Virabhadrasana – Warrior

Names

Virabhadrasana, Warrior

How to perform Virabhadrasana

Stand straight in Samastithi. Open your legs so that they are about 1,5 meter apart. Check which of your nostrils is active. If it is your right nostril, turn your right foot so that it points to the right. Now bend your right knee and bring your pelvis down so that it reaches the level of the right knee. Open your arms wide and stretch them in one line with your shoulders, parallel to the floor. Look to your right side.


Repeat the pose to the other side.

Benefits of Virabhadrasana

Virabhadrasana is good for your groins and hips and especially for your hip and ankle joints because of the stretch you are giving your body during this exercise. If you are suffering from sciatica, osteoporosis or carpal tunnel syndrome, do this pose and get some relief.


If you hold this position for longer, it forms and tones your leg muscles, increases stamina for your legs and reduces extra fat from your calves and thighs.
Virabhadrasana gives a nice stretch and strengthens the shoulders, neck, arms and chest muscles.


Because of the twisting movement it is also beneficial for the lower abdominal organs and can support your fertility.


During pregnancy this pose can relieve back pain but should only be practiced if you have consulted your doctor before and he approved of the practice of this yoga pose.

Focus Points

This is one of the poses where you can easily think ‘I did it, it was not difficult!’ and not notice that you did not go fully in the pose. You need to bring your pelvis down to the height of your bent knee to feel the effect of this yoga exercise.

Tips and Help

Don’t turn your hip along with your head. Your complete upper body should be facing front while your head, knee and arm are pointing to your side.


Look far ahead with open eyes and try to look as far as it is possible. If you practice this yoga pose inside, it is best to do this exercise in front of a window. Keep normal breathing and smile as if you were a warrior.

Tadasana – Palm Tree

Names

Tadasana, Palm Tree Pose, Mountain Pose

How to perform Tadasana

Stand straight with your feet together. Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms straight up. Your palms should face the roof. Come onto your toes and stretch your body up as far as possible.

Benefits of Tadasana

This pose gives your body a good stretch and thus corrects your posture. You stretch your arms, rib cage, thorax, your throat and chest. In this way it gives your lungs space to breathe and cleans your windpipe which makes it a very good exercise against breathing problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
Regularly performed, it also helps the growth of children.
The work of your calves strengthens your legs immensely.

Focus Points

This posture only brings its good effects, if you stretch up completely and as far as you can.

Tips and Help

If you want to intensify this yoga pose, you can bring your heals up first, then halfway down and up again. Do this movement up and down without touching the floor.
This will make it possible for you to stand in the yoga pose for a longer duration of time and you will feel soon how much more your legs need to work with this variation.

Samasthiti

Names

Samasthiti, Standing Straight

How to perform Samasthiti 

Stand straight with your feet parallel to each other. Put your arms next to your body and keep your knees straight. Your shoulders and body should be relaxed. Keep a normal breathing.

Benefits of Samasthiti

This is a starting position for many postures. It is good for the mental preparation for upcoming positions and it will help you to focus and to calm the mind.


Additionally this pose makes you aware of how a healthy posture looks like and can help you to keep this posture throughout your normal and daily life.

Focus Points

Focus that you stand straight on both of your feet with the weight equally on both sides. Don’t swing back and forth.

Tips and Help

Focus on your breathing. It will help you to stand straight, to calm down and to concentrate on the yoga posture.

Prasarita Padottanasana

Names

Prasarita Padottanasana, Wide-Legged Forward Bend

How to perform Prasarita Padottanasana

Stand straight in Samasthiti and then now open your legs about 1 to 1,5 meters apart depending on your height, length and capability. Make sure your feet are parallel to each other.


With exhalation you bend your upper body forward and place your palms on the floor in between your feet. Bring your upper body in between your legs and place the crown of your head on the floor. Your feet, palms and head should be in one line.


Keep breathing deeply, hold the posture for 20 to 30 seconds and slowly come up.

