yoga poses and its benefits pdf

Yoga Poses And Its Benefits Pdf

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15 Easy Yoga Poses For Beginners - Printable PDF Download

An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose , [1] and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise , to any type of pose or position, adding reclining, standing , inverted, twisting, and balancing poses. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define "asana" as "[a position that] is steady and comfortable". The 10th or 11th century Goraksha Sataka and the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika identify 84 asanas; the 17th century Hatha Ratnavali provides a different list of 84 asanas, describing some of them.

In the 20th century, Indian nationalism favoured physical culture in response to colonialism. In that environment, pioneers such as Yogendra , Kuvalayananda , and Krishnamacharya taught a new system of asanas incorporating systems of exercise as well as traditional hatha yoga.

Among Krishnamacharya's pupils were influential Indian yoga teachers including Pattabhi Jois , founder of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga , and B. Iyengar , founder of Iyengar yoga. Together they described hundreds more asanas, revived the popularity of yoga, and brought it to the Western world. Many more asanas have been devised since Iyengar's Light on Yoga which described some asanas.

Hundreds more were illustrated by Dharma Mittra. Asanas were claimed to provide both spiritual and physical benefits in medieval hatha yoga texts. More recently, studies have provided evidence that they improve flexibility, strength, and balance; to reduce stress and conditions related to it; and specifically to alleviate some diseases such as asthma [3] [4] and diabetes. Asanas have appeared in culture for many centuries. Religious Indian art depicts figures of Buddha , Shiva , and Jain tirthankaras in lotus position and other meditation seats, and in the "royal ease" position, lalitasana.

With the popularity of yoga as exercise, asanas feature commonly in novels and films , and sometimes also in advertising. The central figure in the Pashupati seal from the Indus Valley Civilization of c. However, with no proof anywhere of an Indus Valley origin for Shiva, there is no evidence that a yoga pose is depicted in the seal.

Asanas originated in India. In his Yoga Sutras , Patanjali c. The eight limbs are, in order, the yamas codes of social conduct , niyamas self-observances , asanas postures , pranayama breath work , pratyahara sense withdrawal or non-attachment , dharana concentration , dhyana meditation , and samadhi realization of the true Self or Atman , and unity with Brahman , ultimate reality.

The Yoga Sutras do not mention a single asana by name, merely specifying the characteristics of a good asana: [18]. Yoga Sutras The Sutras are embedded in the Bhasya commentary, which scholars suggest may also be by Patanjali; [19] it names 12 seated meditation asanas including Padmasana , Virasana , Bhadrasana , and Svastikasana. The 10th—11th century Vimanarcanakalpa is the first manuscript to describe a non-seated asana, in the form of Mayurasana peacock — a balancing pose.

Such poses appear, according to the scholar James Mallinson, to have been created outside Shaivism , the home of the Nath yoga tradition, and to have been associated with asceticism ; they were later adopted by the Nath yogins. The Goraksha Sataka 10—11th century , or Goraksha Paddhathi , an early hatha yogic text, describes the origin of the 84 classic asanas said to have been revealed by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika 15th century specifies that of these 84, the first four are important, namely the seated poses Siddhasana, Padmasana, Bhadrasana and Simhasana.

The pillars of the 16th century Achyutaraya temple at Hampi are decorated with numerous relief statues of yogins in asanas including Siddhasana balanced on a stick, Chakrasana , Yogapattasana, and a hand-standing inverted pose with a stick, as well as several unidentified poses. By the 17th century, asanas became an important component of Hatha yoga practice, and more non-seated poses appear. The Gheranda Samhita late 17th century again asserts that Shiva taught 84 lakh of asanas, out of which 84 are preeminent, and "32 are useful in the world of mortals.

From the s onwards, a culture of physical exercise developed in India to counter the colonial stereotype of supposed "degeneracy" of Indians compared to the British, [37] [38] a belief reinforced by then-current ideas of Lamarckism and eugenics.

Iyer consciously combined "hata yoga" [ sic ] with bodybuilding in his Bangalore gymnasium. Singleton notes that poses close to Parighasana , Parsvottanasana , Navasana and others were described in Niels Bukh 's Danish text Grundgymnastik eller primitiv gymnastik [35] known in English as Primary Gymnastics. In , Paramahansa Yogananda , having moved from India to America, set up the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, and taught yoga, including asanas, breathing, chanting and meditation, to tens of thousands of Americans, as described in his Autobiography of a Yogi.

Tirumalai Krishnamacharya — studied under Kuvalayananda in the s, creating "a marriage of hatha yoga, wrestling exercises, and modern Western gymnastic movement, and unlike anything seen before in the yoga tradition. Iyengar , his brother-in-law, who founded Iyengar Yoga ; T.

Desikachar , his son, who continued his Viniyoga tradition; Srivatsa Ramaswami ; and A. In , Vishnudevananda Saraswati published a compilation of sixty-six basic postures and variations of those postures. In , Iyengar published Light on Yoga : Yoga Dipika , illustrated with some photographs of Iyengar demonstrating around asanas; it systematised the physical practice of asanas. It became a bestseller, selling three million copies, and was translated into some 17 languages.

