Parsvottanasana

Parsva means side or flank.  Uttana (ut=intense and tan =to extend, stretch, lengthen) means an intense stretch.  The name implies a pose in which the side of the chest is stretched intensely.

Techniques of Parsvottanasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)  Inhale deeply and stretch the body forward.

2. Join the palms behind the back and draw the shoulders and elbow back.

3.  Exhale, turn the wrists and bring both palms up above the middle of the back of the chest, the fingers at the level of the shoulder-blades.  You are doing  ‘namaste’ (the Indian gesture of respect by folding the hands) with your hands behind your back.  (Plate 24)

4, Inhale and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 3 to 3.5 feet. Stay in this position and exhale.

5. Inhale and turn the trunk to the right.  Turn the right foot 90 degrees sideways to the right keeping the tows and heel in a line with the trunk; turn the left foot with the leg 75 to 80 degrees to the right and keep the left foot stretched out and the leg tightened atthe knee.  Throw the head back.

6. Exhale, bend the trunk forward and rest the head on the right knee.  Stretch the back and gradually extend the neck until the nose, then the lips and lastly the chin touch and then rest beyond the right knee. (Plate 26) Tighten both the legs by pulling the knee caps up.

7. Stay in the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with noraml breathing.  Then slowly move the head and trunk towards the leftknee by swinging the runk round the hips.  At the same time turn the left foot 90 degrees towards the left and the right foot 75 to 80 degrees to the left.  Now raise the trunk and head as far as back as you can, with out bending the right leg.  This movement should be done with one inhalation.

8. Exhale, bend the trunk forward, rest the head on the left knee and gradually extend the chin beyond the left knee by stretching the neck as in position 6.

9. After holding the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing , inhale , move the head to the centre and the feet to their original position so that the toes point forward.  Then raise the trunk up.

10. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana (Plate 1) releasing the hands from the back.

11. It you cannot fold the hands together behind the back, just grip the wrist and follow the above technique.  (plates 27 and 28)

Effects of Parsvottanasana :

This asana relieves stiffness in the leg and hip muscles and make the hip joints and spine elastic.  While the head is resting on the knees, tha abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The wrists move freely and any stiffness there disappears.  The posture also corrects round and drooping shoulders.  In the correct pose, the shoulders are drawn well back and this makes deep breathing easier.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Utthita means extended.  Hasta means the hand.  Padangustha is the big toe.  This pose is done by standing on one leg, extending the other in front, holding the toe of the extended leg and resting the head on the leg.

Techniques of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)

2. Exhale, raise the right leg by bending the knee and hold the big toe of the right foot between the thumb and the fore and middle fingers of the right hand.

3. Rest the left hand on the left hip and balance.  (Plate 20)  Take two breaths.

4. Exhale, stretch the right leg forward and pull it.  (Plate 21) Take two breaths.

5. Whe you are firm in this position, hold the right foot with both hands and raise it still higher.  (Plate 22) Take two breaths.

6. Now, with an exhalation rest the head, then the nose and lastly the chin beyond the right knee. (Plate 23) Stay in this position and take a few deep breaths.

7. Exhale, release the hands and lower the right leg to the floor to return to Tadasana (Plate 1)

8. Repeat the pose on the other side, keeping the right leg on the floor and raising the left leg.

9. Balancing in position 5 and 6 is difficult and cannot be attained without mastering position 4.

Effects of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

This asana makes the leg muscles powerful and the balance gives one steadiness and poise.

Ardha Chandrasana

Ardha means half. Chandra is the moon.  The pose resembles the half moon, hence the name.

Techniques of Ardha Chandrasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1) and then do Uthita Trikonasana, (Plate 4) following the technique described earlier.

2. After attaining Trikonasana on the right side, exhale and place the right palm about a foot away from the right foot by bending the right knee and at the same time bringing the left foot near the right one.

3. Wait in this position and take two breathes.  Then exhale and raise the left leg from the floor, toes pointing up; satretch the right hand and the right leg.

4. Place the left palm over the left hip and stretch up, keeping the shoulders well up.  Turn the chest to the left and balance (Plate 19)

5. The weight of the body is borne on the right foot and hip.  The right hand is only a support to control the balance.

6. Hold the pose from 20  to 30 sec.  breathing deeply and evenly.  Then slide the left leg to the floor and go back to Trikonasana (Plate 4)

7. Repeat the pose on the left side.

Effects of Ardha Chandrasana :

The posture is beneficial for those whose legs are damaged or infected.  It tones the lower region of the spine and the nerves connected with the leg muscles and it strengthens the knees.  Along with other standing postures, this asana cures gastric troubles.

