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Yoga Asanas for a Healthier You

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Yoga asanas

Yoga is the healthiest way to sweat and burn calories while fine-tuning your awareness, regulating your breathing rate, and achieving balance. Fortunately for you, it’s your best bet at holistic fitness without the monetary setback of gym memberships or expensive workout gear.

For ladies obsessing over their lost facial glow, here’s a news flash: Yoga makes you happy as you breathe out the anxiety, fatigue and dullness. And didn’t someone say that happy girls are the prettiest? And that’s your cue to stop stocking your cabinet with overhyped skincare formulas and go gaga over yoga instead.

On that note, we’ve compiled a list of yoga asanas for you.

Baddha konasana

1. Baddha konasana (Butterfly Pose)

Good for:

  • Stimulating reproductive system
  • Easing delivery in pregnant women
  • Developing flexibility in the groin and hips

How to do:

Step 1: Sit on the floor with your spine erect.
Step 2: Bend your knees such that the soles of your feet touch each other.
Step 3: Now hold your feet with both hands such that your fingers are interlocked at the front.
Step 4: Take a deep breath. As you exhale, try pushing your knees toward the floor while pressing your elbows on the knees.
Step 5: Close your eyes and focus on a point between your eyebrows as you breathe mindfully.
Step 6: Stay in this yoga pose for 5 minutes.
Step 7: Open your eyes and release your hands and feet to relax.

Caution:

If you’re a patient of sciatica or have recently suffered knee injury, you should avoid Baddha Konasana.

2. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Good for:

  • Regulates digestion and bowel movements
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Alleviates back and neck pain

How to do:

Step 1: Sit in the Vajrasana pose on the floor.
Step 2: Bend forward till your forehead touches the floor in front of your knees.
Step 3: Now extend your arms forward with your palms facing down.
Step 4: Slowly press your chest against the thighs. As you inhale, pull your navel toward the spine and as you exhale, relax your abdomen.
Step 5: Hold this yoga pose for 5 deep breaths.
Step 6: Gently raise your upper body to return to your original position and relax.

Caution:

If you’re suffering from diarrhea or if you’re pregnant, avoid Balasana.

Balasana
Shirshasana

3. Shirshasana (Supported Headstand Pose)

Good for:

  • Fighting depression and mental fatigue
  • Improving blood flow to the eyes and scalp
  • Strengthening shoulders, back and arms

How to do:

Step 1: Be seated in Vajrasana and bend forward to place your head on the floor in front of your knees.
Step 2: Clasp your hands and interlock your fingers on your head. The head and the rested forearms on the floor now form a triangle.
Step 3: Tucking your toes under, lift the hips and extend your legs gradually toward the ceiling. As you raise your feet, transfer the weight of your body onto the forearms.
Step 4: Now focus on straightening your legs to align with the rest of your body.
Step 5: Stay in this vertical pose for 5 minutes while concentrating on mindful breathing.
Step 6: To get back to original position, slowly lower the legs by bending the knees and pulling the feet closer to the buttocks. Relax in Shavasana for 2 minutes.

Caution:

If you suffer from glaucoma or osteoporosis, you should avoid Shirshasana.

4. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

Good for:

  • Developing flexibility in legs, back and hips
  • Relieving pain associated with sciatica and rheumatism
  • Improving body balance

How to do:

Step 1: Stand erect and then bend the right knee slightly.
Step 2: Wrap your left leg around the right leg such that the knees are stacked over each other. The left foot should touch the calf of your right leg.
Step 3: Next raise your forearms with the elbows bent and bring them closer toward the center.
Step 4: Wrap your right hand around the left such that the elbows are stacked over each other.
Step 5: Ensure your knees or elbows aren’t leaning to any particular side and are firm in the center.
Step 6: Hold this yoga pose for 8 breaths before returning to original position.

Caution:

If you suffer from asthma or have recently suffered a knee or shoulder injury, you should avoid Garudasana.

Garudasana
Setu bandhasana

5. Setu bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Good for:

  • Curing insomnia
  • Stimulating abdomen and thyroid
  • Relieving menstrual discomfort

How to do:

Step 1: Lie supine on the floor.
Step 2: Bend your knees and place your feet hip distance apart. Rest your arms on the sides with the palms facing up.
Step 3: As you inhale, gradually lift your back off the floor till you can feel your chest touch your chin. Ensure your buttocks are firm up.
Step 4: Push both your hands ahead to hold the respective legs. Your shoulders, arms and feet should remain firm on the floor.
Step 5: Hold this yoga pose for 5 deep breaths.
Step 6: Exhale as you release the pose and get back to the original position.

Caution:

If you’re suffering from back or shoulder injury, avoid Setu Bandhasana.

6. Natrajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)

Good for:

  • Boosting metabolic rate, thereby reducing fat
  • Preventing calcium deposition in shoulders and brain
  • Improving cardiovascular health

How to do:

Step 1: Stand straight on the floor with arms on the side.
Step 2: Bend your left knee and slowly raise it backward. Extend your left hand behind to hold the big toe of your left foot with the thumb and the index finger.
Step 3: Continue to balance your body weight on the right leg and keep raising your left leg till it aligns with the back of your head. The elbow of your left hand should point upward..
Step 4: Now extend your right arm in the front with the palm facing up.
Step 5: Balance your body while gazing straight ahead at a focal point.
Step 6: Hold the pose for 3 deep breaths before you release. Repeat by raising your right leg this time.

Caution:

If you suffer from vertigo or hernia, avoid Natrajasana.

Natrajasana
Virabhadrasana

7. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

Good for:

  • Strengthening arms, legs and back
  • Improving body stamina
  • Eliminating lower back strain

How to do:

Step 1: Stand on the floor with your spine erect and arms on your sides.
Step 2: Spread your legs apart and slowly turn your left feet toward the left direction. Gradually twist your entire body to left.
Step 3: Lean forward and bend your left leg at the knee such that it’s perpendicular to the floor.
Step 4: Stretch the right leg backward and lift the right heel off the floor.
Step 5: Now clasp your hands together in the prayer position and raise them above your head while looking up and arching your back a bit.
Step 6: Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths before you release. Repeat on the other side.

Caution:

If you suffer from high blood pressure or a chronic illness, avoid Virabhadrasana.

8. Halasana (Plough Pose)

Good for:

  • Stimulating thyroid gland
  • Relieving constipation
  • Toning legs and strengthening abdominal and back muscles

How to do:

Step 1: Lie supine on the floor with your feet together and your arms on the side.
Step 2: Pressing your palms against the floor, slowly lift your legs upward, followed by your hips. Push harder to take them over your head, toward the floor.
Step 3: Keep doing this till your toes finally touch the floor.
Step 4: Bring your hands together and interlock the fingers behind your back.
Step 5: As the blood gushes to your head, engage in deep breaths and hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Step 6: To release, hold your lower back with your hands and slowly bring your legs back on the floor to the original position.

Caution:

If you’re suffering from slipped disc or migraine, avoid Halasana.

Halasana
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