Hatha Yoga Asanas: 15 Classical Asanas & How to Do It

Image supply: Canva

Hatha yoga is called the "yoga of asanas". This is as a result of conventional hatha yoga texts are the one references describing postures with such nice element and significance. Before the Hatha Yoga period, asanas have been solely supposed for meditation functions.

The primary concept behind the origin of Hatha Yoga was the purification of the physique and its parts earlier than indulging within the (psychological) meditation observe. This concept types a foundation for the posture that we all know right now as Hatha Yoga Asanas.

Hatha yoga asanas

In Hatha Yoga, asanas are carried out as the primary limb as an alternative of Yama and Niyama, in distinction to Patanjali's eight limbs. According to Hatha yogis, self-discipline and self-control (what Yama & Niyama teaches) can solely be practiced in case you are bodily ready.

Hatha Yoga Asanas are the particular physique positions that goal to open vitality channels and psychological facilities of the physique. In addition to stretching and different bodily results, hatha yoga asanas have psychological means – they permit prana to maneuver freely. Prana flowing with out obstacles is the one key to a disease-free physique.

How many asanas in hatha yoga?

The hatha yoga we all know right now got here via the lineage of many nice academics and their college students. Various historical texts (that got here every now and then) about Hatha Yoga may help us know what number of poses there are in yoga.

  • The first and most authoritative textual content talked about by Hatha Pradipika (15th century) accommodates 84 asanas in Hatha Yoga taught by Adiyogi Lord Shiva. But of 84 asanas, the ebook describes solely 15 poses.
  • Gheranda Samhita, a later textual content (17th century) of Hatha Yoga, mentions and describes 32 asanas of Hatha Yoga.
  • Hatharatnavali (17th century) is the primary Hatha Yoga ebook, which names 84 asanas of Hatha Yoga, however describes solely 36 of them.

15 asanas of hatha yoga

According to sage Swatmarama, there are 15 asanas in Hatha Yoga, that are described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika. However, Swatmarama clearly acknowledged that he solely described "some" of the asanas, not all!

The 15 asanas are known as the unique hatha yoga poses traditional hatha yoga. The phrase "classical" exhibits that this method of practices is orally taught to the pioneer pupil instantly by a grasp trainer.

The 15 asanas of Hatha Yoga are; Swastikas, Gomukhasana, Veerasana, Kurmasana, Kukkutasana, Uttanakoormasana, Dhanurasana, Matsyendrasana, Paschimottanasana, Mayurasana, Shavasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana, Simhasana and Bhadrasana. Of these 15, 11 are sitting postures, which signifies that hatha yoga asanas are extra aimed toward meditation and leisure.

1. Swastika (auspicious pose)

Swastika - auspicious poseSource: canva

Swastikasana is the primary Hatha Yoga asana described within the first chapter of HYP. It is a meditative cross-legged posture the place the toes are held beneath the thigh on both aspect, forming a sample just like "swastika".

The time period "swastika" is an auspicious image of fertility and creativity. This asana has a really calming and sacred impact and subsequently induces the identical skill within the physique.

To do that, maintain your hatha yoga asana 1 foot aside, bend your left leg from the knee and place it beneath the within of your proper thigh. Bend your proper leg and place it between your left calf and thigh. Keep the wrists of each arms on their respective knees.

Swastikasana is designed to stimulate the nadis on the again of the legs, which carry vitality to the facilities within the backbone.

This posture has a optimistic impact on the sciatic nerves. Dhyana Mudra on this asana improves the heartbeat fee and stabilizes it. You can obtain focus of the thoughts by practising this asana commonly.

2. Gomukhasana (cow face pose)

GomukhasanaImage supply: Canva

Gomukhasana is the second Hatha Yoga Asana, though not a meditative posture, however ideally suited for longer sitting instances.

The legs on this asana resemble a cow's face in some methods (Go means cow, Mukha means face); Both toes appear like the ears and the crossed legs appear like the face of a cow. Hence additionally known as the cow face pose.

To get into Gomukhasana, sit correctly along with your again straight and your legs stretched out in entrance of you. Place your proper leg beneath your left thigh in a crossed place. Put your left knee over your proper knee. Raise your proper arm and bend from the elbow. Bring your left arm behind your again and cross each arms behind your again.

