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Benefits of Yoga to Your Bones, Muscles, and Joints

• The physical benefits of yoga are myriad. Yoga keeps your body strong, as it involves
all the muscles in your body to hold and balance yoga asanas (poses). The various yoga
postures strengthen your feet, legs, hands, abdominals, lower back, legs, and shoulders.
• Yoga's stretching and breathing exercises improve your flexibility, helping joints, tendons,
and muscles stay limber. People suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis will
see a noticeable improvement in their stiffness, pain, and other arthritic symptoms by
practicing yoga poses and postures.
• Yoga improves your endurance, especially the more athletic forms of yoga such as
ashtanga yoga, power yoga, vinyasa yoga, and Bikram yoga. These rigorous yoga
practices follow a specific sequence of poses (asanas) that become more challenging as
you progress. Unlike the more gentle hatha yoga, the forms of ashtagna yoga, power
yoga, vinyasa yoga, and Bikram yoga require you to keep your body in constant motion
between poses, resulting in a strenuous cardiovascular workout and improved core
strength.
• Hatha yoga can relieve chronic back and neck pain, since the poses and postures gently
stretch and strengthen your back and neck muscles.
• Yoga is often prescribed to help heal various injuries, including repetitive strain injuries,
knee and back injuries, pulled hamstrings, even minor skin burns. Of course, you should
consult your physician before using yoga as a treatment for any injury!
• Yoga is an excellent weight-bearing exercise that can improve your bone density. This is
particularly beneficial for women approaching menopause, since yoga can help ward off
osteoporosis, or thinning of the bone.

Benefits of Yoga to the Cardiovascular System


Yoga has tremendous health benefits for your heart. Most notably:

• The gentler forms of yoga lower your blood pressure because the asanas (yoga poses,
postures, and yoga positions) keep blood flowing evenly throughout your body while you
focus on your breathing.
• People suffering from hypertension can benefit from yoga tremendously, as hatha yoga
can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
• Many practitioners claim that yoga has also lowered their cholesterol.
• Power yoga is an excellent form of cardio conditioning, which strengthens core muscles
while it keeps blood and oxygen circulating throughout your body.

Benefits of Yoga on Mental Health

• Yoga benefits anyone's mental health by helping him or her relax, and it is an effective
form of psychological therapy. Yoga reduces anxiety and stress, resulting in better health,
better mood, and better concentration throughout the day. Yoga has been used to help
treat a wide variety of emotional and mental disorders, including acute anxiety,
depression, and mood swings.
• Even children can benefit from yoga. Those with attention deficit disorder and
hyperactivity can learn to relax and get control by using yoga breathing and yoga asanas.
• Because yoga is a form of meditation, it results in a sense of inner peace and purpose,
which has far-reaching health benefits.
• Yoga has been used to help heal victims of torture or other trauma.

Benefits of Yoga on Other Health Conditions


• Do you have frequent headaches? Yoga can rid you of tension headaches and migraines
because yoga circulates blood and oxygen to your head, which can often prevent
headaches from starting.
• A regular yoga practice helps boost antioxidants throughout your body, resulting in a
stronger immune system and improved ability to heal quickly from disease or injury.
• Yoga can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight throughout your life. Power
yoga is a vigorous form of yoga that burns calories, resulting in weight loss.
• Many women going through menopause report an easing of symptoms when they begin
practicing yoga.

Benefits of Yoga in Everyday Life

• Yoga can help cure insomnia, as regular yoga practice leads to better and deeper sleep.
• Yoga can help fight fatigue and maintain your energy throughout the day.
• Yoga is an effective treatment for a variety of autoimmune diseases because it can
reduce the symptoms these diseases often cause, such as stiffness, malaise, fatigue,
and weakness.

Regular yoga practice will create multiple and noticeable benefits to your health. Try some yoga
postures today! And as your instructor will no doubt tell you at the end of your practice: Namaste.

Tips On Yoga
Yoga is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise known to man

Yoga cannot and should not be performed with one eye on your favorite television channel. The
entire purpose behind Yoga is to allow the mind and the body to communicate effectively with
each other and this is defeated if you perform your Yoga poses in a room that has any
distractions. If you practice Yoga at home it is important that you designate a clean, noise free
and well ventilated room as your Yoga zone. Switch off your cell phone and let friends and family
know that this is your ‘alone time’ and you should not be disturbed.

Warm up exercises .

Like any other form of exercise, you should warm up your body and muscles before performing
Yoga postures. Most Yoga teachers will teach you simple techniques that will help to warm up
your body before attempting advanced postures. However if you experience frequent strains then
you obviously haven’t been warming up adequately. If you are performing Yoga at home do not
keep the room temperature at sub zero. Most forms of Yoga are best performed at room
temperature although some methods such as Bikram Yoga might require the temperature to be
considerably higher.

Focus.