Note:  Those who feel weak and are exhausted by the standing poses should only practice Utthita Trikonasana (Plate 4) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (plate 8), as these two asanas strengthen the body.  The other standing asanas should be done only by people

who have built up their strength and whose bodies have become elastic.

Virabhadrasana 3

This posture is an intensified continuation of Virabhadrasana I (plate 14)

Techniques of  Virabhadrasana 3 :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)

2. Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart side-ways 4 to 4.5 feet. (Plate 3)

3. Come to the final pose of Virabhadrasana I on the right side. (Plate 14)

4. Exhale, bend the trunk forward and rest the chest on the right thigh.  Keep the arms straight and the palms together. ( Plate 16) Rest in this position, taking two breaths.

5. Now exhale and simultaneously lift the left leg from the floor by swinging the body slightly forward and also straighten the right leg, making it stiff as a poker.  Turn the left leg inwards so that the front is parallel to the floor.(plate 17)

6. Hold in this pose from 20 to 30 seconds, with deep and even breathing.

7. While balancing , the whole body (except the right leg) is to be kept parallel to the floor. The right leg, which should be fully stretched and stiff, should be kept  perpendicular to the floor.  Pull the back of the right thigh and stretch the arms and the left leg as if two persons are pulling you from either end.

8. Exhale and come back to Virabhadrasana I (Plate 14)

9. Repeat the pose on the left side.

Effects of Virabhadrasana 3 :

The illustration (Plate 17) conveys the harmony, balance, poise and power attained by practising this asana.  It helps to contract and tone the abdominal organs and makes the leg muscles more shapely sturdy.  It is recommended for runners, as it gives vigour and agility.

All the movements of this asana improve one’s bearing and carraige. When we stand badly, by throwing the weight on the heels, we retard symmetrical growth and hamper spinal elasticity.  Standing with the weight on the heels causes the stomach to protrude and lessens bodily and mental agility.  This asana helps one to stand firmsly, on the soles of the feet, keeps the stomach muscles in and gives agility to the body and the mind.

Virabhadrasana 2

Techniques Virabhadrasana 2 :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate I)

2. Take a deep inhalation, and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 4 to 4.5 feet.  Raise the arms sideways in line with the shoulders, palms facing down(Plate 3)

3. Turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee.  Stretch the hamstring muscles of the left leg.

4. Exhale and bend the right knee till the right thigh is parallel to the floor, keeping the right skin perpendicular to the floor, thus forming a right angle between the right thigh and the right calf.  The bent knee should not extend beyond the ankle,

but should be in line with the heel.(plate 15)

5. Stretch out the hands sideways, as though two persons are pulliung you from opposite ends.

6. Turn the face to the right and gaze at the right palm.  Stretch the back muscles of the left leg fully.  The back of the legs, the dorsal region and the hips should be in one line.

7. Stay in the pose from 20 sec. to half a minute with deep breathing .  Inhale and return to position 2.

8. Turn the left foot sideways 90 degrees to the left and the right foot slightly to the left , flex the left knee and continue from positions 3 to 6 on the left side, reversing all processes.

9. Inhale, again come back to position 2.  Exhale and jump back to Tadasana (Plate 1)

Effects of Virabhadrasana 2 :

Through this pose the leg muscles become shapely and stronger.  It relieves cramp in the calf and thigh muscles, brings elasticity to the leg and back muscles and also tones the abdominal organs.

Mastery of the standing poses prepares the pupil for the advanced poses in forward bending , which can then be acquired with ease.

Virabhadrasana

Daksa once celebrated a great sacrifice,  but he did not invite his daughter Sati nor her husband Siva, the chief of the gods.  Sati, however, went to the sacrifice, but being greatly humiliated and insulted threwherself into thefire and perished.  When Siva heard this he was gravely provoked, tore a hair from his matted locks and threw it to the ground.  A powerful hero named Virabhadra rose up and awaited his orders.  He was told to lead Siva’s army againt Daksa abd destroy his sacrifice.  Virabhadra and his army appared in the midst of Daksa’s assembly like a hurricane and destroyed the sacrifice, routed the other gods and priests and beheaded Daksa.  Siva in grief for Sati withdrew to Kailas and plunged into meditation.  Sati was born again as Uma in the house of Himalaya.  She strove once more for the love of Siva and ultimately won his heart.  The story is told by Kalidasa in his great poem Kumara Sambhava (the birth of the war-lord)

This asana is dedicated to the powerful hero created by Siva from his matted hair.