In , Dharma Mittra compiled a list of about 1, asanas and their variations, derived from ancient and modern sources, illustrating them with photographs of himself in each posture; the Dharma Yoga website suggests that he created some of these.

The asanas have been created at different times, a few being ancient, some being medieval, and a growing number recent. A different sun salutation, the Aditya Hridayam , is certainly ancient, as it is described in the "Yuddha Kaanda" Canto of the Ramayana. In , Iyengar's classic Light on Yoga was able to describe some asanas, [74] consisting of about 50 main poses with their variations.

Sjoman notes that the names of asanas have been used "promiscuous[ly]", in a tradition of "amalgamation and borrowing" over the centuries, making their history difficult to trace. The asanas of hatha yoga originally had a spiritual purpose within Hinduism , the attainment of samadhi , a state of meditative consciousness. Hatha Yoga added the ability to cure diseases to this list. The 10th century Garuda Purana stated that "the techniques of posture do not promote yoga.

Though called essentials, they all retard one's progress," while early yogis often practised extreme austerities tapas to overcome what they saw as the obstacle of the body in the way of liberation.

The yoga scholar and practitioner Theos Bernard , in his Hatha Yoga: The Report of a Personal Experience , stated that he was "prescribed … a group of asanas [i] calculated to bring a rich supply of blood to the brain and to various parts of the spinal cord..

Asanas work in different ways from conventional physical exercises, according to Satyananda Saraswati "placing the physical body in positions that cultivate awareness, relaxation and concentration". Iyengar observed that the practice of asanas "brings steadiness, health, and lightness of limb. A steady and pleasant posture produces mental equilibrium and prevents fickleness of mind. But, Iyengar states, their real importance is the way they train the mind, "conquer[ing]" the body and making it "a fit vehicle for the spirit".

Iyengar saw it as significant that asanas are named after plants, insects, fish and amphibians, reptiles, birds, and quadrupeds; as well as "legendary heroes", sages, and avatars of Hindu gods, in his view "illustrating spiritual evolution". Sjoman argues that the concept of stretching in yoga can be looked at through one of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras , 2. Sjoman points out that this physical loosening is to do with the mind's letting go of restrictions, allowing the natural state of "unhindered perfect balance" to emerge; he notes that one can only relax through effort, "as only a muscle that is worked is able to relax that is, there is a distinction between dormancy and relaxation.

Since the midth century, asanas have been used, especially in the Western world , as physical exercise.

In a secular context, the journalists Nell Frizzell and Reni Eddo-Lodge have debated in The Guardian whether Western yoga classes represent "cultural appropriation". In Frizzell's view, yoga has become a new entity, a long way from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and while some practitioners are culturally insensitive, others treat it with more respect.

Eddo-Lodge agrees that Western yoga is far from Patanjali, but argues that the changes cannot be undone, whether people use it "as a holier-than-thou tool, as a tactic to balance out excessive drug use, or practised similarly to its origins with the spirituality that comes with it".

From a Hindu perspective, the practice of asanas in the Western world as physical exercise is sometimes seen as yoga that has lost its way. In the West, yoga is practiced mainly by women. For example, in Britain in the s, women formed between 70 and 90 percent of most yoga classes, as well as most of the yoga teachers.

It has been suggested that yoga was seen as a support for women in the face of male-dominated medicine, offering an alternative approach for chronic medical conditions, as well as to beauty and ageing, and it offered a way of meeting other women.

Asanas have, or are claimed to have, multiple effects on the body, both beneficial and harmful. These include the conscious usage of groups of muscles, [] effects on health, [] and possible injury especially in the presence of known contraindications. A study indicated that different asanas activated particular groups of muscles, varying with the skill of the practitioners, from beginner to instructor.

The eleven asanas in the Surya Namaskar sequences A and B of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga were performed by beginners, advanced practitioners and instructors. The activation of 14 groups of muscles was measured with electrodes on the skin over the muscles.

Among the findings, beginners used pectoral muscles more than instructors, whereas instructors used deltoid muscles more than other practitioners, as well as the vastus medialis which stabilises the knee. The yoga instructor Grace Bullock writes that such patterns of activation suggest that asana practice increases awareness of the body and the patterns in which muscles are engaged, making exercise more beneficial and safer.

Medieval hatha yoga texts make a variety of claims for the benefits brought by the asanas, both spiritual and physical. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika HYP states that asanas in general, described as the first auxiliary of hatha yoga, give "steadiness, good health, and lightness of limb. HYP 1. The asanas have been popularised in the Western world by claims about their health benefits, attained not by medieval hatha yoga magic but by the physical and psychological effects of exercise and stretching on the body.

Broad in his book The Science of Yoga. Broad argues that while the health claims for yoga began as Hindu nationalist posturing, it turns out that there is ironically [] "a wealth of real benefits". Physically, the practice of asanas has been claimed to improve flexibility, strength, and balance; to alleviate stress and anxiety, and to reduce the symptoms of lower back pain.

