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Pratyahara: Slow Practice By Drawing Attention Inwards
Image Pose Description
yoga pose EasySit with legs straight. Hands on floor beside hips. Palms down, fingers point forward. Cross legs. Lower knees. Lengthen spine by stretching back up. Rest palms on knees.
Alternatives: Hero. Perfect. Lotus.
Sanskrit: Sukhasana
Benefits: Flexibility in hips, spine. Improve posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/zLvJD7iKVhw?rel=0
Modifications: Pillow under buttocks. Back against wall.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Chin To ChestSit or stand. Close eyes. Slowly move head forward, trying to touch chin to chest. Move head as far back as is comfortable. Don't strain. Feel stretch in front and back of neck and loosening of the neck. Repeat several times.
Sanskrit: Greeva Sanchalana
Benefits: Flexibility in neck.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/vSRVFModIHk
Precautions : neck injury.
yoga pose Easy Head TurnSit or stand. Close eyes. Gently turn head to right so chin is in line with shoulder. Feel tension releasing in neck muscles and loosening of neck joints. Slowly turn head to left as far as is comfortable. Repeat several times.
Sanskrit: Greeva Sanchalana
Benefits: Flexibility in neck.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/vSRVFModIHk
Precautions : neck injury.
yoga pose Ear To ShoulderSit or stand. Close eyes. Face directly forward. Relax shoulders. Slowly move head to right and try to touch right ear to right shoulder (without raising shoulders). Repeat on other side.
Sanskrit: Greeva Sanchalana
Benefits: Flexibility in neck.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/vSRVFModIHk
Precautions : neck injury.
yoga pose Easy Side Bend ISit with legs crossed. Lower knees. Lengthen spine by stretching back up. Raise arms overhead and bend to the right. Bring right hand to floor. Repeat on left side.
Alternatives: Hero. Perfect. Lotus.
Sanskrit: Sukhasana
Benefits: Flexibility in hips, spine. Engages core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/52I0T7JXJpI
Modifications: A) Bring elbow flat on floor. B) Look up or down.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Flow End
yoga pose Cat CowSit with buttocks on heels. Come onto all fours. Wrists under shoulders. Pull navel into small of back. Inhale while raising head. Exhale, while lowering head and arching spine up like a cat. Repeat.
Sanskrit: Marjaryasana
Benefits: Stretches lower back. Engage care. Decompress spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
Modifications: Knee to chest. Raise leg or arm.
Precautions : Neck injury.
yoga pose Standing Fold Knees Bent IIStand in Mountain. Knees hip-width apart and very bent. Fold at waist grasping opposite elbows. Let head hang. Hold.
Alternatives: Tabletop. Gorilla.
Sanskrit: Ardha Uttanasana
Benefits: Stretch back, hams. Improves posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VKhodmlFhak
Modifications: Loop fingers around big toes.
yoga pose Downward Facing DogStart in Mountain. Forward bend. Step feet back one at time. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Press down through heels. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose Downward Facing Dog Knees BentStart in Mountain. Forward bend. Step feet back one at time. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Bend knees. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Down Dog. Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuxnaIcILFQ
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose Downward Facing Dog TransitionFrom Downward Facing Dog, lift head and bring your gaze straight ahead.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: A) Use wall. B) Head on block. C) Leg up. D) Arm up. E) Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. Headache.
yoga pose MountainFeet hip width apart. Tuck chin in. Legs slightly bent . Shoulders back and down.
Alternatives: Samashthiti (feet together).
Sanskrit: Tadasana
Benefits: Improves posture. Strengthens legs. Engages core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/nwiyZSmfpWY?rel=0
Modifications: Hands in prayer behind back. Eyes closed.
Precautions : Pregnant.
yoga pose Standing CrescentStand in Mountain. Step feet together with big toes touching. Heels half an inch apart. Sweep arms above head. Press hands together in prayer. Inhale. Exhale while bending to the left. Keep feet rooted and Inner core engaged as you breathe into right side body. Repeat on opposite side.
Alternatives: Standing Side Stretch.
Sanskrit: Indudalasana
Benefits: Stretches sides of torso and spine. Stimulates abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/FWsL4uTuzR0
Modifications: Spin chest toward ceiling and look up.
Precautions : Hip, shoulder, or neck injuries.
yoga pose Flow End
yoga pose MountainFeet hip width apart. Tuck chin in. Legs slightly bent . Shoulders back and down.
Alternatives: Samashthiti (feet together).
Sanskrit: Tadasana
Benefits: Improves posture. Strengthens legs. Engages core.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/nwiyZSmfpWY?rel=0
Modifications: Hands in prayer behind back. Eyes closed.
