The latest rave in the fitness industry around the world is yoga! Some time back yoga was thought to be prevalent only to saints and those who have reached their old age. Now yoga has taken a wide seated place in the heart of the young brigade too. All thanks to the celebs! Who have understood the importance and power of yoga and have adopted it as their day to day fitness routine! The younger generation considers celebrities as their idol and tries to follow whatever they do. The same story goes for yoga too. From the time we have read in interviews that the fitness secret of celebrities is yoga, we have started joining classes like crazy. But how many of us really know the benefits of yoga poses for health? Today why don’t we learn what abundant gifts yoga holds for us to make the asanas even more impactful?
Yoga asanas not only keeps you physically fit but also improves your mental health by keeping away from stress and anxiety.
Some Benefits Of Yoga For Health And Fitness:
- Skeletal and muscular system: It is a known fact that any form of exercise strengthens bones and muscles. Yoga is no different too. Movement of your limbs vigorously or in control eases muscle joints and increases flexibility. Asanas relieves muscle cramps or any accident related pains. As you get into practice and maintain these asanas for long periods, it gradually increases your physical strength and stamina. But it is highly advisable that if you have faced any accidents before or are suffering from any internal disease, take your doctor’s advice or your yoga instructors.
- Digestive system: True, yoga does improve the function of your digestive system. All those exercises for the abs not only burns fat from tummy but also gives a gentle massage to your digestive tract fastening metabolic rate that boosts proper digestion.
- Cardiovascular system: Yogic asanas improves blood circulation to your heart and arteries thus allowing proper circulation throughout the body. It is also believed that regular practice of yoga keeps high blood pressure under control.
- Nervous system: Not only good for your physical system, practicing yoga regularly allows enough blood and fresh oxygen to travel to your brain. Focused breathing also controls your mind functions thus keeping you away from stress and anxieties.
Also remember that there is no particular age to practice yoga. Yoga poses for health can be light hearted as well as hard core. Yoga ranges from asanas to pranayam. While the asanas involve body movement, the pranayams are mainly calm and for mind relaxation. Practicing yoga by young and old alike regularly will not only improve your physicality but also relax your mental system keeping you composed to handle situations with ease.
Yoga for body fitness:
A graceful perfectly toned body is every girl’s dream. What better than wear dresses on an hourglass figure and make others green with envy? Let us learn some yoga moves that will give you a perfectly toned body.
1. Paschimottanasana pose (Bent knee trunk flexion):
- Sit in a yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Don’t bend your knees and keep the palms on the ground beside your hips.
- Deeply inhale and straighten your spine.
- While exhaling bend forward to touch the toes with your fingers.
- If you follow the correct posture, your face should be on your knees. Otherwise being a beginner, bend as much as possible and if you face problems, you may even bend your knees slightly.
- Take some few normal breaths and with a deep inhalation, sit up straightening your spine. Release the hands and keep them by your side.
- Repeat another 5 times with the same breathing process.
2. Dhanurasana (Bow pose):
- Lie down with your belly on the ground. Your chin should be touching the ground.
- Keep hands beside you with your palms facing upward.
- Your legs should be placed at a 6 inches distance from one another.
- Bend your legs at the knees and bring the heels close to your hips.
- Now grasp the ankles with both your hands.
- Slowly lift your chin, head and neck backwards. Your chest should be still on the ground.
- Now inhale deeply and lift your legs, thighs, chest till only your abdomen is touching the ground. Balance yourself on the abdomen only.
- Pull your legs with your hands as much as possible so as to arch your body completely in the shape of a bow.
- Bring your feet together.
- Now look up and gaze at a point on the ceiling.
- This is your final position. Hold your breath while in this position.
- When you feel a strain on your back, exhale fully and return to your original position.
3. Urdhava Hastotanasana:
Want a slim and attractive waist? This is a good stretching asana that not only gives you a lean waist but also a broad chest. Here’s how to do it.
- Stand erect with your feet together. Raise your hands above your head in a namaste.
- Now keeping your legs grounded, bend your body to the right as much as possible till you feel a strain on your left waist. Stay for 15 seconds.
- Return back to the original position.
- Now bend left. Retain this position for another 15 seconds.
- Slowly you may increase the holding time to 30 seconds.
4. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler pose):
A perfect asana to shape up your thighs and buttocks. With regular practice of this yoga for fit body, be ready to flaunt slim thighs in your mini dresses.
- Sit on your yoga mat with a straight spine.
- Bend your legs at the knees and the edge of the soles of both your feet touching each other. The heels should be touching your inner thigh.
- Now grasp the ankles of both your legs.
- As you inhale deeply, straighten your spine and draw your shoulder blades backwards.
- Exhale and press the soles together.
- Maintain this posture for as long as comfortable taking deep breaths.
- If possible, bend forward from the waist to touch the chin on the ground.
Yoga exercises for an elegant mind:
1. Standing forward bend (Uttanasana):
This asana relieves you of mental stress and anxiety, soothes brain and also cures patients suffering from mild depression.
- Stand on the mat straight and in relaxed position.
- Bring your legs together keeping just a few inches distance from one another.
- Now bend forward and touch your ankles with your hand. Keep forehead positioned in front of your knees.
- If you are a beginner, you may face difficulty in coming forward without bending your bend knees. So just bend your knees a bit and touch your ankles. Another option is that, don’t bend your knees and instead of touching your ankles keep a block in front of you. Support yourself on that.
2. Setu Bandhana:
The next pose is Setu Bandhana or bridge pose. This pose can be quite a challenge for beginners. However, once you can manage this pose with practice it is quite helpful to fight against any mental illness be it depression, anxiety or stress.
- Lie on the ground with your spine erect and hands by your side with palms facing downwards.
- Now bend your leg at your knees keeping your feet together on the ground.
- Now slowly lift your hips off the floor while still keeping your feet grounded and hands by your side.
- Hold this pose and lift your hands above your head.
This pose rejuvenates and relaxes your mind.
End the asanas with Balasana or child pose. This yoga not only gives you a chance to rest after having done with all
This is also called the child’s pose.
- Sit on the floor with bent knees. They should be separated from one another. Your hips should be resting on your heels.
- Place your hands on your thighs.
- Now start bending forward such that the upper torso is on your thighs.
- Bend further down to make your forehead touch the ground.
- Bring your hands back and let them lie freely on the ground beside your feet with palms facing the ceiling or you may also hold your heels with your hands.
Balasana is mainly like a relaxation pose after you have done asanas like headstand or shoulderstand. This pose also helps rest your mind in peace freeing them from all anxieties and worries.
Yoga exercises for a healthy heart:
1. Supta hasta padasana (Lying hand to leg posture):
- Lie flat on your back with hands by your side. Take some normal breaths.
- Now slowly raise up your right leg with a deep inhalation. Your leg should be perpendicular to your upper torso.
- Hold your right leg at the ankle with your right hand. If not possible hold it at the thigh with both hands.
- Hold for 5 seconds. Keep breathing normal.
- Now as you exhale, put down your right leg.
- Repeat the same with your left leg too.
- Do some 5-6 rounds and take rest.
2. Vrikshasana (Tree pose):
- Stand straight with your feet together and keep your hands by your side.
- Lift up your right leg up with bent knees and place your foot on your left inner thigh as in the picture.
- Your hands should be in a Namaste position. Lift them up above your head. Don’t bend your elbows.
- Balance your whole body only on your left foot.
- Breathe normally.
- When you want to exit, put down your hands and your legs and stand in normal position with hands by your side.
- Rest and repeat on your other leg too.