Purna Yoga

Before you begin to practice Yoga it is important to understand a little about the basic dos and don'ts of yoga for your own care and pleasure. Please read and observe the general information below.
It is perfectly all right for you to begin practicing with this information; however, we would recommend that you also obtain the book Balanced Yoga by Dr Svami Purna. You will find this book on Yoga (Practical Introduction Series) in the Amazon book link in the Navigation bar). It includes many other elementary postures and positions that will prepare you to enjoy some of the more advanced aspects of the yogic approach to life.
Medical Caution
While it is clear that the practice of yoga can improve health and well being and can also be very therapeutic in eliminating many physical and mental ailments and disorders it must never be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Your doctor knows your medical history and is therefore qualified to advise you whether you can undertake these movements. Many doctors are now recognizing the benefits and advantages that the practice of yoga has to offer and are in fact referring their patients to this practice.

The extreme gentleness of the positions set out here makes this program an ideal practical demonstration of Dr. Svami Purna's system of yoga movements for those who may not usually undertake strenuous exercise. Purna Yoga is a flexible program, designed to be enjoyed in whole or in part, with or without meditation, depending on your time and other circumstances.

This program is designed to illustrate a variety of Yoga postures that will benefit everyone. Each month we will explore a new posture to allow you to become thoroughly familiar with each posture and its benefits. You will find that the illustrations and instructions for each movement are very clearly set out and very easy to follow.

With each new entry - topmost on this blog - you will find an illustration, the description and benefit of the pose as well as a quote or poem by Dr. Svami Purna to enhance the experience. We will begin with the Tree Pose, especially helpful when we feel scattered, harried or simply out of balance. Enjoy this very easy pose daily.  *** Gradually we will move onto a little more complex postures, all of which are easily manageable for most people. 

Note: You may wish to conclude your yoga session with a relaxation and guided imagery. Please check the link called Guided Imagery in the navigation bar -- a journal of simple mini vacations...

*** For those of you who discovered this blog only recently, please scroll down to the bottom of this page  for the first postures  and go to the next page ...

The Camel Pose

Sit in a kneeling position on your mat and rest on your heels.  Keep the back straight, hands on your knees.  Relax.  Then inhale and raise up from your knees.  Place your hands behind you and bend backwands - gently!  If possible, grasp you ankles and bend the entire body and your head backwards and give your body a good stretch.  Hold for a few seconds.    Slowly raise your head and straighten your body, then sit back on your heels.  Relax a moment and repeat twice.

Note: To begin with, you may place your hands further away from your heels until the backward bend id mor comfortable.. Remember, do not even try to compete with yourself. 

Effect:  This posture involves many muscle groups; it stretches your chest, improving breathing and it is most beneficial for spinal and joint flexibility. 

Warning:  Do not attempt this pose if your have a history of herniae.



Action Pose (Karmasana)

Stand upright, feet together.  Clasp your hands behind your back and exhale.  Keeping your hands claped, inhale and raise your arms up and back, as high as possible, pinching your shoulder blades together.  Bend forward from the hip, keeping the back quite straight.  Now lift your chin.  Make sure your legs a re straight.  When yopu are comfortable in this position, continue to bend forward, exhaling, bringing yourr  head as close to the knees as comfortable.  Hold for 10 -15 seconds.  Slowly unroll and return to standing position.  Repeat twice.  Relax and observe your body.

EFFECT:  The action pose is a wonderful revitalizer for those who experience periods of sluggishness during certain times of the day.  Stale air is emptied from the llungs.  The influx of fresh air and improved blood circulation promote an increased flow of vital life force into the upper body.  You will feel instantly refreshed, able to continue concentrated work.  Because of this enery renewal the posture is sometimes called  "the 3pm pose".




The Crescent Boat - Navasana


Lie on your back, arms loosely by your side.  Inhale.   As you exhale, raise your legs and upper body simultaneously, balancing on your buttocks.  Raise both arms and stretch forward and stretch forward horizontally, fingers pointing towards the knees.  (If necessary, hold knees with both hands.)  Hold the posture for a few seconds.  Slowly lower your body to the floor.  Repeat twice.  relax and observe.
Effect:  The whole body is balanced and strengthened and the spine is revitalized.  The energy center around the navel becomes aligned, correcting digestive disturbances and regenerating all abdominal organs.  Nervousness is overcome and the body becomes warm.
Caution: Please approach the Crescent Boat pose with caution if you suffer from low back problems.  It would be advisable to strengthen your back through regular  mild yoga practice before attempting this exercise.




The Triangle Pose


Stand with your feet about three feet apart.  Inhale and raise your arms sideways to shoulder level.  Turn your left foot 90 degrees to the left and your right foot 45 degrees to the left.  Exhale and bend from the waist to touch the left foot with the left hand.  The right arm points up, forming one straight line with the left arm.  turn your face toward the upraised hand.  Hold ten seconds .   Inhale and return to a standing position.  Turn you feet tot the right side in the same manner and perform the exercise to the right side.  Repeat twice to each side -- slowly, smoothly and carefully.   Relax ... and observe.

 EFFECT:  The Triangle pose is unique in restoring the equilibrium of the nerves.  Toxins are eliminated and boils, pimples and infections are prevented.  General good health results.  Good for lung ailments and back problems like lumbago and sciatica.  The body becomes light.




The Dancer's Pose


Stand erect, feet together.  Shift your weight onto your right leg.  Bend left leg back and up and grasp foot  with your left hand.  Check your balance by focusing on a spot in front of your eyes.  Slowly and gently pull the entire leg up as far as comfortable and possible.
Raise your right arm above the head - as illustrated.  Hold the position for 10 seconds or more, breathing slowly and evenly.  gently lower arm and leg and repeat posture on the opposite side.  Stand quietly for a moment to observe the effect on the body.

Continued practice of the Dancer's pose will increase pranic circulation in the body and raise the level of energy.  The spine and the legs are strengthened and posture and poise are enhanced.