Yoga is an art of living and the aim of practicing it is to have a healthy mind in a healthy body. All ‘asanas’ or postures of yoga impact the body and mind differently. There are a few postures that help attaining the ultimate level of fitness.
Regular practice of yogasanas helps to keep physically fit, reduces weight, normalizes blood pressure, controls stress and cholesterol levels and improves overall performance of the body and mind. The resultant physical fitness brings about reduction in stress levels while enhancing vitality. Practicing yoga also helps discipline mind and body, thus making one achieve desired effects. It also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and in toning the body.
Tadasana or the Mountain Posture
This is the basic standing pose. It teaches you the art of standing in a correct posture and increases your awareness of your body.
Stand with your feet together. Tighten the knees, keep the navel drawn into the spine with a neutral pelvis, and chest lifted but with shoulders relaxed and pressed down away from the ears.
Benefits: It corrects bad posture and improves the alignment of your body.
Uttanasana or intense forward stretch
Start from Tadasana and inhale while stretching the hands up and exhale reaching down with your hands. Try to press down with your palms.
Benefits: Tones the liver, spleen, kidneys and the abdominal region. Stretches the hamstrings and the spine.
Adhomukha Svanasana or downward-facing dog stretch
Lie down on the floor on your stomach and face downward. Place the palms next to the chest. Exhaling, raise your trunk from the floor. Straighten the arms, move the head inward towards the feet and extend the back, trying to press the heels firmly into the ground keeping the knees straight making an inverted ‘V’ with the body.
Benefits: Calms the brain, reduces stiffness in the shoulder region and tones the legs.
Utthita Trikonasana or extended triangle pose
Stand in Tadasana posture. Keep your feet around three feet apart and turning the right foot to 90 degrees; turn the left foot slightly to the right, raising the arms sideways. Bend to your right, bringing the right palm towards the right ankle keeping both legs absolutely straight. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Improves flexibility of the spine and relieves backache. Massages and tones the pelvic region, relieves gastritis, indigestion and acidity.
Virabhadrasana 1 or the first warrior pose
Stand in Tadasana pose. Keep your feet around four feet apart. Bend the right knee above the right ankle and not beyond it. Keep the left leg stretched. Extend your hands up in a namaskar, stretching the spine up. The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Tones abdominal muscles, legs and hips, strengthens back muscles and relieves backache.