Pose Name: Warrior One
Sanskrit Pose Name: Virabhadrasana I
Chakra: Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Strengthens legs, ankles, core, and arms. Stretches shoulders, hips, calves, thighs, and ankles.
Emotional Benefits: Helps you feel grounded, stable, and capable.
Instructions: Start in plank pose. Step your right foot forward between your hands. Pull your back foot in a few inches, and as you inhale, reach your arms up towards the sky, lifting your chest. Bring your arms in line with your ears with your palms facing each other. Spin your back heel down and point your left toes at a slight angle. Pull your left hip forward and your right hip back, so they are in one line. Point your tailbone down. Pull your lower belly in. Firm the thigh muscles. Spread the toes. Knit your front ribs together and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Take three deep ujjayi breaths. Return to plank position and repeat the same thing on the left side.
Pose Name: Downward Facing Dog
Sanskrit Pose Name: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Chakra: Crown Chakra and Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Strengthens back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. It helps align the spine and reduces the compression of the vertebrae. Stretches hamstrings and calves. It improves heart health, circulation, and reduces back pain.
Emotional Benefits: Relieves depression, reduces stress, calms the brain, and energizes you.
Instructions: Start on your hands and knees and begin to lift your hips as you inhale. Straighten your legs, pulling your heels toward the ground. Make sure your fingers are spread wide and your hands your line up with your shoulders. Your feet should be as wide as your hips. Press your chest toward your knees and point your sitting bones toward the ceiling. Push your shoulders into their sockets and knit your ribs together around your solar plexus, so they are not popping out. The back is not meant to be arched. Take three long deep breaths through your nose and then bring your knees back to the ground. Hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.
Pose Name: Child’s Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Bala: child > Balasana
Chakra: Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra), Third Eye Chakra (Ajna Chakra), Solar Plexus (Manipura Chakra), Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra), Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.
Emotional Benefits: Calms the mind, reduces stress and fatigue while resting the body.
Instructions: Kneel down on the floor with an erect spine, keeping the knees hip-width apart. Take a deep breath and pull the torso down and place the hips on the heels. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, and as you exhale, bend the body forward folding from the hip joint. Your abdomen should lie on the thighs, the forehead should touch the floor, and hands should be placed in front of and above the head. Hold the pose for 2-3 minutes.
Pose Name: Tree Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Vrksasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra (Swadisthana Chakra), Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Strengthens your thighs, calves, ankles, and spine. Stretches your groin and inner thighs, chest, and shoulders. It improves your sense of balance and corrects your posture.
Emotional Benefits: Improves your ability to concentrate and strengthens the power you have to direct your undivided attention to where it is wanted.
Helps activate your base and sacral chakras — “recycling chakras”— changing negative emotional energies into power and light.
This keeps your “energy body” clean, returning to earth any “toxic waste energy” that the body cannot cope with.
Instructions: Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your arms at your sides. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet, grounding down equally through your inner ankles, outer ankles, big toes, and baby toes.
Shift your weight to your left foot. Bend your right knee, then reach down and clasp your right inner ankle. Use your hand to draw your right foot alongside your inner left thigh. Do not rest your foot against your knee, only above or below it. Adjust your position, so the center of your pelvis is directly over your left foot. Then, adjust your hips, so your right hip and left hip are aligned.
Rest your hands on your hips and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Then, press your palms together in a prayer position at your chest, with your thumbs resting on your sternum.
Fix your gaze gently on one, unmoving point in front of you.
Drawdown through your left foot. Press your right foot into your left thigh, while pressing your leg equally against your foot.
Inhale as you extend your arms overhead, reaching your fingertips to the sky. Rotate your palms inward to face each other. If your shoulders are more flexible, you can press your palms together in prayer position, overhead.
Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, step back into Mountain Pose. Repeat for the same amount of time on the opposite side.
Pose Name: Triangle Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Trikonasana in Sanskrit—tri meaning three and Kona meaning corner.
Chakra: Sacral Chakra, or Svadisthana, is located in the pelvic area.
Level of Pose: Beginner
- Stretches legs, muscles around the knee, ankle joints, hips, groin muscles, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
- Strengthens legs, knees, ankles, abdominals, obliques, and back
- Stimulates function of abdominal organs
- Relieves stress
- Improves digestion and constipation
- Helps to alleviate back pain and symptoms of menopause
- Used therapeutically for anxiety, infertility, neck pain, and sciatica
This chakra is our playful, creative center and home to our self-expression, emotions, and pleasure. An imbalance can make us feel sexually frustrated, emotionally repressed, and unable to find our passion in life. A balanced Sacral Chakra allows us to connect easily with others and find joy in everything.
Revolved Triangle Pose stimulates the abdominal organs to promote the energy to circulate within our Sacral Chakra and helps you remain grounded in the present moment.
Emotional Benefits: Our hips are one of the key places where we store stress and emotions that are no longer serving us. As you continue to practice, open and lengthen in Triangle Pose, your body begins to release these anxieties and unprocessed emotions. Yogi Aaron also explains in the video below how Trikonasana helps us get our minds out of our bodies so we can feel more significant, more expansive, and move into new possibilities.
