The series of yoga positions below is a small selection of the 1000's of named asanas. The idea is to cycle the body's flex/stretch/slack functions - so in this style of yoga, that supple arc is always the goal and the primary focus. The positions below, or any of the spots in between them all work towards this goal. Your own body is the guru, so as you move through the poses, listen to it, pay close attention to each part, if it's clenched needlessly, or if it's loose and relaxed. Be comfortable with improvisation, and varying the poses to satisfy stretch-needy muscles or ligaments.

The sequence below is a variation of Asurya Namaskara, the Sun Salutation. This is one idea for a daily routine. I can go through this in 12 minutes if I'm in a big rush, which I don't allow to happen too often. The point is, I never start the day without it, and most days it takes 20 to 30 minutes. I've been doing yoga off and on since 1966 - but only established a daily practice in 1993. Seeing the difference so markedly illustrated in my own life, I can't help but tell people how valuable it is to have a "daily yoga dip" - even if it's a quickie.

The Bodyawn Yoga Page


TADASANA | Mountain | Amudah Besheket

Begin. Breathe deeply, using the square breathing described here, center, focus, settle the mind.

ANUVITTASANA | Yirat Shamayim

Breathe deeply, stretch and bend back, using thighs for support, look at the wall behind you. Allow front and stomach muscles to relax and stretch.


Breathe out, bend forward slowly, relax hamstrings and lower back, allow arms, hands, fingers and head to dangle. The lower legs do the work, all other muscles should be relaxed and loose. If you are able to touch the floor, you can get traction and deepen the stretch as a variation.

UTTHANASANA | Asher Yatzar

Yes, it looks like someone relieving themselves in the woods (or in a Paris or Moroccan toilet...) In fact, "utthan" is Sanskrit for bowel movement, this being the optimal position for humans to perform that function. This is healing for the lower bowel tract, keeping those parts oxygenated and properly stretched. The ankles and lower legs love this too.

BADDHA-KONASANA | Tailor's pose | Elokai Neshama

The buttocks, thighs, ankles and feet are on the mat, with the forehead resting in the hollow formed by the two foot arches facing each other. The only muscles used are the fingertips, clawing the pad or carpet to provide traction - the rest of the body can be completely slack. The lower back benefits immensly from this pose. Be careful not to fall asleep in this one.

RAJA-KAPOTASANA | Royal Pigeon | Crescent | Keruv

Leave one leg crooked from the previous pose, and swing the other leg back behind you. Look out for "charlie horses" if you're not used to this. These will occur in the lower back or foot, showing the interconnections in the body. The key is to relax the muscles being compressed. The front of the thigh and hip are opened and stretched here also.

JANUSIRASANA | Archer | Karkafta Tefillin

Keep the leg crooked from the previous pose, and turn towards the foot that was behind you. Reach forward and clutch your toes, touch your head to your knee - keep the leg straight. The hamstrings and lower back are worked greatly by these, be careful!

RAJA-KAPOTASANA | Royal Pigeon | Crescent | Keruvim - P'tach Eliahu

Repeat the entire process with the alternate legs. These poses do great hip stretching, and help eliminate insomnia. While doing these, roll the head straight back, then alternate looking over your shoulders at your foot. Looking back, allow the stretched side to relax, checking for tension in the neck and shoulders especially. The side of your belly will resist and avoid stretching too, but really, it wants it. The arms and straight leg do the work and provide support; the hips and lower back are slack - relaxed.


These positions are quite demanding on the hamstrings if you are just beginning. Most people over the age of 13 or 14 can't easily do these without a lot of slow progress.


This is like Janusirasana with both legs out, feet together, knees locked, hands clutching the toes.

HALASANA | Plow | Macharesha

"Hala" means "health" in Sanskrit, and this pose is one of the healthiest. The feet are together, with hands holding the toes. The finger muscles provide the traction, the thigh muscles keep the knees locked straight, and everything else is relaxed and slack. This will cure an attack of hemorroids in a few hours. Bend the knees and tuck them by your ears for a variation.

