Pasasana

Pasasana is said to be a powerful posture for cultivating energetic as well as physical balance on a number of levels: Physically: One needs to find strength and stability in the foundation of the feet for the squat and twist. Mentally: It teaches equanimity and mental balance as one is learning this challenging posture. Energetically:…

Purvatanasana

Purvottanasana is a balancing asana that is empowering, energizing and strengthening. The name comes from the Sanskrit purva, meaning “east,” uttana, meaning “intense stretch,” and asana, meaning “pose.” To practice this asana, begin by sitting on the mat with legs straight out in front of the body and active (as in staff pose, or dandasana). Reach the hands behind the body, pressing…

Parsvottanasana

Parsvottanasana is a standing intense side stretch yoga pose that deeply stretches the backs of the legs and improves balance. From tadasana, feet step three to four feet apart, toes pointing forward, hips squaring forward. The heel of the front foot is aligned with the arch of the back foot. Hands are brought together behind the back…

Salabhasana

The name comes from the Sanskrit salabha, meaning “grasshopper” or “locust,” and asana, meaning “pose.” To enter this asana, lie face-down on the floor with the palms on the ground. The legs and chest are lifted off the floor so that the practitioner is balanced on the torso. The hands clasp behind the body, bending the back and stretching…

bhekasana

Bhekasana is an advanced backbending asana that requires lots of flexibility. The asana is similar to dhanurasana in that the yogi lies on the belly, brings the heels to the buttocks and grabs the feet. In bhekasana, though, the legs are separated, the thighs remain on the ground and the hands press down on the feet. Derived from…

Halasana

Halasana is a folded inversion, traditionally considered a finishing pose that may be practiced at the end of a yoga session. As a finishing pose, it helps prepare the body for relaxation, pranayama and meditation. To begin, lie down on the ground with arms at the sides and palms pressing down. Lift the legs up to a vertical…

Upavishta Konasana

Upavistha konasana is a seated forward bend that requires flexibility. The term comes from the Sanskrit upavistha, meaning “seated” or “sitting,” kona, meaning “angle,” and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.” From a seated position, the legs are spread wide and the upper body folds forward. In addition to a range of physical benefits, this pose calms the mind and the…

Baddha Konasana

Baddha konasana is a basic seated asana that opens the hips and the muscles of the groin. The term comes from the Sanskrit baddha,meaning “bound,” kona, meaning “angle” and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.” To enter the pose, sit with the back straight, directly on the sit bones of the buttocks. Bend the knees, bringing the feet together in front of…

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana

Ardha baddha padmottanasana is a classic combination of half lotus pose (ardha padmottanasana) and standing forward bend pose (uttanasana). The name comes from the Sanskrit ardha, meaning “half,” baddha, meaning “bound,” padma, meaning “lotus,” uttana, meaning “intense stretch,” and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.” The pose involves holding one leg as though in half lotus pose and bending forward while standing instead of sitting, as one would…

Kukkutasana

Kukkutasana is an advanced balancing yoga pose that requires good flexibility of the legs and benefits the arms and shoulders. Starting in padmasana (lotus pose), the hands are squeezed between the thighs and calf muscles until they reach the floor. Palms are touching the floor, with the fingers spread wide and pointing forward. Putting pressure on the hands,…