Janu Sirshasana (Head to Knee Pose)
- Sit with both legs spread out in front of you. Make sure you’re balanced on your buttocks with your feet together and your toes pointing upwards.
- Start with the left leg. Bend it at the knee and bring your foot as close to the groin region as possible. Make sure the sole of your foot is parallel to the right thigh. Also make sure the left knee is on the floor and not floating in the air.
- Inhale at this position.
- Now exhaling start to reach out to grasp your toes. Don’t worry if you are unable to grab your toes. Make sure not to curve your back. Imagine that your spine is extending upwards towards the ceiling and you need to work on making your back concave so that your chest is slightly outwards. You want to aim at getting your abdomen on the thigh.
- Go as far forward as is comfortable and breathe for some time in this pose.
- Once you’re comfortable take your awareness to your torso. You want to try to bring the left side of your body close to the right leg and the right side a little away from the leg.
- Make sure not to hunch your shoulders. Throw your shoulders back.
- Inhale as you come up.
- Repeat on the left side.
- If you’re unable to grab your toes you can also use a belt. String the belt around the balls of your feet to ensure that your toes continue to point upwards as you come down.
- If the knee of the folded leg doesn’t touch the floor, you can place a cushion or a folded blanket under it.
- Pregnant women should practice this only until the second trimester.
- Great stretch for your back, legs and shoulders.
- Increases flexibility of the hip joint.
- Massages the kidneys, spleen, pancreas and liver, thereby stimulating their functioning and helping to detoxify the system.
- Stimulates digestion by massaging the abdominal organs and the pelvic region.
- Relieves menstrual pain.
- Eases the effects of stress, tension and strain on your body and relaxes the mind.
- Helps in promoting good posture by correcting the curvature of the spine.
- Helps in alleviating depression and anxiety because it tones and massages the adrenal glands.
- Great to alleviate fatigue.
- Can help in treating symptoms of high blood pressure and insomnia.
- Practice with caution if you have asthma or diarrhoea.
- Practice with caution if you have slipped disc, sciatica or hernia.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) with a Twist
- Start with your legs together, toes touching, knees touching, back straight, shoulders relaxed.
- Start to inhale and as you inhale bring your hands up and over your head making sure to align your arms with your ears.
- Lock your elbows.
- As you exhale sink down as though you were sitting in a chair.
- Make sure that you can see your toes and that your knees are not leaning too far forward and covering your toes. Also make sure that your knees are together. Your knees should be directly above your ankles.
- Hold your torso as erect as possible. [Note: If you are new to this pose, you can stand with your feet hip-width apart.]
- Now bring your hands into the Namaskar mudra in front of your chest.
- Twist your torso to the right so that your left elbow makes contact with the outer edge of the right knee.
- Leverage the strength of your left arm to gently push your chest forward. Look up at the ceiling.
- Great to increase flexibility of the spine.
- Strengthens legs, hips and back.
- Helps in alleviating flat feet.
- Great to stretch the torso, shoulders and chest.
- Stretches your abdominal muscles as well.
- Great for sciatica and for arthritis of knees and ankles.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
- Practice with caution during menstruation.
- Those with lower back problems should be careful when practicing this posture.
- Avoid if you have a meniscus problem in the knee or any other knee problems.
Marichyasana (The Spinal Twist)
- Sit on the floor with legs extended out in front of you. Make sure your toes point straight up and knees are pushed into the ground. Make sure your back is absolutely straight.
- Start with the right leg. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the right foot on the inside of the left knee.
- Take the right hand and place it behind you so that your torso also twists to the right.
- Keep the left arm straight and elbow locked and place the elbow on the outside of the right knee. Hold on to the left knee.
- Now push slightly with the left arm and deepen your twist. Exhale as you do so.
- Look over your right shoulder.
- Repeat on the left side as well.
- This pose can also be performed without crossing the bent leg over to the inside of the other knee.
- Instead of holding the opposite knee you can also just keep your elbow bent
- Great for digestion.
- Helps flush toxins out of your system.
- Revitalizes you.
- Helps in reducing the fat around the sides and therefore gives shape to your body.
- Tones and massages the abdominal organs.
- Helps to improve the functioning of liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and intestines.
- Helps to relieve backache.
- Relieves lumbago.
- Increases the flexibility of the neck and shoulders.
- Helps to improve the alignment of the spinal cord and keeps it supple.
- Cures indigestion.
- Relieves flatulence.
- Do not practice if you have diarrhoea.
- Pregnant women shouldn’t practice this asana.
Marichyasana will wring out all the toxins in no time.
Explanations for these coming soon! Keep reading!!!