Precautions : Pregnant.
yoga pose Standing Fold Knees Bent IIStand in Mountain. Knees hip-width apart and very bent. Fold at waist grasping opposite elbows. Let head hang. Hold.
Alternatives: Tabletop. Gorilla.
Sanskrit: Ardha Uttanasana
Benefits: Stretch back, hams. Improves posture.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VKhodmlFhak
Modifications: Loop fingers around big toes.
yoga pose Kneeling Lunge Hands On KneeFrom Downward Facing Dog step right foot forward between hands. Right knee above heel. Lower left knee to floor. Top of left foot on floor. Hands on thigh. Lift chest. Back to Down Dog. Repeat on left leg.
Alternatives: High Lunge.
Sanskrit: Anjaneyasana
Benefits: Stretches legs, groin, hip flexors. Strengthens thighs, buttocks.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5zeuZuA8T4?rel=0
Modifications: Move between bent and straight leg.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose RunnerStart in with right foot back. Press back through right heel to straighten back leg. Lift through knee to engage thigh. Left knee over the ankle. Bring hands to sides of the front foot, under shoulders. Draw navel in. Tuck tailbone in. Raise heart toward sky without taking hands off the mat. Hold.
Alternatives: High Lunge.
Sanskrit: Anjaneyasana
Benefits: Opens up calves, quads, hams, thighs & hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/OfJl_jhJcWw
Modifications: Move between bent and straight leg.
Precautions : Knee injury. HBP.
yoga pose Crescent MoonKneel with knees hip width apart. Keep back straight. Step forward with right foot. Foot extends slightly past knee. To increase stretch in hip, bend more on right knee. Raise both arms and bring palms together. Look forward. Focus attention on one point. Hold. Release.
Alternatives: High Lunge.
Sanskrit: Anjaneyasana
Benefits: Stretches legs, groin, hip flexors. Strengthens thighs, buttocks.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/2pCcmxQSETc
Modifications: Move between bent and straight leg. Look up.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Kneeling Lunge...Start in Down Dog. Step right foot forward next to right hand. Release back knee to the mat. Plant left palm on ground in line right foot, under shoulder. Lift right arm to ceiling. Open chest. Switch sides.
Alternatives: Extended side angle. High or low lunge.
Sanskrit: Parivrtta Sanchalasana
Benefits: Stretches legs, groins, hams. Opens chest, shoulders.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/wYTgoLQ5EWU
Modifications: Block under hand.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Downward Facing DogStart in Mountain. Forward bend. Step feet back one at time. Lift buttocks. Lengthen spine. Press down through heels. Tuck chin in. Look at feet. Release jaw.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Stretches spine, hams, shoulders. Calms nervous system.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: Use wall. Head on block. Leg up. Arm up. Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP. Headache.
yoga pose Downward Facing Dog Leg UpFrom Downward Facing Dog try as many variations as you can: Lift left leg. Lift right leg. Lift left hand. Lift right hand. Lift left leg and right hand. Lift right leg and left hand. Wag your doggie tail. Widen stance. Come up onto toes. Bend knees.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Fun.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: A) Use wall. B) Head on block. C) Leg up. D) Arm up. E) Wide stance.
Precautions : Pregnant.
yoga pose Extended ChildOn all fours. Wrists below shoulders. Knees under hips. Use hands to walk forward and lower chest to floor. Drop buttocks until they reach halfway to feet. Arms straight. Forehead touches floor. Push hips back and stretch spine.
Sanskrit: Utthita Balasana
Benefits: Stretches arms, shoulders, spine, hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqVMAPM00DM
Modifications: Child. Child with arms behind. Interlock fingers behind back.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Cat CowSit with buttocks on heels. Come onto all fours. Wrists under shoulders. Pull navel into small of back. Inhale while raising head. Exhale, while lowering head and arching spine up like a cat. Repeat.
Sanskrit: Marjaryasana
Benefits: Stretches lower back. Engage care. Decompress spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/VuqVVXW_N50?rel=0
Modifications: Knee to chest. Raise leg or arm.
Precautions : Neck injury.
yoga pose Knees Chest ChinBegin in Plank Pose. Shoulders directly above wrists. Lower knees to floor. Keep toes tucked under. Hug elbows in. Keeping hips lifted and palms flat, bring chest to mat. Touch chin to mat.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Chaturanga Dandasana
Benefits: Strengthens arms, wrists, spine. Tones abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/UHvIaMSH-GI?rel=0
Modifications: Knees on floor.
Precautions : Carpal tunnel syndrome. Pregnancy.
yoga pose Upward DogLie on tummy. Tops of feet on floor. Bend elbows. Spread palms on floor beside waist. Press hands into floor and slightly backwards (as if trying to push yourself forward along floor). Straighten arms to lift torso and legs. Thighs firm. Buttocks soft. Look straight ahead.
