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Yoga Routine - Yoga Asanas and Poses

Updated on May 7, 2019
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

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What is Yoga?

Yoga is neither a religion nor is it only a form of exercise or routine to control the mind and body and remain healthy. Though yoga helps one to attain calmness, composure, and well-being, on a broader scale, it helps to achieve a balance between the body, mind, and situations.

A science which originated in ancient India, about 5000 years ago, yoga takes you to a higher level of consciousness and understanding making living life enjoyable, peaceful and in sync with others around you.

To achieve this, a 3-pronged daily routine of yogic breathing exercises called pranayama, yogic exercises called asanas and yogic meditation or dhyana form the core of this practice.

Yoga is a way of life, a way of living.

About Yogasanas

Yogasanas or asanas as they are simply called, are the physically active part of yoga.

They are a part of Hatha yoga practice and constitute the 3rd of the 8 limbs of Raja yoga or classical yoga.

Hatha, in Hatha yoga, is made up of 2 Sanskrit words - Ha and Tha.
Ha, means the sun and stands for the Ida nadi or Ida energy channel, that is, the parasympathetic nervous system.
Tha, means the moon and stands for the Pingala nadi or Pingala energy channel, that is, the sympathetic nervous system.

When asanas and pranayama are performed, the chakras or the energy centres and the nadis or energy channels are opened and purified.

Asana, in yogic parlance, is maintaining a posture or stable position for a period of time. Asanas are the basic postures adopted for meditation.

Thus, yogasana balances the whole nervous system.

Any asana not only has to be steady, comfortable and firm but also relaxed. An asana is usually held for some period of time.

The seated asana is the basic of all the asanas.

Some points to be kept in mind while doing asanas :

  • Do them on empty stomach and, they are best done early in the morning or 5 to 6 hours after a meal.
  • Do not apply force or pressure while performing them.
  • Lowering of the head and other body parts especially the heels has to be controlled and slow.
  • Breathing should be asana specific if possible, to increase the benefit of the asana. It should be controlled.
  • When the muscles or mind is tensed do Shavasana or the corpse pose.

The Benefits Of Yogasanas

The principles on which yoga is founded and the benefits of yoga are:

  • Those asanas that cause squeezing or compression of any organ, stimulate that organ related body part leading to its healthy functioning.
  • Asanas causing stretching of the muscles and the muscles fibers, increase blood supply and keep them supple.
  • The deep breathing and concentration during asanas lead to an increase in the supply of oxygen and prana to the organs.
  • The flexibility of the spine ensures that chances of spinal misalignment are reduced to the minimum while some asanas even correct some misalignments.
  • Healthy endocrine glands ensure optimum secretion of the hormones. These hormones regulate the growth, metabolism, emotional state and ensure the healthy functioning of the reproductive system.

The endocrine glands - hypothalamus, pituitary and the pineal glands are situated in the brain. The headstand or Sirshasana benefits by stimulating them.
the thyroid gland in the neck area and the thymus in the chest are stimulated by the shoulder stand or Sarvangasana.
The reverse posture or the Viparitakarini pose stimulates the sex glands.
The twist asanas stimulate the adrenal glands, liver, pancreas, and kidneys and flex the spine.
Asanas that pull and stretch the joints help in producing synovial fluid which keeps the joints lubricated, protects the joint from abrasion, reduce stiffness and improve joint movement in joint pains and arthritis.
Stretching of the skin leads to healthier, flexible skin while massage of the abdominal organs leads to their better performance.

Asanas thus benefit by :

  • Improving body and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving the strength and balance of the body and muscles.
  • Massaging the internal organs.
  • Reducing stress and hypertension.
  • Improving health status.
  • Improving the functioning of the glandular and internal organs.

There are 84 hundred thousand (84,00,000) asanas of which 84 are the best. Some asanas like Padmasana are done sitting, others like Trikonasana are done standing while some others like Pawanmuktasana are done lying down.

Some Simple Asanas

Given below are some useful yogasanas along with a picture with a corresponding video below each asana. I hope the video will help the reader to see and understand how a particular asana is to be done.

Ardha Matsyendra Asana - Half Fish Pose or Half Spinal Twist

  • It is amongst the most famous spine stretching asanas.
  • It tones up the spinal muscles and nerves and improves the digestive power.

