PBF_394_axxspect16x9

Home Practice

If your not sure how you will fit yoga into your busy schedule, some Asanas are so simple and adaptable that you can do them in the comfort at your own desk or  at home. If you are feeling stressed, fatigued and lacking in energy doing a few poses can revitalize and refreshen your mind and body.

 


 

Tadasana Samasthithi | Mountain Pose

This pose , the starting point of all standing asanas, lifts the sternum , which is the site of the anahata or ‘heart’ chakra. This helps to reduce stress and boost your self confidence, while the perfect balance of the final pose increases your alertness.

  1. Stand with your feet together , with the big toes and heels touching. If you find it difficult , separate them by about 2-3 in.
  2. Rest your weight evenly on the inner and outer edges of your feet , and on your toes and heels.
  3. Press your feet firmly down on the floor and stretch both your legs upward.
  4. Tighten your kneecaps and quadriceps and pull them upward. Turn in the front of your thighs. Tighten your buttocks.
  5. Extend your arms along the sides of your body, with your palms facing your thighs and fingers pointing down. Keep the head and spine in a straight line.
  6. Stretch your neck without tensing the muscles. Pull your lower abdomen in and up. Lift your sternum and broaden your chest.

Breathe normally during all the steps of the asana.

Arm Variations in this pose;

  1. Turn out your palms and lift your arms until your palms are facing up at the ceiling. Allow your body to stretch high to the sky like a mountain to lengthen your side muscles.
  2. Interlock your fingers firmly in front of you and stretch your arms in front of you, turn the interlocked palms inside out .Raise your arms above your head and fully lock your elbows. Feel the stretch in your palms.
  3. Mountain pose with the arms folded behind the back. Take your right arm behind your back, and hold your left arm Bend your left arm and take it behind your back.

Caution ; If you have any problems with your balance , keep your feet at least 10 in apart. If you have high blood pressure, do not hold the pose for more than 15 seconds.

 


 

Vrikasana | Tree Pose

  1. Stand near a wall with your right side facing it and both of your feet together.
  2. Bend your right knee, using one hand to pull your right ankle up so that the bottom of your right foot is on your inner left thigh. To avoid overextending your body, don’t bring the bottom of your right foot all the way up to the top of the inner thigh if it feels uncomfortable. Simply bring it as far up as you can and hold it there for 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. Meanwhile, hold your hands palm-to-palm as if in prayer in front of your chest or raise them up above your head. Allow your right knee to touch the wall for some extra balance. Let your right foot down, holding the wall with one hand for balance if needed
  4. Repeat with your left knee resting against the wall.

 


 

Ardha Chandrasana | Half Moon Pose

  1. Stand in Tadasana (mountain pose), place a block on its short side against the wall. Inhale, spread your feet 1m (3.5ft) apart. Raise your arms to shoulder level
  2. Turn your right foot out to the right, parallel to the wall, and turn your left foot in, slightly to the right. Bend your right knee, and place the right palm on the block. Raise your left arm.
  3. Straighten your right leg. Raise your left leg, until it is parallel to the floor. eep your left arm stretched up, in line with the right arm. The back of your left hand should touch the wall.
  4. Look up at your left thumb. Keep your weight on the right foot, thigh, and hip, not on your right palm. Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
  5. Repeat the pose on the other side.

Do not perform this asana if you have stress-related headaches, migrane, eye strain, varicose veins, diarrhoea, insomnia, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

 


 

Bharadvajasana (on a chair) | Torso Twist

The classic version of this pose is the basic seated twist , and can also be practiced seated on a chair. It works on the dorsal and lumbar spine, and improves blood circulation in the organs of the abdomen. Regular practice of this asana alleviates stiffness and pain in the lower back, neck and shoulders. As well as toning of the abdominal muscles and improving digestion. This pose massages and rejuvenates your abdominlal organs.

  1. Sit sideways on the chair with the right side of your body against the chair back. Sit straight and exhale
  2. Hold the outer sides of the chair back. Widen your elbows. Push the right side of the chair back away from your body, exerting pressure, while pulling the left side toward you. Exhale as you rotate, but do not hold your breath
  3. Look over the right shoulder. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds
  4. Repeat the pose on the other side

Caution; Do not practice this asana if you have high blood pressure, stress related headache or migraine.

