Baka means the crane. In this asana the hands are placed on the seat with the fingers pointing forward. The distance between the hands should be about a foot and a half. The knees are placed above the elbows and the hips are raised, balancing the weight of the body on the hands. The head is lowered forward and the pose is maintained for a few seconds. This is a pose involving balance which helps to make the arms stronger.
Kukkuta is the Sanskrit name for the cock. Sitting in Padmasana, the hands are passed down through the gap between the calf and thigh on each side. Spreading the fingers, the hands are placed on the seat and the body is raised, balancing its weight on the hands. Like Bakasana this pose also helps to increase the strength of the arms.
Kurma means the tortoise. In Uttanakurmasana the hands are passed down from below the knees as in kukkutasana (after assuming Padmasana). Then keeping the hips on the seat, the knees are raised, and the hands are brought up to encircle the neck. The pose may be maintained for a few seconds. It requires rather slender limbs and supple joints. Otherwise one finds it difficult to do it.
Parvata in Sanskrit means a mountain. Padmasana is the starting pose in this asana also. Sitting in Padmasana, the hips are raised, balancing, the body on the knees, and the arms are stretched up over the head, the palms touching each other. This is a balancing pose which makes the knee joints supple.
Dolah means a swing. In this asana, after assuming the Padmasana posture the hands are kept on the seat on the two sides of the hips just behind the knees, and the body is raised, balancing it on the hands. The body is swung back and forth, which gives this pose its name. It exercises the arms and the shoulders and also the abdominal muscles.
Kala means the hips. Ud means upward. This asana gets its name from the fact that in it the hips are raised. Keeping the feet on the seat at a distance of nine inches or more from each other, with the knees standing up, the hips are raised and placed on the heels,raising the heels at the same time so that the weight of the body is balanced on the toes. This is a pose useful for practising the yogic shiddhikriya called Basti.
Sitting in Utkatasana, the right foot is placed on the left thigh and the body is balanced on the toes of the left foot. Pada in Sanskrit means the foot. Padangustha means the big toe. Thus this is a pose in which the body is balanced on the big toe. After practising it on the left side the same procedure is repeated on the right side. The hands may be placed on the knees.
Mayura is the peacock. Sitting with the legs crossed, the hands are placed on the seat about four inches apart, with the fingers pointing backward. The elbows are set against the abdomen near the navel. Tbe legs are stretched back. Bringing the head as much forward as possible, the feet are raised together and the body is balanced in a horizontal position. The pose may be maintained for ten seconds to one minute, depending on practice.
In Mayurasana the abdominal viscera are pressed.There is a squeezing action on them. This helps to remove congestion and promote blood circulation apart from making the pressed muscles stronger. In the texts of Hathayoga Mayurasana is highly praised for its power to brighten up the abdominal fire (jatharagnt) so that one can digest even poison.