yoga asanas
yoga poses

Constraining your body in a pose and staying there, being immobile and developing increasing relaxation in the effort...that is asana or yoga pose and that is what it is all about!

benefits of yoga asanas

Standing asanas:
The benefits :
• improve your posture, create a correct alignment
• increase the consciousness of the spine
• strengthen the legs
• develop will power, the awareness of energy in the body.
•  Give a general sense of vitality, elevation and integration.

Vrikasana:  tree pose
Garudasana: eagle pose
Virabhadrasana II: warrior II pose

Side bends
The benefits:
• “Squeeze and absorb”  the fluids in the organs in the higher part of the abdomen; stimulate digestion.
• Open up your respiratory capacity by opening the sides of the thorax.
• Recharge the spine and become more aware of the energy that flows through it.

Ardha Chandrasana: half moon pose 
Parighasana: gate pose 

Backward bends

The benefits:
• Improve your posture by strengthening the muscles of the back. Help you avoid bending the spine and shoulders towards the front, creating a bulge.
• Enhance the health of the spine.
• Open the shoulders and soothe chronic tensions of the shoulders and upper back.
• The zone of the kidneys and  the adrenal gland profit from the “Squeeze and absorb ” effect. Reason why often we feel increased vitality or dynamism after the practice of back bends.
• Expand the breathing. The increased flow of oxygen invigorates body and mind.
• Dissolve mental tendencies such as: lethargy, obtuseness, depression and fear.
• Develop will power, internal strength and vitality, mental perspicacity.
•  Direct prana, (vital energy) towards the brain.

Mukthasana: standing back bend

Salabhasana: locust pose

Dhanurasana: bow pose

Bhujangasana: cobra and sphinx pose

Forward bends:
The benefits:
• Lengthen and relax the whole rear side of the body (legs, hips, gluteus, spine and rear muscles)
• Alleviate back pains
• Massage the abdominal organs with the“ Squeeze and absorb ” effect.Good for assimilation and elimination functions.
• Alleviate the pressure of nerves linked to the spine.
• Activate the parasympathetic nervous system which relaxes body and mind.
• Let go of emotional and physical tension. Behind the knees are held psychological tensions like fears and insecurities.
• Open en lengthen the spine.

 
Adho Mukha Shvanasana:  downward dog pose

Padahastasana: jackknife pose

Pashimotanasana: extended forward bend pose

Neutral poses:
The benefits:
• These asanas help to integrate the effects of the asana you practiced before on an energetic and mental level
• Relax and rejuvenate body and mind
• Interiorize the mind


Tadasana
Balasana
Dandasana
Savasana

Spinal twists
The benefits:
• Open thorax, hips, shoulders and throat.
• Alleviate tension, fatigue and discomfort of the back.
• Massage and nourish intervertebral disks with the “squeeze, absorb” effect.
• Prevent and reduce the accumulation of calcium in the spine.
• Improve digestion, peristalsis, and elimination function by the “squeeze and absorb” effect on the digestive organs.
• Lengthen and invigorate the diaphragm for better breathing
• Let loose of negative emotions that can accumulate and result in rigidity  the spine .
• Calm down anxiety and restlessness, increase relaxation and rejuvenation.

Ardha Matsyendrasana
Jathara Parivartasanana

Inverted poses
The benefits:
• Prevent and alleviate varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
• Improve venous return
• Improve digestion and elimination
• Stimulate and balance the thyroid and parathyroid gland
• Lengthen and invigorate the diaphragm
• Bring an increased level of blood and oxygen to the brain.
• Calm the mind and reduce stress

Viparita Karani:  simple inverted pose

Sarvangasana: candle pose

Halasana: plough pose

Combination pose:

Benefits:
The benefits are those of the families of asanas represented in the combination; forward bends, backward bends, standing-, inverted asanas…
Plus:
Give mental clarity, help balance the endocrine system.
Integrate body, mind and breath
Increase the flexibility of the spine, of the rear side of the legs, of the shoulders and of the hips.

 

Surya Namaskar: sun salutation

12 tips for “safe” yoga exercises!


1. Yoga is not a competition; let your own body be your compass to show you your limits not your fellow students or teacher.


2. Use a yoga mat with relief for extra grip.


3. Practice on bare feet for grip or with yoga socks which separate the toes and have anti-slip.


4. Take your jewelry off, it can hinder your movements.


5. To protect the lumbar part of your back or your lower back always tighten the buttocks and activate your abdominals…these instructions are vital for safe standing- and backward bend exercises.


6. Whilst in a pose you feel pain or you tremble; this means you’ve gone too far, go back a bit. You should feel tension that you release by breathing in it in every pose.


7. Breathe deeply in every pose, when your breath gets heavy it is time to exit from the pose.


8. For women: when you have your period, you should refrain from doing inverted poses because they change the natural flow of your period.


9. If you have cardio vascular problems: do not leave your hands to long above your head (ex Vrikasana – tree pose) come back with your hands in prayer position in front of the heart. Inverted poses you can better exit after not more than 30 seconds. If your problems are under control by medication, than you do not need to take these tips into consideration.


10. If you have acute spinal problems you should not practice yoga in the meanwhile strengthen your abdominals to enable you to do yoga again.


11. If you have chronic spinal, knee, hip or elbow problems you should test which  asanas work for you, respecting your limits and always with common sense.


12. If you have “sinus” problems, these are infections of ears, eyes or nose you should refrain from doing inverted- and forward bending poses.


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