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Yoga Asanas (Yoga Postures) & Their Benefits

May 29, 2008
Yoga was handed down by ancient Indian sages and is now widely popular in the western world because of its wide range of benefits. The word "asana" is derived from the Sanskrit word which means posture. Each asana has its own distinct name, form and a unique way of performing. Many celebrities regularly practice different yoga asanas and have benefited highly from it. Whether you want to loose that extra fat from your body or just want to enhance your concentration level or the flexibility of your body, yoga asanas will give you all round benefit. It helps in maintaining our body balance, which is of utmost importance as any disequilibrium within the body, could wreck havoc.

There is a variety of yoga asanas and it is necessary to choose from this wide range those yoga asanas that will suit your body and help you to reach your aim. Of the various asanas a few which are effective as well as easy to perform are discussed here.

SURYA NAMASKAR (Sun Salutations)

Generally, every routine of yoga asanas should begin with Surya Namaskar, which is intended to warm the body for practice, unify the breath and body, and promote both strength and flexibility.


Uttanasana (standing forward bend) provides strength to the spinal cord and helps to cure many back problems. Paschimothanasana actually stretches the back body, makes the spine more limber, and helps to keep you injury-free.

RESROTATIVE PRACTICE: Balasana or Child's Pose

Balasana (child's pose) helps to stretch and relax the shoulders, the neck, and the back of the body.

1. Sit on the floor on your knees
2. Bring your knees wide apart
3. Extend you hands in front of you on the floor, palm up
4. Rest your hips down toward your heels
5. Rest your forehead on the floor
*you can also practice this with your arms resting at your sides
6. Breathe gently and remain in that position for two minutes


Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose) is a wonderful asana that helps to activate and strengthen all the joints of the body. It is, however, a challenging pose that needs to be practice with care.

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
2. Push down into the floor with your feet and lift your hips off the ground
3. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and lift up onto you head
4. If possible, straighten your arms and lift all the way up
5. Try to remain here for 5 deep, gentle breaths and then reverse the process lowering back down.


Padmasana (Lotus) is the most commonly see yoga seated posture, but there are easier variations that are just as effective. Ardha Padmasana (half lotus) is a good place to start.

1. Sit on the floor
2. Take you right foot and place it in the hip crease of your left leg
3. Take you left foot underneath the right knee
4. You may feel a stretch in your right ankle
5. Hold for 2 minutes and then switch
6. Eventually you can practice full lotus by putting both feet into
the opposite hip creases of the legs


After you have finished doing all the asanas that you wish to do, it is important that you do Savasana, the "dead man's pose." It helps to calm down the mind and the body.

1. Lie on the floor on your back with your feet wider than your hips
2. With your arms at your sides, make sure the palms of the hands face up
3. Relax your entire body, close you eyes, and focus on the natural movement
of the breath

You should only do those yoga asanas that are suitable for your body and which you can perform without hurting yourself. Yoga is about balance and awareness, not pushing to extremes. It is important that you perform all the yoga asanas carefully and properly to achieve full benefit from them.
About the Author
Double your flexibility in 28 days using YOGABODY Naturals Flexibility Kit. Stretching Flexibility Exercises & yoga poses are not enough... you need Gravity Poses and 6 specific nutrients to improve your stretching flexibility fast! www.yogabodynaturals.com
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