International Yoga Day 2020: Practise yoga at home with these asanas for beginn...

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Yoga is one form of exercise that has benefits for all people, whether you are looking to get in shape, increase your flexibility, balance, and stamina or get rid of joint aches and pains. Yoga has been in practice in India since 3000 BCE. Yoga has so many varied exercises that there is something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an expert and no matter the pace at which you practice, even twenty minutes of yoga per day can change your body for the better.

Yoga at its very core is about breathing and slowly pushing the limits of your body to gain complete control over it. With yoga, you might no see a difference right away, it is gradual process. You might start out by losing your balance and falling but every day it gets a little easier, the trick is to do it every day. According to the WHO, a healthy adult must perform atleast 150 minutes of physical exercise a week. So this International Yoga Day incorporate the good habit of yoga into your schedule to ensure you are of healthy mind, body and soul. Here are some simple yoga poses to begin with –

1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose

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This pose focuses on standing as taught and unmoving as a mountain. It targets all the muscle groups. The way to do this is to stand in complete attention with hands pointing down. From the bottom of your feet slowly start flexing each part. Your ankles, thighs, hips, shoulders, ears, and head should all be in one line. You can raise your hands above your head and stretch. Breathe deeply throughout the exercise.

2. Vrikshasana – Tree Pose

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This pose focusses mainly on improving core balance and strengthen the back and legs. In order to do this pose, place you left foot on the inside of your right thigh while keeping the right foot firmly planted on the ground. Put your palms together and bring your hands above your head. Make sure your arms are covering your ears while stretching. Once you make sure that your posture is straight breath in deeply and while exhaling brings your hands down. Repeat with the other foot.

3. Adho Mukho Svanasana – Downward Dog Pose

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This pose has a lot of benefits, especially for people who suffer from back aches. It helps in stretching the hamstring, chest, and spine. It even provides extra blood flow to the head. There are a few different ways of doing it. This pose is also a part of the Suryanamaskar. To do this pose, sit on your heels and with your arms go forward and lower your head. Once in this position, lift you hips from the knees and stretch till your legs are completely straight. In order to stretch your hamstrings well make sure your heels are touching the ground.

4. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose

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This pose stretches the entire length of the body from the legs, torso right up to the head. It also helps in widening the hips. To do this pose, stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot towards the outside and bend at the knee till you create a 90-degree angle. Distribute your weight equally on both feet. Take a deep breath and while exhaling bend sideways form the waist and touch your right palm to the ground next to your foot while pointing the other arm upwards. Keep your body perfectly aligned for a few minutes and then switch to the other leg.

5. Kursiasana – Chair Pose

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This is a slightly difficult pose for beginner but extremely beneficial for developing leg, arm, and core strength. It also helps to hone willpower. To do this pose, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Stretch your arms straight ahead, keeping them parallel to the ground, without bending them elbow. Inhale and bend your knees, like you are attempting to sit on a chair. Go back as much as possible while still maintaining balance and keeping your back as straight as possible. Hold this position for a few minutes and then slowly stand back up.

6. Naukasana – Boat Pose

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This pose helps work the core of the body as it targets the abdominal muscles. It also helps in building shoulder and upper back strength. Like many yoga exercises, this focuses on maintaining balance and stability. Start with lying down on the mat with your feet close together and hands by your body. Inhale deeply and while exhaling lift your chest and feet of the ground. Keep your knees as straight as possible and extend your arms in the direction of your feet. Maintain this position till you start to keep a slight burn in your abdomen and lie back down and relax.

7. Bhujangasana – Snake Pose

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If you are someone who suffers from back aches this pose can help you relieve that pain as it targets the muscles in the lower back, stretches the spine and opens up the chest for better breathing. To do this exercise, lie flat on your stomach with your toes flat and feet together. Place your palms next to your chest and push upward while inhaling, lifting your torso. Keep you elbows completely straight and hold this position. To stretch further, turn your head to look back at your feet one at a time. Exhale while coming back to the ground.

8. Paschimottanasana – Intense Dorsal Stretch Pose

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Another exercise that targets the flexibility of the back and hamstrings. It also helps in contracting the stomach. To do this sit down with your legs pointing outward and back straight. Inhale and stretch your arms above your head and while pointing them outward, bring them down to touch your toes. Stretch forward as much as your body allows and hold that position. Once in position, slowly breath out and try to touch your nose to your shins.

9. Balasana – Child’s Pose

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This position is to allow the body to rest after exercise. It is a perfect exercise with which to cool down during yoga. Sit down on your heels and keep your hips on them. Lower your back and head as far as it will go. Place your hands by your feet and press your chest against your thighs. While doing this, inhale and exhale softly with eyes closed.

10. Sukhasana – Comfort Pose

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This pose is all about getting the perfect posture for sitting in meditation. Meditation and yoga go hand in hand for the development of the body. All of the above exercises are done in order to stretch the body enough to do this pose comfortably. There are various methods of meditation which you can apply to reach a spiritual stage. To achieve the optimum pose for meditation, sit cross-legged on the mat, with you right foot tucked inside the left thigh and the left foot inside the right thigh. Place your hand on your knees. Let go of all thoughts and emotions. Just focus on breathing calmly.

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