The asanas in this section are the basic poses that every yoga practitioner is supposed to know. You can try to learn yoga, but the best way to learn yoga is to experience it first hand. The basic poses are to be learned in the sequence presented. They are arranged in the approximate order of difficulty. Each new pose can be taken a new day. The basic poses are;
chest Expansion(Ardha Chakrasana)
Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasdana)
Bend (Supta Vajrasana)
and thigh Stretch (Bhadasana)
Sit in a legs-crossed
position with the soles of your feet turned upward and heels pressed
against the lower side of your abdomen. Keep your spine straight.
Place your hands on your
knees, palms up. Hold as long as you wish.
This is one of the meditative
postures. It imitates an inverted lotus flower. The head is held erect
and the eyes closed during this posture.
This promotes balance and
- Stand in an erect position
with your feet together. Press the feet flat against the floor as
if to stretch them.
- Visualize a string through
the spine pulling you upward, lifting the knees, hips and hamstrings.
- Equally distribute the
body weight. Keep your abdomen in and chest high. Your arms may remain
at your sides.
This is a basic posture of
balance and control. It is the foundation for good standing posture.
- Stand in the mountain
pose. Inhale slowly and raise arm overhead.
- At the same time, lift
your left ankle behind you and clasp it with your left hand. Shift your
weight to the right side.
- Exhale and pull the
left leg toward your body and lean forward slightly while looking forward.
- Your right arm will
provide balance. Hold for 20 seconds. Slowly release and return to start.
Repeat to opposite side.
balance, coordination and quadriceps flexibility.
- Get into a seated position
with legs extended forward.
- Rest your hands on
your thighs and straighten your spine.
- Raise your arms in
front of you to shoulder level.
- Then proceed to raise
them overhead, bending slightly backward.
- Bend forward to your
- Grab your knees and
hold the stretch for 10 seconds.
- Your head should be
- Pull your body forward
to your knees with the elbows bent outward. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Return to upright position.
- Place hands on your
thighs and relax.
spinal flexibility and strengthens the back.
This removes tension from the
spine and back, strengthens and firms the abdomen and buttocks.
- Lie face down with arms
at sides and head resting on either side.
- Slowly bring your head
to center and rest your forehead on the floor.
- Place your hands underneath
your shoulders with your fingertips facing inward.
- Tilt your head backward
and begin raising your trunk. Push your hands against the floor and
slowly start straightening your arms. Hold extreme position for 10
- Slowly tilt your head
forward and lower your trunk back to start. Relax and concentrate
on the feeling in the legs, back and abdomen.
CHEST EXPANSION (ARDHA CHAKRASANA)
- Get into a standing
position, arms at sides.
- Your feet should be
approximately six inches apart. Relax your spine.
- With your palms facing
outward, raise your arms until they are in front of your chest, elbows bent.
- Straighten your arms.
Then slowly bring them behind you, keeping them raised high. Interlock your
fingers. Concentrate on the stretch in the shoulders and chest.
- Slowly bend backward.
Maintain balance and control. Look upward and hold for 10 seconds.
- With knees locked,
bend forward and bring your arms over your back. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Return to upright position.
Unclasp your hands and concentrate on relaxing the neck, spine and shoulders.
and tones the muscles of the chest, back and arms. The rib cage expansion aids
- Stand with feet wide
- Slowly raise arms to
sides until they reach shoulder level. Your palms should be facing down.
- Exhale and bend left
until you can bring your left hand to your left knee.
- Keep your knees locked.
Inhale and bring your right arm over as far as possible without bending
the elbow. Hold the position for 20 seconds while breathing deeply and concentrating
on the stretch.
- Slowly straighten and
return to start.
- Relax for a moment,
and then repeat to opposite side.
the waistline, relieves tension in the neck and back.
- Stand in the mountain
- Bend forward. Bring your
arms behind your knees and clasp your hands.
- Be certain to position
your hands securely behind your knees and slowly draw your upper torso
down as far as comfortable. Your head should be lowered and directed
toward your knees. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Lower hands to calf level.
Again draw your body inward. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Unclasp your hands, inhale
deeply and raise your trunk back to start, one vertebra at a time.