Alternatives: Cobra. Sphinx. Crocodile.
Sanskrit: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Strengthens spine, arms, wrists. Stretches shoulders.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/IVavcaTyQ-Y?rel=0
Modifications: Blanket under hips. Tip head back slightly.
Precautions : Back injury. CTS. Pregnancy.
yoga pose Down Dog (leg...From Downward Facing Dog try as many variations as you can: Lift left leg. Lift right leg. Lift left hand. Lift right hand. Lift left leg and right hand. Lift right leg and left hand. Wag your doggie tail. Widen stance. Come up onto toes. Bend knees.
Alternatives: Dolphin.
Sanskrit: Adho Mukha Svanasana
Benefits: Fun.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/ayRU3ecmPbI?rel=0
Modifications: Head on block.
Precautions : Pregnant. HBP.
yoga pose Extended ChildOn all fours. Wrists below shoulders. Knees under hips. Use hands to walk forward and lower chest to floor. Drop buttocks until they reach halfway to feet. Arms straight. Forehead touches floor. Push hips back and stretch spine.
Sanskrit: Utthita Balasana
Benefits: Stretches arms, shoulders, spine, hips.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/eqVMAPM00DM
Modifications: Child. Child with arms behind. Interlock fingers behind back.
Precautions : Knee injury.
yoga pose Flow End
yoga pose SamasthitiStand tall. Feet together. Drive legs into earth. Lift sternum to sky. Feel sunshine entering spine. Contract abdominal lock. Align mind to spine. Stand in that beautiful centre line of gravity. Open heart centre. Let body mould itself around calm inner power.
Alternatives: Mountain.
Benefits: Improves posture. Strengthens legs. Engages abs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Om03hOv_jcU?rel=0
Modifications: Reach up to ceiling with fingertips.
Precautions : Pregnant.
yoga pose Warrior IIIFrom Mountain take a big step forward with right foot. Shift weight onto right leg. Raise arms overhead. Interlace fingers. Lift left leg. Gaze at a point on floor. Repeat on other side.
Alternatives: Warrior I & II
Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana III
Benefits: Strengthens legs, shoulders, back. Tones abs. Balance.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/4PjcQJjOvBc?rel=0
Modifications: Arms out to sides. Arms back.
Precautions : HBP.
yoga pose Half MoonStand in Mountain. Big step back with right foot. Turn foot to side of mat. Take arms out in a "T" palms pointing down. Place right hand on waist. Shift weight into left leg as you lift right foot off floor. Left hand on floor (or block). Spread fingers. Look down. Raise leg parallel to floor. Straighten standing leg. Raise right arm.
Sanskrit: Ardha Chandrasana
Benefits: Strengthens abs, thighs. Stretches legs, shoulders, spine.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/9PevVRBHKP4?rel=0
Modifications: Back to wall. Block under hand.
Precautions : Neck pain. Headache. LBP.
yoga pose Flow End
yoga pose Hero Leg...Sit with legs straight out in front (staff pose). Bend left knee and bring left foot beside left hip. Feel grounded on both hips. To avoid leaning hip to right, slide folded blanket under right hip. Keep knee glued to floor. Hold (Optional: walk hands behind you and lean chest back to intensify the stretch. Use elbows, arms and hands as leverage to come back up). Repeat on other side.
Sanskrit: Supta Ardha Virasana
Benefits: Stretches thighs, knees, ankles.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/V1umBJMDSYo
Modifications: Come down onto forearms or shoulders.
Precautions : Knee or ankle injury.
yoga pose Reclined HeroBegin in high kneeling position. Separate feet a little wider than hips (wide enough to sit back between them). Use thumbs to massage calves to help them relax as you sit back (avoid rolling calves outward because it puts knees at risk). If your seat is far from the floor (or hurts knees), place block or folded blanket between feet and ankles. Feet are just outside hips. Tops of feet press into floor. Toes pointing straight back. Knees don’t splay out wider than hips. Recline back, first walking back onto hands, then elbows, then onto back (if there’s a block under your seat, you won’t be able to go all the way onto back unless you have a bolster behind you to support middle/upper back, neck, head). If you feel discomfort in knees or lower back, or if your knees lift significantly off floor, back out of pose and come more upright.
Alternatives: Hero pose.
Sanskrit: Supta Virasana
Benefits: Stretches thighs, knees, ankles. Hip opener. Backbend.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ac4z-bvplMs
Modifications: Sit on block or folded blanket and support upper back, neck, and head with a bolster.
Precautions : Knee, ankle or back injury.
yoga pose Seated Forward Bend ASit with legs extended. Bend forward from hips. Keep back flat. Wrap fingers around big toes. Fold until chest touches thighs. Work heels forwards. Sit bones go back. Heart lifts forwards. Chin points to shins.
