Aasan

चक्रासन Chakra Asan

English Translation - Wheel Pose
Image Courtesy - Chaya Candra , Ariamny Majar Majar, Monica Tudora & Irina Kuznetsova 

 

 

History
The name comes from the Sanskrit words चक्र, Chakra meaning "wheel", and Asan (आसन, Āsan) meaning "posture" or "seat".
 

Description
In the general form of the asana, the practitioner has hands and feet on the floor, and the abdomen arches up toward the sky. Wheel Pose may be entered from a supine position or through a less rigorous supine backbend, such as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose). Some advanced practitioners can move into Wheel Pose by "dropping back" from Tadasana (Mountain Pose), or by standing with the back to a wall, reaching arms overhead and walking hands down the wall toward the floor. Advanced practitioners may also follow wheel with any of its variations (listed below), or with other backbends, such as Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana, or by pushing back up to stand in Tadasana.
 

Benefits
The stretching in Chakrasana helps to tone and strengthen muscles in the back and calves, and is also said to relieve tension and stress in people who sit for long times in front of a desk or computer.
 

 

नटराजासन Natarajasan

English Translation -  Lord of the Dance Pose
Image Courtesy - Monica Tudora & Viviane Ferrari Fosbender 

 

History
The name comes from the Sanskrit words nata meaning "dancer", raja meaning "king", and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat". Nataraja is one of the names given to the God to whom ther gods pray to Bhagwan Shiv ji in his form as the cosmic dancer.

Description
This is a balance asana that strengthens the legs. It also is a full body stretch which engages the shoulders, chest and abdomen, strengthens the thigh and calf muscles, knees and ankles, hips and spine, and develops concentration and grace.

*This aesthetic, stretching and balancing asana is used in Indian classical dances.

 नावासन Nauasana 

English Translation - Boat Pose
Image Courtesy - Monica Tudora & Viviane Ferrari Fosbender 

History
The name comes from the Sanskrit words nava meaning "boat" and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat". In its literal translation, "Boat Pose", the body could be imagined to resemble a boat, entirely balanced on the buttocks.

Description
The body comes into a V-shape, balancing entirely on the buttocks. In different variations and traditions, the arms legs and torso may take different positions. In Paripurna Navasana, the legs and back are lifted high and arms extend forward and parallel to the ground. In Arda Navasana, hands interlace behind the neck and both back and shoulders are closer to the ground.

Benefits
The asana strengthens the abdominal muscles, the legs and the lower back. Paripurna Navasana is said to relieve stress, improve digestion and aid the lower abdominal organs: kidney, intestines, and prostate for men. It can also stimulate the thyroid. Ardha Navasana works on the upper abdominal organs: pancreas, gall bladder, spleen and liver.

 गरुडासन Garud Asan

English Translation -  Eagle Pose
Image Coutesy - Lester Visaya and Monica Tudora

 

History
The name comes from the Sanskrit words garuda meaning "eagle", and asana meaning "posture" or "seat".

In Hindu mythology Garuda is known as the king of birds. He transports the God Vishnu and is eager to help humanity fight against demons. The word is usually rendered into English as "eagle," though according to one dictionary the name literally means "devourer," because Garuda was originally identified with the "all-consuming fire of the sun's rays".

Description
This standing asana may enhance concentration. It focuses on the ankles, calves, thighs, hips and shoulders.

Variations
Usually Garudasana is performed with a straight spine, so that it shows the mythical bird Garuda. But most of people make their spine round, which could be interpreted as a mistake or a variation.