Gomukhasana is described as sustaining Pranic stability within the physique by stopping it from dissolving outward via the Vajra Nadi (on the backside of the backbone).

3. Veerasana (hero pose)

Hero Pose or Virasana

Veerasana is one other sedentary meditative pose. In Hatha Yoga, Veerasana can be identified beneath the total title "Mahaveerasana". It is so named as a result of this asana offers hero energy and the power to submit like Mahaveer (Lord Hanuman).

There are two completely different variations of Veerasana talked about in Hatha Yoga Pradipika – one like the straightforward "Vajrasana type" and one other with the "Ardha Padmasana like foot". However, the generally practiced technique (Vajrasana kind) is extra appropriate for therapeutic and meditative functions.

Traditionally, it’s carried out by bending your one foot as when you have been sitting in your huge toe. Then place the opposite foot on the other thigh. Keep your arms on each knees in a meditative mudra.

Veerasana improves and strengthens the blood provide to the joints of the physique. This asana helps take away fats from the stomach muscle tissue and improves the flexibleness of the spinal twine.

4. Kurmasana (turtle pose)

kurmasana - turtle poseSource: canva

Kurmasana is understood actually because the turtle pose. This asana has a number of explanations; One is a normal clarification and the opposite is Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The clarification of Hatha Yoga states that this asana prompts the Kurma Nadi, therefore known as Kurmasana. But the final clarification suggests a place just like a turtle (Kurma in Sanskrit), therefore the title is given as Turtle pose.

To get to Kurmasana, sit down and cross your ankles. Bring your arms beneath your thighs in direction of your again. Keep your hand on the aspect of your hips. Then put your head between your legs in order that it creates a imaginative and prescient like a turtle pose. Keep your face down and contact the ground.

Kurmasana helps our digestive and respiratory methods perform higher. Regular observe of this asana relaxes our neck, again and shoulders. It improves blood movement to the mind and will increase our reminiscence.

5. Kukkutasana (Rooster Pose)

KukkutasanaImage supply: Canva

Among the assorted seated asanas in Hatha Yoga, Kukkutasana is without doubt one of the balancing poses by which one has to lift the physique to the palms of the arms. His observe is to awaken Kundalini to the higher chakras.

Kukkutasana is a mix of Padmasana (lotus pose) and Bakasana (crane pose). Literally, this pose is called the rooster or rooster pose because it resembles a tail if you carry your physique.

To get into Kukkutasana, begin with Padmasana. After sitting in Padmasana, slide your arms between the gaps created along with your thighs and legs. Lean ahead barely and carry your physique up with the assist of your palms. Keep your fingers huge whereas placing strain in your palms as you carry your physique.

Kukkutasana strengthens arms, higher chest and shoulders. The flexibility of the joints and hips is elevated via this asana. It awakens our Kundalini; This allows us to comply with the trail of spirituality.

6.Uttana Kurmasana (Stretching Tortoise Pose)

Uttana KurmasanaImage supply: Shutterstock

Uttana Kurmasana is the primary Hatha Yoga Asana that doesn’t undertake a sitting place, however has calming results on the physique and thoughts. It is the mendacity variation of Kukkutasana that’s carried out by first moving into Padmasana.

To do Uttana Kurmasana, first sit in Padmasana and slowly slide your arms up between your legs. Touch your ears along with your arms. Lie in your again on this place.

Uttana Kurmasana is a really calming asana for individuals who undergo from a nervous dysfunction and simply get offended as a result of it regulates the adrenal glands.

7. Dhanurasana (bow pose)

Bow holdImage supply: Shutterstock

In Dhanurasana, the idea of integrating pranayama or respiratory cessation in Hatha Yoga Asana is simple to see. In the ultimate place of this pose, breath will be held to extend lung capability.

Dhanurasana or bow pose is the backbend hatha yoga pose. In this specific posture, our physique transforms into the form of an arch. Generally, this asana is carried out with the ankles, however the model of Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that the toes needs to be held and dropped at the ears as if a warrior is pointing his bow at his enemy.

To get to Dhanurasana, lie in your abdomen. Keep each arms on the aspect of your torso. Then exhale and bend your knees. Bring your toes near your hips. Then, maintain your toes along with your arms and preserve your knees hip-width aside.

