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Sivananda Yogalife, Delhi

"Health is wealth. Peace of mind is happiness. Yoga shows the way.”

Sivananda basic yoga class sequence with benefits

    Listed below is the sequence followed in the Sivananda yoga, as designed by our Gurus


Initial Relaxation

The yoga practice always starts by relaxing in savasana for a few minutes.The breath calms down and becomes more rhythmic. The mind slows down by keeping the awareness on the breath. These few minutes of relaxation make a great difference to the practice of asanas.

Initial Prayer

We begin the yoga class with a small prayer as a devotion to Gods and Gurus in the form of mantras to invoke the energies.


• Is the forceful exhalation of the breath
• It means shining skull.
• It cleanses the nasal passages, lungs and the entire respiratory system.
• It helps drain the sinuses.
• It strengthens and increases the lung capacity.
• Purifies and tones the blood by giving an increased supply of oxygen to all cells.
• Strengthens the abdominal muscles and aids digestion.
• Keeps the face shining.


Should not be practised with asthmatic attack in progress. Should not be practiced during pregnancy.

Anuloma viloma

(Alternate nostril breathing)

• Cleanses and strengthens the lungs and the entire respiratory system.
• Purifies the nadis.
• Makes the face glow and eyes shiny.
• As exhalation is twice the time of inhalation, more stale air and waste products are drained from the lungs.
• It helps to balance the hemispheres of the brain.

Surya namaskar

(Sun Salutation)

Set of twelve spinal postures practised in a sequence before starting the asana practice.

Used as a warmup exercise for the body. It consists of 12 differnet spinal positions which work on the entire spine. Brings flexibility to the spine and limbs. It helps to regulate the breathing and focus the mind. It stimulates the cardio-vascular system.

Leg raising exercises

• Single leg raises /Double leg raises
• Helps to strengthen abdominal and lumbar muscles.
• Stretches the hamstring muscles.
• It helps to loosen the leg muscles, stretch and tone them.
• People with chronic back pain must avoid the double leg raises.

Shashankasana(Child's Pose)

It is a relaxing pose before starting the headstand.

This asana helps to reduce stress by reducing the mental and physical stress , improves digestion, memory and eyesight

Sirsasana (head stand)

• Considered as the king of asanas.
• Makes the respiratory and circulatory systems strong. It gives rest to the heart and circulatory system. Tones the entire body.
• Stimulates the hormonal glands. Brings an increased flow of blood to the brain.
Improves memory, eyesight, concentration.
• It works as a remedy for varicose veins.
• Increases the level of confidence.


Not to be done if you have :
a detached retina, Glaucoma, high blood pressure, heart ailments. Avoid the headstand during menstruation.

Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand)

• Cleanses and strengthens the lungs and the entire respiratory system.
• Purifies the nadis.
• Makes the face glow and eyes shiny.
• As exhalation is twice the time of inhalation, more stale air and waste products are drained from the lungs.
• It helps to balance the hemispheres of the brain.

Talk to the instructor if you have a chronic back pain, cervical pain or heart trouble. Do not practice during the menstrual period.

Halasana (plough)

• Gives a good stretch to the whole spine.
• Massages the abdominal organs. Relieves indigestion and constipation.
• Improves digestion. Relieves insomnia.
• Releases the tension from the cervical region.

Sethubandhasana (bridge)

• Counterpose for the thoracic and lumbar regions.
• Reverses the stretch of the sarvangasana.
• Relaxes the cervical region.
• Abdominal and lumbar muscles are strengthened.
• Makes the spine and the wrists supple.
• Changing of hands position should be avoided to get the benefits to the wrists.

Matsyasana (fish)

• Counter pose for the shoulder-stand and the plough.
• Relieves asthma by increasing the lungs capacity.
• Activates the parathyroid glands.
• Removes stiffness from the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions.
• Massages the shoulders and neck. Round shoulders are corrected.
• The pitutary and the pineal glands in the brain are stimulated and toned.


(Sitting forward bend)

• Helps get rid of all digestive problems.
• Reduce the body fat.
• Stretches the entire back from neck down to the heels.
• Massages all the internal organs of the body. It helps to regulate pancreas, making it an useful asana for diabetes patients.
• It invigorates the entire nervous system
• Makes the spine more youthful.
• Regular practice helps to relieve compression of the spine and sciatica.


Not to be practiced if you have chronic lower back pain.


• A gentle counter stretch for the lower back after the forward bend.
• It strengthens the shoulders, arms and hips and also increases the flexibility of these parts.

Bhujangasana (cobra)

• Relieves back pain. Makes the spine very flexible.
• Rejuvenates spinal nerves and brings them a rich blood supply.
• It relaxes the tired upper back as a result of constant sitting.
• Helps in curing the respiratory troubles.
• This asana tones women's reproductive organs.
• It helps relieve constipation.



• Shalabhasana brings flexibility to the cervical region and strengthens the lumbar and sacral regions of the back.
• Lie on the abdomen.
• Keep your arms closely tucked under the body. Stretch the chin on the floor. Start by raising one leg at a time. Do not rotate the hips. • When you lift both legs up, lift them to the point where you can breathe comfortably.



• Works on the entire spine. Arthiritis is alleviated. Reduces upper and lower back pain. • Strengthens the arms and shoulders.
• Relieves constipation.
• Helps in removing fat from the abdomen.
• Strengthens the abdominal muscles.
• Helps in diabetes by regulating the pancreas. Helps strengthen the women reproductive organs.
• Improves the breathing capacity.


(Half Spinal twist)

• Gives side to side mobility to the spine rotating each vertebra in both the directions, hence making the spine more flexible.
• Ligaments also get an increased supply of blood.
• Reduces the muscular pain of hips and thighs.
• Makes the joints active. Speeds up the circulation.
• Stimulates the sweat glands.
• Massages all abdominal organs like gall bladder, spleen, kidneys, liver etc. Relieves constipation and other digestive problems.

Balancing postures

1. Kakasana (crow)
• Strengthens the arms, wrists and shoulders.
• Increases the breathing capacity.
• Increases the power of concentration.
• Gives physical and mental balance.

Mayurasana (peacock)

• Mayurasana strengthens the wrists, the elbows, the arms and the shoulders. • It removes toxins from the body and it stimulates the digestive and all other abdominal organs thus improves digestion and helps control blood sugar.

Padahasthasana (Standing Forward Bend)

• Lengthens the spine. Invigorates the entire nervous system.
• Gives an increased supply of blood to the brain. Gives an youthful face.
• Gives a complete stretch to the entire back and back of the legs.
• Any shortening of legs as a result of fracture is corrected with regular practice.

Trikonasana ( Triangle )

• Tones the spinal nerves and the abdominal organs.
• Provides a lateral stretch to the spine making it elastic.
• Makes the hip and legs more flexible.
• Invigorates the general circulation within the body. The body becomes lighter .

Savasana (Final Relaxation)

• It is an essential part of the yoga practice.
• It helps the body absorb the benefits acquired from the whole practice. Be completely still for about 10 minutes. It is a way to relax all the internal organs, the muscles, tendons, ligaments and all the joints in the body.

Final Prayer

• We end the class by chanting the prayer in the form of shanti mantras.
• Salutations to the gurus
• At the end of the session, we thank our Gurus.