Ardh Matsyendrasana

Bhujangasana - The Cobra Pose

  • It benefits the spine making it flexible, relieves back pain, lumbago and sciatica.
  • It stimulates the liver, spleen, pancreas and gall bladder. benefits the kidneys and the endocrine system.
  • It removes constipation and tones the nerves, heart muscles, and the lungs.
  • It is useful in regulating the menstrual cycle, tones the ovaries and uterus and corrects menstrual disorders.

Caution :
Do not practice in pregnancy, headache, back injury, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Bhujangasana

Dhanurasana - The Bow Pose

  • It stretches & strengthens the chest and the entire front portion of the body and tones the abdominal muscles.
  • It strengthens the back muscles and improves the posture.

Caution :
Do not do if you have high or low blood pressure, in insomnia, migraine, neck or back injury.

Dhanurasana

Halasana - Plough Pose

  • It stretches the shoulders & spine, exercises the abdomen.
  • It benefits by reducing stress, fatigue and has a calming effect on the brain.
  • It benefits in sinus problems, asthma, backache, and headache.

Caution :
Avoid doing it in diarrhea, during menses, in neck injuries, high blood pressure, and pregnancy.

Halasana

Paschimottanasana - Seated Forward Bend Pose

  • It stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
  • It is one of the most powerful asanas and the list of benefits is long.
  • It effects proper blood circulation. All the abdominal organs are stimulated.
  • It relieves constipation, gastric problems, diabetes, enlargement of spleen and liver.
  • It stimulates gall bladder and kidneys, benefits the prostate and corrects men sexual diseases.
  • It removes abdominal fat.

Caution :
Avoid in diarrhea, asthma, backache, and injury to the back.

Paschimottasana

Pavan Muktasana

Source

Pavanmuktasana

Pavan Muktasana - The Wind Release Pose

Wind is the cause of dysfunction and degeneration of tissue and this causes aging.

This asana

  • relieves joint pains, insomnia, and stomach related diseases.
  • improves blood circulation, stimulates the liver, spleen, pancreas and sex glands.
  • reduces obesity and removes fat.
  • corrects utero-genital dysfunctions.

Caution :
Avoid in pregnancy, and if you suffer from back problems like sciatica, slipped disk, etc..

Shalabhasana - The Locust Pose.

  • It stretches the entire back, thighs ankles, chest, and abdomen.
  • It stimulates the chest and abdominal organs

Caution :
Avoid in migraine, insomnia, low or high blood pressure and neck injury.

Shalabhasana

Sarvangasana - The Shoulder Stand

  • It relaxes tension around the neck and lower back, stimulates the thyroid gland.
  • It improves blood circulation in the neck, shoulders, chest, and back. Thus, it stimulates and rejuvenates the body.

Caution :
Avoid in high blood pressure, during menses, if you have thyroid disorders, spinal weakness or angina.

Sarvangasana

Shirshasana - The Head Stand

This is one of the advanced postures of yoga. Often called 'King Of Asanas" due to its multifold benefits on the body.cIt is best learned from a yoga expert.

  • It increases the flow of blood to the brain and improves its function.
  • It aids in the removal of wastes since it moves the stagnant blood and lymph held in the legs.
  • It has a very calming effect on the body.

Caution :
Do not do this asana if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, detached retina, conjunctivitis, any brain disease or injury, neck and back injury, during menses or during pregnancy.
In case you feel a sneeze, cough or yawn coming on, exit immediately from this asana.

Shirshasana

Shavasna - The Corpse Pose

It is a very important part of any yoga routine. Very often it is used to start or end a yoga session. Though it looks simple to perform, it requires great concentration to remain perfectly still and relax each muscle fully from head to toe. The mind too should be kept free of thoughts to obtain the full benefits of this asana.

  • It relaxes and relieves stress and tension
  • lowers blood pressure
  • relieves fatigue and headache
  • benefits in insomnia, and depression.

Shavasana

Vajrasana - The Diamond Pose

  • It benefits in strengthening the digestion and alleviating stomach related ailments, and, wind accumulation.

Caution :
Persons with knee pain or injury should not do this asana

Vajrasana

Tikonasana - The Triangle Pose

  • It stretches the spine laterally and strengthens the abdominal area and neck, It removes leg and hip stiffness, and benefits in lung diseases.
  • It stimulates the abdominal organs and corrects problems related to digestion, removes fat from the waist and thighs.

