Camel Pose (Ustrasana) How to do & Benefits

A girl is showing how to do Camel Pose
Camel Pose Yoga

                                Pronunciation -          us-tra-sa-na
                                Meaning – ‘Ustrasana’ is the Sanskrit word. Ustra means a ‘Camel’. 
                                                                                        And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                                Difficulty – 3 out of 10.



How to do Camel pose  or  Ustrasana?

Steps –

        1) First stand on the knees. The distance between knees should be as shoulder width apart.
                  Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.

        2) While exhaling slowly lean backward from waist only.

        3) Now grasp the left heel with left hand and right heel with right hand.

        4) Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds, with normal breathing.
                10 seconds are enough for beginner. 10 seconds to 1 minute is enough for everyone.
                Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

        6) Then slowly come to the starting position by releasing the pose.


Note –


        a) The distance between knees must not be wider than shoulder width-apart.
        b) Lean or Bend only from waist not knees & thighs.
        c) Do not rush to lean backward, slowly bend or lean backward.
        d) Breath through nostrils only while doing this pose.



Benefit –


        a) Camel pose strengthen hamstrings, thighs – especially inner thighs, Spine and back muscles.

        b) This Yoga pose, removes stiffness in neck, shoulder and open chest.

        c) This yoga pose, strengthen your arms and shoulder.

        d) This Yoga pose, increase blood flow to the eyes, head and scalp.

        e) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue, laziness and improve focus.


Limitation –


        a) Those who have High / Low Blood Pressure or have heart problem shouldn’t try to do Camel pose.
        b) Those who have pain or injury in knees should avoid doing this Yoga pose.


Variation –

                 For more stretch in spine, you can put your hands on the floor or mat instead of grasping heels, as shown in image below.

Two girls showing variation of Camel Pose or Ustrasana
Variation Camel Pose



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Peacock Pose (Mayurasana) How to do & Benefits

                                                
                                                                                                   Peacock Pose / Mayurasana


                              Pronunciation -          ma-yu-ra-sa-na
                              Meaning – ‘Mayurasana’ is the Sanskrit word. Mayura means a ‘Peacock’. 
                                                                                   And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                              Difficulty – 5 out of 10.

                             “This is balancing yoga pose and requires concentration to do it.”



How to do Peacock Yoga Pose?

Mayurasana Steps –


A girl is showing How to do Mayurasana or peacock yoga pose
How to do Mayurasana



                1) Sit in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Yoga Pose).

                2) Place your hands close to your knees on the floor or yoga mat, fingers pointing towards the feet.
                          The distance between palms must not be more than 5 inch.

                3) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                          While exhaling bow down or bend, so your head touch to the floor.

                4) After bending, your elbows must be touch together.
                          Now keep your abdomen on the elbows.

                5) Now slowly straight & stretch the legs one by one.

                6) Now lift your both legs by shifting body weight on palms & elbow.
                          Now your whole body should / must be parallel to floor or mat.

                7) Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds, with normal breathing.
                          10 seconds are enough for beginner. 10 seconds to 1 minute is enough for everyone.
                          Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

                8) Then slowly bring back you lifted legs on the floor.
                          Release the pose and again sit in Vajrasana as starting position.


Note –


          a) Fingers must be pointing towards the feet.
          b) The distance between palms on the floor must not be more than 1 feet.
          c) Your elbows must be touched together & placed on abdomen, before you lift up your legs.
          d) After lifting your legs, your whole body should be in straight line or parallel to floor.



Benefit –


          a) Peacock yoga pose helps to strengthen abdomen muscles, digestive system and reproductive system.

          b) This Yoga pose, helps in preventing diabetes, piles & cholesterol.

          c) This Yoga pose, strengthen wrists, elbow, shoulder, spine, legs etc.

          d) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue and laziness.

          e) Regular practice of Peacock yoga pose improves balance and co-ordination of the body.