The National Institutes of Health notes that yoga is generally safe "when performed properly", though people with some health conditions, older people, and pregnant woman may need to seek advice. For example, people with glaucoma are advised not to practise inverted postures. The practice of asanas has sometimes been advised against during pregnancy , but that advice has been contested by a study which found no ill-effects from any of 26 asanas investigated. The study examined the effects of the set of asanas on 25 healthy women who were between 35 and 37 weeks pregnant.

The authors noted that apart from their experimental findings, they had been unable to find any scientific evidence that supported the previously published concerns, and that on the contrary there was evidence including from systematic review that yoga was suitable for pregnant women, with a variety of possible benefits.

In the Yoga Sutras , the only rule Patanjali suggests for practicing asana is that it be "steady and comfortable". When control of the body is mastered, practitioners are believed to free themselves from dualities such as heat and cold, hunger and satiety, or joy and grief. This is the first step toward relieving suffering by letting go of attachment. Different schools of yoga, such as Iyengar and The Yoga Institute , agree that asanas are best practised with a rested body on an empty stomach, after having a bath.

Surya Namaskar, the Salute to the Sun, commonly practiced in most forms of modern yoga, links up to twelve asanas in a dynamically expressed yoga series. A full round consists of two sets of the series, the second set moving the opposing leg first. The asanas include Adho Mukha Svanasana downward dog , the others differing from tradition to tradition with for instance a choice of Urdhva Mukha Svanasana upward dog or Bhujangasana cobra for one pose in the sequence.

In the Western world, asanas are taught in differing styles by the various schools of yoga. Some poses like Trikonasana are common to many of them, but not always performed in the same way. Some independently documented approaches are described below.

Iyengar Yoga "emphasises precision and alignment", [] and prioritises correct movement over quantity, i. Postures are held for a relatively long period compared to other schools of yoga; this allows the muscles to relax and lengthen, and encourages awareness in the pose.

Props including belts, blocks and blankets are freely used to assist students in correct working in the asanas. For example, in Trikonasana, the feet are often jumped apart to a wide stance, the forward foot is turned out, and the centre of the forward heel is exactly aligned with the centre of the arch of the other foot.

Sivananda Yoga practices the asanas, hatha yoga, as part of raja yoga , with the goal of enabling practitioners ""to sit in meditation for a long time".

What is Asana? Yoga Poses Classification, History, Origin & Benefits

An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose , [1] and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise , to any type of pose or position, adding reclining, standing , inverted, twisting, and balancing poses. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define "asana" as "[a position that] is steady and comfortable". The 10th or 11th century Goraksha Sataka and the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika identify 84 asanas; the 17th century Hatha Ratnavali provides a different list of 84 asanas, describing some of them. In the 20th century, Indian nationalism favoured physical culture in response to colonialism. In that environment, pioneers such as Yogendra , Kuvalayananda , and Krishnamacharya taught a new system of asanas incorporating systems of exercise as well as traditional hatha yoga. Among Krishnamacharya's pupils were influential Indian yoga teachers including Pattabhi Jois , founder of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga , and B.

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks. As it happens, Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health , heal aches and pains , and keep sickness at bay. Weeks before a trip to India in to investigate yoga therapy , I developed numbness and tingling in my right hand. After first considering scary things like a brain tumor and multiple sclerosis, I figured out that the cause of the symptoms was thoracic outlet syndrome, a nerve blockage in my neck and chest. Despite the uncomfortable symptoms, I realized how useful my condition could be during my trip.

Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Oct 9, For yoga beginners, it is best to stick to basic asanas or poses before moving into a more intermediate yoga practice so that they practice and learn in a safe environment. Check out our Yoga poses for beginners with pictures PDF created by Ekattva Yogshala for creating the awareness and inculcate learning in yoga newbies.


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Yoga is the perfect way to stay healthy and get in shape! You might be intimidated by this ancient practice, but there are plenty of postures that beginners can use to get started. This way you can start reaping the full benefits of yoga! Get the free yoga poses printable PDF too.

We partner with some awesome companies that offer products that help our readers achieve their health goals! If you purchase through our partner links, we get paid for the referral at no additional cost to you! Yoga is also one of the best workouts out there for weight loss — IF you do it correctly. Vajrasana, or the Thunderbolt Pose, is a simple seated posture done with the knees and feet together and the sit bones placed directly atop the heels.

Benefits Of Practicing Yoga

If you are looking for yoga poses for beginners with pictures and in PDF format, then, you have landed at the perfect place! Our team recently spent time to gather the best yoga poses for beginners that anyone can practice safely at their home with some basic understanding.

Standing Yoga Poses

Have you been trying to learn how to do proper yoga poses online while staying at home? For strength building, you can start with these 9 beginner yoga poses. The poses listed in the following links are those which focus on these body parts and help make them stronger and more flexible. The yoga poses you get on the following links are strategically focused to provide therapeutic relief in the following conditions.

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15 Yoga Poses and their benefits to your body

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