 


 

Virasana | Hero Pose

In this Asana, you assume the pose of a seated warrior. Vira in Sanskrit means ‘hero’ or ‘warrior’. Regular practice of this asana helps to develop your strength and endurance. The asana stretches the chest and increases your capacity for deep breathing. Virasana relieves stiffness in the joints and improves the flexibility of your whole body.

Props for this asana:

  • A wall
  • Wooden block
  • Bolster
  • Blanket

The bolster support the back and buttocks . A block placed between the wall and the bolsters creates the space to lower the buttocks slightly. The blanket makes the bolster and block a single unit.

  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees together. Spread your feet about 18 in apart, with your soles facing the ceiling. Adjust your ankles so that they stretch evenly from the arch to the heels. Feel the energy flow smoothly in both directions
  2. Lean forward and rest your palms on your shins . Lower your buttocks toward the floor . Make sure that the inner side of each calf touches the outer side of each thigh. Turn your calf muscles outward and ensure that you turn your thigh muscles inward. Beginners if you cannot rest your buttocks on the floor, place one sole on top of the other and rest your buttocks on them or sit on a block. Separate your feet.
  3. Rest your buttocks on the floor. Do not sit on your feet. Place both palms on your thighs. Raise your waist and the sides of your torso, and press your shins firmly down on the floor.
  4. Raise your arms to shoulder level. Stretch them forward, parallel to the floor. With your palms facing you, firmly interlock your fingers. Do not leave any gaps between the base of your fingers and the knuckles. Rotate your wrists and palms outward, so that your palms face away from your torso. Extend your spine from the base of your pelvis.
  5. Raise your arms from the armpits until the palms face the ceiling. Keep your neck erect, your chest expanded, and your elbows straight. Make sure that your head does not tilt back and and that your body does not lean forward. Breathe evenly, and hold the pose for 1 minute. With practice, increase the length of time spent in the pose to 5 minutes.
  6. Coming out of the pose. Bring your arms down to your sides. Place your palms on the floor and raise your buttocks. Kneel, and then straighten your legs, one by one.

Caution; If the ligaments of your knee are injured , use a blanket to support your legs, or sit on your heels. Do not practice this pose if you have a cardiac condition.

 


 

Supta Padangusthasana | Reclining Leg, Foot, and Toe Stretch

In Sanskrit , supta means ‘lying down’, pada means ‘foot’, and angustha is the big toe. These adapted poses work the whole foot, rather than just the toes. A yoga belt is placed around the sole of one foot, and the resultant stretch to the legs indreases flexibility in the pelvic area and improves blood circulation in the legs. It also makes the muscles of the legs stronger.

  1. Place a mat against the wall. Lower your back onto the mat , supporting your torso on your palms until your heads rests on the mat. Bend your right knee, and bring it to your chest. Keep your left sole pressed against the wall.
  2. Loop the belt around the sole of your right foot. Hold one end of the belt in each hand. Make sure that you hold the  yoga belt as close to your foot as possible . This opens your chest, and keeps your breathing regular and even. Keep your extended leg pressed down on the mat.
  3. Inhale, and raise your right leg until its perpendicular to the floor. Hold both ends of the belt with the right hand.
  4. Place your left arm beside your left hip. Press the left foot against the wall , and the left thigh on the mat.  Stretch your right leg up further, simultaneously pulling your toes toward you with the belt. Feel the stretch in your right calf.
  5. Keep your left leg firmly pressed to the floor. Do not bend either knee or allow the left leg to tilt out. Initially  stay in the position for 20-30 seconds. With practice, increase the time to 1 minute
  6. Repeat the pose on the other side.

Caution; Do not practice this asana if you are recovering from a cardiac condition, or if you have blocked arteries, asthma, bronchitis, migraine, stress-related headaches, eye strain or diarrhea. If you have high blood pressure, place a folded blanket under your head and neck.