Limitation –


          a) Those who have injury in wrist, elbow or shoulder should avoid doing Peacock Yoga Pose or Mayurasana.
          b) Those who are patient of Heart or High Blood Pressure should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
          c) Avoid this Yoga pose, if you are feeling like qualm or reel.


      Previous – Bridge Yoga pose (& variations of Wheel pose)                     Next – Camel Yoga Pose


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Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) How to do & Benefits


A girl is showing Bridge Yoga Pose (Setu bandhasana)
Bridge Yoga Pose


                            Pronunciation -           setu-ban-dha-sa-na
                            Meaning –Setubandhasana ’ is the Sanskrit word. 
                                                                                 Setu-bandh means a ‘Formation of Bridge’
                                                                                      And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                            Difficulty – 3 out of 10.

                                    This is variation pose of Wheel yoga pose.

                    * I will cover 3 different variations of Wheel Yoga Pose, in this same article.


How to do Bridge Pose  or  Setu bandhasana?

Steps –

How to do Bridge Yoga Pose or Setu bandhasana.
How to do Bridge Yoga Pose


          1) Lie down on the back. As corpse yoga pose.

          2) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                    While breath – in, bend your knees and bring your feet close to buttocks.

          3) While breath – out, hold your ankle joints.

          4) Now take 1 deep breath – inhale and while exhaling slowly raise first your hip / buttocks then lower back. 
Keep your neck & shoulder on the floor.
                    If you want, you can release your grip around ankle joints & can put hands on the floor, like above pic.
                    Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds.    
                    10 seconds are enough for beginner. 30 seconds to 1 minute are enough for everyone.

          5) Then slowly bring back first your hip and then back .
                    Now release the folded legs and come to starting position as corpse pose.


Note –


        a) Your neck and Shoulder firmly touch to the floor or yoga mat.
        b) In step 4, do not hurry to lift buttocks and back.
        c) Do not try to hold this yoga pose beyond your capacity.
        d) You can place your palms on floor or keep grip on ankle joints, while doing Bridge Yoga Pose.


Benefit –


        a) Bridge yoga pose strengthen legs, buttocks, spine & back muscles, shoulders and neck etc.

        b) This yoga pose, stretches & strengthen abdomen, lungs and thyroid.

        c) This Yoga pose, stimulate thyroid & pituitary glands.

        d) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue and laziness.


Limitation –


        a) Those who have back pain or neck pain also should avoid doing Wheel pose.
        b) Those who have high blood pressure & any cardiac problems should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
        c) Avoid this Yoga pose, if you are feeling like qualm or reel.



If your body flexibility level is extreme & regular yoga practioner -

* For advanced extreme flexibility yoga practioner,

Other Variations of Wheel Yoga Pose.


 a) You can lift your heels as shown in image below, for more stress in spine & upper body.

A girl is doing Wheel Pose Basic Variation at the side of bridge.
Wheel Yoga Pose Basic Variation


 b) You can lift off one leg from floor. Shift your weight onto one foot and raise another foot, as shown in image below. This variation of Wheel Pose called "Bridge pose with one leg up (Ekopada Dhanurasana plus)".

A girl is showing Wheel Yoga PoseChakrasana Advance Variation
Wheel Yoga Pose Advance Variation


 c) You can lift off only one hand & can put it on chest. Shift your weight onto 1 hand & another on chest, it’s only for advanced flexibility, regular yoga practioner (Both legs & 1 hand must be on floor ).

A girl is doing Chakrasana or Wheel Yoga Pose Advance Variation
Chakrasana Advance Variation



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Wheel Pose (Chakrasana) How to do & Benefits


How to do Upward bow pose or Urdva dhanurasana or Chakrasana (Wheel yoga pose)
Wheel Pose / Chakrasana


                         Pronunciation -           cha-kra-sa-na
                         Meaning –Chakrasana ’ is the Sanskrit word. Chakra means a ‘Wheel’.
                                                                             And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                         Difficulty – 5 out of 10.

