Have you ever contemplated starting a Yoga practice? Don't know where to start? Are you intimidated with all the shoulder stands, sirsasana aka headstand, boat pose aka dhanurasana, forward bends, paschimottanasana etc.?
Do not worry; we wrote a simple guide to explain the benefits of Yoga and give you a set of easy to do yoga poses. These will help begin and end your day and bring in more mental and physical flexibility in your daily lives.
In times like the pandemic and work from home stress, we must take some time to for our internal happiness & balanced life. Yoga gives us peace of mind, increase oxygen supply to the brain, reduce stress and even support healthy weight loss. Yoga is a spiritual practice of harmonising mind, body and soul. It is the art and science of healthy living. Indian Yogis have been practising various yoga forms such as Hatha and ashtanga for centuries, which has inspired the world to introduce it into their lives.
Benefits of Daily Yoga
Practising yoga every day has multiple advantages. In addition to improving flexibility, reduced back pain, it is a significant addition to your exercise routine because of its strength-building benefits. It enhances your sleep quality, efficiency and sleep duration. According to research, it also has various health benefits such as reducing depression, anxiety and stress and making you calm.
It is a fantastic way to combat the adverse effects of sitting at a desk all day and other things that contribute to a bad posture. Some yoga poses invert the hunched back and shoulders and improve your bone health. In addition to straightening your posture, these poses also help you open up emotionally, heal old wounds, and turn you into a ball of positivity and light.
- It helps you become happier
- It enables you to sleep better
- It improves your posture
- It improves your bone health
Learn Yoga Mudras - Simple and Efficient
- Gyan Mudra improves focus & enhances memory in Yoga for Mind. Vrikshasana (tree pose) invigorates you - increases concentration and stamina. Gyan Mudra meditation can be done by putting the thumb to index finger for concentration and calmness.
- Prithvi Mudra promotes strength, healing & stability in Yoga for the Body. Virabhadra (warrior pose) strengthens the muscles, improves balance and makes us courageous. Prithvi Mudra meditation can be done by putting the thumb to ring finger for vitality, strength and endurance.
- Shani Mudra encourages compassion & patience in Yoga for Soul. Padmasana (lotus pose) is known to alleviate mental stress, restore energy levels and increase attentiveness. Shuni Mudra is practised by Holding down the middle finger with the thumb encouraging patience, discernment, focus and discipline.
Six Yoga Asana for restful sleep
Yoga trains your mind and your body. Many of us feel that after a long, tiring day that all we wish to do is sit, eat and relax, while your lovely rolled-up mat sits accusingly in the corner of your bedroom. If we look at Yoga as a form of self-care, maybe we will find a couple of minutes to practice a few simple steps.
Do these few Yoga poses on the bed after a long day so you can unwind. One does not require a yoga teacher to follow the asanas mentioned below. They can be done right on your bed before you slip into a restful quality sleep.
Butterfly Pose aka Baddha Konasana.
It is known to cure asthma, flat feet and high blood pressure. It is believed that regular practise of this asana gives you a disease-free life. It also helps with spine health and menstrual cramps and works on your inner thighs.
Sit on your bed or floor, bend your knees and open them out like a book and join the soles of your feet together. Do this while sitting upright. Lengthen up your spine by placing your fingertips behind your back on the bed.
Tip: If you're feeling stiff, sit on a folded blanket to help your forward fold.
Knee to chest pose aka Apanasana.
It is one of the most straightforward yoga steps we can do on the bed. It will ease tension in the lower back and massage the abdominal organs. Bring your left knee and right knee close to each side of your chest and encapsulate your left leg and right leg with both your hand as if hugging them and stay in the position for at least ten breaths.
It is a perfect asana to revive your energy and relax your mind and body after a long tiring day. Apanasana will also reduce Gas and Bloating, promoting better digestion.
Spinal Twist Pose
It will awaken your spine and stretch your back muscles, releasing the tension in them and increasing your flexibility. This twist also stimulates the kidneys, abdominal organs, urinary bladders and intestines. Repeat on both sides.
It releases the lower back tight muscles (skip this pose if you have a back injury). If bending the right knee is uncomfortable, keep it straight in front. Be mindful of when you inhale to lift your torso and exhale as you twist.
Child's pose also known as Balasana.
It is a simple, calming pose to do in bed. Kneel on the mattress and allow your big toes to touch. Separate your knees as far as you are comfortable and lie down between your thighs. Stay here as long as you like. This pose helps with digestion and strengthens the lower back. It also enhances blood circulation.
Lie facing up with knees bent, feet flat on the bed, and arms at your sides with palms facing down. Keep your feet parallel, hip-width apart, heels below your knees. On inhale, activate your legs and glutes, press against the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling. If you have tight shoulders, you may hold your yoga mat's sides and then lift your hips.
Whenever you're ready to come down, lift your heels and lower your hips slowly back to the ground, one vertebra at a time.
Corpse Pose aka Savasana
This is the final step for your restful or the end of your yoga class. You just have to lie down face up, bring out your legs spread like a starfish. Keep your hands onto the side, close your eyes and relax.
This pose relaxes your entire body and gives you the space to drift off in a deep sleep.
Eight easy Asanas for Daily Workout
Want to be more robust against the virus and, in general, life's challenges? All you need to do is build strength against it inside-out.
How? Yoga Se Hoga!!
Yoga is synonymous with healing, which with kindness is something gravely necessary in today's times. Well, let's start by being kind to our body.