Techniques of Virabhadrasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)

2. Raise both arms above the head; stretch up and join the palms (Plate 12)

3. Tkae a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart side ways 4 to 4.5 feet

4. Exhale, turn to the right.  Simultaneously turn the right foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right.  (Plate 13)  Flex the right knee till the right thigh is paralel to the floor and  the right shin perpendicular to the floor, forming a right angle between the right thigh and the right calf.  The bent knee should not extend beyon the ankle, but should be in line with the heel.

5. Stretch out the left leg and tighten at the knee.

6. The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot, as illustrated .  Throw the head up, stretch the spine from the coccyx and gaze at the jointed palms. (Plate 14)

7. Hold the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing.

8. Repeat on the left side as in positions 4 to  , reversing all processes.

9. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana(Plate 1)

*** All standing poses are strenuous, this pose in particular.  It should not be tried by persons with a weak heart. Even people who are fairly strong should not stay long in this asana.

Effects of Virabhadrasana :

In this pose the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing.  It relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees and cures stifness of the neck.  It also reduces fat round the hips.

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Parivrtta means revolved, turned round or back.  Parsva means side or flank.  Kona is an angle.  this is the revolving lateral angle posture.

Techniques of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana(Plate 1)

2. Take a deep inhalation, and with a jump spread the legs aprt sideways 4 to 4.5 feet.  Raise the arms sidewsays in line with the shoulders, palms down(Plate 3)

3. Turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right and the left foot 60 degrees to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee. Bend the right leg at the knee until the thigh and the calf form a right angle and the right thigh is parallel to the floor.

4.  Exhale, and rotate the trunk and the left leg so as to bring the left arm over the right knee.  Rest the left armpit on the outer side of the right knee, and place the left palm on the floor by the outer side of the right foot.(plates 10 & 11)

5. Give a good twist to the spine(to the right) turn the trunk and bring the right arm over the right ear(as in the illustrations) and gaze up at the outstretched right arm.  Keep the left knee tight throughout.

6. Hold this pose from half a minute to a minute, breathing deeply and evenly. Inhale, and lift the left palm from the floor.  Raise the trunk and come back to position2, by straightening the right leg and raising the arms.

7. Continue with exhalaion on the left side, as in positions  to 5 reversing all processes.

8. In all cases where the movements are done first on one side and then on the other the time taken should be the same in each case.  This general rule applies here.

Effects of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana :

This pose being a more intensified one than Parivrtta Trikonasana (Plate 6) has a greater effect.  The hamstrings, however , are not stretched as much as in Parivrtta Trikonasana .  The abdominal organs are more conracted and that aids digestion.  The blood circulates well round the abdominal organs and the spinal column, and they are thus rejuvenated.  The asana helps to remove waste matter from the colon without strain.

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Parsva means side or flank.  Kona means angle. This is the extended lateral angle pose.

Techniques of Utthita Parsvakonasana :

utthita parsvakonasana pose 300x258 Utthita Parsvakonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana Pose

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)  Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs aprt sideways 4 to 4.5 feet.  Raise the arms sideways , in line with the shoulders, palms facing down. (Plate 3)

2. While exhailing slowly, turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightenedat the knee.  Bend the right leg at the knee until the thigh and the calf

form a right angle and the right thigh is parallel to the floor.

3. Place the right palm on the floor by the side of the right foot, the right armpit covering and touching the outer side of the right knee. Stretches the left ear.  Keep the head up.  (plates 8 & 9)

4. Tighten the loins and stretch the hamstrings.  The chest, the hips and the legs should be in a line and in order to achieve this, move the chest up and back.  Stretch every part of the body, concentrating on the back portion of the whole body,

specially the spine .  Stretch  the spine until all the vertebrae and ribs move and there is a feelin that even the skin is being stretched and pulled.

5. Remain in this pose from half a minute to a minute, breathing deeply and evenly.  Inhale and lift the right palm from the floor.

