12 BASIC ASANA'S (POSTURES) AND PRANAYAMA (BREATHING EXERCISES)
Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical Yoga, which states that poses should be steady and comfortable, firm yet relaxed helping a practitioner to become more aware of their body, mind, and environment.
The 12 basic poses or asanas are much more than just stretching. They open the energy channels, chakras and psychic centers of the body while increasing flexibility of the spine, strengthening bones and stimulating the circulatory and immune systems. Along with proper breathing or pranayama, asanas also calm the mind and reduce stress. With regular practice one can ensure overall physical and mental health and the possible prevention of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. In time, performing the poses slowly and consciously, becomes a mental exercise in concentration and meditation.
12 Basic Asanas
Sitting Forward bend (Paschimothanasana)
Spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Standing forward bend (Pada Hasthasana)
Pranayama (Breathing exercises)
By far the most important thing about good breathing is the Prana, or subtle energy of the vital breath. Control of the Prana leads to control of the mind. Breathing exercises are called Pranayama's, which means to control the Prana.
First the basics of breathing will be taught and then the two main Pranayama's taught are Kapalabhati and Anuloma-Viloma (there are 4 stages in this, each done step-by-step).