As we power through our erratic work-life balance, it is integral we take time out to tune into our body and give it some love. It is proven that Yoga promotes holistic health and improves the quality of life. So, here are some easy asanas to kickstart your yogic healing.
These multi-beneficial asanas can be done as you wake up, during the day or just after that draining zoom meeting. We are onwards to a new age, people. Let's enter the new decade, intense, inside and out. Sounds great, right?
Mountain Pose aka TadasanaThe Mountain Pose is mostly the starting position for all standing yoga poses. It is also the first pose of Sun Salutation. Some yoga instructors may also call it the resting pose. It is excellent for improving your posture.
Downward-Facing Dog aka Adho Mukha Svanasana
It best for headaches & arm strength and is known for therapeutic and energetic benefits.
A downward-facing dog strengthens the arms, shoulders and back while stretching the hamstrings, calves and arches of your feet. It is generally done to warm up before starting any intense vinyasa session. It helps relieve back pain.
You may try this pose with your elbows' help on the ground, which will take the weight off your wrists. Your focus should be on distributing weight evenly across your palms and fingers.
Avoid: If you have wrist issues or carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure or late pregnancy.
Plank Pose aka Kumbhakasana
It is a joint beginner exercise that helps build strength in the core, shoulders, shoulder blades, arms and legs. It helps tone up your abs and strengthen the upper body.
Keep in mind when you are doing the plank pose, your right foot and left foot should hip-distance apart and imagine your back of your neck and spine lengthening. You may also indulge in an upward facing dog after this pose to strengthen your buttocks, open your chest, lungs and shoulders.
Avoid: If you suffer from carpal tunnel, please skip as it can be strenuous on your wrists. Skip it or modify it by placing your knees on the floor if you suffer from low back pain.
Cobra Pose aka Bhujangasana for Digestion & Backache
This pose helps strengthen the back muscles, increase spinal flexibility and stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen. Just lift up a few inches and do not try to straighten the arms. Maintain your naval position as you are drawing up away from the floor while holding the pose.
Avoid: Skip the pose if you suffer from arthritis in your spine and neck or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tree Pose aka Vrikshasana
It improves not only your balance but also strengthens your core, ankles, calves, thighs and spine. It is a great pose to work on your balance and posture. You may also use one wall for support and place a hand.
Avoid: Skip this pose if you suffer from lower blood pressure or have balancing issues.
Cat-Cow aka Bitilasana for Spine & Abdomen.
Known for bringing balance, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. This pose awakens your spine and eases out your back pain. It increases the flexibility of your entire spine, neck, chest and shoulder.
Get on all fours on your mat and place your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly across your hands and finger. Inhale and round your back, exhale and lower your back all the way down like a scoop.
Camel Pose aka Virabhadrasana for Hips & Glutes.
Known for intensifying Mind and Body connection. This pose stretches your whole front body, including your throat, to your ankles.
Kneel on the ground with your shins at hip-distance apart. Press the tops of your feet into the mat. Rest your hands on your hips, thumbs on your lower back. Breathe in and press down into your shins; elongate through the spine. Breathe out and reach your arms back towards the heels. Lift your chest up towards the sky for a lovely shoulder stretch.
This pose is a part of many yoga sequences, as it builds strength in your legs and stretches your hips, spine, chest, shoulders, groins, hamstrings and calves. It also increases mobility in the hips and neck. This pose is excellent for strength building and endurance.
In case you have high blood pressure, gaze downward in the final step. If you have neck issues, do not look upward; look straight ahead and keep both sides of the neck long. Continue lifting your raised arm toward the ceiling as it helps keep the pose buoyant.
Avoid: Skip this pose if you have a headache or low blood pressure.
Myths about Yoga
You don't need a yoga mat or a trainer to get started with #Yoga. Various studies show Yoga makes you a positive and a calmer person. Go to any yoga tutorial or follow any yoga influencer on Instagram and get started with simple yoga poses.
With numerous benefits and these myths busted below, you have no excuse but to start with Yoga.
Yoga is only for Women. False.
More and more women today are turning towards Yoga which is why we hear this myth. Truth be told, anyone can do Yoga irrespective of their gender and age. The only thing you require is an open mindset and commitment.
You can't do Yoga if you are not Flexible. False.
While Yoga is a great way to improve strength and flexibility, you don't necessarily need to start from there. Yoga will eventually make you flexible, but there is more to it than just the physical postures.
All Yoga styles are the same. False.
Yoga includes various postures. From incredibly athletic and intense to spiritual, the options are endless. There are postures for every part of your body, including your mind. If you're trying to lose belly fat, try the cobra pose. If you are looking to improve sleep, try the hero's pose. If you want to alleviate chronic pain, check out inversion poses. Need to enhance your memory? Go for the fish pose.
Yoga is Outdoor activity. False. Yoga, ideally, when performed outdoors, can bring you a certain amount of solitude and serenity. However, it can be practised anywhere. Ensure that there is proper ventilation in the room, as breathing is essential for all Yoga poses.
TakeawayYour morning train of thought defines your entire day. Ensure you start your day on a positive note and charge towards your goal with confidence and zeal. Start fresh every morning, and don't wait for a Monday to take on new opportunities. Eating healthy food and starting your day with an Energising Workout every day will give you the push you need. Don't let a bad day or a bad situation pull you down.
Believe in yourself and keep working towards your goal. It is said to be helpful if you set smaller goals for the day in the morning and tick them off as you go by your day. This will make you feel content by the end of the day. Start today, and don't give up!
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Authored By: Padmaja Raja