Sanskrit: Paschimottanasana A
Benefits: Stretches spine, shoulders, hams, groins.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Rrvw_5_8new
Modifications: Use a strap. Bend knees.
Precautions : Back injury.
yoga pose Half Lord Of...Sit with legs straight. Raise right knee. Place right foot on outside of left leg. Bend left leg. Place left foot outside of right hip. Place right arm behind. Raise left arm. Hook elbow behind knee. Twist to right. Ground sitting bones into floor. Lengthen through spine. Twist on each exhale. Repeat on other side.
Sanskrit: Ardha Matsyendrasana Matsyendrasana
Benefits: Stretches shoulders, hips, neck, spine. Sciatica.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/8nIVfIo8sXA?rel=0
Modifications: Back to wall. Twist on a chair.
Precautions : Back or spine injury.
yoga pose East StretchFrom staff bend knees (feet flat on floor hip width apart). Arms behind hips. Fingers point away from body. Lean back into arms. Lift hips up. Press into feet squeezing thighs and buttocks. Engage mula bandha. Press down into hands to lift chest up. Arch back slightly. Drop head back.
Sanskrit: Purvottanasana
Benefits: Opens front side of body. Builds arm, leg, core strength.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uz1-kweM39I?rel=0
Modifications: 1 leg up.
Precautions : Pain in knees, writs, back.
yoga pose Flow End
yoga pose Knees To ChestLie on back. Legs and arms extended. Both knees to chest. Clasp hands around knees. Wrap forearms over shins. Clasp each elbow with opposite hand. Keep back flat on mat. Release shoulder blades down toward waist. Draw tailbone and sacrum down. Lengthening spine. Softly rock backward and forward or side-to-side for a spinal massage. Tuck chin slightly. Gaze down. Hold. Release.
Sanskrit: Apanasana
Benefits: Massages spin. Lower back stretch. Good for posture. Relieves tired legs. Strengthens back. Firms abdominals. Strengthens legs and hips. Cures joint pains. Improves blood circulation in legs.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/TVk4ht8V8J8
Modifications: Knee to chest.
yoga pose Supine (block under hips)Lie supine. Bend knees. Set feet on floor. Heels close to sitting bones. Press inner feet and arms into floor. Push tailbone up. Lift buttocks. Place block under hips. Relax arms to sides.
Alternatives: Bridge without block.
Sanskrit: Dwi Pada Pitham
Benefits: Chest, neck, spine stretch. Reduces backache.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/EU2JS2Pm2EY?rel=0
Modifications: Bridge with blanket under shoulders. Bridge with leg up. Clasp hands around ankles. Block below shoulders. Bolster below lower back. Feet close to wall to prevent slipping.
Precautions : Knee or neck injury.
yoga pose Shoulderstand HalfLie on back. Lift hips off floor. Raise legs over and beyond head. To release, bring arms back along side body and engage abdomen as you gently roll each vertebrae to floor until hips rest on ground.
Alternatives: Full shoulderstand. Legs up wall.
Sanskrit: Ardha Sarvangasana
Benefits: Soothes nerves. Balance.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/PH1wFSl8MEk?rel=0
Modifications: Use strap. Folded blanket under shoulders.
Precautions : HBP. Neck or back injury. Pregnancy. Glaucoma.
yoga pose Lying TwistLie on back. Raise right leg up and roll it over to left side (foot touches floor). Spread legs wide. Put left hand on right thigh for leverage. Switch sides.
Sanskrit: Supta Matsyendrasana
Benefits: Releases lower back. Opens tight shoulders. Improves digestion. Quiet Mind. Eases sciatic pain.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tl9scRUR95g
Modifications: Lift head up.
yoga pose SavasanaLie on back with legs and arms apart. Feet to side, palms up. Release lower back to floor. Close eyes. Abdomen rises on inhale and falls on exhale. Feel heavy with each exhalation.
Alternatives: Crocodile. Child.
Benefits: Tune into body. Calm. Tranquil. Inner Peace. Clarity.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/embed/YBe1nzunHJ0
Modifications: Knees bent. Blanket under knees. Blanket under head. Supine star (legs & arms spread out).

"Pratyahara itself is termed as yoga, as it is the most important limb in yoga sadhana." — Swami Sivananda

Pratyahara is the fifth limb in the eight Limbs of Patanjali. It can be translated as: “control of ahara,” or “gaining mastery over external influences", or "withdrawal of the senses".

Pratyahara has been compared to a turtle withdrawing into its shell - the turtle's shell is the mind and the turtle's limbs are the senses.

Pratyahara Video
https://youtu.be/SwyFxskR1tQ

Points From The Video