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 Cobra (Bhujangasana)


The Posture

Lie face down.  Place the palms on the floor under the shoulders, fingers turned slightly inward. Slowly lift the forehead, the nose, the chin, followed by the entire upper body, up to the navel.  The weight rests on both hands, the pelvis and the legs.  Keep the elbows slightly bent.  Hold for 10 seconds, focusing your attention on the lower back.  Very slowly lower your trunk to the floor, then the chin, the nose and the forehead.  Relax for a few seconds and repeat twice.   Observe how your body feels.

The Cobra is a posture of prime importance.  It increases the flow of blood into the abdominal organs, thereby relieving indigestion, constipation and flatulence.  It also exerts a stimulus to the spinal region.  The body is revitalized.  The Cobra prevents and corrects spinal deformities and is of great benefit to anyone dealing with kidney problems, such as recurrent infections and the formation of stones.  Equally good for those with slow thyroid functions.

Caution: This posture is to be practiced very slowly and gently - never to be forced.  It is to be avoided if you have a tendency toward hernia



The Half Twist

Sit with outstretched legs.  Pull the right leg toward the body.  Place the right foot across the left leg on the floor, next to the left knee.  Inhale.  Twist the upper body to the right, placing both hands on the right side of the body on the floor.  Look over the right shoulder and exhale.  Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds.  Inhale as you slowly move out of the posture and repeat on the opposite side.  This posture is very gentle and is easily performed.


The Half Twist strengthens the entire nervous system and helps overcome spinal deformities.  The crossing of the positive and negative currents  (ha and tha) affects their equilibrium and results in perfect health.  Psychologically this posture induces balance, stability and self-confidence



The Diamond Seat



Sit on your heels, knees together and place your hands on your knees.  Breath slowly and consciously.  Slowly raise up onto your knees, keeping your back and neck perfectly straight.  Sit back again on your heels in the same manner.  Repeat twice.

Effect: The Diamond Seat is good for knees and thighs.  Because it combats sleepiness, it is a good posture to practice after meals as an aid to digestion.

Relaxation:  Many of you have requested material to cope with the  stress most of us have to overcome on a daily basis.   There are many ways to relax;  some like to listen to music, do some uplifting reading  and some want a little more structured direction.  Relaxation after exercise is especially valuable.  A simple yet highly effective method of relaxing the entire body - and the mind - can be achieved by lying flat on your back and relaxing each part of the body in turn.  Allow at least  10 minutes for this process; you may wish to have soft relaxing music in the background.  For more detailed instruction, please refer to  Relaxation and Guided Imagery in the side bar on the right of this web page.



The Tree Pose


Stand with both feet together, arms loosely by your sides.  Focus your eyes on an imaginary spot, directly in front of  you.  Bring the right foot up and place the sole against the inside of the left thigh, as high as possible.  When balanced, raise both arms simultaneously while inhaling smoothly.  Place the palms together above your head.  Hold this pose for 30 seconds.   Gently lower your arms.  Release your foot from your thigh.   Repeat the sequence with the other foot.  When you are finished, relax and observe your body.

Effect:  This is a concentration exercise, promoting balance and stability of body and mind.


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