International Yoga Day: The word “yoga” means “which brings you to reality”
Yoga is 10,000 years old and ancient knowledge of the Human Body originated in Northern India. The term “Yoga” literally means “Union”. It is a practice for the union of mind, body and soul. Yoga practices include postures of the body, control of breathing, control of subtle forces like mudras, cleansing the body and mind, visualization, chanting of mantra and many forms of meditation.
Benefits of Yoga
- Improves your flexibility.
- Builds Muscle Strength.
- Perfects your Posture.
- Good For Bone Health and Muscles.
- Boosts Immunity.
- Helps you Focus and Built Concentration.
- Improves your Balance.
- Releases Tensions from Limbs.
- Protects and Improves Nervous System.
- Prevents from Various Diseases.
- Gives you peace of mind and Inner strength.
- Reduces Weight.
Yoga tips for Beginners
- Start slow and do easy Asanas first. Avoid doing touch, limb-twisting poses, till your body gets used to the simpler ones.
- Wear comfortable clothes and invest in a yoga mat to do the poses properly.
- Do yoga regularly, be a regular Yogi.
- Choose a comfortable surrounding for yoga, either your room or in a park.
- Do yoga on an empty stomach or wait for 2-3 hours after eating.
- Drink 3-4 liters of water every day to flush out toxins from your body.
- Warm up before you start the asanas. Light exercise is recommended.
- Breath slowly and consciously.
- Eat healthy after yoga to get the most benefits.
Yoga Asanas and Poses
Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation)
It is a combination of 12 poses which is combined to become one Asana. Start by standing on the edge of your mat. Join your hands in a prayer position and raise your hands straight above your head in the air. Now, raise your hands and chest in an up-wards direction. Breath out, bend forward from the waist and keep the spine erect. As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor beside the feet. Breathing in, push your right leg back and bring the right knee on the floor and look up. As you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line. Gently bring your knees, chest and chin down on the floor but keep the hips slightly up. Slide forward and raise the chest up. Breathing out, lift the hips and the tail bone up and attain an “inverted V” posture. Breathing in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look up. Breathing out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. Breathing in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backwards and come back to your normal position as you exhale.
Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
This asana is very good for your legs and for your back. It improves balance and gives you a sense of grounding. For this asana, stand straight with your legs together and hands down. Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. Keep your left leg straight and find your balance. Keep the sole of both legs flat. While inhaling, raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together. Ensure that your spine is straight and take a few deep breaths. Slowly exhale, bring your hands down and release your right leg. Back in the standing position repeat the same with the other leg.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
It promotes deep breathing and stretches legs. Stand with your feet wide apart. Stretch your right foot and maintain balance. Open your arms straight in the air. Now inhale and as you exhale bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up. Keep your waist straight. Ensure that your body is bent sideways and not forward or backwards. Stretch as much as you can while taking long, deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Naukasana (Boat pose)
It strengthens shoulders and upper back. It also works wonders on abdominal area leaving you with a tone belly. Start with lying down on your back on your mat. Start inhaling, and as you exhale lift your chest and legs up while stretching your arms towards your feet. Let the weight of your body rest on your hips. Hold your breath and stay in the position for few minutes. Now, exhale slowly as you bring the body down to the starting position and relax. You can perform 3-4 repetitions daily but do not overdo it.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
It stimulates abdominal and reproductive organs and enhances lung capacity. Start with your legs crossed and body straight on the floor. With the help of your elbows lift the back and make an arch from your spine. Tilt your head back and touch the crown of your head on the ground. Hold your toes with your hands. Hold the position for few seconds and exhale as you come back to your normal position. Repeat 3-4 times.
Try these easy asanas at home and once you master this, move on to the advanced level. You will notice the changes in your body within a week. You can mix-match these poses according to your wish and a 30 minute yoga session is sufficient for beginners. On International Yoga Day, take a pledge to benefit from this ancient practice and inculcate yoga into your daily routine.