1. Cobra Pose ( Bhujangasana )
Steps:- Lie down on the stomach with legs together and toes touching each other and the top of feet to remain flat on the mat. The hands should be kept by the sides with palms facing down the floor and placed just next to the shoulders. Elbows should be lifted in the air. Now inhaling slowly lift your head and chest up with the support of your hands by lengthening the arms. Make sure you do lift your hips in the air. Try taking your head and chest as backward as comfortably possible and press the pubic bones to the mat. Remain in the pose for 20-30 seconds. To release the pose, exhale and slowly lower the chest and bring the head forward and rest the hands on the sides. Repeat for 3-4 rounds. Once done with the pose rest in child pose to relax the spine and release any tension in the spine.
Core benefit:- Strengthens the back muscles, gives flexibility to the spine, opens the chest and lungs
Other benefits:- Stimulates the digestive organs, firms the buttocks and strengthens the arms and shoulders. Therapeutic application: to cure spondylitis, sciatica, slip-disk, asthma
2. Camel Pose ( Ustrasana )
Steps:- Sit on your knees with legs hip-width apart and straight back. The top of the feet should remain flat on the mat. Stand on the knees so that the thighs are perpendicular to the mat. Hands behind and palms rested on the sacrum, fingers pointing to the floor. Slowly with the support of the hands try bending backwards while pushing the hips forward. Now slowly one by one reach both hands onto the heels and fingers resting on the sole. As you do so the weight of your upper body will be transferred on the arms. Hold the heels tightly and bring the head as back as comfortable while bending the back backwards so that the chest is lifted towards the ceiling. Breathing normally remain in the pose for 4-5 breaths. To release, inhale and bring the hands on to the sacrum , then bring the head and back slowly forward. Rest in child pose for few seconds.
Core benefit:- opens and expands the chest, relieves back pain, provides flexibility to the spine. Strengthens the arms,neck and shoulders
Other benefits:- Improves respiratory system and lung capacity, improves digestive, reproductive, nervous system. Improves body posture. Therapeutic application: to cure spondylitis, sciatica, slip-disk, asthma.
3. Bridge pose ( Setu bandhasana )
Steps:- Lie down on your back with hands on the sides and palms facing down. Bend your knees with feet flat on the mat and place them near the buttocks hip-width apart from each other. Pressing the feet into the floor, inhale to lift up your hips in the air. Slowly lift up your tailbone and chest by pressing the shoulders and arm onto the floor. The neck and shoulders should be resting on the floor. The knees should be hip-width apart. Hold the pose for 8-9 breaths. To release, exhale and lower the spine back to the floor and then lower the hips and straighten the legs.
Core benefit:- Relieves back pain and tension in lower back, strengthens the spine, shoulders and thigh muscles.
Other benefits:- Stimulates the nervous and endocrine system. Improves digestion system. Helps release stress, and relieve symptoms of menopause.Therapeutic application: to cure spondylitis, sciatica, slip-disk, asthma, insomnia, osteoporosis.
4. Crocodile pose ( Makarasana )
Steps:- Lie down on your stomach with legs straight and hip-width apart. The arms crossed under head and the forehead resting on the back of the head. Let the ankles rest sideways without twisting them. Now close your eyes and inhale deeply and feel your belly touching the mat. Keep breathing slowly and deeply and relax. Allow your body to touch deeper into the mat. After 10-12 breaths release the pose by rolling over to your back or into child’s pose.
Core benefit:- Releases pain in lower back, helps relieve stress and fatigue
Other benefits:- Relaxes the muscles and entire body, reduces anxiety problems. Therapeutic application: helpful to cure asthma, lung problems, slip-disk, sciatica etc.
