Sivananda Yoga – All Asanas And Their Benefits November 19, 2015

Do you know? Yoga is the only technique where you can find mental serenity along with physical energy. There are thousands of yoga asanas in the traditional books. It is obvious that a person cannot practice all asanas in a day. But practicing and mastering a few can help you gain strength, become self confident and energetic.

Sivananda yoga vendanta dhanwantari ashram and its ways have gained immense popularity over the years. This form of yoga is a traditional, meditative and a slow process. Swara yoga by Swani Sivananda comprises of Pranayama (breathing exercises), Sun salutations and 12 asanas.

Pranayama:

While doing pranayama, follow these simple steps:

Take a deep breath Close your right nostril and inhale with the left nostril. Then immediately close left nostril & exhale with the right nostril. In this way try quick breathing by changing the nostrils. Always inhale slowly. This helps in clearing the nasal passage. Those having breathing problems have to consult a doctor before practicing this.

[Read: Benefits Of Side Plank Pose ]

Sun Salutations are also an important element of Sivananda yoga. All you need to do is follow these simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Stand in a straight position and bring your hands together in a prayer position. Here you have to exhale.

Step 2: Now inhale and raise your hands in the upward direction, keeping your palms together.

 Step 3: Exhale and then bend forward to touch your feet with your fingers.

Step 4: Again inhale and step your right leg back, arch your back and lift up your chin.

Step 5: Now exhale and step back your left leg. Now both the legs are in a same plank position. Stretch it as much as you can.  Here, your body weight is completely on your hands and your feet.

Step 6:  Now lower your knees, chest and forehead and touch the ground.

Step 7: Inhale, stretch forward and the bend backwards. Keep your arms straight. This position is also known as Sarpasana or the snake position.

Step 8: In this step, you have to exhale and lift up your body, hips and then try to stretch it as much as you can. The whole body’s weight is balanced properly on the hands and legs.

Step 9: Inhale and step your right leg forward with the top of your foot stretched on the floor. Again lift up your chin and look straight.

Step 10: Again, bend downwards to touch your feet with your fingers.

Step 11: Inhale and stretch your arms backwards from over your head.

Step 12: Exhale and gently come back to the first position.

After mastering surya namaskara, one needs to learn the 12 postures or the asanas that are included in Sivananda yoga. The 12 fundamental asanas of this form of yoga are:

Shirshasana:

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While doing this asana, you have to first sit down on the floor in Vajrasana position. Now place your hands on the ground in such a manner that you will be able to hold your left arm with the right hand and the right arm with the left hand. Now try to place the crown of your head in between your palms. Then try to take your legs slightly upwards. This is known as Ardha Shirshasana. Try balancing it this way. After you successfully learn balancing, then try to move your legs in the upward direction in a straight line with your body. Remain in this position for 30 seconds and release. Always remember, the right way to come out from any asana is the way you enter into it.

[ Read: How To Do Dandasana ]

Sarvangasana:

This is also known as shoulder stand. Here, you have to first lie on a mat and rest your back on the floor. Then you have to try lifting your legs in the upward direction. You can even take the support of your hands for the same. Try to rest your hands on you back so that they can help you remain steady in the position. Once your legs are up in the air, try to bring them in a straight alignment with your body and stretch it as much as you can. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then release.

Halasana:

When you are steady in the Sarvangasana pose, try and bring your legs downwards from over your head. Again, here rest the palm of your hands on your back in order to support your position.

Matsyasana:

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Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Inhale and lift your upper body slightly off the floor and slide your hands below your buttocks. Then rest your buttocks on the backs of your hands. Remain steady for 15 seconds and release.

[ Read: How To Do Staff Pose ]

Paschimotthanasana:

Sit down on the floor with both legs extended forward in front of you. Stretch your arms and body forward and try to touch your toes. Bend your knees as much as you can and try to reach your toes.

Bhujangasana:

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In this pose, you have to position yourself into a curved pose which resembles a snake. Sleep on the ground in such a way that your forehead touches the ground. Now place your palms under your shoulders in a manner that it gets tucked close to your body. Stretch your legs in a way that the top of your feet presses down into the mat. Now inhale and slowly press your hands to stretch your arms, sending your chest upwards. This pose looks like a snake and hence it is called the cobra pose or the snake pose.

Shalbasana:

Lie on your belly with your hands resting below your thighs & forehead resting on the floor. Now try to raise your left leg up to 10 inches. After that, try doing the same with your right leg too. At the final stage, do this with both your legs.

Dhanurasana:

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This is also known as Bow pose. All you have to do here is to lie on the floor with your belly touching the ground. Keep your hands besides your chest. Now take a deep breath and lift your legs and thighs up. At the same time, you have to try to catch your legs with your hands. Remain in this position for 30 seconds and release.

Ardha Matsyendrasana:

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor and then slide your left foot under your right leg. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor. Press right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. The right knee will point directly up at the ceiling. Here, you have to exhale and turn towards the inner side of your right thigh. Remain in this position for about 30 seconds and then release. Try doing this the other way too.

Kaksana:

Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet with palms down. Bend your elbows and place your knees on the upper part of your arms above the elbows. Slightly shift your weight forward over your hands until your feet come gradually off the floor. Do not hop into position. Always keep looking at the floor in front of your hands while holding this position. Hold for 10 seconds and then release.

Padahastasana:

Stand straight with your feet touching each other. Now exhale and bend downwards from your hips to touch your feet with your fingers. Keep your arms stretched in the whole process. Now slowly rise upwards and go back to the first position.

Trikonasana:

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Stand straight, separate your feet wide apart. Now turn your right foot out to 90 degrees and left foot out to 15 degrees. Ensure that your body’s weight is balanced equally on both feet. Now bend your body to the right side, downward from the hips. Keeps your waist straight, thus allowing your left hand to come up in the air and your right hand comes down and touches the ground.  Try to keep both the arms in a straight line. Repeat on the other side.

Try these simple steps and enjoy doing Sivananda yoga asanas. Do leave us a comment too.

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