Asanas In Yoga
Complete Guide To Asanas , Poses And Postures In Yoga
What Are Asanas In Yoga ?
Asanas in yoga are an ancient science of posture-based exercise called asanas, or poses or postures. Yoga helps to achieve physical and mental fitness. Asanas are an important aspect of yoga that help to improve the body’s physical strength and flexibility.
Asanas in yoga are the physical postures of the body performed as per the recommended yoga practice described by the Hindu sage Patanjali in 196 manuals called the Yoga Sutras.
In Sanskrit, the term “asana” is a Sanskrit word that means a pose or a seated position. Although asanas are now considered the most popular and prominent aspect of yoga.
The term “asana” is also most commonly defined as the seated posture used for meditation, and it is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “seat.” The term “asanas” is also alternately defined in yoga as “poses” or “postures.”
Yoga is considered to be a total-body workout with immense health benefits. Regular yoga practices can be effectively used to make the body more lithe, lean, and physically strong.
The Yoga Sutras manual defines different types of asanas (also referred to as yoga poses or postures). Some yoga poses are relatively simple to learn, and beginners find it very easy to start with yoga. At the same time, some yoga postures require a high level of expertise and practise to master.
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Yoga Asanas , Poses And Postures
Types Of Asanas In Yoga
Different Categories Of Asanas , Poses And Postures In Yoga
Asanas are just one important component of yoga, and the scope of yoga is quite comprehensive. Yoga practises recommend various categories of asanas that can be effectively used for specific health benefits.
Different types of yoga poses are recommended to provide relief from various health conditions. Some of the most common health conditions for which yoga asanas are considered highly effective include weight loss, mental health and stress management, weight management, backache relief, joint pain relief, and other ailments.
The asanas can also be grouped into various categories based on their specific health benefits. For example, Hatha yoga for relieving stress, Kundalini yoga to strengthen the body and mind, or Bikram yoga for weight loss.
Yoga asanas can be broadly grouped into twelve major categories. The asanas categories include:
12 Categories Of Asanas , Poses And Postures In Yoga
- Standing Yoga Asanas Or Poses.
- Headstand Yoga Poses.
- Lying Down On Back Yoga Poses.
- Lying Down On Stomach Yoga Poses.
- Seated Yoga Poses.
- Twisted Yoga Poses.
- Balancing Yoga Poses.
- Relaxation Yoga Poses.
- Forward Bending Yoga Poses.
- Backward Bending Yoga Poses.
- Side Bending Yoga Poses.
- Meditation Yoga Poses.
Asanas In This Category
Standing Yoga Asanas Or Poses.
Tadasana , Vrksasana
Headstand Yoga Poses.
Sirsasana , Sarvangasan , Halasan
Lying Down On Back Yoga Poses.
Uttanpadasana Naukasana Pawanmuktasana
Lying Down On Stomach Yoga Poses.
Shavavasan, Viparitnaukasan, Dhanurasan
Shavasana, Viparita, Dhanurasana
Seated Yoga Poses.
Gomukhasana , Vajrasana , Sukhasana
Twisted Yoga Poses.
Vakrasana , Makarasana , Katichakrasana
Balancing Yoga Poses.
Lolasana , Garudasana, Natrajasana
Relaxation Yoga Poses.
Balasana , Savasana , Makarasana
Forward Bending Yoga Poses.
Padahastasana , Paschimottanasana
Backward Bending Yoga Poses.
Ardha Chakrasana, Chakrasana, Setubandhasana
Side Bending Yoga Poses.
Trikonasana , Parighasana, Konasana
Meditation Yoga Poses.
Siddhasana , Padmasana , Swastikasana
Standing Yoga Asanas
Standing yoga asanas are those poses and postures that are performed in the standing position. Standing poses are considered relatively easy for beginners. Standing asanas should be performed on a firm, level surface.
These yoga poses offer many advantages, such as posture improvement, back pain relief, stimulation of blood circulation, relief of muscle stiffness, and other benefits.
Some of the important standing yoga asanas include Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Vrikshasana (Tree Pose), and Trikonasana (Triangle Pose).
Standing Yoga Asana
Tadasana, also known as Mountain Pose, is a foundational standing yoga posture that helps to develop strength, balance, and stability in the body. It is often used as a starting point for many other standing postures in yoga.
Tadasana is a great pose for improving posture, reducing stress, and increasing focus and concentration. It is also a good warm-up pose for more challenging standing postures.
To practice Tadasana, follow these steps:
Steps To Practice Tadasan
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, parallel to each other, and distribute your weight evenly across both feet.
- Engage your thigh muscles and draw them upward, lifting your kneecaps.
- Lengthen your tailbone down toward the floor, and draw your navel in toward your spine to engage your core muscles.
- Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears, and extend your arms alongside your body with your palms facing forward.
- Keep your gaze forward and your chin parallel to the floor.
- Hold the pose for several deep breaths, then release.
Standing Yoga Asana
Vrikshasana, also known as Tree Pose, is a standing yoga posture that helps to improve balance, stability, and focus.
Note: If you are new to yoga or have difficulty with balance, you can modify this pose by placing your foot on your ankle or lower calf instead of your thigh. Alternately, you can also hold some support object to initially balance your posture and then release the support once you gain stability.