This tones and firms the thighs
and calves. It also improves hamstring flexibility.
- Lie on your stomach,
arms at sides and chin resting on the floor. Bend your knees, feet
- Reach your arms
back and grasp your ankles. Slowly raise your torso while arching
your back until the abdomen bears the bodyweight. Tilt your head back
and hold for 10 seconds.
- Slowly lower
until chin is resting on the floor. Release your grasp and lower feet
to the floor.
- Lie flat with
head turned to one side. Rest and observe the feeling in the pelvic
region, back, arms and legs.
This shapes and
tones hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. It strengthens lower back
and promotes flexibility in the chest, shoulders, back and arms.
SPINAL TWIST (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA)
TWIST (ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA)
- Sit on the floor.
Place your right sole against your left thigh.
- Cross your left
foot over the right knee and place the sole of your foot firmly on
- Position your
left hand before you.
- Bring your right
arm to your left knee and firmly grasp it.
- Slowly twist
your trunk and head to the left. Your left arm will then be placed
around your waist and rested on your right side. Keep your chin close
to your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Slowly move our
of the posture and relax. Change leg position and repeat to other
This releases tension
from the spine and promotes spinal flexibility.
BEND (SUPTA VAJRASANA)
- Sit on the back of
your heels with your feet close together.
- Slowly move your arms
backward, and then place them securely on the floor behind you.
- Drop your head backward
while inhaling and expanding your rib cage. Arch your spine. Hold extreme
position for 15 seconds. Walk hands forward and return to start.
- Relax for 10 seconds
flexibility in ankles, feet and spine. It also strengthens the abdomen and lower
AND THIGH STRETCH (BHADRASANA)
- Get into a seated position.
- Pull your heels into
your groin area and grasp your feet. Keep your spine straight.
- Slowly lower your knees.
- Hold extreme position
for 10 seconds.
the thighs and promotes knee and inner-thigh flexibility.
This promotes spinal
flexibility and deep relaxation of all the muscles. It also improves the
functioning of the internal organs by supplying them with extra blood.
- Lie flat on your
back with arms at your sides. Your palms should be facing down.
- Slowly raise
your legs. Use your hands to push against the floor as you lift your
trunk. Continue lifting until your legs are lowered beyond your head
with your toes touching the ground as near to the head as possible.
- Once you have
moved as far as comfortable, press your chin against your chest.
- Place your hands
on your back with elbows on the ground. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Slowly unroll
back to a lying position. Press your hands against the floor for support
of your body weight.
This promotes circulation
in chest and neck. It is also said to stimulate the glands, in particular
- Lie flat on
- Place your hands
at your sides, palms down, and begin to raise your legs. Press your
hands against the floor to push your legs upward.
- Place your hands
on hips, elbows on the ground. Try to straighten your legs and hold
them upward. Your chin should be tucked in against your chest. Close
your eyes and relax. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Bend your knees,
release your hands, and slowly return to start, one vertebra at a
SIMPLE FISH (MATSYA)
- Lie down, face
up, with your legs crossed as in the Lotus posture.
- Cross arms over
and around your head. Let your body weight drop naturally.
- Do not force
the position. Breathe naturally and hold as long you wish.
- Change leg position
This loosens shoulders
and hip joints and relaxes the body.
SIMPLE LOCUST (SALABHASANA)
Lie on the floor,
face down. Rest your chin on the floor and place your hands at your
sides. Make a fist with each hand and place them firmly against the
floor at approximately thigh level. Raise your left leg slowly while
pushing against the floor with your fists. Raise as high as comfortable.
Hold for 10 seconds. Lower leg to ground. Relax for sometime. Raise
your right leg and follow the same procedure.
the abdomen, buttocks and lower back.
DEEP RELAXATION (SAVASANA)
Lie flat on the
floor, face up, with arms at the sides. Lie motionless and observe your
breathe. Study the flow of breath and quiet your mind. Feel a relaxing
force move slowly up the body. It starts at the toes and moves slowly
to the ankles, calves, knees and so on. Visualize a quiet stream of
gentle energy removing tension from your body. Roll to your side and
sit up and observe the feeling of deep relaxation.
the body and mind through conscious relaxation.