Lie flat on the ground, your spine touching the floor, stretch the body. Raise the legs slowly and let them stay at right angle to the trunk. After staying for a few seconds, slowly raise up the body, without giving any jerk to the spine. Take help from the hands, keeping the fingers outward and thumbs towards the belly.
Slowly go on raising the back until the whole trunk is at 90 and the entire weight comes on the shoulders and neck. Take the legs slightly forward and press the chest with your chin. After remaining in the said pose for a few seconds, retrace to the original position.
Benefits : This asana cures constipation, dyspepsia, has a salutary effect on thyroid gland, tones up the nervous system, all limbs of the body, helps to preserve and thicken semen, is useful in intestinal disorders, varicose veins, appendicitis, renders spine flexible, throat disorders are removed, gas is expelled.
In addition, it gives glow, vitality and strength to the body, increases sex power, removes menstrual disorders. Persons with hypertension and cardiac problems should never take to this asana, except under advice and guidance and supervision of a yoga teacher.
Lie flat on the spine, letting the heals join each other. Keep toes apart, arms running alongside the body, fingers loosely joined and palms touching the ground. Let the upper jaw rest on the lower jaw with the tongue drawn in, close the eyes and loosen your all the limbs so as to feel mentally at peace. Now relax and loosen the entire body from head to toes. Try to loosen and relax mentally and physically in the same way as if you are sleeping.
For relaxing the tense nerves, tired body, wavered mind and doing away with tension on body, mind and intellect as also agitation of any sort, preservation of semen, it is the best asana. Whenever you are not at mental rest, fatigued or ill atease, try this asana and watch how soon you recover. It will take away your tensions, fatigue and unrest. It is a boon for hypersensitive and easily agitated and sensitive persons.
It is named thunderbolt, as it imparts the strength to body as if it is made like a stone or as strong as a thunder bolt. It is the only asana, in yoga, which can be practised after 45 minutes or more from the time of furnishing your meals. In between meal times, it can also be done, but never immediately after meals kneel down on the floor letting your big toes, ankles and knees touch the ground.
Now rest your buttocks on your knees, your heels bent in wards and thumbs touching each other. Place the palms on the knees, keeping your spine erect but relaxed and flexible. Breathing should be even, deep and slow. Expand your chest, drawing the abdominal area inwards.
Benefits : This asana will expel gas and remove acidity, howsoever much you have overeaten, it will digest the same. It tones up sexual system of both male and females; remove pain and stiffness in spine and knees, lowers raised blood pressure, gives longevity and retards and postpones old age. For meditation, it is an ideal asana, as you can sit in this asana as long as you wish. After completion of this asana, simply massage with your hands or, still better, use salt mixed oil, say of mustard which can be slightly luke-warmed.
It is called padmasana because while performing it, legs appear in the form of a lotus. Sit on the ground and stretch forward your legs, keeping them together. Now left foot should be placed over the right thigh, and right foot over the left thigh, making sure that the heels touch the abdomen on both sides on the either side of navel. Keep the hands on the knees. Keep the head and back portion erect.
Both the feet should touch the ground, and eyes be kept close. This asana can be utilised for doing pranayama, If you wish, you can join index finger and thumbs, base of thumb resting on index finger’s nail.
Benefits : It is very useful to gain concentration of mind, to enhance mental faculties, to do mental work, especially useful for the aged persons. It prevents trapping of wind in the body; preserves vital fluids of the body, imparts solace, peace, solitude and longevity. It tones up reproductive organs and system of females, prevents and cures abdominal disorders. For dhyana (meditation), padmasana is unique and ideal asana.
Lie flat on the ground, abdominal portion touching the ground. Straighten both the arms, palms touching the ground. Now bring the palms at level with both sides of abdomen. Slowly lift your neck and torso in such a way that whole body rests on your palms. Now lift your neck upwards gradually and try to look upwards as far as conveniently you can. Let the toes touch the ground and palms securely resting on the ground. Do not let your elbows bend down.
Stay in this position as long you can. When you feel suffocated or when there is a feeling that you can’t endure/continue anymore, then slowly get back to original position from where you had started. After the asana is over, loosen your limbs and relax.
Benefits : Abdominal muscles and back portion are supplied with blood and blood circulation, in general, is improved and also fresh and pure blood is supplied to all the organs. It imparts strength, flexibility and tone to spinal column. It removes menstrual disorders and irregularity, helps to improve digestion, chance of night discharge is dispelled, helps to maintain celibacy.
It is useful for diabetics, as it activities the pancreas thereby causing secretion of insulin, render arms, hands and neck painless flexible and active. Kidneys and intestines also are strengthened. It removes obesity and sheds extra flesh from the abdominal portion spinal curvature and postural abnormalities are also removed.
DHANURASANA (Bow-shaped Posture)
Lie flat on the ground, your abdominal side touching the ground. Fold your legs from the knees. Now lift your neck and torso, gradually keeping your hands along sides of your back. Try to catch hold of your ankles with your hands. Gradually stretch your hands and feet so that they form a bow-shape, stay in this position as long as you can. Then regain the former position and relax by loosening your limbs.
Benefits : It has all the benefits detailed under Bhujang asana, as it is simply and extended from of the former. When you are doing Dhanurasana, there is hardly any need for practising Bhujmgasana. Its added benefits are in strengthening of hands elbows, ankles, knees.
In short, both the lower and upper extremities become more flexibile and strong, abdominal pressure helps in secretion of digestive juices and activities endocrine glands. In both these asanas, no jerk should be exerted on any organ. This suggestion holds good for all other asanas too.