Yoga is not aerobics. It is as much a workout of the mind as the body. You cannot go through
your Yoga postures on autopilot with your mind far away on other matters. This will not only
negate any of the benefits of Yoga but may also result in sprains and catches. Clear your mind of
extraneous thoughts and focus solely on performing the various postures correctly.
Yoga Practices - Positions, Postures, Asana
(The Best practice to perfect health)

Asana is a Body posture, it is a Sanskrit word used to describe a position of the body. Patanjali,
the founder of Ashtanga Yoga defines asana as "Steady and comfortable posture". Traditionally
many asanas are practiced in Hatha Yoga tradition, primirarily to achieve better physical and
mental health. Asanas have deep impact on the entire body and mind complex, it affects different
systems in the body like muscular, respiratory, circulation, digestive, excretory, reproductive,
endocrine, nervous system.

Standing Position - Yoga Postures or


Asana in standing position
Stand erect with the feet quite close together,
heels and the big toes touching each other.
Hands touching thighs, this position helps
achieve stability of pulse.

List of Postures or Asana In Standing


Position

• Veerasana (Warrior pose)


• Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

• Vrikshasana (Tree pose)


Sitting Position - Yoga Postures or Asana
in Sitting position
This is the sitting position with both legs
together and stretched, toes erect, spine
erect and both hands straight and palms
resting on the floor.

List Of Poses or Asana In Sitting Position


• Dhyan Mudra (Meditation • Vakrasana (Type 2) (Twisted pose)
gesture) • Ardhamatsyendrasana (Half Spinal
• Swastikasana (Auspicious pose) Twist)
• Samasana (Balance pose) • Sharanagata Mudra (Forward Bending)
• Padmasana (Lotus pose) • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose)
• Padmasana (Baddha) (Tied • Vajrasana Yogamudra (Type 1)
lotus) • Vajrasana Yogamudra (Type 2)
• Padmasana (Utthit) (Lifted • Paschimottanasana (Half) (Half
lotus) Forward Bend)
• Parvatasana (Mountain pose) • Paschimottanasana (Full) (Forward
• Akarna Dhanurasana (Type 1) Bend)
(Bow pose in sitting) • Januhastasana
• Akarna Dhanurasana (Type 2)
• Hastashirasana
(Bow pose in sitting)
• Ekpadsahajhasta Bhujangasana
• Padmasana Yogamudra (Type
(Cobra pose)
1) • Dwipadsahajhasta Bhujangasana
• Padmasana Yogamudra (Type (Cobra pose)
2)
• Dattamudra
• Vakrasana (Type 1) (Twisted
pose)

Supine Position (Yoga Postures in Supine


position)
Lie down on the back with legs together,
straight extended, the toes erect and hands
straight and palms resting on the floor.
List Of Postures or Asana In Supine Position
• Uttanpadasana with both legs • Shavasana (corpse pose)
(leg raised pose) • Tadagasana (pond pose)
• Uttanpadasana with one leg • Pavanamuktasana 2 legs (gas release
• Vipritakarani (Inverted pose) pose)
• Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand) • Pavanamuktasana 1 leg
• Ashwini Mudra (Horse gesture • Ardhachakrasana 1 (half wheel pose)
in shoulder stand) • Ardhachakrasana 2
• Matsyasana (Fish pose) • Anantasana 1
• Halasana (Plough pose)
• Anantasana 2
• Noukasana (Boat pose)

Prone Position (Yoga Postures in Prone


position)
In this position you lie down in prone on front
side of the chest and abdomen with the chin
on the floor. Both hands lying besides the
thighs, and palms resting on the floor.

List Of Postures or Asana In Prone Position


• Saral Hasta Bhujangasana • Shalabhasana (locust pose)
(Straight arm Cobra pose) • Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
• Vakra Hasta Bhujangasana • Noukasana (Boat pose)
(Bent arm Cobra pose) • Makarasana (crocodile pose)

• Shalabhasana Half (locust pose) • Adhvasana


PADMASANA

1 2 3

4 5

Posture Padma means lotus in Sanskrit, in this asana position of the legs look
like blooming lotus. This asana has been given a great importance in
the Yogashastra as it is best suited for Pranayam, Meditation &
concentration.
Pre position Sitting Position.
Procedure 1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5
feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place its toe on the right thigh and
heel on the groin of the left leg.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its toe on the left thigh and
heel on the groin of the right leg.

4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees


and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal breathing.
Position In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the
backbone erect and sight straight. If the hands are long then slightly
bend those in elbows. There should not be any strain on any of the
muscles.
Releasing 1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.

4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.


Duration Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this
asana for 10 minutes. After more practice this period can be
increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can
make one experience the pleasure of this asana.
Internal Effects As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly
improved. Dnyana Mudra further helps in stabilizing pulse beats.
Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces
strain on heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can
achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution This asana is very simple and anyone can practice.