Variation 1 – Arms in the Back

While you are standing straight, you can also interlace your fingers in your back, then open your legs and when bending down, you keep your arms straight and move your hands further towards the floor. Let the gravity pull them down while your head is in between your legs. This variation gives you an extra stretch for your shoulders.

Variation 2 – Arms open behind the Legs

Open your legs a little bit less wide and when you bend down, bend your upper body so far, that you can bring your shoulders through the gap of your legs and thus to the backside of your thighs. Now you open your arms wide apart.

Benefits of Prasarita Padottanasana

When you perform this yoga pose, you will notice quickly that it works nicely with your complete legs. It gives strength to your hamstrings and the muscles at the inside and back of your legs. Your calves get a nice workout and your knees get support through the work of the muscles around it. You get more flexible in your hips and groins.


Your back also benefits greatly from this yoga asana. Your spine is strengthened by the workout for the muscles surrounding it, your shoulders become more flexible and your shoulder blades open. This yoga pose is even good for mild back pain.


Through the bending, your inner organs are pressurized and thus stimulated to do their work. Your liver and kidneys get activated and your digestion as well as your urinary tract is stimulated.

For women, this exercise is beneficial due to its positive effect on the ovaries and the fallopian tubes. Also during early pregnancy this pose is beneficial as it opens the hips and strengthens the back.

By bending forward, your blood flow into your upper body is strengthened and thus your brain gets more oxygen which refreshes you, takes away fatigue, improves concentration and can even cure headaches and blood pressure problems!

Focus Points

Focus on the bending of your back and if you cannot come down yet, bring your upper body further down with inhalation and closer to your legs with exhalation.

Tips and Help

Don’t put pressure on your head. You are touching the floor with the crown of your head but you don’t put any weight on it.


If you cannot come down in the beginning, you can place your hands on the floor a little bit in front of your body and shift the weight there to feel the stretch.

Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch Pose

Names

Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose

How to perform Parsvottasana

Stand in Samasthiti and check from which nostril you are breathing, inhale deeply and bring your palms to your back with the hands in namaste position. Exhale.


With the next inhalation you bring the leg of your active side about a meter to the front. When you exhale, you bend forward towards your leg which is in front and rest your body on that leg. Keep your back as straight as possible and stretch your legs so that they are straight, too.


Stay in this position for 20 to 30 seconds and with inhalation come up again.
Repeat the exercise from the other side.

If you cannot bring your arms to your back in namaste pose, you can also interlace your fingers and bring your straight arms up while bending forward. They will pull your upper body further down.

Benefits of Parsvottasana

This yoga pose relieves stiffness from your legs, hips, shoulders and wrists. It brings flexibility and makes your spine feel moving smoothly again.


Through this, it is a good exercise for your joints, to prevent arthritis and to cure the pain of arthritis in the joints.


It is like a half-inverted pose, with your head hanging down and thus your blood flow into the head is increased. You get more oxygen in the head, can concentrate better and are more awake.

You practice your breathing with the pose and this close attention on your lungs and on your inside reduces stress as well as lets your lungs expand further.


Through the pressure on your intestines, you stimulate your liver and spleen as well as your digestive system.

For women this pose can relieve menstruation pain if performed regularly.

Focus Points

Your first intention is to bring your upper body to lie on your leg. If you cannot place your upper body on your leg yet, you can work on it. With inhalation, you stretch your upper body further down and with exhalation you bring it closer to your leg.


Take care however to keep your feet flat on the floor.

Tips and Help

If you have difficulty in bringing your hands into your back in Namaste position, you can also let your hands hang down or grab your leg.

When to Avoid this Parsvottanasana

Do not perform this pose if you are suffering from back pain or slip disk or have an injury or surgery of the spine. Also avoid this yoga pose if you have high blood pressure, abdominal hernia and diarrhea or dysentery.

