at any time during the rotation.

    Rotate 10 times in the opposite direction.

    Repeat with the left leg.

    Do not strain.

    Rest in the base position introducing abdominal breathing until the respiration returns to normal.

     

    Stage 2:

    Raise both legs together.

    Keep them together and straight throughout the practice.

    Rotate both legs clockwise and then anti-clockwise 3 to 5 times.

    The circular movement should be as large as possible.

    Breathing:

    Breathe normally throughout the practice.

    Awareness:

    On the mental counting of each round, rotation of the leg(s) and on the effects of the asana on the hips and abdomen.

    Benefits:

    Good for hip joints, obesity, toning of abdominal and spinal muscles.

  • pada sanchalanasana cycling 3

    Cycling Pada Sanchalanasana 3

    Practice 3:

    Pada Sanchalanasana (cycling)

    Stage I:

    Lie in the base position.

    Raise the right leg.

    Bend the knee and bring the thigh to the chest.

    Raise and straighten the leg completely. Then, lower the straight leg in a forward movement.

    Bend the knee and bring it back to the chest to complete the cycling movement.

    The heel should not touch the floor during the movement.

    Repeat 10 times in a forward direction and then 10 times in reverse.

    Repeat with the left leg.

    Breathing:

    Inhale while straightening the leg.
    Exhale while bending the knee and bringing the thigh to the chest.

     

    Stage 2:

    Raise both legs.

    Practice alternate cycling movements as though peddling a bicycle.

    Practice 10 times forward and then 10 times backward.

    Breathing: Breathe normally throughout.

     

    Stage 3:

    Raise both legs and keep them together throughout the practice.

    Bring the knees as close as possible to the chest on the backward movement and straighten the legs fully on the forward movement. Slowly lower the legs together,

    Slowly lower the legs together, keeping the knees straight, until the legs are just above the floor. Then bend the knees and bring them back to the chest.

    Practise 3 to 5 forward cycling movements and the same in reverse.

    Do not strain.

    Breathing: Inhale while straightening the legs.
    Exhale while bending the legs to the chest.

    Awareness:

    On the breath, mental counting of each round, and on smoothness of the movement and proper coordination, especially while reverse cycling. When relaxing, be aware of the abdomen, hip, thighs and lower back.

    Benefits:

    Good for hip and knee joints. Strengthens abdominal and lower back muscles.

    Practice note:

    Keep the rest of the body, including the head, flat on the floor throughout the practice. After completing
    each stage remain in the base position and relax until the respiration returns to normal. If cramping is experienced in the abdominal muscles inhale deeply, gently pushing out the abdomen, and then relax the whole body with exhalation.

    Do not strain; this applies especially to stage 3.

  • supta pawanmuktasana leg lock pose 4

    Leg Lock Pose Supta Pawanmuktasana 4

    Practice 4:

    Supta Pawanmuktasana (leg lock pose)

    Stage I:

    Lie in the base position.

    Bend the right knee and bring the thigh to the chest.

    Interlock the fingers and clasp the hands on the shin just below the right knee.

    Keep the left leg straight and on the ground.

    Inhale deeply, filling the lungs as much as possible.

    Holding the breath, raise the head and shoulders off the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose.

    Remain in the final position for a few seconds, retaining the breath and counting mentally.

    While slowly exhaling, return to the base position.

    Relax the body.

    Repeat 3 times with the right leg and then 3 times with the left leg.

    Practice note:

    Ensure that the straight leg remains in contact with the ground.

    It is important to start with the right leg because it presses the ascending colon directly.

    Follow with the left leg which presses the descending colon directly.

     

    Stage 2: Remain in the base position.

    Bend both knees and bring the thighs to the chest.

    Interlock the fingers and clasp the hands on the shin bones just below the knees.

    Inhale deeply.

    Holding the breath, raise the head and shoulders and try to place the nose in the space between the two knees.

    Hold the breath in the raised position for a few seconds, counting mentally.

    Slowly lower the head, shoulders and legs while breathing out.

    Practice this 3 times.

     

    Awareness:

    On the breath, mental counting in the final position, pressure on the abdomen and the movement.