Sit on the floor, keeping the legs stretched forward. Fold the left leg at the knee and sit on the left foot with the help of hands, fold the right leg and place the right thigh on the left thigh. Bring heels of the both feet together so that they touch each other which can be done by lifting your buttocks a bit. Now bend your right arm from the ear (right) side and bring the hand on the back side of your end.
Fold the left hand behind your back and try to form a hook in which both the hands are clasped. Care should be taken not to over-exert your limbs. Gradually you will get to the desired position as your limbs attain flexibility. Keep yourself in this position for about 30 seconds. Thereafter, give yourself some pause and reverse the position of hands and legs. If a lady wishes to develop her breast on a particular side, she should perform this asana more with the hand of that side (on which she wishes to develop her breast).
Benefits : This asana is equally beneficial for both the males and females, as it strengthens the muscles of shoulder, chest/breast and makes legs stronger. Muscles of relevant organs are also rendered elastic. After completing the asana, whether on either of both sides, never strain your limbs. Initially, you may find it convenient to perform the asana on one side only, but regular practice will remove all the hesitancy and stiffness, thus making way for you to do the asana on the other side too.
On a hard surface, he flat on your back. Later, raise the middle portion of your body upwards, fixing and keeping firmly both the feet and hands on the ground; thus making a semi-circle, ensuring that your head keeps between your hands. Now concentrate your eyes on something that lies in front of you.
Benefits : It strengthens, like the sarvangasana, strength of head, throat, neck, abdomen, legs, hands and in short, all parts of your body, eliminates pains in joints, removes extra fat from the abdominal area, activates digestive system, renders spinal column elastic and supple, imparts glow and agility to the body, normalises posture and stance, and the body stays erect even during the advanced age. Pregnant ladies should not practise this asana as it can adversely affect their pregnancy process; even leading to mischarge and bleeding.
KAGASANA (The Crow Pose)
This asana can be done 3 or more times in a day at the rate of 30 seconds per asana or more. Squat on the floor. Keep the arms between your heels and legs, heels being raised on toes. Now, place both the palms in line and shoulders stretched out as much as possible. Thereafter, raise your body on the toes and endeavour to put pressure on your already spread hands. Remain in this position from ½ to 1 minute and then retrace to the original position and finally relax.
Benefits : This posture helps to diminish the unwanted arches on the spine by helping it to elongate, it strengthens muscles of arms and shoulders, helps to activate harmonal secretions, old, emaciated and pregnant ladies should desist from doing this asana. Those who have pains in arms, hands and fingers should also abstain, as weak limbs may not be able to withstand weight of the body. This asana should be practised, like many other asanas on empty stomach only.
KUKKUTASANA (Cock Pose)
Sit in the position of Padmasana. Insert the hands between the opening to thighs and calves. Now, after that, push the legs and thighs up your arms. In doing so, your hands will serve the purpose of a fulcrum so that you could exert desired and sustainable force in lifting the body up. Keep your torso in an upright position, as far as possible. Remain in final position for a minute or so.
Benefits : Your chest and shoulder muscles become firm due to pressure on them. It also develops and hardnes breast line of females who have diminutive and sagging breasts provided they practise this posture for quite some time.
MAHAVIRASANA (Named after Lord Mahavir/Hanuman)
Stand erect, bringing forward one foot at a distance of 3 feet from the other. Clench fists of both the hands and raise them. Now, go on jumping alternatively on both the feets, changing the pressure on each feet alternatively. Keep your lips glued to each other and breathe through nose only. When you are tired, take pause until you regain strength to resume the asana. Loosen your limbs and relax.
Benefits : It increases height, sheds extra weight from the waist, body is rendered stronger, chest expands, legs arms and feet gain strength. It increases sexual power, especially of men, restores normalcy to menstrual cycle and also helps in resumption of menses, after having been established earlier.
MAYURASANA (Peacock Pose)
Stand erect alongside of a table. Place both the hands firmly on top of the table. Fold your both elbows in such a way that the elbows touch and remain firmly touched near naval. Now, exert whole weight on your body, by lifting your body at 180 degree and try to stay in this position for 40-50 seconds, increasing the duration gradually or, alternatively, spread some blanket or still better be flat on ground.
Firmly affix your hands on ground, your elbows remaining affixed on either side of navel. Now left your body and entire weight of body on the hands. Stay in that position for 40 seconds, gradually increasing the duration, depending on your capacity. After staying in that position, very slowly regain the original positions and relax.
Benefits : Increases digestion and appetite. Intestines gain strength, constipation and indigestion are dispelled. Very useful for diabetes. Liver and kidney disorder get relieved. Above, all if you have taken poison or poisonous food, it will remove the poison and its effects. It is well known that the snake is eaten by the peacock and its name justifies its utility. As it helps to strengthen the body.
Note : Maximum benefits from the said and other asanas can be derived only when performed properly without exceeding your physical capacity, keeping in view your state of health. To derive optimum benefits, to cure a particular disease or disorder, precision and correctness with which an asana is performed and whether all the relevant procedures have been complied with, are the factors which can ensure utility of an asana.
To start with, proper guidance, on how what and where of each asana intended to be performed should be guided by a yoga teacher and his guidance sought, if and when some problem is an countered. Never exert undue strain on your body because all asanas are not required to be done by all. Books on yoga, however precise and meticulous they may be, will only give you an initial motivation in the form of a launching pad only. Without a guru knowledge gained remains half backed, hence do not forget what you expected to do and what not.