HALASANA | Shoulder-knee variation

Bringing the knees next to the ears maximizes the effect, compressing the organs of the chest and abdomen. Since it's difficult to take deep breaths in this position, oxygenate by doing shallow Ujayi.

HALASANA | unfolding plow

Come out of the Plow slowly, paying attention to each vertebrae as the back un-bends. The abdominal muscles get a workout here, and the spine appreciates a slow, muscle by muscle unfolding.

HALASANA | unfolding plow

This variation enhances the abdominal workout as you come out of the plow. This also works lower back muscles you never knew you had.

NAVASANA | Leglifts

Boot camp veterans remember these. Not much is better for creating 'washboard abs' if that's your thing. Do all you want, because it's also great for the lower back. After this, just lay flat for a moment, breathe deeply, and relax. [Savasana - Corpse Pose].

SETU-BANHDASANA | Bridge | Gessher

From laying flat, bend the knees and bring the feet against the buttocks, and push the pelvis up into the air. The lower back and clenched buttocks do the work here, with the hands and arms relaxed, or hanging onto the ankles.

USHTRASANA | Camel Pose | Gimel

Reach back and hold the ankles, roll the head back, and push up with the chest. The lower back does most of the work here, again. Include a twist by slowly turning to look at your heels from one side, and then the other.

ADHO-MUKHA SVANASANA | Standing dog | Har Gezerim

The flex action here is in pushing the head and upper back towards the floor, while the arms and legs hold you steady. The calves and lower hamstrings get a great stretch here.

SIRSHASANA | Headstand | Reshis Chochma

This pose and the next are advanced poses requiring upper body strength and should be undertaken with care. They require great concentration as well as strength, because balance is critical. These invigorate the entire body, reversing gravity for every organ, muscle and sinew, flushing the brain with freshly oxygenated blood, from all the breathing.

VRISHIKASANA | Scorpion | Ekev Anava

This completes the previous pose by combining a stretch with the benefits of inverted gravity. Every muscle must be just right to maintain balance, so focus is very important. Allowing the legs to dangle behind and raising the head gives the entire back a great flex. As with the camel, include a twist by looking back over your shoulder at your heels from one side, then the other.

BRAHMASANA | Dog pose | Kelev

The dismount from the previous pose puts the knees and shins on the floor, the locked arms provide traction, so the lower back can amplify the gravity-flex with muscle-flexing, pushing the buns out, the belly button forward, and rolling the head back. This freshens and invigorates the lower back muscles.

ARDHA VIRABHADRASANA | Half Warrior | Ish Milchama Yamina

Balance is the challenge here, and the belly does the stabilizing. The upper body springs back, led by the fingers, eyes and head rolling back to the wall behind. Any time the head is rolled back, slack the jaw, to accentuate the stretch.

ARDHA VIRABHADRASANA | Half Warrior | Ish Milchama Smola

The previous pose easily mirrors itself to the other side. At the 'grace point' in the pose, let the legs support the body like springs, bouncing slightly to accentuate the massaging of the lower back.


Come to a standing position from the previous pose, then bend forward and hang, flex, stretch, and breathe. This is usually easier the second time around.

Spinal Twists | Matir Asurim

There are many kinds of spinal twists. This one involves a half squat, one arm locked-straight, and the head turning up the other way to look at the ceiling. Push the shoulders to follow the twist, and allow the lower back, hips, and upper thighs to relax and hang slack. This usually results in some very satisfying and loud lower back pops.

ANUVITTASANA | Yirat Shamayim

Breathe deep, stretch and bend back, using thighs for support, look at the wall behind you. Allow front and stomach muscles to relax and stretch.

TADASANA | Mountain

Completion. Breathe deep, enjoy a centered, focused, and settled mind, and a body that feels like champagne bubbles or drifting clouds of incense.



Some additional poses - more will be added...

PADMASIRSHASANA | Headstand with Lotus | Ana B'Koach

Lotus variation of the headstand. This lowers the center of gravity, making it easier to extend the time spent inverted. It also gives the thighs, hip joints and lower back a good workout.

MAYURASANA | Peacock | Moznei Tzedek

Hard work for the arms and wrists, and again the belly is given a strong workout.