Top 6 Asanas or Yoga Poses

Exercises to Reap the Benefits of Yoga

The physical discipline of Yoga involves specific breathing techniques and postures, called asanas - a Sanskrit term, which means "to sit in a particular position." In other words, asanas are the various positions that make up the practice of Yoga. Here are brief descriptions on some of the most important, popular and easier Yoga postures:

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Sukhasana: The Easy pose

Sukhasana - Easy Pose. Getty Images

Sit on a mat with legs spread out in front. Bend one leg and place the heel under the opposite thigh. Bend the other leg and place under opposite thigh and sit cross-legged with erect spine. Place hands on respective knees, palms downward, eyes closed, head poised and relax.

Time: 5 - 30 minutes
Value: Composure of body and mind leading to inner harmony and the favourable position to follow the other exercises.

Also Explore: The origin of Yoga |

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Talasana: The Palm pose

Talasana - Palm tree pose. Getty Images

Stand erect with feet together or apart. Keep hands parallel to the sides, chest forward, neck straight, abdomen and chin in. Slowly raise one arm to vertical position and simultaneously rise on the toes and inhale. Breathe in deep and stretch to the maximum. Gradually return to normal. Repeat with the other hand.

The second type of Talasana involves the raising of both arms together.

Time: 10 secs for each round
Value: It aims at increasing a person's height as it aims at stretching the thorax and the lower abdomen by a combination of anterior, posterior, and lateral skeleton movements when one is growing up and even up to some years after one has reached maturity.

Also Explore: The Fundamentals of Yoga | 

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Konasana: The Angle-pose

Konasana - Angle Pose. Getty Images

Stand with the feet fixed at 20-24 inches apart, hands at the side. While breathing in bend the upper part of the body sidewise above waist with the arm sliding below the knee while the other arm slides up to the armpit. The thorax, neck and head should be right angle with the base. Retain the breath and maintain the position for 4 seconds. Reverse to normal while exhaling. Repeat with the other arm.

The second Konasana posture entails the same exercise with the stretching of the arm from under the armpit to its full length above keeping it close to the respective ear, palms inward.

In another variation, the body swings in front to an X position. Inhale, then lower the left arm and raise the right, both stretched while exhaling. Alternately, touch the right toe with left hand and left with the right.

Time: 15 secs for each round
Value: It contributes to flexibility of the body and makes muscles pliable.

Also Explore: Who is a Yogi? |

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Utkatasana: The Chair or semi-standing pose on tiptoe

Utkalasana - Chair Pose
Utkalasana - Chair Pose. Getty Images

Stand, keep the hands stretched parallel in front or at the sides with palms down, then squat. While squatting, slowly rise on tiptoe as you inhale. When breathe intake is complete squat again exhaling with thighs pressing against the respective calves. Taking in breath rise up on toes to standing position. Then slowly lower the heels to the floor. Rest for 4 secs, then repeat.

Time: 2 minutes for 10 rounds
Value: Flexes the muscles of the legs and the pelvis. 

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Bhadrasana: The Throne pose

Bhadrasana - Throne Pose
Bhadrasana - Throne Pose. Getty Images

Sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front. While maintaining the contact with the floor, draw both the legs nearer the body with the knees bent outward and the soles of the feet together. Inhale and bring the feet close to the genitals - touching the perineum, with the toes pointing outward. Palms outward, place the hand on respective knees placing them down. Hold the pose and then slowly return to normal while exhaling.

Time: 15 secs for each round
Value: Exercises the pelvic organs, the groin, the unused thigh muscles and the sex organs.

Also Explore: What is Tantra Yoga? |

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Chakrasana: The Wheel pose

Chakrasana - Wheel pose
Chakrasana - Wheel pose. Getty Images

Stand with feet 20 inches apart. Raise the arms upwards keeping it close to the ears, fists tight, inhale and bend backwards with abdomen forward. Then interlace the fingers of the up-stretched arms above head forming an anterior arc. Pause for 6 seconds.

With arms up-stretched and exhaling, bend forward to touch the ground. With the head almost touching the knees freely swing the arms straight upwards till they are vertical and parallel to the legs. Maintain position for 3 secs. Then reverse while taking in the breath.

Time: 18-20 secs for each round
Value: Exercise of the spine and the mid-trunk.