Here are the steps to perform Vrikshasana:
Steps To Practice Vrikshasana
- Begin by standing straight with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot off the ground.
- Place the sole of your right foot on your left inner thigh, as high up as possible, with your toes pointing downward.
- Make sure your left leg is straight and engaged, and press your right foot firmly into your thigh.
- Bring your hands together at your heart center in prayer position.
- Find a focal point to gaze at, which will help you maintain balance.
- Inhale and lengthen your spine, lifting your arms overhead.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and your gaze steady.
- Hold the pose for several breaths, then release and repeat on the other side.
Standing Yoga Asana
Trikonasana is a yoga asana, also known as the Triangle Pose. Trikonasana comes from the Sanskrit words “Trikona,” meaning triangle, and “Asana,” meaning pose. It is a standing pose that is great for stretching and strengthening the legs, hips, back, and chest.
Note: If you have any hip or knee injuries, you may need to modify this pose or avoid it altogether. It is always best to consult with a yoga teacher or healthcare provider before trying any new yoga poses.
Here are the steps to perform Trikonasana:
Steps To Practice Trikonasana
- Begin in Tadasana or Mountain Pose, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Step your feet 3-4 feet apart, with your heels aligned with each other.
- Turn your right foot out to a 90-degree angle, and your left foot slightly inward.
- Inhale and raise your arms parallel to the floor, with your palms facing down.
- Exhale and extend your torso to the right, over your right leg, while keeping your left hip aligned with your right hip.
- Place your right hand on your right shin, ankle, or the floor on the outside of your right foot, while extending your left arm up towards the ceiling.
- Gaze towards your left hand, and hold the pose for 5-10 breaths.
- Inhale and come back up to standing, and repeat on the other side.
Seated Yoga Asanas
Seated yoga asanas are poses and postures that are performed while sitting. Some sitting yoga poses are straightforward and considered suitable for beginners. Some sitting asanas, on the other hand, necessitate advanced skills as well as much expertise and practise to accomplish comfortably.
Seating yoga positions provide numerous benefits, including increased flexibility in the hips, knees, ankles, and groyne muscles. It also alleviates menstruation discomfort and aids with digestion, posture, and bowel movement regularity.
Sitting yoga postures are naturally more calming since they do not need you to balance your body while practising the asana. These yoga poses allow you to gradually enter the stance and control the movements to your comfort.
Seated Yoga Pose
Padmasana is a yoga posture, also known as Lotus Pose, that is commonly used for meditation and pranayama (breathing exercises). The name “Padmasana” comes from two Sanskrit words, “Padma” meaning lotus, and “asana” meaning posture or pose.
Padmasana is said to have many benefits, including calming the mind, reducing stress and anxiety, improving concentration, and aiding digestion. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with knee or hip problems. It is important to practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher to avoid any injury.
To practice Padmasana, follow these steps:
Steps To Practice Padmasan
- Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and bring your right foot to rest on your left thigh.
- Then, bend your left knee and bring your left foot to rest on your right thigh.
- Place your hands on your knees, palms facing down, or in a mudra of your choice.
- Lengthen your spine and relax your shoulders, with your chin slightly tucked in.
- Breathe deeply and hold the pose for as long as you are comfortable.
- To release the pose, slowly straighten your legs and come back to a comfortable seated position.
Seated Yoga Pose
Child Pose Or Balasana
Shishuasana, also known as Child’s Pose, is a yoga posture that is often used for rest and relaxation during a yoga practice.
Shishuasana is a gentle, soothing pose that can help to calm the mind and relieve stress. It can also be used as a restorative posture to help recover from more challenging yoga poses or exercises.
To perform Shishuasana, follow these steps:
Steps To Practice Shishuasana
- Begin in a kneeling position on your yoga mat, with your toes touching and your knees spread apart.
- Lower your hips back toward your heels, stretching your arms out in front of you.
- Allow your forehead to rest on the floor, and breathe deeply.
- You can choose to keep your arms stretched out in front of you, or you can bring them back by your sides with your palms facing up.
- Hold the pose for several deep breaths, allowing your body to relax and release tension.
- To come out of the pose, slowly lift your torso back up to a kneeling position.
Sitting Yoga Poses
Seated Two-Legged Forward Bend
Paschimottanasana is a seated forward bend yoga pose that stretches the entire back of the body, from the hamstrings to the spine.
Paschimottanasana is a calming and grounding pose that can help relieve stress and anxiety. It also stimulates the digestive and reproductive systems and can improve flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, and lower back. However, if you have any existing back or hamstring injuries, it’s important to practice this pose with caution or under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
Here are the steps to practice this pose:
Steps To Practice Paschimottanasana
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your spine straight.
- Take a deep breath and lengthen your spine.
- As you exhale, start bending forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight. Keep your chin and chest up and gaze towards your toes.
- Reach for your feet with your hands. If you can’t reach your feet, hold onto your ankles or shins.
- As you inhale, lengthen your spine and lift your chest slightly.
- As you exhale, deepen the stretch by bending forward a little more.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths or as long as comfortable.
- To release the pose, inhale and slowly come up to a seated position.