Yoga For A Healthy Life

Yoga is an ancient practice that involves physical poses, concentration and deep breathing. Regular yoga practice can promote endurance, strength, calmness, flexibility and well being. Yoga is one of the most popular form of exercise around the world. Yoga can be traced back to northern India over 5,000 years ago. Overall philosophy of yoga is about connecting the mind, body and spirit. Let’s look at various yoga asanas which you can practice without much difficulty

Benefits of practicing yoga

  • Helps build muscle strength
  • Enhances flexibility
  • Promotes better breathing
  • Supports heart health
  • Helps with treatment for addiction
  • Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain
  • Helps improves quality of sleep
  • Enhances overall well being and quality of life

Utkatasana (chair pose)

  • Steps
  • Stand straight with your feet together and arms by your side
  • Take a deep breath and raise your arms straight up. Your palms should be facing each other, your elbows should not be bent
  • Now exhale and bend your knees, so thighs are almost parallel to the floor
  • Straighten your back and push your tailbone to the ground to get into the final position. The top of the thigh bone should be pushing towards your ankles
  • Try to stay in this pose for 15-20 minutes
  • While inhaling, come back to the first position
  • Benefits
  • Strengthens legs, back and arms
  • Tones the muscles of arms, legs and hips
  • Stretches shoulders
  • Improves heart health and the functioning of the digestive system

Boat pose

  • Steps
  • Sit with your knees bent, feel on the floor
  • Place your hands behind your knees, lift the chest, engaging the back muscles as you inhale
  • Engage your inner thighs and draw your lower belly in and up
  • Tip back on the back of your sitting bones and lift your feet up to about knee height, toes spread out
  • Bring your arms parallel to the floor
  • To go further, straighten your legs
  • Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths
  • To come out of the pose, on an exhalation bring your feet down, and sit with a straight spine, holding on to your legs for a couple of breaths
  • Benefits
  • Strengthens core, hip flexors and spine
  • Improves digestion

Paschimottanasa (seated forward bend)

  • Steps
  • Bring your arms straight out to the sides and up over your head, reaching towards the ceiling
  • Inhale and draw your spine long
  • As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at your hips
  • On each inhale, lengthen your spine
  • On each exhale, deepen into your forward bend. This will help you keep your spine long
  • Keep the neck as the natural extension of your spine, neither cranking it to look up nor letting it go completely
  • When you have come to your full extension decide whether you want to stay here or let your spine round forward
  • Take hold of your ankles or shins
  • Benefits
  • It stretches and opens your thighs
  • This is also excellent for runners who tend to have tight hamstrings
  • Like many poses, this pose is considered as a calming pose
  • It helps relieve stress and improves your mood

Bhujangasana or cobra pose

  • Steps
  • Lie down on your stomach
  • Raise your trunk and head supported by the palms
  • Bend your arms at the elbows
  • Arch your neck and look forward gently
  • Make sure that your stomach is pressed on the floor
  • Put pressure on your toes by pressing them onto the floor
  • Benefits
  • Tones your body and the spinal nerves, keeping the spine strong and agile
  • It tones the abdominal muscles
  • This pose helps improve digestion naturally
  • It improves the liver as well as massages the kidneys

Uttanasana (standing forward bend)

  • Steps
  • Stand straight with legs and feet together
  • Erect your spine, chest slightly lifted and hands to the side of the body
  • Exhale and move your torso forward from hips not the waist
  • Continue to bend till your hands touch your feet
  • Stretch your hips and bend further
  • Bring your forehead to your knees. Close your knees and relax the body
  • Take deep and slow breaths. Hold the position for a few seconds
  • Benefits
  • Relieves stomach pain and aids digestion
  • Increases strength and flexibility of the spine
  • Stimulates the functioning of kidney, liver and spleen
  • Tones and revitalizes spinal nerves
  • Calms the brains and soothes brain cells

Dandasana (staff pose)             

  • Steps
  • Sit down on a flat surface with your legs stretched forward
  • Try to keep your toes facing the roof
  • Make sure that your back remains straight at all times
  • Keep your palms flat on the ground right besides your hips
  • Gently press your palms into the ground
  • Bend the head slightly downwards and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds
  • To relax, slowly breathe out and raise your arms and head upwards, while relaxing your leg muscles
  • Benefits
  • Corrects posture and increases the flexibility of muscles
  • Fixes spine related problems
  • Relieves asthma
  • Positively impacts the central nervous system and improves focus
  • It helps reduce stress

Natarajasana

  • Steps
  • Stand in tree pose
  • While you inhale, shift your weight to left foot and lift the right heel backward
  • Put pressure on the left leg, thigh, hip to ensure your legs are properly balanced
  • Try to reach your right behind the right leg touching your right ankle
  • Extend your left arm straight in front
  • Maintain this posture for 20-30 seconds while you breath normally. Now back to the starting position
  • Repeat the same with the other leg. If you are comfortable you can try this for 3-4 times
  • Benefits
  • Strengthens hips, muscles, ankle and chest region
  • Helps releasing stress and calm the mind
  • Improves the digestive system
  • Helps in losing weight
  • Makes the body flexible
  • Helps improve body posture
  • Stretches thighs, groin and abdominal organs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.