 


 

Baddha Konasana | Fixed Angle Pose

Regular practice of this pose increases the flow of blood to the abdomen , pelvis and back. It helps to treat arthritis of the knee, hip, and pelvic joints . Pregnant women will experience less pain during labour and will be free of varicose veins if they hold the pose for a few minutes each day. You can practice this asana at anytime, even just after a meal.

  1. Hold your feet firmly near the toes with both hands. Pull your heels even closer to your groin. Stretch your spine upward. Widen your thighs and push your knees down toward the floor.
  2. Look straight ahead . Stay in this position for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Maintain your hold on your feet and you can use a strap around your feet to hold onto so you get a better lift of the torso. Stretch out both sides of your chest.

Caution; Do not practice this pose if you have a displaced or prolapsed uterus.

 


 

Viparita Karani

This is a restorative and relaxing asana. The use of props makes the pose easier and more restful. The name of this asana means ‘inverted lake’ in Sanskrit, and is based on the belief that blood and hormones circulate better through the body when it is inverted. This asana alleviates nervous exhaustion , boosts confidence, and reduces depression.

Props for this asana:

  • A wall
  • Wooden block
  • Bolster
  • Blanket

The bolster support the back and buttocks . A block placed between the wall and the bolsters creates the space to lower the buttocks slightly. The blanket makes the bolster and block a single unit.

  1. Place the block on its side long side against a wall. Place the bolster parallel to the block. Sit sideways in the middle of the bolster , and  place your fingers flat on the floor behind you.
  2. Turn your torso toward the wall, simultaneously lifting your legs , one by one , onto the wall. Keep your knees slightly bent. Support your body on both palms, fingers pointing toward the bolsters. Push both palms down on the floor, and move your buttocks closer to the wall.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your torso until your shoulders rest on the floor. Straighten your legs fully. If your buttocks have moved away from the wall, bend your knees and place both feet against the wall. then press your palms down on the floor, lift your hips, and move the buttocks closer to the wall. Straighten your legs again.
  4. Rest your head and neck on the floor. Lift your chest. Spread your arms out to the sides with your palms facing the ceiling. Allow your chest, abdomen, and pelvis to expand, and relax.
  5. Close your eyes, breathe evenly, and experience the serenity of the pose. Stay in the pose for 3-4 minutes . Gradually increase the duration to 5-8 minutes.

Caution; do not practice this pose during menstruation

 


 

Adhomukha  Sukkhasana | Downward Facing Cross Legged Pose

  1. While sitting in a cross-legged  position on the floor in front of a chair, gently place your forehead , chest and shoulders on the seat of the chair. If necessary, you may place a blanket or some books on the chair for extra height and rest your forehead on them rather than directly on the seat. This is an extremely relaxing pose and relieves strain in your back , neck, and heart. It also alleviates the symptoms of premenstrual stress.
  2. Exhale, bend forward, and rest your chest on the folded blanket.
  3. Place your forehead on a bolster or pillow. Bring your arms forward and bend your elbows. Place your right palm on your left forearm, and your left palm on your right forearm.
  4. Exhale slowly, and feel the tension in the head and neck dissipate. Keep your neck muscles soft and elongated . Hold the pose for two minutes. Breathe evenly.

 


 

Savasana | Corpse Pose

In this asana, the body is kept as motionless as a corpse and the mind is alert, yet calm. Savasana removes fatigue and soothes the mind. When you practice this asana, your organs of perception (the eyes, ears, and tongue) withdraw from the outside world. The mind and body become one, and you experience inner silence.

  1. Sit on the floor and bend your knees and bring your heels close to the buttocks. To lower your torso toward the floor, place your forearms and palms on the floor and lean back on your elbows.
  2. Lower your torso to the floor, vertebra by vertebra, until the back of your head rests on the floor. Turn your palms to face the ceiling.
  3. Close your eyes, then straighten your legs one by one.
  4. Relax your legs, allowing them to drop gently to the sides. Ensure that your kneecaps drop to the sides equally. Move your arms away from your torso without raising your shoulders off the floor. Push your collar bones out to the sides. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Stay in this pose for 5-7 minutes.

Caution; Do not practice savasana between asanas and if you have a backache, lie with your back on the floor, and rest your calves on the seat of a chair.