    Contra-indications:

    Not to be performed by persons suffering from high blood pressure or serious back conditions, such
    as sciatica and slipped disc.
    Benefits: 

    Supta pawanmuktasana strengthens the lower back muscles and loosens the spinal vertebrae. It massages the abdomen and the digestive organs and is, therefore, very effective in removing wind and constipation. By massaging the pelvic muscles and reproductive organs, it is also useful in the treatment of impotence, sterility and menstrual problems.

    Variation:

    Repeat the practice as described in stages 1 and 2 but change the breathing pattern slightly. Instead of inhaling before raising the body, exhale deeply and hold the breath out in the final position for a few seconds, counting mentally.

    Lower the head, shoulders and leg(s) while breathing in.

    Practice 3 rounds for both stages 1 and 2.

    Benefits:

    This variation gives basically the same benefits as the main pose but has a more profound influence on the spine and pelvic region.

  • jhulana lurhakanasana rocking & rolling 5

    Rocking and Rolling Jhulana Lurhakanasana 5

    Practice 5:

    Jhulana Lurhakanasana (rocking and rolling)

    Stage I:

    Lie flat on the back. Bend both legs to the chest.

    Interlock the fingers of both hands and clasp them around the shins just below the knees.

    This is the starting position.

    Roll the body from side to side 5 to 10 times, touching the side of the legs on the floor.

    Breathing:

    Breathe normally throughout.

     

    Stage 2:

    Sit in the squatting position with the buttocks just above the floor.

    Interlock the fingers of both hands and clasp them around the shins just below the knees.

    Rock the whole body backwards and forwards on the spine.

    Try to come up into the squatting pose on the feet when rocking forward. If it is difficult to perform with the hands clasped on the shins then hold the side of the thighs adjacent to the knees.

    Practice 5 to 10 backward and forward movements.

    Breathing:

    Breathe normally throughout.

    Awareness:

    On the coordination of movement. While relaxing in shavasana be aware of the effects of the asana on the back and buttocks.

    Contra-indications:

    Not to be performed by persons with serious back conditions.

    Benefits:

    This asana massages the back, buttocks and hips. It is most useful if done first thing in the morning after waking.

    Practice note:

    Use a folded blanket for this practice so that there is no possibility of causing damage to the spine.
    While rocking back, the head should remain forward. Be careful not to hit the head on the floor.

  • supta udarakarshanasana sleeping abdominal stretch 6

    Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose Supta Udarakarshanasana 6

    Practice 6:

    Supta Udarakarshanasana (sleeping abdominal stretch pose)

    Lie in the base pose.

    Bend the knees and place the soles of both feet flat on the ground, directly in front of the buttocks.

    Keep the knees and feet together throughout the practice.

    Interlock the fingers of both hands and place the palms under the back of the head.

    While breathing out, slowly lower the legs to the right, trying to bring the knees down to the floor. The feet should remain in contact with each other, although the left foot will move slightly off the floor. At the same time, gently turn the head and neck in the opposite direction to the legs. This will give a uniform twisting stretch to the entire spine. Hold the breath in the final position while mentally counting three seconds.

    While breathing in, raise both legs to the upright position.

    Keep the shoulders and elbows on the floor throughout.

    Repeat on the left side to complete one round.

    Practice 5 complete rounds.

    Breathing: Exhale while lowering the legs to the sides.

    Hold the breath in the final position.

    Inhale while raising the legs.

    Awareness: On the breath, the mental counting in the final position and the twisting stretch on the paraspinal and abdominal muscles.

    Benefits:

    This asana gives an excellent stretch to the abdominal muscles and organs, and thereby helps to improve digestion and eliminate constipation. The twisting stretch of the spinal muscles relieves the strain and stiffness caused by prolonged sitting.

    Variation:

    Bend the knees and bring the thighs up to the chest. Interlock the fingers and place them behind the
    head. Roll the body from side to side, keeping the elbows on the floor.

  • shava udarakarshanasana universal spinal twist 7

    Universal Spinal Twist Shava Udarakarshanasana 7

    Practice 7:

    Shava Udarakarshanasana (universal spinal twist)

    Lie flat on the back with the legs and feet together.

    Stretch the arms out to the sides at shoulder level with the palms of the hands facing down.

    Bend the right leg and place the sole of the foot beside the left kneecap. Place the left hand on top of the right knee.

    This is the starting position.

    Gently bring the right knee down to the floor on the left side of the body, keeping the leg bent and the foot in contact with the left knee.