VAJRASANA

1 2 3 4

Posture Like Padmasana, this is also the Asana for meditation. One can sit
comfortably for a prolonged period in this Asana.
Pre position Sitting Position.
Procedure 1. Fold the left leg in the knee and place the toe on the floor.
2. Fold the right leg in the knee and place the toe on the floor
and join the two toes.
3. Sit on the pit formed by the parted heels.

4. Place the palms on the knees.


Position It is important to keep the spine, the neck and the head, upright in
one straight line in this Asana. Keep the sight fixed at the level of
the height. Don't have any pressure on the hands. The whole weight
of the body be set on the spine. Continue smooth breathing, when
the final position is attained.

Releasing 1. Remove the palms from the knees and bring them to the
sides.
2. Take out the left leg and straighten it.
3. Take out the right leg and straighten it.

4. Take the sitting position.


Duration After a little practice, this Asana can be maintained for a long time.
In the daily routine it should be kept for five minutes to experience
good results. With more practice it can be kept for three hours.
Internal Effects Along with the body, the mind also gets stabilized in this Asana.
Hence, it is preferred for meditation in this Asana. Hence, it is
preferred for meditation and concentration. This Asana is alsofound
to be good for Pranayama.

The special fold of the legs forms one Bandha in this Asana.
Consequently the blood circulation in the waist - downward parts is
controlled. For this reason this Asana is recommended after
Shirshasana.
Precaution The people having stiff joints and whose movements have become
difficult, should practice this Asana with a lot of care. Such persons
should practice this Asana after getting the joints free and relaxed.

SWASTIKASANA

1 2 3
4 5

Posture In this asana one leg is placed on another in a peculiar way and then
the position is stabilized. Since ancient times this Swastika is
considered as auspicious symbol and this asana tries to attain the
shape of swastika with legs placed on each other.
Pre position Sitting Position.
Procedure 1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5
feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place its soul touching inner side of
the right thigh.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its foot in between the thigh
and the calf of the leg.

4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees


and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal breathing.
Position In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the
backbone erect and sight straight. This asana is particularly useful
for meditation and concentration.
Releasing 1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.

4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.


Duration Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this
asana for 10 minutes. After more practice this period can be
increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can
make one experience the pleasure of this asana.
Internal Effects As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly
improved. Dnyana Mudra further helps in stabilizing pulse beats.
Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces
strain on heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can
achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution This asana is very simple and anyone can practice.

Do’s & Don’ts Do’s


- Keep the legs straight in knees with toes pointing to the sky.
- Raise the lower back & buttocks off the ground.
- Hands, upper arms & elbows on the ground while supporting the
waist with the hands.
- Shoulders resting on the ground.
- Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.
- Note that the legs can be taken towards head for maintaining the
balance.

Advanced variation – legs can be straightened at 90 degrees to


the floor.

Don’ts
- Do not bend the legs in knees.
- Do not take the legs over your head in the position, but you can
take the legs over your head while taking & releasing the position.
- Do not move the neck while in the position.
- Do not keep the legs and back in one straight line as in
Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand).

SAMASANA

1 2 3

4 5
Posture In this asana the external organs of the body are kept in such a way
that they stand divided in to two, hence the name Samasan (in
Sanskrit 'sama' means equilibrium).
Pre position Sitting Position.
Procedure 1. Spread both the legs and keep them at a distance of 1 to 1.5
feet.
2. Bend left leg in knee and place it touching the thigh of the
right leg in such a way that its heel rests on the procreating
organ.
3. Bend right leg in knee and place its foot in between the thigh
and its heel is placed of the left leg.

4. Keep the wrists of both the hands on the respective knees


and take Dnyana Mudra. Continue normal breathing.
Position In this asana the position of the body is stabilized. Keep the
backbone erect and sight straight. This asana is particularly useful
for meditation and concentration.
Releasing 1. Bring the hands beside the waist.
2. Straighten the right leg in the knee.
3. Straighten the left leg in the knee.

4. Get both the legs together, take the sitting posture.


Duration Within 10 to 12 days' practice of this asana, one can maintain this
asana for 10 minutes. After more practice this period can be
increased to 2 to 3 hours. Sitting for long in this asana alone can
make one experience the pleasure of this asana.
Internal Effects As the backbone is kept erect in this asana, its functioning is greatly
improved. Dnyana Mudra further helps in stabilizing pulse beats.
Consequently strain on muscles is reduced, which in turn reduces
strain on heart.
Also breathing slows down, collective effect of all this is one can
achieve concentration of mind.
Precaution People suffering from hydrocele or enlargement of testicles should
not practice this asana.