                      * Wheel pose also known as Upward bow pose.

                          This is great asana for full body. Instant full energy Yoga pose or asana.

How to do Wheel Pose  or  Chakrasana?

Steps –

        1) Lie down on the back. As corpse yoga pose.

        2) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                  While breath – in, bend your knees and bring your feet close to buttocks.

        3) While breath – out, bend your elbows and put palms near the shoulder facing floor, fingers pointing towards the feet, as shown in picture above.

        4) Now take 1 deep breath – inhale and while exhaling slowly raise first your hip / buttocks then back and after head off the floor.
                  Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds. 10 seconds are enough for beginner.
                  30 seconds to 1 minute are enough for everyone.
                  Do not stop breathing more than 3 second, while doing this pose.
                  Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

        5) Then slowly bring back first your hip then back and after head. This sequence is important.
                  Now release the folded legs & elbow and come to starting position as corpse pose.

Modification –


                 You can support your hands or feet on a pair of blocks to help yourself realise the full back-bend. Be sure to brace the blocks against a wall, as shown in image below.


Modification in Wheel Yoga Pose Using Block
Modification in Wheel Yoga Pose

Note –


        a) Slowly inhale & exhale in this pose. Do not stop breathing more than 3 second.
        b) In step 4, first raise hips then back and after head. This sequence is important.
        c) Do not try to stretch body beyond your capacity.
        d) Your palms must be rest on floor and fingers pointing towards the back.



Benefit –


        a) Wheel yoga pose strengthen legs, buttocks, spine & back muscles, shoulders, arms and wrists etc.
                   In short, this yoga pose, Strengthen total body.

        b) This yoga pose, stretches & strengthen abdomen, lungs and thyroid.

        c) This Yoga pose, stimulate thyroid & pituitary glands.

        d) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue and laziness.


Limitation –


        a) Those who have back pain or neck pain also should avoid doing Wheel pose.
        b) Those who have knee-joint pain or ankle-joint pain should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
        c) Avoid this Yoga pose, if you are feeling like qualm or reel.


Variation –


                           If you are beginner and unable to do this Yoga pose, then you can try Bridge Yoga Pose & other variations -> Watch Next article.
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If your body flexibility level is extreme & regular yoga practitioner -


* For advanced extreme flexibility yoga practitioner,

 a) You can lift your heels as shown in next Special variation article. (Wheel pose Variations)

 b) Bridge pose with one leg up (Ekopada Dhanurasana plus). 
You can lift off one leg from floor as shown in next Special variation article. (Wheel pose Variations)

 c) You can lift off one hand & can put it on chest; it’s only for advanced flexibility yoga practitioner.


      Previous – Standing Half Wheel Pose                    Next – Variations of Wheel Yoga Pose

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Standing Half Wheel Pose (Ardha-chakrasana)

Standing Half Wheel Pose (Ardha-chakrasana)        

                            or  

Standing Backward Bend Pose


A girl is doing Ardha-chakrasana or Standing Half Wheel Pose
Standing Half Wheel Pose


                 Pronunciation -       ardha-chakra-sa-na
                 Meaning –Ardhachakrasana ’ is the Sanskrit word. Ardhachakra means a ‘Half  Wheel’.
                                                                  And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                 Difficulty – 5 out of 10.

              This is balancing asana or pose. Poor balance means restless mind or distracted attention.


How to do Standing Half wheel Pose  Or  Ardha-chakrasana?

Steps –

A girl is doing Standing backward bend yoga pose
How to do Ardha-chakrasana


                  1) Stand straight with legs together and hands straight down touch to the side of the thighs.
                              As starting position in Palm tree yoga pose.

                  2) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                              While breath – in bring your hands straight over the head and touch the palms.
                              You can interlock your fingers, if you want.