Padangusthasana – Big Toe Pose

Names

Padangusthasana, Big Toe Pose

How to perform Padangusthasana

Stand straight in Samasthiti. With exhalation bend forward while keeping your spine and knees straight. Now grab your toes and try to bring your upper body closer to your legs while keeping your spine straight.

Lean your body weight on your toes and stay in the position for 20 to 30 seconds. Keep normal breathing, then slowly come up and repeat the posture 2 to 3 times.

Variation

As a variation you can also bend forward, grab your toes and try to lift up your upper body instead of bringing it close to your legs and give your body an opposite stretch.

Advanced Variation

To make it more advanced you can also bring your arm to the back of your legs and grab your ankles or fold your arms behind your legs and thus hug your legs. Keep your body weight on the toes in this position as well.

Benefits of Padangusthasana

Practicing Padangusthasana is very beneficial for your hamstrings, for toning the calve muscles, strengthening the thighs and also improving your digestion.


With the inversion in this yoga pose you give some pressure to your abdominal region which stimulates liver, kidneys and spleen.

For women it is a good exercise to relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as pain and cramps in the lower abdomen. But also sleeping disorders can be relieved due to the higher oxygen flow in the body.

Padangusthasana increases the blood circulation in your body especially in lungs and brain as it is a half inverted pose where your upper body is hanging down.

Coming up and down by repeating this posture a few times is changing the circulation in your whole body and because of that helps you if you are suffering from mild headaches or insomnia. It is good for calming the brain and relieving stress as well. It boosts your energy.


In this way this nice balancing pose can also help you if you are suffering from depression and anxiety.

Pashchimottanasana or Sirshasana are also bending and inverting poses however this one puts no pressure on the spinal column.

On the contrary, it even increases the blood circulation in the spinal column and in your hands and feet.

Focus Points

Your body weight should always be on your toes in this position. Furthermore try to keep your knees as stretched as possible and try to press your knees further inside.
Of course, you then focus on bringing your upper body as close to your legs as possible.

Tips and Help

Before practicing this posture, you can do Pashchimottanasana because bending forward in sitting is easier and releases and relaxes the hamstrings and your leg muscles. When you muscles are warmed up a bit this posture will be easier for you.

When to Avoid Padangusthasana

Avoid practicing this yoga posture if you have diarrhea, a heavy cold, back pain or back injuries or a displacement of sacrum.

Manu Asana – Tree Pose

Names

Manu Asana, Tapasana, Tree pose

How to perform Manu Asana

Check which of your nostrils is active and start with the active side.
If your right side is active, bring your right foot up with inhalation and place it on the inner side of your left thigh. Hold the pose and press your heel into your perinium. This pressure activates your Pingala Nadi.


When you have found your balance, place your hands in front of your chest in the Namaste pose and slowly bring them over your head.


Repeat the same exercise from the other side.

Benefits of Manu Asana

This yoga pose obviously helps you practicing balance. Additionally it stretches the whole body.


This lets you feel more alive and connected with your roots.
children love this pose – just like every balancing pose, as it is fun and exercise in one.

Focus Points

Of course you should try to stand in balance and not fall.


When you are in the tree pose, you should focus on stretching yourself completely. The sole of your foot should be flat on your inner thigh and as high as it can go up.

Tips and Help

If you cannot lift your foot up until the thigh or root chakra yet, you can also place it further down, on your calves. Just don’t place it exactly next to the knee as this can harm the knee joint.


In order to stand still, focus with the eyes on a point that does not move. Imagine you are a tree, growing its roots deep into the earth, stretching its branches towards the sky.

Kati Sanchalana – Hip Rotation

Names

Kati Sanchalana, Hip Rotation

How to perform Kati Sanchalana

Stand in Samastithi. Place your hands on your waist. With inhalation bring your pelvis to the front and with exhalation bring it back. Do this 10 times or more.


Do the same exercise to the left and the right side.


After this, rotate your hip five times clockwise and five times anticlockwise.
You can increase your counting freely with your wish.

