Yoga Poses for Strength Building

Build Your Strength with Yoga Poses

Build your strength with yoga poses

When I started practising yoga poses, I was quite confused by the fact that will I be able to gain enough strength to even practice Beginner Yoga poses. I was neither flexible nor had enough strength to practice Yoga asanas. But, believe me, when I started practising Yoga poses regularly with patience, it paid off. You need not require having flexibility and strength to practice yoga. When you start practising yoga, in the process you gain strength and become flexible enough to practice any kind of yoga poses. Today, we are talking about 7 best yoga poses which would help you to build strength.

  1. Naukasana (Boat Pose)

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Naukasana which is also known as Navasana is a strength building yoga pose. This pose helps to build core muscles of your body. Regular practice of this pose helps to tone your abdominal muscles and strengthen the lower back. In this pose, you need to sit on your buttock with your legs stretched in front of your body. The raised legs make a 45-degree angle with the ground. This pose provides strength and balance in your lives. To know more click here: Naukasana

  1. Kakasana (Crow Pose)

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Kakasana is an arm balancing pose which requires strength in your arms and shoulders to perform this asana. It is one of the best balancing poses and helps to build strength in your arms and shoulders. When you regularly practice this pose, it helps to strengthen your core muscles and wrists. In this pose, your body weight rests on your arms and wrists. To know more click here: Kakasana

  1. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

    How to do chair pose
    Photo Credit: Paul Miller

Utkatasana is a standing pose which allows you to sit on an imaginary chair. This might seem like an easy pose, but it’s more challenging and need your patience to master this pose. This pose strengthens your core muscles, thighs and tones the buttocks. Bend your torso slightly forward and shift your weight to the heels. Regular practice of this pose helps to improve the balance of your body and reduce those extra kilos from buttock area. To know more click here: Utkatasana

  1. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

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Trikonasana is a standing body strengthening pose which helps to tone your legs and strengthen your knees, ankles, chest and arms. This pose is a great tool to improve your metabolism and stamina of body. In this pose, legs are stretched one leg apart. Your right foot moved at 90 degrees and left foot toes in about 45 degrees. Your right arm touches the ground and the left arm goes up. This pose also strengthens your hips, hamstrings, calves and spine. On the top, it’s a good posture to shed extra kilos. To know more click here: Trikonasana

  1. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)

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Plank Pose is an arm balancing asana that strengthens your arms and shoulders. This pose targets your core muscles mainly the abdominal muscles. It helps to improve your posture by strengthening the muscles of your spine. You just need to ensure that your body must be in a straight line from the head to heels. Regular practice of this pose builds your core strength and stamina. To know more click here: Plank Pose

  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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Downward Facing Dog pose is one of the most popular yoga poses often done during the yoga class. This is a standing inversion pose that builds strength and stretches your whole body. When you enter into the full pose, it looks like an inverted “V” shape. It lengthens your spine, strengthens the core muscles and increases your lung capacity. When you practice this pose regularly, it brings strength throughout the body and improves your blood flow. To know more click here: Downward Facing Dog Pose

  1. Dolphin Pose

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Dolphin pose is one of the best preparatory Pose for Headstand to develop arm and core strength. Start in downward dog pose and then lower your forearms as you continue to shift your hips up and back. Point your tailbone up to the sky, relax your head and keep your shoulders away from the ears. As you press your chest toward the thighs, spread your hands wide or alternatively, grip your hands together while staying on the forearms. Continue this with 7-10 repetition while holding your breath for few seconds during the pose. It stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves and strengthens your core muscles. This pose helps to improve digestion and prepare you to practice more advanced Yoga poses.

Regular practice of yoga poses will improve the flexibility and strength of your body. When you know the benefits of these beautiful yoga poses, why to wait? Practice regularly and prepare yourself for advanced poses.

The importance of Bandhas in Yoga- Steps & Benefits

Yoga Bandhas.JPG

Bandha is a yogic lock which enables a yogi to block and then direct the flow of pranic energy in certain ways to change the energy pattern in the body. Remember, when the water flow gets obstructed and then when it gets free, the flow of water becomes much faster with increased pressure, the same thing reflects in Bandha. In this practice, the energy flow to a particular area of the body is blocked and when it gets released, the energy flow becomes stronger. The breath is held during the practice of Bandha. This can be practised either retention of breath inside or outside. There are four types of Bandhas as follows.