Instructions: Begin standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Begin to pay attention to your breath. Let go of distractions. Breathe softly and fully. Take a moment to tune into your body and draw your awareness inward.
Step your feet wide apart, about 4 to 5 feet. Check to ensure that your heels are aligned with each other. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. The center of your right knee cap should be aligned with the center of your right ankle.
Pivot your left foot slightly inwards. Your back toes should be at a 45-degree angle. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting down through your ankles. Raise your arms to the side to shoulder-height, so they’re parallel to the floor. Your arms should be aligned directly over your legs. With your palms facing down, reach actively from fingertip to fingertip.
On an exhalation, reach through your right hand in the same direction as your right foot is pointed. Shift your left hip back, so your tailbone and pelvis tilt toward the wall or space behind your left foot. Fold at your right hip. Keep your right ear, shoulder, and knee on the same plane — do not let your torso drop forward. Turn your left palm forward, with your fingertips reaching toward the sky.
Rest your right hand on your outer shin or ankle. If you are more flexible, place your right fingertips or palm on the floor to the outside of your right leg. You can also place your hand on a block. Align your shoulders, so your left shoulder is directly above your right shoulder.
Gently turn your head to gaze at your right thumb.
Drawdown through the outer edge of your back foot. Extend equally through both sides of your waist. Lengthen your tailbone toward your back heel. Keep your left arm in line with your shoulders.
Hold for up to one minute. To release, inhale and press firmly through your left heel as you lift your torso. Lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.
Pose Name: Cobra
Sanskrit Pose Name: Bhujangasana
Chakra: Throat Chakra(Vishuddha Chakra), Heart Chakra(Anahata Chakra), Solar Plexus(Manipura Chakra), Sacral Chakra(Swadosthana Chakra), Root Chakra(Muladhara Chakra)
Level of Pose: Beginner
Physical (Anatomical) Benefits
- The nerves along the spinal column are toned and blood circulation is improved.
- Improves overall back and neck while keeping the spine supple and healthy.
- Helps in expanding the chest thus encouraging deep breathing. It works on the shoulders and corrects rounded shoulders.
- As a lot of pressure is on the lower back, the lower abdominal muscles are also toned and strengthened.
- Excess fat deposits around the buttocks, hips, neck, chest, arms, etc., are burned thus giving shape and tightness.
- The nerves in the legs begin to circulate blood as the legs are stretched way beyond and they take part of the weight of the body in this yoga pose.
- The pressure on the abdomen is beneficial as it helps in better digestion, stimulating appetite, relieves flatulence and constipation.
- Since the digestive organs are put to action, migraine is also taken care of.
- A sluggish liver is also taken care of.
- As the neck is stretched, the functioning of the thyroid gland improves.
- It is also said that this yoga pose tones the kidneys which help with the purification of blood, removing any stagnant blood, and improving the health of the whole body.
- Tones the ovaries and the uterus and helps to remove any disorders in connection to the uterus. Thus this Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) also helps during menstruation.
- Therapeutic Benefits are as follows: relieves backache, neck pain, stress, purifies blood, relieves constipation, and addresses gynecological disorders.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Ease asthma
- Improves digestion
- Strength and flexibility
- Reduces neck and back pain
- Prevents injuries in the hip flexors
- Soothe sciatic pain
Cobra Pose Steps:
- Lying on the stomach face down, prepare the body with deep breathing and relax the spine.
- Place the palms of both arms close to your upper abdomen on the floor. The position of the arms and elbows should be aligned and close to your body as this gives the strength to raise the body.
- With feet stretched behind and keeping the toes together tighten the legs and lower back as you Breathe.
- Putting force on the palms inhale and stretch the face, chest, shoulders, arms, elbows, and upper abdomen and take the body backward straightening the arms.
- As you get comfortable with the arms stretched try and raise the neck backward and gaze upwards. Stay in this position with slow rhythmic breathing.
- In this position, the entire body is tightened and focus on the lower back and lower abdomen. The body is balancing on the lower pelvic region and the thighs.
- Ensure not to put all the bodyweight on the wrists and elbows, as this can bring discomfort thus not allowing the body to balance longer. The weight should be spread from the wrists to the shoulders and some part to the lower back. This surely requires some practice.
- As you exhale bring the upper body backward and neck upwards. Focus on the stretch and remain here as long as the body can take it.
- The longer you hold the body in this pose the stronger will be the back and spine.
- Ensure the ears are away from the shoulders as you look up thus making sure the shoulders are strong and straight and not curved in.
- With practice, one should learn to keep both the legs close to each other and tighten the buttock muscles. By keeping the feet apart the shape of the body will cause more injury to the lower back.
- While trying to release the pose ensure first the elbows are bent, slowly bringing the lower back, chest, neck, and face to the floor. Then release the entire pose and relax the spine by deep breathing. Focus on feeling the spine contract with every exhalation.