12 Basic Asanas
Bow - Dhanurasana
- Headstand (Sirshasana)
- Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
- Plough (Halasana)
- Fish (Matsyasana)
- Sitting Forward bend (Paschimothanasana)
- Cobra (Bhujangasana)
- Locust (Shalabhasana)
- Bow (Dhanurasana)
- Spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
- Crow (Kakasana) or Peacock (Mayurasana)
- Standing forward bend (Pada Hasthasana)
- Triangle (Trikonasana)
Definition: Balancing on your abdomen, in the shape of a bow.
The Bow works all parts of your back simultaneously. In this asana, your head, chest, and legs are lifted, while your body rests on your abdomen. The pose is so named because as you hold it, your body is bent back like a bow and your arms are held straight and taut like a bowstring. Initially, you may wish to attempt only the first 3 steps, moving on to the Rocking Bow when you have become more confident and lithe.
Frontal Corpse or Crocodile (Makarasana)
Before and after all asanas you must relax for as long as necessary. The position that you adopt for relaxing between back bends is a variation on the Corpse Pose, in which you lie on your front. Like all Corpse variations, this pose prepares you mentally and physically for performing an asana. Head on hands: Your hands make a pillow on which you can rest your head as you relax in this position. Feet: Position your feet with your big toes together; let your heels and ankles fall gently out to either side.
Step 1 - Catch Hold
To begin, lie on your front with your forehead on the ground. Now bend your knees and catch hold of your ankles. Make sure that you do grasp your ankles rather than the top of your feet or your toes. Keep your feet relaxed.
Step 2 - Lift Up
Inhale, raising your head, chest, and legs. Straighten your knees. Hold for 10 seconds, aiming to increase to 30. Breathe as you hold the pose. Exhale, and lower your body. Repeat 3 times.
For this variation, come into the Bow, arching as high as you can. Keep your head back and gently rock, using your breath to propel your body. Exhale as you rock forward, and inhale as you rock back. Do not forget to relax in the Corpse Pose on your front after you have completed this movement. Grip: Hold your ankles firmly as you rock.