It’s an age-old and well-known fact that yoga works wonders on our overall well being. It’s a way of life that begins by working on our body, moving to the breath, then to the mind, and then to your inner-self. It works on all these different facets and addresses them in a balanced way. Whether you want to relax, have a workout or get in touch with your spiritual side, yoga is the one-stop answer to all your health woes. If you are interested in learning and practicing yoga, and immersing yourself in its divine and innumerable benefits, but your busy schedule keeps you from joining a proper yoga class, we know the struggle! Here are 7 basic yoga poses that you can practice daily from the comfort of your home, before starting your day to give it a well deserved and peaceful start, while keeping you de-stressed and energized throughout.
The mountain pose or Tadasana is the most basic yoga pose. It is a great starting position for all other standing yoga poses. It helps improve balance and body posture. Simply stand straight with heels slightly apart and your big toes touching each other. Distribute weight evenly on both your feet and lift your ankles. Then extend your arms stretching them slightly towards the back. Keep your calves, quads, belly, and shoulder aligned. Find your balance.
The tree pose or the Vriksasana helps bring balance and equilibrium to your body. It improves concentration and stretches the muscles of your legs, back and arms. Stand straight with arms by the side of your body. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your right feet firmly on your left thigh. Once you've found your balance, inhale deeply and lift your both arms upwards making a Namaste mudra with your palms. Make sure your entire body is well-aligned. Rest and repeat with the other foot.
The lord of the dance pose or the Natrajasana also works on improving concentration, balance, and posture. In addition to this, it stretches the muscles of the entire body, working the arms, shoulders, chest, legs, and ankles. To practice this pose, stand straight and shift weight to the left foot. Bend your right heel towards your glutes and with your right hand, try to reach your right ankle and grasp it. Pull your right leg further up using your right hand and extend your left arm in front of you reaching for the sky. Find your balance and stay in this position for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
The chair pose or the Utkatasana is an intense pose for the thighs. Holding this pose for several breaths increases the heart rate. It strengthens the thighs and ankles while working the shoulders, glutes, and back. To begin, stand in the Mountain pose. Bend your knees and push your hips back as if you're about to sit on a chair, keeping your thighs as parallel to the ground as possible. Keep your back straight and lean slightly forward extending your arms up in line with your ears. Stay in this position for several breaths and enjoy the burn in your thighs!
Triangle pose or Trikonasana engages every part of the body. It strengthens the core, opens the hips and shoulders and stretches the legs. To practice this, stand with your feet at least three feet apart. Turn your right foot away from your body at ninety degrees and slightly turn your left foot inwards. Hold your arms parallel to the floor on either side, forming a line with your arms. Inhale and bend your body towards your right feet as you exhale. Hold this position for several breaths and repeat on the other side.
The downward dog or the Adho Mukha Svanasana strengthens the arms and legs. It works on the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and hands. It is especially recommended for women as it relieves menstrual discomfort and symptoms of menopause. To start, come on your four limbs as if forming a table. Then exhale and lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows and forming an inverted V-shape with the body. Keep your arms parallel to your shoulders and spread your fingers wide. Press your palms firmly into the mat. Distribute your weight evenly across your hands. Keep your feet hip width apart and parallel to each other, toes pointing straight ahead. Hold this pose for several breaths as it stretches your whole body.
No abs routine is complete without a plank pose. It is a brilliant pose that tones the core of your body. It focuses on your abdomen, chest and lower back, while strengthening the arms, wrists, and shoulders. Holding a plank for several minutes works as a great endurance exercise that builds stamina while strengthening the muscles surrounding the spine and improving posture. Start by placing your hands and knees on the yoga mat and coming into a table pose. Spread your fingers and press your palms firmly into the mat, distributing your body weight equally among both hands. Keep your neck, abdomen muscles aligned with your spine. Then straighten your knees and step back with your feet forming a straight line with your body. Make sure your butt isn’t too high and is properly aligned with your spine. Hold the pose for as long as you can; minimum 1 minute to feel the burn in your abs.
In today’s world of health and mental disorders, it is imperative that we start making time for ourselves to indulge in some kind of physical exercise and yoga is an answer for our holistic well-being as it focuses on all aspects of our health; working on a healthy mind, body, and soul, developing strength, flexibility and balance while reducing anxiety and depression. Try it, you might just find your Zen!
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