Friday, June 30, 2006

Components of a Basic Yoga Class

Components of a Basic Yoga Class

Yoga Postures - Asanas: are postures that stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body , they can include forward bending postures, backward bending postures, sideways bending postures, twisting postures, inverted, balancing and meditational postures.

A good example of Asanas can be seen in the practice of Surya Namaskara (Salute to the sun). It only involves forward and backward bending but the practice can also include additional elements such as breath synchronisation, mantra repetition, Chakra concentration.

Position 1 - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Involved muscles: postural, from soles of feet to crown of the head.
Health benefits: establishes balance, concentration, calmness.
Spiritual meaning: raising consciousness to higher levels of awareness.
Breath: exhale.



Position 2 - Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
Involved muscles: back, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen.
Health benefits: opening emotionally, corrects poor posture.
Spiritual meaning: Invoking the grace and power of higher forces.
Breath: inhale.

Position 3 - Padahastasana (Hand to Feet Pose)

Involved muscles: hamstrings, buttocks, back, neck, shoulders.
Health benefits: improves digestion, circulation & respiration.
Spiritual meaning: surrender to the powerful forces of gravity.
Breath: exhale - inhale.

Position 4 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 5 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.


Position 6 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog )

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.

Position 7 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose - Step with right leg)
Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck.
Health benefits sense of balance, centre of gravity.
Spiritual meaning: removes darkness from delusions.
Breath: inhale.


Position 8 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 9 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.

Position 10 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.
Position 11 - Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose - Step with left leg)
Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck.
Health benefits sense of balance, centre of gravity.
Spiritual meaning: removes darkness from delusions.
Breath: inhale.

Position 12 - Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With 8 Points)


Involved muscles: legs, buttocks, abdomen, thorax and neck, shoulders, forearms. Health benefits strengthening and nourishing the body.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the giver of strenght.
Breath: exhale.
Position 13 - Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Involved muscles: stretches abdomen, anterior neck, strengthens posterior back. Health benefits: Good for asthma, constipation.
Spiritual meaning: praying to the awakening of creativity.
Breath: inhale.

Position 14 - Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)

Involved muscles: ankles, legs, back, shoulders.
Health benefits: Releases shoulders and helps to relieve arthritis in the shoulder joints, strengthens entire back and alleviates lower back pain, eases stiff neck, rejuvenates brain cells and relieve fatigue.
Spiritual meaning: Salute to the one by whom time is measured.
Breath: exhale.

Position 15 - Padahastasana (Hand to Feet Pose)
Involved muscles: hamstrings, buttocks, back, neck, shoulders.
Health benefits: improves digestion, circulation & respiration.
Spiritual meaning: surrender to the powerful forces of gravity.
Breath: inhale - exhale.

Position 16 - Hasta Utthanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
Involved muscles: back, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen.
Health benefits: opening emotionally, corrects poor posture.
Spiritual meaning: Invoking the grace and power of higher forces.
Breath: inhale.

Position 17 - Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

Involved muscles: postural, from soles of feet to crown of the head.
Health benefits: establishes balance, concentration, calmness.
Spiritual meaning: raising consciousness to higher levels of awareness.
Breath: exhale.


These poses complete Surya Namaskara B, as option you can bend your knees in positions 2 and 16.
For Surya Namaskara A exclude steps 7 - 14.

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