VAKRASANA (Type 1)
1

2 3 4

Posture This Asana is designed to twist the spine to the right and left side in
from its erect position. The spine is made up of highly elastic joints
and can be moved to any direction.
Pre position Sitting Position.
Procedure 1. Bend the left leg in the knee and place its heel near the
thigh. Keep the sole of the left foot flat on the floor and the
thigh and knee touching to the chest.
2. Place the left hand in front of the right hand in such a way
that the fingers of both the palms face each other and the
palms remain flat on the floor.

3. Now turn the neck and the trunk to the right, twisting the
spine and look back above the shoulder. Continue smooth
breathing.
Position 1. In this Asana the spine is to be kept straight.
2. The lower end of the spine and both the hips be placed well
on the floor and stabilize them.
3. Then with the support of the neck and shoulders twist the
upper vertebrae to the right. At the same time, the standing
knee be kept close to the chest.
4. Alongwith the neck, the sight should also be turned to the
right side and stabilize it in that direction.
Releasing 1. Turn the neck to the front.
2. Restore the hand to its place.
3. Straighten the left leg and take the sitting position.

Note: Following the above mentioned process, practice this Asana


placing the right leg in folding position.

Duration This Asana should be retained for minimum two minutes on each
side. With more practice this duration can be increased to six
minutes.
Internal Effects The elasticity of the spine increases as it gets twisted in its erect
position. Alongwith the spine the belly and other internal organs
also get twisted and receive the desired strain. It also has very
good effect on the spinal cord and its functioning is improved.
Precaution One should avoid the temptation of attaining the ideal position if
strain is unbearable.

UTTANPADASANA (With Both Legs)

Posture In this asana both the legs are raised upwards and so is called
Dwipada(both legs) Uttanpadasana.
Pre position Supine Position.
Procedure 1. Exhale and inhaling start raising both the legs upward and stop
when they make angle of 90 degree with the floor.
2. Keep the sight at the toes of the feet.
3. Continue normal breathing and try to maintain the posture
steady.
Position While raising the legs, it is necessary that the legs be kept straight
and close together. Keep the toes together and stretched towards sky.
Releasing Inhale and exhaling, bring both the legs down, back on to the floor.
Duration Though this asana appears to be simple, it is difficult to maintain the
posture. To start with try to maintain this for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not
take unnecessary strain, if you feel uncomfortable then release the
posture immediately.
Internal Effects In this asana, thigh muscles and stomach muscles are stretched. The
strain reaches inner organs like small intestines, enzyme producing
glands and other organs and helps increases their capacity. The
vertical position of the legs help improve the blood circulation.
Precaution One should avoid movement of legs with jerk or speed. The
movements should be controlled otherwise this asana can strain
muscles.
Do’s & Do’s
Don’ts - Raise both the legs at 90 degrees to ground keeping them straight in
knees with toes pointing to the sky.
- Keep the back & buttocks on the ground
- Arms straight with palms resting on the ground close to the body.
- Head straight and eye sight fixed on the raised toes.

Don’ts
- Do not bend the legs in knees.
- Do not lift the lower back or buttocks.

NAUKASANA

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2 3

Posture In this asana the shape of the body looks like a yacht and hence it is
called Noukasana (Yacht in Sanskrit). There is another Noukasana
which is practiced in prone position. The difference between these two
is in this supine Noukasana muscles of abdomen and stomach are
contracted and in the prone position Noukasana the muscles are
stretched.
Pre position Supine Position.
Procedure 1. Exhale and inhaling, start raising both the legs upward and stop
when they make angle of 45 degree with the floor.
2. Hold breathe, and in the same position raise the shoulders and
the back. Hold the toes of the legs with both the hands.

3. Continue normal breathing.


Position Keep the knees straight or else the expected pressure on the organs is
not achieved. In this position it is always difficult to maintain the
balance of the body but with practice one can achieve the steady
posture. If initially you can't catch the toes then hold the legs at
ankles but don't bend the legs in knees.
Releasing 1. Inhale & exhaling bring the hands to normal position releasing
the toes.
2. Continue exhaling and slowly bring the legs to normal position.

3. Attain the supine position.


Duration Due to the balance and strain involved in this asana, initially it is
difficult to maintain it for long. One can practice it for up to 15 seconds
after sufficient practice.
Internal Effects The size of the BELLY reduces due to the contraction of the abdomen
from both the sides. Organs like lever, intestines, pancreas, kidneys
etc. are pressurized which helps in improving the functioning.
Precaution Though this asana is useful for abdomen problems, people who have
been operated on abdomen should not do this asana.
Do’s & Do’s
Don’ts - Keep the legs straight in knees and inclined at 45 deg angle with the
floor.
- As far as possible the back remains straight.
- Arms straight with fingers holding the toes.
- Eye sight fixed on the toes.
- You may start from sitting position if it is difficult to achieve the
position from supine position.
- Try to balance on the buttocks.

Don’ts
- Do not bend the legs in knees.
- Do not bend the arms in elbows.