Padmasana (The Lotus Posture): It is one of the best postures because it is stable and it gives comfort to the body and calms down the mind. Since this posture resembles a two petalled foetus hence the name Padmasana. Sit in a cross legged posture, hands resting on knees, spine erect, gazing either at the tip of the nose or in between eye-brows. You can also close your eyes and concentrate on the heart. Inhale and exhale as slowly as possible.
Benefits: To control the mind and to develop memory power. Meditation is easy in this posture.
Sukhasana (the easy pose): Sit down and cross the legs so that the right foot under the left thigh and left foot is under the right thigh. The knees should be close the ground. The thighs, knees, ankles, feet and toes are loose and relaxed. Place the hands on the knees, keep the head, neck and back straight, Sukhasana is the simplest meditative posture.
Benefits : Easy and relaxing posture used for extended sitting for meditation etc.
Vajrasana (Adamantine or Diamond Posture): This posture gives stability to the body Like a diamond, which is hard enough to cut the hard rock, this posture when practised after meals improves digestion wonderfully As shown in the picture sit on folded legs, heals spreading to the sides. If you feel it very difficult to sit, you can use a pillow below the ankles for s few days.
Benefits: Improves digestion. Useful for meditation, when it is not possible to sit in Padmasana.
Gomukhasana (Cow face posture): Fold the left leg and sit. Fold the right leg and keep it on the left leg such that the knees are one above the other. Fold the hands and lock them in the back as shown in the fig. After sufficient practice, you can bend forward. Remain in the posture for a few seconds and this asanas may be practiced thrice in the initial stage
Benefits : Straightens spine, aids in maintaining and expelling exciting thoughts. Helps in rheumatism of legs and shoulders.
Simhasana (The Lion Posture) : This posture resembles the lion. Sit firmly on the floor in Vajrasana heels raised and opening the mouth wide enough, bring out the tongue, making sound resembling a lion’s roar.
Benefits: Useful to get rid of diseases of the. throat at initial stage. Removes wrinkles, brings glow to face and controls pimples etc.
Vakrasana (The Twist Posture): This is, a twisting posture of the waist, hence the name Vakra (not straight). This posture helps in the practice of Ardha Matsyendrasana. Assuming the posture as shown in the fig.., body shoufd be twisted weli to the right. Retain the posture for a few seconds. Then change the position of legs and hands and twist to the left.
Alternative posture: Sit in a chair and do the spinal twist.
(a) Benefits: The spine, the nervous system, the abdominal viscera become active.moves in the spine (back), hence the name.
Paschimothanasana: The body should bend forward without raising the knees, see fig. Maintain the posture for a few seconds. Breathe out (exhale) while in this posture; breathe in (inhale) after you come to normal sitting position.
Benefits: The spi. le becomes flexible and the nerves of the verbal column are stimulated hence useful for the brain too. Increases the digestive fire, helps other organs of the abdomen tike liver, pancreas, spleen and the small and large Intestines function well.
Sarvangasana / Viparithakarni: This is a topsy-turvy posture in which the body is lifted (upside down) and entire weight of the body rests on shoulders and elbows. This is useful for all the organs of the body, and hence called Sarvangasana. Lie flat on the back, then raise the legs slowly upwards, support the hips with the hands, keeping the legs straight. If you cannot keep the leg straight let it be inlet bend and relaxed.
Benefits: Useful for thyroid glands (tones up the metabolism of the body) in the neck- Piles and hernia and other disorders Of the pelvic organs are cured.
Precaution: Persons with cervical spondylosis, eye troubles, hypertension, or heart troubles should not practice it. They must get rid of the disease first and practise the other simple asanas for about four weeks and then try sarvangasana.
Bhujangasana (Serpent posture) : This posture resembles the Serpent, with its head raised, hence the name. Lie down on tee floor, belly touching the floor, legs together, toes stretched backwards. Keep the palms near the chest and bend the head back upwards in a concave position. Bending backwards is more important than lifting the body. Inhale and remain in this posture as long as you can hold the breath and then relax. Repeat this asana for 3 to 6 times.
Benefits: Makes the spine flexible, removes constipation, prevents arthritis, lungs become strong. You can maintain good shape of the body throughout the life span.
Shalabhasana (Locust posture): This asana resembles the pose of a Locust or Grasshopper and hence the name. First, rest in Makarasana. Then keep the hands below thighs and rise up both the legs together. The legs should be as straight as possible. Inhale and remain in this posture for a few seconds and then relax- For easy practice start with each leg separately for six times and then you can try raising both the legs Repeat this 3 to 6 times initially and after gaining sufficient experience you can remain in Shalabhasana for a longer duration, at a stretch.
Benefits: Useful for stomach, lumbar, and waist portions and to the legs. Removes constipation and waist remains trim.
Dhanurasana (Bow Posture) : This asana resembles a bow, hence the name. Lie down on belly (Stomach) and catch hold the legs with both the hands and lift the body up as shown in the fig. The back should be bend up and the thighs should be lifted above the floor. Hold the breath as long as you can and then relax in Makarasana.
Benefits : The fat in the body especially around the waist is dispersed and trimmed to proper shape. Removes constipation and increases digestive fire. By regular practice you can get rid of arthritis.
Caution: Obese people and people with stiff joints and hardened muscles should practice simpler asanas and gain flexibility of joints and elasticity of muscles first.
Makarasana (The crocodile posture): Lie down on stomach legs spread apart, hand folded and head resting on the hands. Face should be tilted sideways, and care should be taken to see that the nose is not buried lest you suffer from suffocation. Breathing should be very slow and normal.
Ardhasastanga Namaskara: Sit in vajrasana, exhale; bend forward (extending the arms forward) till the chin rests on the knees/ floor (or as much as you can bend).
Benefits: Cures rheumatic pains in the knees, good for flat feet, pain in the heels, and low backache.