By inhaling, carry your heels and thighs off the ground. At the identical time, preserve your head off the bottom. You must look forward. Do not cease respiratory whereas doing this asana. Exhale if you come down.

Dhanurasana strengthens your again muscle tissue. Stretches the entrance of the physique and strengthens the neck and abdomen.

8.Matsyendrasana (Spinal Twist Pose)

Ardha Matsyendrasana exercise instructionImage supply: Canva

Matsyendranath is an early founding father of the hatha yoga teachings after which this asana is known as. According to legend, Matsyendranath was the fish, therefore this pose is often known as the "Lord of the Pisces" pose. Anatomically talking, on this pose the backbone is given a half flip, one other of which is half the backbone rotation.

The "Matsyendrasana" pose talked about in Hatha Yoga Pradipika is definitely the variation of Ardha Matsyendrasana.

To get into this asana, sit correctly along with your legs straight, maintaining your backbone utterly upright and your toes collectively. Bend your left leg in order that your left foot is correct subsequent to your proper hip. Then take your proper leg over your left knee and place it subsequent to your left knee. Rotate your waist, neck, and shoulders to the fitting whereas trying down at your proper shoulder. Remain on this pose for 30-6 seconds.

Since Matsyendrasana impacts the backbone, it helps construct the flexibleness of the spinal twine. It relieves muscle stiffness and heals again ache. Matsyendrasana could be very useful for disc problems. It additionally relieves stress and rigidity and will increase the availability of oxygen.

9. Paschimottanasana (again stretching pose)

Seated Forward Bend Posture / PaschimottanasanaPaschimottanasana. Image supply: Shutterstock

Paschimottanasana is a stretching pose of Hatha Yoga that enables a full stretch from the highest of the top to the decrease heel. It is practiced in a seated place the place you have to put your brow in your knees by bending your torso ahead out of your hips.

The means of moving into Hatha Yoga Paschimottanasana could be very easy.

Sit in entrance of your physique along with your legs straight and preserve your arms in your knees. Then, increase your arms above your head and preserve your again straight. Then exhale as you bend ahead out of your hips. Hold your head between your shoulders and straighten your backbone. Hold your huge toes along with your arms and decrease your head onto your knees.

Paschimottanasana helps in stretching your backbone and shoulders. It stimulates the features of the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus. This asana helps with a greater digestive system and heals complications and relieves anxiousness.

10.Mayurasana (peacock pose)

MayurasanaImage supply: Canva

Mayurasana is one other balancing posture in Hatha yoga that requires sturdy core muscle tissue and a very good grip of the forearms on the ground. In this asana, you have to stability your entire physique along with your palms whereas remaining in a downward place.

In Hatha Yoga it’s stated that the common observe of Mayurasana corrects the imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It additionally ignites the abdomen hearth to permit a greater digestive course of.

Mayurasana is historically carried out by;

  • First, take a sitting place in your heels by maintaining your knees slightly aside.
  • Place your arms on the ground close to your abdomen and relaxation your arms with the assist of your palms. Point your fingers in direction of your physique.
  • Let your head fall to the ground and preserve your abdomen sturdy.
  • Gradually bend your elbows and straighten your legs backwards. Keep your toes down whereas doing this.
  • Push your shoulders again. Keep your head ahead.
  • Gradually shift your physique weight onto your arms and carry your legs off the ground with the assist of your toes.
  • Keep your physique parallel to the ground and keep on this place for 10 seconds. Then slowly return to the conventional pose.

Mayurasana reduces the consequences of diabetes by decreasing the extent of glucose within the blood. It strengthens the digestive organs and helps in growing blood movement to the stomach. It additionally calms stress and improves focus. It additionally helps in strengthening inner organs just like the liver, pancreas, abdomen, intestines and kidneys.

11. Shavasana (corpse pose)

Pratyahara in ShavasanaImage supply: Canva

Shavasana is a deeply stress-free posture of Hatha Yoga that removes fatigue from the entire physique and thoughts.

"Shav" actually means "corps"; Hence, Savasana is called the corpse pose. Since it’s a leisure pose; It is usually practiced on the finish of an intensive asana class or between different asanas to calm down the muscle tissue.