6. Inhale, straighten the right leg and raise the arms as in position I.

7. Continue with exhalation as in positions 2 to 5.  reversing all processes, on the left side.

8. Exhale and jump back  to Tadasana. (plate 1)

Effects of Utthita Parsvakonasana :

This asana tones up the ankles, knees and thighs.  It corrects defects in the calves and thighs, develops the chest and reduces fat round the waist and hips and relives and arthritic pains. It also increases peristaltic activity and aids elimination.

Parivrtta Trikonasana

Parivrtta means revolved, turned round or back.  Trikona is a triangle.  This is the revolving triangle posture.  It is a counter pose to Uttihita Trikonasana.

Techniques of Parivrtta Trikonasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana(Plate I) Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 3 to 3.5 feet.  Raise the arms sideways, in line with the shoulders, palms facing down(Plate 3)

parivrtta trikonasana pose 258x300 Parivrtta Trikonasana

Parivrtta Trikonasana Pose

2.  Turn the right foot sideways to 90 degrees to the right.  Turn the left foot 60 degrees  to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee.
3. Exhale, rotate the trunk with the left leg in the opposite directions(to the right) so as to bring the left palm on the floor near the outer side of the right foot.
4. Stretch the right arm up, bringing it in line with the left arm.  Gaze at the right thumb. (Plates 6 & 7)
5. Keep the knees tight.  Do not lift the toes of the right foot from the floor.  Remember to rest the outer side of the left foot well on the floor.
6. Stretch both the shoulders and shoulder-blades.
7. Stay in this pose for half a minute with normal breathing.
8. Inhale, lift hand from the floor, rotate the trunk back to its original position and come back to position 1.
9. Exhale, repeat the pose on the left side by turning the left foot sideways 90 degrees to the left and the right foot 60 degrees to the left and place the right plalm on the floor near the outer side of the left foot.
10. Stay in the pose on both sides for the same length of time, which can be adjusted by doing , say, three to four deep respirations on each side.
11. After completing the time, inhale, raise the trunk back to its original postion, bring the toes to the front and keep the arms as in position 1.
12. Exhale and jump back to Tadasana (Plate 1) This completes the asana.

Effects of Parivrtta Trikonasana :

This asana tones the thigh, calf, and hamstring muscles.  The spine and muscles of the back are also made to function properly, as the pose increases the blood supply round the lower part of the spinal region.  The chest is expanded  fully.  The pose releives pains in the back, invigorates the abdominal organs and strengthens the his muscles.

Utthita Trikonasana

Utthita means extended, stretched.  Trikona (tri=three; kona=angle) is a triangle.  This standing asana is the extended triangle pose.

Techniques of Utthita Trikonasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate I)

2. Inhale deeply and witha jump spread apart the legs sideways 3 to 3.5 feet.  Raise the arms sideways,  in line with the shoulders,

utthita trikonasana pose 258x300 Utthita Trikonasana

Utthita Trikonasana Pose

palms facing down.  Keep the arms parallel to the floor (Plate 3)

3.Turn the right foot sideways 90 degrees to the right.  Turn the left foot slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched from the inside and tightened at the knee.

4.Exhale, bend the trunk sideways to the right, bringing the right palm near the right ankle.  If possible, the right palm should rest completely on the floor.  (Plates 4 and 5)

5.Stretch the left arm up(as in the illustrations), bringing it in the line with the right shoulder and extend the trunk.  The back  of the legs, the back of the chest and the hips should be in a line.  Gaze at the thumb of the outstretched left hand.  Keep the right knee locked tight by pulling ip the knee cap and keep the right knee facing the toes.

6.Remain in this position from half a minute to a minute, breathing deeply and evenly.  Then lift the right palm from the floor.  Inhale and return to position 2 above.

7.Now, turn the left foot sideways 90 degrees to the left, turn the right foot slightly to the left, keep both knees tight and continue from position 2 to 6 , reserving all processes.  Inhale, and come to position 2.

Hold the posture for the same length of time on the left side.

8. Exhale, and jump, cming back to Tadasana.

Effects of Utthita Trikonasana :

This asana  tones up the leg muscles, removes stiffness in the legs and hips, corrects any minor deformity in the legs and allows them to develop evenly.  It relieves backaches and neck  sprains, strengthens the ankles and develops the chest.