5. Locust pose ( Salabhasana )
Steps:- Lie down on your belly with hands by your sides with palms facing up, legs straight together with both toes inwardly touching each other in order to rotate the thighs. Rest the forehead on the mat. Shoulders to the back and relaxed. Press the pubic bone down to the mat and squeeze the thighs together pulling up the caps of the knee. Inhaling deeply lift your head, chest, hands, arms, legs off the floor, lifting as high as comfortably possible. Keeping the back of neck long and inline with the spine, reach out through the toes and crown of the head keeping the legs straight without bending the knees and hands parallel to the ground, pubic bone pressed into the mat. Hold the pose for 3-4 breaths. To release exhale lowering the body back to the floor. Repeat for 2-3 times. Relax in child’s pose.
Core benefit:- Strengthens the muscles of back and gives flexibility to the spine. Relieves lower back pain.
Other benefits:- Massages and tones the abdominal organs, improves digestion, strengthens the legs, shoulders and thighs. Therapeutic application: Helps people who suffer from sciatica, slip-disk, spondylitis and other ailments related to back pain.
6. Wheel pose/ Upward bow pose ( Chakrasana/ Urdhva dhanurasana )
Steps:- Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet placed hip width apart and flat on the mat. Raise the hands to place your palms under the shoulders in a way that the finger tips should point towards the shoulders and elbows to remain shoulder width apart and pointing upwards. Inhale to slowly lift your body up away from the floor with the help of your feet and palms. Lift the shoulders, head, back and hips by pressing the feet and palms into the floor and rotating the head back gaze at the floor. Straighten your legs and arms to lift your body as up as possible to let the body take the form of an arch. Hold the pose for 3-4 breathes. To release, exhale and bend the knees and roll back the spine and rest your hips and back to the floor. Bend the elbows and bring the head and shoulder back to the ground. Rest for a few minutes after the pose.
Please Note:- Kindly practice this pose under supervision of an expert. You can also take help of another person to hold your back when you raise yourself away from the floor.
Core benefit:- Strengthens the spine, arms, shoulders, legs and hips. Gives flexibility to the back. Stretches the lungs and chest.
Other benefits:- Increases blood supply to the brain and face. Improves the functioning of respiratory system, digestive system and reproductive system. Energizes the body. Helps stimulate the thyroid and pituitary glands. Therapeutic application: Helps relieve back pain. Helps cure problems like asthma, spondylitis, headache, cervical, osteoporosis.
7. Tiger pose ( Vyaghrasana )
Steps:- Start the pose being in tabletop position( on hands and knees). The knees should be directly under the hips and the wrists in one line under the shoulders. Inhale to round the back and bringing the right knee forward to touch the forehead. Now exhale arching the back and taking the right leg back and upwards reaching the toe towards the ceiling. Lift the chin up and look at the ceiling. Breathing normally remain in this pose for 10-12 seconds. To release, exhale bringing the knee back to the floor in tabletop position. Repeat with left knee now.
Core benefit:- Stretches the back muscles and gives flexibility to the spine.
Other benefits:- Improves blood circulation. Stimulate the digestive system. Tones the hip and legs. Massages the abdominal organs. Therapeutic application: Cures lower back pain, sciatica pain.
8. Raised leg pose ( Uttanapadasana )
Steps:- Lie down on your back. Keep the legs straight and joined together. Place the hands on either side with palms facing down to floor. Inhale to lift the legs up away from the ground. Keeping the knees straight, raise the legs upwards till they reach an angle where they are perpendicular to the floor. The toes should point to the ceiling. Keep your back flat to the ground and your gaze at the toes. Breathing normally hold this pose for 1-2 minutes. To release the pose, exhaling bring the legs down and rest them on the floor. One can even take help of side walls to keep the legs perpendicular to the floor by keeping the legs rested on the side walls.
Core benefit:- Strengthens the muscles of the back and abdomen. Gives a good stretch to back. Eases lower back pain.
Other benefits:- Tones the thighs and abdominal muscles. Improves digestion. Reduces fat around the thighs and hips. Helpful for stomach disorders, gastric problems, arthritis and back pain