Subscribe to our Daily Teachings | Read our YOGALife & Publications

Hatha Yoga


Standing upright with feet together or almost touching together, inhale and stretch arms up alongside ears, neck is relaxed and straight, back is straight. Think of keeping the feet in even contact with the floor or mat. Spread the toes for more contact with the mat.

Exhale, bend forward from hips, with arms extended forward, stretching the body away from the hips. Make a tabletop line with the back and arms and head all in one line horizontally. The hips will draw back as counter weight while you are keeping the legs straight.

Still exhaling, bend forward aiming your head toward your knees or shins, and catch hold of your calves or ankles, clasping your hands behind them, or hold the big toes (index finger around big toe and thumb underneath, other three fingers are curled against the palm).  Some may enjoy placing the hands under the soles of the feet. The knees are still held straight. Hold up to a minute with slow rhythmical breathing. Let the forward weight of the head and body help stretch the leg muscles gently. Rock weight forward onto the balls of the feet rather than the heels. If flexibility allows, take the arms behind the legs, holding the elbows and gradually work the arms down toward the ankles.

How to come out of the pose:

Inhale, release hands and come back up with bent knees rolling yourself gently back up with relaxed arms, leaving the head to unroll last. Come to standing position.


  • Ease stiff legs – if you are stiff from sitting for a long time, or have been inactive, this standing pose uses the pull of gravity and quickly lengthens muscles and ligaments from middle back to the heels.
  • It stretches muscles in hips and lower back muscles.
  • It helps sciatica.
  • It helps re-energise the body, increase mental alertness with more flow of blood to the brain.
  • Stimulate the spine, help sense of balance, helps overcome constipation.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Other yoga tips at

An aspirant must have purity of mind, a real thirst for knowledge and perseverance. – Swami Sivananda

Quick Links

Spiritual Calendar

APRIL 2019

05  New Moon
14   Ramanavami
15   Vishu (Malayalam New Year)
15   Ekadasi
19   Full Moon (Hanuman Jayanti)
30  Ekadasi

MAY 2019

04  New Moon
15   Ekadasi
18   Full Moon
30  Ekadasi


BUDDHI -An aspect of the intellectual faculty: to understand: to know; to reason.

Buddhi is one of the four aspects of consciousness mind. Buddha is one part of the intellectual faculty, assisting the observer with the ability to “form and retain concepts, reason, discern, judge, comprehend, understand. The other three aspects of mind are manas (the perceiving mind), ahamkara (the ego) and chitta (feeling). The analytical process of the intellectual facility goes about its process of enquiry and investigation by categorizing the experiences of the World into these different.

Remember and practice the six S’s—Shanti (Peace), Santosha (Contentment), Satsanga (Association with Sages), Satya (Truthfullness), Serenity and Seclusion.

– Sri Swami Sivananda