By Yoga Expert Ira Trivedi
Yoga is a discipline that has the power to heal and transform us on every level – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Many of us live a stressful life with no time for ourselves. Intense work schedules, family responsibilities, hectic home lives and financial commitments can all lead to a lack of self-care.
In this fast-growing world, many people are struggling to manage with their stress levels. Just giving in to anxiety and work pressure doesn’t help keep us healthy. There’s only one way out- YOGA.
Asana or postures of yoga, which are physical exercises, are not mere gymnastic feats. They act as catalysts to evolve our minds and bodies. Regular practice helps in building control over physical and emotional urges. Practicing yoga postures can go a long way in keeping the mind free from tension and worry. It makes us harmonious and balanced individuals who live happy, healthy and wise lives.
Stretching, bending, and steadying the body in certain positions stimulates the release of endorphins and other “happy hormones” that make us feel good.
Following is a list of five yoga asanas which can help you lead an ecstatic life:
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1. Kapalbhati Pranayama:
- Sit up straight in a relaxed posture, but not so straight as to be rigid
- Resting both hands on the knees.
- Putting the thumb in contact with the forefinger and meditating for some time brings peaceful and serene feelings.
- Inhale deeply and contracting the abdominal muscles, exhale through both nostrils, forcing the air out
- Instead of actively using your abdominal muscles, you should relax them and let your inhalations be automatic.
- After 20 rapid breaths you can stop and breathe normally again.
2. Shava Asana (Corpse Pose):
- Lie on your back with your arms rested at your sides, palms facing up.
- The legs should be extended and the feet should be positioned apart.
- By keeping your head and neck aligned, you will be able to keep proper posture.
- Deep breathing may induce feelings of relaxation but you need to actively flex and extend different muscles to reach a state of total relaxation.
- First extend your toes, and then your legs and thighs. Arch your back and relax. Clench your fists and tense your arms, then relax them. Lift up your head and relax. Contract the muscles in your face, then let it go slack.
3. Baddhakonasana (butterfly pose):
- Sit with the legs extended forward.
- Ensure the soles of both feet are touching and that you are grabbing the toes.
- Flap the thighs like a butterfly’s wings, while keeping the back straight and looking forward.
- Slowly, bring the feet closer to the body as you inhale. Relax deeper into the pose as you exhale.
4. Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
- Stand up and put your feet approximately shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other.
- Stand with your feet on the floor, and feel your connection to the earth.
- Now exhale and, keeping your torso stationary, bend at the hips and press your chest and abdomen to your thighs.
- Allow your knees to be bent to the extent that they’re over your toes.
- Straighten out your legs slowly, but don’t let your chest or abdomen move away from your thighs.
- Lift your hips all the while straightening your knees while at the same time pressing your heels into the ground.
5. Adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog pose)
- Start to lower yourself down onto your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees hip-width apart.
- As you slowly inhale, elongate the spine in a continuous curve, head to tail; exhale, round your spine, moving your head toward your back.
- To relax your muscles, start with cat tilt. On an exhalation, lift your knees up, and align them in line with your ankles.
- As you move deeper into the pose, begin to straighten your legs and walk your feet forward.
Also Read – Yoga Aasans to Increase Immunity