What My Teacher Taught Me, and More

Complete Yoga Breath
with Sound!

Postures Series

See below for links
to various
feature pages

Postures for Chakras
Postures to
Open Chakras


Cowface Posture
Hatha Yoga


Yoga Kriyas - Crocodiles


Other Favorites




Sun Salutation Mini-Poster
Sun Salutation


Moon Salutation
Moon Salutation





If you have taken a journey through the many pages of this site, you already know that it is dedicated to my beloved Yoga teacher, Eugenia Basilewsky. Most of what I have learned about Yoga was through her patient way of teaching, her illimitable knowledge of the subject from being able to read the ancient texts in their original language and her ability to speak Sanskrit fluently, and mostly from her loving example of how to live a more pure and heartfelt life.

She taught me preliminary exercises for more advanced postures, so that I could teach them. She also taught other postures that did not fit into the categories here for Chakras, Patanjali, or Pradipika (which are all included on this site already). Here are some kriyas for the shoulders and neck that you might not learn on your own. They are not very common.

Eugenia said that Hatha Yoga begins with āsanas (postures), which are practiced to attain harmony between the mind, body and soul. The result is a stable and balanced posture, good health and lightness of body.

SKANDHAKRIYAS - Neck, Shoulders

  • Standing or sitting, clasp your hands behind the lower part of the back of your head.
  • Inhale, stretch your elbows straight out to the side. Keep your back and chin straight.
  • Breathe slowly, feel the stretch. Relax with your hands on your knees, palms facing up.


Shoulder-neck stretches


  • Place your clasped hands on top of your head.
  • Inhale and bring your neck down to your throat. Feel the stretch. Exhale, relax.



Shoulder stretches
  • This one is not so easy as it looks! Called Skandhakriyas, it is a powerful stretching exercise for the neck and shoulders, hands and arms. It is a great exercise for training coordination.
  • Bring your arms and hands into the Egyptian symbol of life.
  • With arms at shoulder height, bend your elbows 90 degrees with your fingers up, palms facing your head.
  • Inhale and bend your wrists with your palms facing the ceiling and your fingers outward.
  • Rotate the left forearm down, keeping the upper arm in a straight line out from the shoulders and the hand in the same bent position. Look at your right hand.
  • Inhale and begin turning your right arm down, simultaneously bringing the left arm up to the original position.
  • Turn your head to the left as the left hand is coming up. Exhale and reverse the exercise twice on each side. Believe it or not, you will be able to do this with training! The image below is from the YogaNata DVD (Yoga Products).

SkandhakriyasLook at how I am beginning to bring one palm down. This might help you to understand what is written above.



Skandhakriyas Variation

Part 1
  • Center your body as you look straight ahead and bring your knees down to the floor with your feet up.
  • Place your palms out to the sides at shoulder height, elbows bent at 90 degrees.

  • Bring your chin and legs down to the floor. Place the left side of your face on the floor. Look at your right hand (as shown here). Warning: Do NOT strain or push your shoulder hard down to the floor. If you do that, you might not be able to turn your head back the other way! If you do this SLOWLY, you will get rid of all the tension in the side of your neck.  Inhale and lift your right elbow high off the floor (as shown).
  • Now, VERY carefully, press your right shoulder down (if you are not at all stiff in your neck, your shoulder will touch the floor as mine does).
  • Keep your head still. Exhale and return your elbow to the floor and then relax your shoulder. Repeat 3 times.
  • Repeat the same movements on the right side of your face looking at your left hand.

  • Once you have done this on both sides, do both shoulders together. Put your chin on the floor. Inhale and lift your elbows high off the floor. Be sure to get them upright as shown. The palms of your hands are flat on the floor the entire time.

  • Press both shoulders as close to the floor as you can without ANY strain. Even if your shoulders hardly move, this will begin to release tension in the side of your neck. Feel the stretch in your arms, throat and neck.

Please don't push too hard with this. If you have tension in your neck and force a shoulder or both shoulders down to the floor, this can cause acute pain. If this happens, try to exercise again, gently, until it subsides. If the pain is severe, turn over on your back and do the shoulder relaxation. Inhale, lift the shoulders up to the ceiling and stretch. Exhale and relax. Repeat until the pain has subsided.

7th Chakra - Sahasrara ... The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad from the Vedas (an ancient text that dates back 9 centuries BC), contains a line that became my teacher's signature:

Tamasoma Dshotirgamaya”— which translated means:
Lead me from darkness to Light.

There will be more preliminary exercises added to this site on a continual basis, and there are many already provided with postures shown throughout these pages.

Back to top

Return to Yoga Home Page About Us | Sitemap | Contact us | ©2007-2021 http://www.allgoodthings.com