                  3) While breath - out slowly start bending backward, as shown in picture above.
                              Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds.    
                              10 seconds are enough for beginner. 30 seconds to 1 minute are enough for everyone.

                  4) To maintain the balance, focus on fixed point.
                               Gently breathing also helps to maintain the balance.
                               Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

                  5) Then slowly come back to the original / starting position.
                               Stand straight with legs together and hands straight down touch to the side of the thighs.

*Beginner Advice - If you are beginner, you may feel heavy, fast or deep breathing at step no. 3, because of  G force (Gravity). It’s normal thing, no need to worry, if you feel this.
Because of Gravity force and your lungs upside-down position your body start feeling heavy.

*Beginner Advice - If you are unable to balance this pose for 10 seconds, then place your feet at shoulder-width apart and then slowly start bending backward.


Note –


        a) Focus on one fix point to maintain the balance.
        b) Do not bend your knees.
        c) Do not try to bend beyond your capacity.
        d) Thumbs of your hands must be interlocked in this Yoga pose.


Benefit –


        a) Standing backward bend pose strengthen respiratory, endocrine and cardio-vascular system.
        b) Regular practice of this yoga pose improves balance and co-ordination of the body.
        c) This Yoga pose, stretches and give benefits to muscles of lower back, chest and stomach etc.
        d) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue and laziness.


Limitation –


        a) Those who have back pain or neck pain also should avoid doing Standing half wheel pose.
        b) Those who have knee-joint pain or ankle-joint pain should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
        c) Avoid this Yoga pose, if you are feeling like qualm or reel.


Variation –


              If you are beginner and unable to do this Yoga pose in extending hand then put your palms on pelvic girdle, just below the waist to support vertebra / spine and then slowly start bending backward as shown in image below -

A girl is showing how to variation of Ardha chakrasana
Variation of Ardh-chakrasana



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Headstand Pose (Shirshasana)

             Headstand Pose (Shirshasana)



A girl doing Shirshasana / Headstand Yoga Pose on the beach
Headstand Yoga Pose

                             Pronunciation -       shir-sha-sa-na
                             Meaning –Shirshasana ’ is the Sanskrit word. Shirsha means a ‘Head’.
                                                                                    And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                             Difficulty – 3 out of 10.

                                  This is Balencing Yoga Pose. Poor balance means restless mind or distracted attention.


How to do Headstand pose ?

Steps –


A man is showing How to do Shirshasana/Handstand Pose at the beach
How to do Handstand Pose


                  1) Sit in the Thunderbolt Yoga Pose (Vajrasana).

                 2) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                            Now lean forward in Vajrasana and place your elbow & palms on the floor or Yoga mat at shoulder – width apart or interlock your fingers of both hands, as shown in below image.


A girl is showing how to Interlock fingers for Headstand / shirshasana
Headstand interlock fingers


                 3) Now place top of the head / skull flat on the floor or yoga mat.

                 4) Now it’s really important to keep your mind calm, while doing this step.


A girl is doing Shirshasana / Headstand step 4
Headstand steps

                         
                               Slowly lift – up your legs from the floor and straight the knees (not bended). 

                 5) Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for few seconds, with normal breathing.
                            30 seconds are enough for beginner. 30 seconds to 1:30 minute is enough for everyone.
                            Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

                6) Then slowly come to the starting position.
                            Slowly bring your legs to the floor and again seat in Vajrasana.

                7) If you are new to Yoga and you are unable to balance this yoga pose, just do the same steps only near to wall or anything you can take support.


Note –


      a) Your mind MUST be calm while doing Headstand yoga pose or you will lose balance and fall on the ground.
      b) If you want to keep continuous balance in Headstand, gently breath is the key.


Benefit –


      a) Headstand increase blood flow to the head and scalp.
      b) This Yoga pose, improves blood flow to the eyes.
      c) This yoga pose, strengthen your arms and shoulder.
      d) This Yoga pose, improve digestion and stimulates Lymph system.
      e) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue, laziness and improve focus, concentration.