Benefits of Kati Sanchalana

Kati Sanchalana is good for the flexibility of your hips. It helps losing weight as it is a good workout for the middle part of the body: hips, belly, thighs, and buttocks.

Even if you can’t do a lot of workout with your arms and legs because of weight problems, you can do this yoga pose and quickly reduce extra fat. The area of your hips is being toned and gets a nice shape.


Another reason why this pose is beneficial for losing weight is that it helps your digestive system through its stretch of the pelvic region.


The sexual organs are stimulated and with it your sexual energy will be enhanced.


You can even do this exercise together with you partner and place your hands on his waist and the other way round. It can increase intimacy among each other.


Kati Sanchalana is very beneficial for your hip muscles, hip joints and groin.
arthritis patients should do this yoga pose for improving their flexibility.

Focus Points

You can easily cheat yourself in this exercise by making small circles and not pressing your hips to the furthest. Focus on being in the movement with your complete attention!

Tips and Help

Don’t do fast movements. Make slow and steady circles and you will have a better effect.
If you are suffering from overweight you should support your back with your hands. You can take small breaks in between whenever you are exhausted.


Make sure you breathe in a steady rhythmus while doing this exercise.

When to avoid Kati Sanchalana

Avoid Kati Sanchalana if you have lower back pain, a slip disc, a sacrum displacement or diarrhea.

Eka Pada Santulan – One Leg Balance

Names

Eka Pada Santulan , One Leg Balance

How to perform Eka Pada Santulan

Stand straight in Samastithi. Place your hands on your waist. Look straight and keep normal breathing.

Check which of your nostrils is active by placing your hand in front of your nose. If your right nostril is active, lift your right leg up to the front until it is in a 90 degree angle.

Find a focus point in front of your eyes and constantly look at this point to keep the balance. Stay in this position for 5 yogic breaths.

Bring your right leg down again and repeat the same posture with the left leg.

After doing it to the front rise your right leg to the right side and hold this position for 5 breaths. Repeat it with the left leg to the left side.


Then bring the right leg backwards and after that the left leg. This is how you complete one round of Eka Pada Santulan.

You can repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.

Benefits of Eka Pada Santulan

It is a beneficial exercise and as it builds up, strengthens and shapes your whole leg: thighs, calves, ankles, hamstrings, hips and buttocks.

This pose can help against sciatica, lower back pain, thrombosis, slip disc problems or problems with spinal alignment.

Focus Points

The aim of this yoga pose is to bring the leg up to 90 degrees to your standing leg. In the meantime however you need to keep your back straight.

Do not lean your body forward, backward or sideward while stretching your leg in the opposite direction.

Dhruvasana

How to perform Dhruvasana

In standing, check your nostrils and start with the nostril that is most active. If it is the right side, bring your foot up to rest on your left hip as you would do for Padmasana. Now bring your hands in front of your chest in Namaste pose and move them over your head.

Repeat the same with the other leg.

Advanced Variation of Dhruvasana

If you want to go more advanced, you can bring your arms to your back, either stretched out with the fingers interlaced or in Namaste position, and bend forward with your back straight.

Benefits of Dhruvasana

Dhruvasana strengthens the leg muscles and of course makes you get used to balancing on one leg. It helps you stay flexible.


Through the stretch, your respiratory system gets room to breathe deeply and you can take in more oxygen. In this way the yoga pose improves your concentration.


Your inner organs are stimulated when practicing Dhruvasana which helps toxins and air which is stuck in the bowels to be released.


Additionally to all these benefits, this yoga posture also regulates the blood flow in the body.


For adults it is sometimes difficult to bring the leg in this position. children often are much more flexible and really enjoy this exercise and its advanced position.

Focus Points

Balance is a key point in this exercise and you may not find it very easy.


Keep your body weight on your toes, not on your heels and continue breathing deeply.
If you are doing the advanced position, it is important to keep your back as straight as possible.

Tips and Help

If you have difficulties bringing your leg up or balancing, first practice Manu Asana and then continue to this pose.