Sivananda Yoga – 12 Basic Asanas – Sequence and Benefits

Yoga not only makes you physically fit, but it also makes you mentally healthy and in good mood. You can see thousands of yoga asanas in traditional books. Practicing a few of them can make you become stronger, self confident and energetic.  Sivananda yoga Vedanta dhanwantari ashram is very popular with its ways of doing asanas. Here you follow yoga that is slow, meditative and traditional. Sivananda yoga consists of Pranayama and 12 asanas.

Sivananda Yoga Asana Sequence:


Bhastrika Pranayama for Weight Loss

Close your right nostril and inhale deeply with your left nostril. Now you have to close your left nostril immediately and inhale through your right nostril. Do it this way by alternating your nostrils. Make sure that you inhale slowly.

Sun salutations:

Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) asana in yoga

Step 1: Stand straight with your hands folded in prayer pose. Exhale.

Step 2: Inhale and bring your hands over your head while keeping the palms together.

Step 3: Exhale and touch your feet with your fingers by bending forward..

Step 4: Inhale and take your right leg back, bend your back and lift your chin up.

Step 5: Exhale and step back your left leg also, so that both legs are in plank position. Stretch as much as it is possible. In this pose the weight of your body is supported by your feet and hands.

Step 6: Lower your knees and touch the ground with your knees, chest and forehead.

Step 7: Inhale, stretch forward and bend backwards. Your arms must be straight. This pose is called Sarpasana.

Step 8: Exhale and lift your hips, and stretch as much as you can. Here the body weight is supported on your hands and feet.

Step 9: inhale and bring your right leg forward by stretching the top of your foot on the ground. Lift your chin and look ahead straight.

Step 10: Now bend forward and touch your feet with your fingers.

Step 11: inhale and stretch your hands backwards over your head.

Step 12: Exhale and slowly return back to the initial position.

After you master this yoga asana, you have to practice 12 asanas in Sivananda yoga. They are as follows:


Shirshasana in Yoga for glowing skin

Sit on the ground in Vajrasana pose and then place your hands on the ground in such a way that your right hand can hold your left arm and vice versa. Place the crown of your head on your palms and raise your legs up slightly. Learn to balance your body and once you have learnt to balance well, you can lift your legs fully to form a straight line. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds and then get back to the initial position by reversing the steps.


Sarvangasana or Shoulder stand pose

Lie on the ground and rest your back on the floor. Lift your legs upwards, taking support of your hands. Put your palms at your back and try to lift your legs in a straight line. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds and then relax.


Halasana-Plough pose in Yoga

After you take the Sarvangana pose, bring your legs down from over your head. You can take the support of your hands by resting your palms at your back.


Matsyasana or Fish pose

Bend your knees and lie on the floor on your back. Inhale and slightly lift the upper part of your body from the floor. Move your hands below your buttocks, so that they rest on the back your hands. Stay in this pose for 15 seconds and then relax.


Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Bend forward from your hips, keeping the spine erect, and try to touch your toes with your fingers. If you cannot touch the toes, place your hands wherever they reach on your legs.


Bhujangasana or Cobra pose

Lie on the ground straight, with your forehead touching the ground. Place your arms under your shoulders and stretch your legs in a manner so that the top of our feet are pressed on the ground. Inhale and press your hands on the ground to stretch your arms and move your chest upwards. This looks like the pose of a snake.

Shalbasana or Salbhasana or Locust Pose or Grasshopper Pose:

Shalbasana or Grasshopper Pose

Image Credits: Flickr

Lie down on your belly with the forehead touching the ground. Let your hands rest below your thighs. Try to lift your left leg up to about 10 inches. Do the same with your right leg also. Finally you can lift both your legs up to 10 inches from the ground.


Dhanurasana - Bow pose in yoga exercise

Here you have to lie on your belly on the floor and keep your hands near your chest. Taking a deep breath, lift your legs and thighs up and try to catch your legs with your hands. Your body takes the pose of a bow once you do this asana. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds.

Ardha Matsyendrasana:

Ardha Matsyendrasana - Half Lord of Fish Pose

Sit straight with your legs stretched in front of you. Place the heel of your left leg near your right hip by bending your left leg. Take your right leg over the left knee and then place your left hand on the right knee and your right hand behind you. Now twist your waist, shoulders and the neck to the right and look over your shoulders. Remain in this pose for 3 seconds and then repeat with the other side.

Bakasana or Kakasana or Crow Pose:

Kakasana Bakasana Crow Pose

Put your hands on the floor in front of your feet with your palms facing the floor. Bend the elbows and place your knee above your elbows on your arms. Now try to shift your body weight slightly in the forward direction, so that your feet come off the ground slowly. Keep your eyes looking on the ground in front of your hands. Remain for about 10 seconds in this pose and relax.


Padahastasana or Standing Forward Bend

Stand straight with your feet close together. Exhale and bend from your hips in the forward direction. Touch your feet with your fingers and keep your arms stretched. Slowly go back to the original position.


Trikonasana or Triangle Pose

Stand straight with your feet wide apart. Now you have to turn your right foot out to 90 degrees and your left foot 15 degrees. Balance your body equally on both your feet. Bend down your body to your right from your hips, so that your left hand is up in the air and the right hand touches the ground. Let both hands be in a straight line.  Keep your waist straight as you do this. Repeat with the other side.

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