    Turn the head to the right, looking along the straight arm, and gaze at the middle finger of the right hand.

    The left hand should be on the right knee and the right arm and shoulder should remain in contact with the floor.

    In the final position, the head should be turned in the opposite direction to the folded knee and the other leg should be completely straight.

    Hold the position for as long as is comfortable.

    Return to the starting position, bringing the head and knee to the centre. Stretch the right arm out to the side and straighten the right leg.

    Repeat on the opposite side.

    Practice once to each side, gradually extending the holding time.

    Breathing:

    Inhale in the starting position.
    Exhale while pushing the knee to the floor and turning the head.

    Breathe deeply and slowly in the final position.

    Inhale while centring the body and exhale while straightening the leg.

    Awareness: Physical – on the breath or the relaxation of the back.

    Spiritual – on manipura chakra.

    Sequence: This asana should be performed after forward and backward bending asanas or those that are strenuous on the lower back, and after sitting in chairs or in meditation asanas for extended periods of time.

    Contra-indications: This asana rectifies disorders of the hip joint. It should be stopped if the practice is painful.

    Benefits: Tightness and tiredness are relieved, especially in the lower back. The pelvic and abdominal organs are toned through its massaging action.

  • naukasana boat pose 8

    Boat Pose Naukasana 8

    Practice 8: Naukasana (boat pose)

    Naukasana (boat pose)

    Lie in the base position, palms down.

    Keep the eyes open throughout.

    Breathe in deeply. Hold the breath and then raise the legs, arms, shoulders, head and trunk off the ground.

    The shoulders and feet should be no more than 15 cm off the floor. Balance the body on the buttocks and keep the spine straight.

    The arms should be held at the same level and in line with the toes. The hands should be open with the palms down.

    Look towards the toes.

    Remain in the final position and hold the breath. Count to 5 mentally (or for longer if possible).

    Breathe out and return to the supine position. Be careful not to injure the back of the head while returning to the floor.

    Relax the whole body.

    This is one round.

    Practice 3 to 5 rounds.

    Relax in shavasana after each round, gently pushing out the abdomen with inhalation to relax the stomach muscles.

    Breathing:

    Inhale before raising the body.
    Retain the breath while raising, tensing and lowering the body.
    Exhale in the base position.

    Awareness:

    On the breath, movement, mental counting and tensing of the body (especially the abdominal muscles) in the final position.

    Benefits:

    This asana stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, tones all the organs and removes lethargy.

    It is especially useful for eliminating nervous tension and bringing about deep relaxation. It may be performed before Shavasana in order to attain a deeper state of relaxation. If practised upon waking it
    immediately restores freshness.

    Variation:

    Repeat the same process as above but clench the fists and tense the whole body as much as possible in the raised position.

This group of asanas is concerned specifically with strengthening the digestive system. It is excellent for those persons suffering from indigestion, constipation, acidity, excess air or gas, lack of appetite, diabetes, disorders of the male or female reproductive systems and varicose veins. It also eliminates
energy blockages in the abdominal area.

Awareness: Throughout the practice become aware of the following:
1. Movement
2. Breathing
3. Mental counting
4. Intra-abdominal pressure
5. The stretch of the muscles

Periodic rest:

Before starting the practice, the body and mind should be calm and relaxed. This state is best achieved
through the practice of shavasana. In addition, a short rest should be taken between each asana, lying in shavasana. One minute or thirty seconds should be sufficient but a more reliable guide is to rest until the breathing returns to normal.

No strain:

When starting this series, it is not advisable to attempt all the practices in one go, especially the ones which involve using both legs together. It is better to choose one practice at a time and incorporate that into the previous practices. The yoga starters part 2 series requires a great deal of effort and may put a strain on the lower back. Therefore, be aware of physical limitations and do not strain.

Contra-indications:

These practices should not be performed by people suffering from high blood pressure, serious heart conditions, back conditions such as sciatica and slipped disc or soon after abdominal surgery. If there is any doubt, please consult a competent therapist.

Base position:

All these asanas are performed from the supine position, that is, lying flat on the back with the legs together and straight. The arms should be by the sides, palms down, and the head, neck and spine in a straight line. Be sure to use a thin mat or a blanket, particularly with asanas such as supta pawanmuktasana and jhulana lurhakana where the body is balanced on the spinal vertebrae.

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