Limitation –


     a) Those who have High / Low Blood Pressure problem shouldn’t try to do Headstand.
     b) If you are Heart patient or have heart problem should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
     c) For women, if you are in menstruation period should avoid Head Stand Yoga pose.


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Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana) How to do & Benefits

A girl is doing Uttanasana / Standing Forward Bend Yoga Pose
Uttanasana


                                 Pronunciation -        ut-ta-na-sa-na
                                 Meaning –Uttanasana ’ is the Sanskrit word. 
                                                                                              It means a ‘Standing Forward Bend’.
                                                                                              And asana means 'Posture' or 'Pose'.
                                 Difficulty – 5 out of 10. (depending on your legs flexibility)


                    This is one of the best Yoga Pose for Relaxation and my Favorite too.


How to do Standing Forward Bend Pose  Or  Uttanasana?

Steps –

           1) Stand straight with legs together and hands straight down touch to the side of the thighs, like we did in Tadasana’s 1st step.

          2) Take couple of deep breath and calm your mind.
                   While exhaling last deep breath, slowly bend forward from your Hip-joint, not from the waist. (There is big difference between bending from Waist and Hip-Joint.) Do not bend your knees.

          3) If you are regular Yoga practitioner and your body flexibility is moderate level, then after bending forward, grip your back of ankle and slowly-slowly pull until your head touch to the knees. (For beginner & advance level variation of this yoga pose, see at the end of this article.)


A girl is showing Uttanasan variation for Moderate flexibility level / standing forward bend pose
Uttanasana Variation 2
Variation for beginner & expert are at the end of this article...

          4) Stay in this pose or Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 10 seconds are enough for beginner.
             Gently breath from Nostrils. Your breathing must be gentle and at normal depth, while doing this Yoga pose.

          5) Then slowly come back to the original / starting position.
                     Stand straight with legs together and hands straight down touch to the side of the thighs.    


 Note –


          a) Do not bend from Waist, only bend from Hip-Joint.
          b) Do not bend your knees, your legs must be straight.
          c) Do not try to bend beyond your limit. I already specify instruction for different level of flexibility.



Benefit –


          a) Standing Forward Bending Pose is good for Stomach, Kidney, Liver and Heart functioning.
          b) This Yoga pose, helps to strengthen leg muscles like hips, thighs, calf’s etc.
          c) Regular practice of this yoga pose increase concentration.
          d) Regular practice of this yoga pose improves balance and co-ordination of the body.
          e) This Yoga pose, helps to remove fatigue and laziness.


Limitation –


          a) Those who have knee-joint pain or ankle-joint pain should avoid doing Standing Forward Bend pose or Uttanasana.
          b) Those who have back pain also should avoid doing this Yoga pose.
          c) Avoid this Yoga pose, if you are feeling like qualm or reel.


Variation - 


                 Variation of this Yoga pose, totally depend on your Body flexibility (specially leg).


             * If you are beginner and doing this yoga first time then obviously your hands will not touch to the floor or Yoga mat, so just cross your forearms and hold your elbows. After this - read / do Step 4.

             * If your body flexibility is more than Moderate level, then after bending forward from hip-joint touch your palms to the ground or Yoga mat. Once you touch your palm slowly try to touch your head to below the knees.

A girl is showing Uttanasan variation for more than Moderate flexibility level / standing forward bend pose
Uttanasana Variation 3



 Variation 4 for Yoga Expert, read below...

              * If your body flexibility is really great then I have really great variation for those people. Some different steps for them. 
First : Stand with shoulder width apart, so there will be lot of distance or gap between legs. 
Second : Slowly - slowly Bend from hip-joint. 
Third : Try to bring your head beyond your legs. At comfortable level & limited. Do not try to pull beyond your capacity.

A girl is showing Uttanasan variation for vigorous flexibility level / standing forward bend pose
Uttanasana Variation 4


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