“The practice of asanas establishes physiological balance in the body and secures mental poise also.” – Swami Sivananda

Today, I am sharing the twelve basic yoga poses or asanas (meaning steady posture) as a foundation of the Sivananda Open Class.

They exercise every body part, stretching and toning the muscles, joints, spine, and entire skeletal system. They work not only on the frame but also on the internal organs, glands and nervous system, keeping us in radiant health.

They liberate vast energy resources by releasing physical and mental tension, giving us vigour and vitality.

With regular practice, the poses consciously become an exercise in concentration and meditation, leading to a calmer mind and stress reduction.

I remind my students that we can only relax after a stretch. Photographer Gemma Bringloe took the pictures at the Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club in Greenwich, London, UK.

Listen to the beautiful Kirtan led by Chandra and recorded at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in Putney, London, UK. Link to the recording.

I complemented the 12 asanas with a few variations; those are indicated either without a numbering or marked as “a”.

1. Headstand (Sirsasana)
1.a Scorpion (Vrischikasana)
2. Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)
One-legged Bridge (Eka Pada Setu Bandhasana)
3. Plough (Halasana)
4. Fish (Matsyasana)
5. Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Inclined Plane (Purvottanasana)
Crocodile (Makarasana)
6. Cobra (Bhujangasana)
7. Locust (Salabhasana)
7.a Half Locust (Ardha Salabhasana)
8. Bow (Dhanurasana)
9. Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
10. Crow (Kakasana)
Crazy Crow (Kakasana variation)
11. Standing Forward Bend (Pada Hastasana)
12. Triangle (Trikonasana) Corpse (Savasana)

Join me at the Better UK leisure centres in Royal Borough Greenwich, London, UK.

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Om Shanti & Prem, Shankara, aka Marc