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Asanas: Core Poses

Plank Pose
All Levels

Plank Pose | Dandasana

Form: Hatha | a.k.a Four-Limbed Staff Pose

Description: "Danda" means "stick" in Sanskrit. The foundation of all seated yoga asanas - forward bends and twists. Believed[citation needed] to improve digestion, tone the kidneys, help to prevent sciatic pain, stretch and activates the muscles of the legs, prevent tiredness in the feet by stretching the muscles in them.


Boat Pose
All Levels

Boat Pose | Navasana

Form: Hatha

Description: In Sanskrit, nava means boat, thus the literal translation is "boat pose", in which the body could be imagined to resemble a boat, entirely balanced on the buttocks.

The asana strengthens the abdominal muscles, the legs and the lower back. Regular practise is also claimed to relieve stress and kidney, thyroid, prostate and intestinal problems, as well as improve digestion.


Toe Stand Pose
Intermediate

Toe Stand Pose | Padangustasana

Form: Bikram

Description:


Advanced Toe Stand Pose
Advanced

Advanced Toe Stand Pose | Padangustasana

Form: Bikram

Description:


cock pose
Advanced

Cock Pose | Kukkuṭāsana

Form: Hatha

Description: Kukkuṭāsana posture helps in the strengthening of the joints as the wrists, elbows and shoulders; helps in the improvement of the digestive system; increases the balance in the body. This [asana] is very beneficial for women in overcoming the hip pain and discomfort from menstruation.


Crane Pose
Intermediate

Crane Pose | Bakasana

Form: Hatha

Description: Bakasana, or Crane pose (Sanskrit: बकसन), is a yoga posture in which the body supposedly resembles a crane standing in water. The name comes from the Sanskrit words Baka (Crane) and Asana (pose). Bakasana is also known as Crow pose.


This Asana belongs to a group of postures known as hand balances. According to B.K.S. Iyengar there are two ways of achieving this balance. The simple method of achieving it is by pushing up from a crouching position. The more advanced method is to drop down from a head stand.


Bakasana is often followed by Chaturanga Dandasana or Salamba Sirsasana II (Supported Head Stand, Second version). The most common hand balance to follow Bakasana is Parsva Bakasana (side Crane pose).


This posture helps to tone arm and hand muscles and strengthens the abdominal muscles and organs.


One-Handed Cock Pose
Advanced

One-Handed Cock Pose | Eka Hasta Kukkuṭāsana

Form: Hatha

Description: Kukkuṭāsana posture helps in the strengthening of the joints as the wrists, elbows and shoulders; helps in the improvement of the digestive system; increases the balance in the body. This [asana] is very beneficial for women in overcoming the hip pain and discomfort from menstruation.


Locust Pose
All Levels

Locust Pose | Salabhasana

Form: Hatha

Description: Salabhasana (Sanskrit: शलभासन, Śalabhāsana - translated as "locust pose") is a yoga posture. It is a form of back bend, or spine stretch, using the strength of the upper and middle back to lift the weight of the legs as high as possible from a starting position face down on the floor. Most people find Salabhasana to be a very "strong" i.e. difficult and challenging posture to practice, and as such it not only improves flexibility and coordination, but also has strength and stamina benefits.

In several styles of yoga (e.g. Bikram Yoga, Astanga Yoga) Salabhasana is commonly performed after Bhujangasana, "cobra pose", which is a related posture working on a different part of the spine.

In the Bikram style, the posture referred to as Salabhasana has three stages which follow one after the other. The posture of the same name in Astanga corresponds to stage three of the Bikram style posture.

Beginners may find that their shoulder and elbow flexibility is not sufficient to allow them to get the hands palm down right underneath the body, or that it is quite uncomfortable or even slightly painful to be in that position.