A Single Yoga Asana Has Many Benefits

I am over whelmed to see the multiple benefits from any single yoga asana. I set out to make notes of all the benefits for the various asanas for myself so that I know what body systems are being impacted. As I was noting this down, I realized this task was far more complex than I had first anticipated. It is something I will have to tackle another day when I’m not so pressed on time. Below are about a dozen asanas I made notes on:

Asana Benefits
Padangusthasana
(Big Toe Pose) Good stretch for the Hamstrings. Improves flexibility as you stretch from head to toe. Helps regulate blood pressure and anxiety.

Padahastasana
(Hand Under Foot Pose) Same benefits as with the Padangusthasana. This asana is to bend down as far as you can with your spine and legs straight.

Utthita Trikonasana
(Extended Triangle Pose) Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles. Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion.

Parivritta Trikonasana
(Revolved Triangle Pose)
Expands chest and shoulders. Stretches spinal muscles. Strengthens and tones muscles of the thighs. Stimulates abdominal organs.

Utthita Parsvakonasana
(Side Stretch Pose) Strengthens the back and relieves general backache and backache due to lumbago and sciatica. Also strengthens chest and legs.

Parivritta Parsvakonasana
(Revolved side Angle Pose) This pose enhances spinal flexibility and alignment. It can improve digestion.

Prasarita Padottanasana ABCD
(Wide Legged Forward Bend) Strengthens and stretches inner and back of the legs, the spine. Tones abdominal muscles. Relieves headache and mild depression.

Parsvottanasana
(Intense Side Stretch Pose) Helps strengthen legs. Stretches shoulders, spine, hamstrings, hips and wrists. Stimulates abdominal organs. Improves digestion and has a calming effect.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana ABCD
(Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose) Strengthens and tones legs and hips. Also improves concentration and balance.

Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
(Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose) Opens hips and shoulders. Stretches the hamstrings. Builds leg muscles. Increases blood flow to lungs and head.

Utkatasana
(Chair Pose) Tones leg muscles. Strengthens hip flexors, ankles, calves and back. Stretches chest and shoulders. Stimulates the heart, diaphragm and abdominal organs.

Virabhadrasana A
(Warrior I Pose)
Strengthens tones and shapes legs and promotes balance. Opens rib cage. Increases stamina.

Virabhadrasana B
(Warrior II Pose)
Strengthens and stretches legs, ankles and feet. Stretches hips, groin and shoulders. Opens chest and lungs. Builds stamina and concentration.

Dandasana
(Staff Pose) Strengthens core muscles and hip flexors. Improves posture. Stretches the chest and shoulders.

In general, the standing asanas promote joint/muscle flexibility and increase stamina. They are often good asanas to begin yoga practice with. The bending asanas help elongate the spinal cord and the twisting asanas work on the core body muscles. Yoga asanas are most effective when the mind and body work in unison. It is a challenge for me to unify many of the asanas with my breath. When I’m able to unify, I am able to get deeper in the pose than I might have otherwise. There were times I literally felt my breathing was infusing my muscles with O2 and causing them to stretch more easily.

I am satisfied that I have just enough knowledge now for performing many of the common yoga asanas correctly. I look forward to learning more about yoga and hoping to pass on my knowledge to those who would be interested.

Neeru (200hr July/Aug 2013)