It is depicted in Hatha Yoga – mendacity flat in your again, legs separated outward, and arms opened at a 45 diploma angle. In this asana, nonetheless, the respiratory course of will routinely decelerate slightly when you focus solely on the physique and breath.

Unlike different hatha yoga asanas which are carried out with acutely aware effort, shavasana is the only of all. It helps in constructing bodily and psychological consciousness – a very good method for practising Pratyahara.

12. Siddhasana (Perfect Pose)

accomplished poseImage supply: Canva

Siddhasana is taken into account one of the best meditation pose based on Hatha Yoga Pradipika. However, it’s emphasised that siddhasana ought to solely be practiced by males. Siddha Yoni Asana is an equal variant for girls.

By practising Siddhasana, Ajna Chakra is stimulated, which supplies the practitioner immense energy. For the identical purpose, it’s also often known as the "Completed Pose" or the "Pose of Perfection".

In Siddhasana observe, the 1-foot heel is pressed towards the genital space and one other foot is just positioned between the other thigh and decrease leg. Then arms are purchased into the Gyan Mudra for meditative functions.

Siddhasana improves posture. It stretches the hips, knees and ankles and balances the perform of the reproductive organs. The backbone will stay straight with common observe of this asana. This asana helps enhance focus.

13. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

PadmasanaImage supply: Canva

After Siddhasana, Padmasana is one other vital meditative pose that’s generally practiced by yogis. However, in comparison with padmasana, siddhasana is less complicated for novice yogis as a result of on this posture, toes are much less doubtless to go to sleep.

The place of the toes up in Padmasana appears to be like like Padma (lotus flower), therefore it’s known as the lotus pose. It is carried out whereas sitting instantly on the ground by stretching the legs ahead. Bend your proper knee, maintain it by your left thigh, and place your heel near your abdomen. The identical process needs to be performed on one other leg.

Keep each legs in a crossed place and place your arms on every knees within the mudra place. Continue to carry mild lengthy breaths on this place.

While practising Padmasana, you possibly can work in several mudras like Chin Mudra, Chinmayi Mudra, Adi Mudra or Brahma Mudra. These mudras improve the movement of blood and vitality in your physique. Padmasana controls blood strain, relaxes our minds and reduces muscle rigidity. Practicing this asana commonly additionally helps enhance digestion.

14. Simhasana (lion pose)

Simhasana benefitsImage supply: Shutterstock

This asana is derived from two phrases, Simha (the lion) and Asana (pose); Hence it is called the lion pose. The physique and facial posture resemble a roaring lion. According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Simhasana can solely be carried out on an empty abdomen if you get up early within the morning.

To do that, kneel on the ground. Then cross your ankles in order that the entrance of your proper ankle is over the again of your left ankle. Press your perineum in your heels.

Place your palms on every knee. Firm your fingers in your knees and unfold them aside. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue as you inhale via your nostril. Open your eyes and contract the muscle tissue in your neck.

You ought to exhale via your mouth with a "ha" sound. Roar a couple of instances and alter your ankle place after you end the roar within the ankle place above.

15. Bhadrasana (gracious pose)

Bhadrasana - lovable poseSource: Instagram / Bree_t_theree

Bhadrasana is the final pose within the collection of 15 Hatha Yoga Asanas by Hatha Pradipika. It is one other meditative sitting posture the place the heel is on the backside of the perineum.

Bhadra actually means "gracious" and "blessed". According to Swatmarama, it’s also often known as Gorakshasana. Some additionally name it Moola Bandhasana.

To do Bhadrasana, sit in Vajrasana along with your knees so far as doable. Then place your heels beneath the edges of the genitals. Keep your heels collectively and the balls of your toes beneath your hips.

Then, maintain your toes behind your again and make your physique steady. Close your eyes and deal with the breath, a particular image or mantra.

Bhadrasana improves digestion and strengthens the thighs, hips and backbone. It improves mind efficiency and helps in higher focus and focus. This asana can even remedy fatigue.

final phrases

Hatha yoga asanas are the entire physique postures that, when practiced mindfully, additionally open psychological knots. The significance of asanas will not be measured by how stunning or tough they give the impression of being, however by how consciously one can deal with a pose.

The final aim in practising completely different postures is to extend consciousness of every pose. And so yogis increase their consciousness by practising yoga asana.

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