Utkatasana | Chair Pose

The pose is one of the most basic asanas, but even though it’s not complex it has great benefits for strengthening the body as well as opening the shoulder area and chest. For beginners this pose can be challenging but it is of great use as a preparation for more advanced asanas. It also strenghtens the heart.

Alignments:

> Feet are together. Spread the toes, tuck the tail bone under (don’t arch), straight arms- press the palms together. You should see the toes in front of the knees if you look down.
> Drishti: Ceiling in front of hands

Key benefits:

> Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
> Stretches shoulders and chest
> Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
> Reduces flat feet

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Full position: 30 sec to 1 minute (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:

> Headache
> Insomnia
> Low blood pressure

Utthita Parsvakonasana | Extended Side Angle Pose

This asana tones up the ankles, knees and thighs. It corrects defects in the calves and thighs, develops the chest and reduces fat around wait, hips and relieves sciatic and arthritic pains.

Alignments:

> Feet are one leg-length apart. Turn right foot forward, left foot 45 degrees. Align the feet in a straight line, press the inner seam of the front foot and the outer heel of the back foot, lengthen the spine and rotate from the hip, rotate the armpit towards the ceiling.
> Modification: Place elbow on knee

Key benefits:

> Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles
> Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders
> Stimulates abdominal organs
> Increases stamina
Theraputical for ; constipation, infertility, low backache, osteoporosis, sciatica and menstrual discomfort

uparsvakonasana-buildup

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Full pose: 30 sec to 1 minute (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:

> Diarrhea
> Headache
> High or low blood pressure
> Insomnia
> Neck problems: don’t turn your head to look at the top arm; instead look straight ahead with the sides of the neck lengthened evenly, or look down at the floor.

 

Parivrtta Trikonasana | Revolved Triangle Pose

According to the Ashtanga Vinyasa series this posture is the counterpose to Utthita Trikonasana (simular to Ardha Matsyendrasana). The pose and the counterpose enhances each other, stimulating and rejuvenating the spine and hip area as well as abdominal organs. Trikonasana sequence is specially good to tone the hamstring and thigh muscles.

Alignments:

> Feet are leg-length apart. Square the hips, lengthen the back and neck, rotate from the hip-stable hip.
> Modification: Shorten the distance between the feet, place hand on foot or calf, keep second hand on hip.

Drishti: If hand towards the ceiling- hand, if hand on hip- front foot.

Key benefits:

> Strengthens and stretches the legs
> Stretches the hips and spine
> Opens the chest to improve breathing
> Relieves mild back pain
> Stimulates the abdominal organs
> Improves sense of balance
> Therapeutic for; constipation, digestive problems, asthma, lower backache and sciatica

ptrikonasana-buildup

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Full position: 30 sec to 1 min (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:

> Low blood pressure
> Migraine
> Diarrhea
> Headache
> Insomnia
> Back or spine injury. Perform this pose only with the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana | Revolved Side Angle Pose

This asana is more powerful than the Parivrtta Trikonasana and has greater effect. The contraction of the abdominal organs helps digestion and the blood circultaion of the abdomen and spinal column is stimulated. The asana helps to remove waste matters from the colon without strain.

Alignments:

> Feet are one leg-length apart. Drop the back knee to the floor, upper arm outside thigh, lengthen the waist (both sides long) and rotate from the hip.
> Preparation: back knee on the floor. Hands in namaste.
> Modification: If you can’t easily keep your back heel down in this pose, lift the back heel off the floor. Hands in namaste.
> Drishti: Ceiling behind you

Key benefits:

> Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles
> Stretches the groins, spine, chest and lungs, and shoulders
> Stimulates abdominal organs
> Increases stamina
> Improves digestion and aids elimination
> Improves balance
> Theraputical for; Constipation, Infertility, Low backache, Osteoporosis and Sciatica

p-parsvakonasana-buildup

Duration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Full pose: 30 sec to 1 minute (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:

> Headache
> High or low blood pressure
> Insomnia
If you have any neck problems, don’t turn your head to look at the top arm; instead look straight ahead with the sides of the neck lengthened evenly, or look down at the floor.look straight ahead with the sides of the neck lengthened evenly, or look down at the floor.

 

Utthita Hasta Padangustasana

Utthita means extended. Hasta means hand. Padangustasana is big toe. There are a number of variations of this posture and they are usually done in sequence; leg facing forward-holding toe, leg facing sideways-holding toe and back to center rasing the leg aming to “kiss the knee”. This pose makes the leg muscles powerful and the balance gives you steadiness and improves your posture.

Alignments:

> Ground the foot- spread the toes inner and outer seam pressing evenly to the floor, standing leg straight.
> Hold the toe firmly with index, long and thumb finger- press the inner seam of the foot forward, don´t lift the hip
> Modification: bend the lifted leg, lifted leg 90 degrees hold the knee, support with both hands under the thigh in the last part of the posture.
> Drishti: Tip of the nose, along the back of the nose

Key benefits:
> Strengthens the legs and ankles
> Stretches the backs of the legs
> Improves sense of balance
> Theraputical against Osteoporosis

uhpadangustasana-prep-buildup

uhpadangustasana-full-buildupDuration/practise:

Preparing pose: Hold 1-3 min (beginners)
Modification: Hold 30 sec – 1 min (beginners)
Full position: 30 sec to 1 minute (intermed/advanced)

Cautions:
> Ankle or low back injuries, don’t attempt full version. If you have a lower back injury you can consider practising Supta Padangustasana instead. If you have an ankle injury – practise modified pose holding the knee.