Caution :
Do not do this asana if you have a spinal or back injury, suffer from diarrhea, headache or low blood pressure.

Tikonasana

Surya Namaskar

Source

About Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is also called Sun Salutation. It originated as a way of worship of the Sun, one of the Hindu deities. It is a complete exercise system in itself, as it incorporates a series of 12 steps, comprising asanas or postures, being carried out one after the other, in one continuous motion that stretches the spine forwards and backward alternately.

While executing this exercise, there is alternate inhalation and exhalation except in the 6th step where the breath is held out.

Surya Namaskar is done in 2 sets of 12 poses, with the start of the second set, involving the use of the opposite leg first.

Mantras are recited at the start of each Surya Namaskar. Shavasana is done on completion of Surya Namaskar to relax the body.

Generally, Surya Namaskar precedes the practice of yoga asanas as it is an excellent warm-up exercise. It is normally performed at sunrise facing the sun and it is best to do it in an open and well-ventilated place. It can also be done at sunset.

Surya Namaskar is easy to perform and can be done by anyone, at any age.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

  • It exercises the entire body and hence stimulates all the endocrinal glands like the pancreas, adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, etc. The activated glands are prompted to secrete hormones in optimal amounts.
  • It makes the muscles and spine flexible, relieves liver, intestinal and stomach disorders and balances the nervous system.

The video below shows how to correctly execute Surya Namaskar.

Surya Namaskar In English

Pranayam

A complete video presentation on Pranayama by the popular Indian Yoga Guru - Swami Ramdev. The video is in English.

Pranayam In English

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or embarking on a new health regime.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

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    • Asana yoga profile image

      Asana yoga 

      3 years ago

      I love yoga!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks Dhivs.

    • Dhivs profile image

      Dhivs 

      4 years ago from Chattisgarh

      very informative and useful article

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      army surplus uk, this is the first time I have received such a feedback with a reader wanting to hook up the video to a large screen to watch and practice. I'm sure these asanas will benefit if done as per instructions.

      Thanks for all the compliments and for sparing time not only to read but leave comments as well.

    • army surplus uk profile image

      army surplus uk 

      7 years ago

      After reading through the hub I went ahead and hooked up laptop up to my big screen so I could actually get to practice some of these postures. This is a superb hub and I will be coming back here for more yoga tips

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      vinner, I'm glad you found this info useful. Thanks for visiting and appreciating.

    • vinner profile image

      vinner 

      7 years ago from India

      Very useful information. Cool way of presenting information also. Thanks a lot. Waiting for more articles from you.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Astra, thanks for these appreciative words. I'm glad you liked the hub. Thanks for the follow too.

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      7 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      What a great hub on yoga. So many cool videos here. Thank you. :)

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Thanks for your observations. However I feel if there are some contraindications they should be put down. It remains to be seen how it will reflect in the long run.

      Thanks for your input.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 

      7 years ago

      Wow, many interesting points for Yoga. I particularly liked how each pose had a disclaimer, you may think you are working out a kink but could be doing more harm than good. Awesome.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Ruchira, thanks for reading, bookmarking and appreciating. It sure is a great pleasure to see you here. I hope you will find use for this routine in your daily routines, if per chance you have not included it as yet.

      Thanks again for being here.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      7 years ago from United States

      I loved how you have explained the benefits of each asanas. I have bookmarked it and am going to read it again tomorrow morning while I perform some of these yoga asanas.

      Thank you, Rajan.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      StephanieBCrosy, simple yoga stretching asanas could be the thing for you. Also, pranayam that is controlled breathing will help. I have written an article on pranayama whose link is included in this hub. Bhastrika, kapalbhati and anulam vilom could definitely be of help in fibromyalgia. You could start doing it for a few minutes each day.

      Thanks for liking the write up. I appreciate your input.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Tammyswallow,one should always start with simple yogic postures and gradually move on to the more advanced ones taking care neither to force oneself nor be in a haste to get it done.

      Thanks for reading, appreciating and the vote.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for this detailed hub about different positions and benefits. I am hoping to get into yoga one day. But I need to find the time and a yoga format that is friendly on my fibromyalgia.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      This is an all inclusive hub. I have done some basic yoga in my life. It requires much more skill that meets the eye. You presented some great benefits here. Well done and voting up!

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