  1. Jalandhara Bandha (Throat or Chin Lock)
  2. Uddiyana Bandha (Lift of Diaphragm or Abdominal Lock)
  3. Mula Bandha (Root or Anal lock)
  4. Maha Bandha

Uddiyana and Maha Bandha should only be practised after exhalation, while Jalandhara and Mula Bandha can be practised either after inhalation or exhalation. Bandhas can be practised by either sitting in Vajrasana, Sukhasana or Padmasana. This can be practised before starting the practice of meditation.

Precautions

Discuss with your doctor before practising Bandhas, if you have any recent medical concerns. This breathing exercise should be done on empty stomach having a gap of 4-5 hours between practice and your meal. Practitioners suffering from low or high blood pressure, heart diseases, Ulcers or breathing problem should avoid practising Bandhas. It is advisable to practise Bandhas under the guidance of an experienced Yoga teacher.

Mula Bandha (Root or Anal lock)

Mula Bandha, otherwise known as Anal or Root lock is located in the perineum. It is often advised to hold this lock throughout the asana practice, as it is thought that it keeps all your life prana inside and prevents from leaking down and out. This lock is performed by contracting the perineum muscles of males, whereas for females the contraction involves the region located at the opening of the womb. This can be practised either with Kumbhaka or Rechaka. It awakens the Muladhara Chakra which is located at the base of the spine. In Sanskrit, it’s called मूल बंध.

Benefits

  1. This Bandha helps in stimulating digestion and the endocrine system.
  2. Tones organs in the pelvic regions and increases control over the sex drive.
  3. Regular practice helps to release in depression, stress, anxiety and promotes calmness and energy.
  4. Mula Bandha strengthens your pelvic floor and gives relieve in haemorrhoids.
  5. Since Muladhara chakra gets activated during the Mula Bandha, you get awakened with consciousness and kundalini energy.

Steps

  1. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana with your eyes closed and spine erect.
  2. Inhale deeply and hold your breath.
  3. Place your hands on the knees. Bring your upper body slightly forward and looking at your nose, touch your chin to the chest.
  4. Now, concentrate on the Muladhara Chakra (Perineum) and lift your muscle from the groin area (Contract the anal muscles).
  5. Hold your breath and muscular contraction as long as you feel comfortable.
  6. Now, exhale and return to the original position.

Jalandhara Bandha (Throat or Chin Lock)

This is one of the must to do bandhas to get rid of diseases and lead a healthier life. Jalandhara came from the Sanskrit word Jal and Dhara. Jal means the flow of water and Dhara means stopping the flow. This can be practised either with Kumbhaka or Rechaka. Jalandhara Bandha, otherwise known as Throat or Chin Lock is located in the neck. It prevents prana from leaking out of torso throughout the throat. It awakens the Muladhara Chakra which is located in the throat region. In Sanskrit, it’s called जालन्धर बंध.

Benefits

  1. Bandhas stop the flow of blood and when it gets released, there is an increased flow of blood which improves blood circulation throughout the body.
  2. This flushes dead cells, renews, rejuvenate and strengthens your organs.
  3. Helps to concentrate and focus.
  4. Since energy channels get purified, it brings balance and equilibrium in your body while release stress and blockages.
  5. This pose helps to improve the functions of Thyroid, parathyroid glands and spinal cord.
  6. Regular practice can improve the metabolism and overcome the ageing and decay of the body.
  7. Bandhas help to get the blood flow to the vocal cord and thus becomes beneficial for singers and speakers.

Steps

  1. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana with your eyes closed and spine erect.
  2. Place your hands on the knees. Take a deep breath and raise your chest and hold your breath for few (8 to 10) seconds.
  3. Now, exhale completely to clear out air from lungs.
  4. Hold your breath and bend forward slowly.
  5. Ensure to push your head and neck to the chest.
  6. Lower your chin while contracting your neck and throat muscles.
  7. Now, looking at your nose, touch your chin to the chest.
  8. Concentrate on the Vishuddhi Chakra and hold the breath for as long as you feel comfortable.
  9. Now, to release raise your chin, neck and come to the starting position.

Uddiyana Bandha (Lifting of Diaphragm or Abdominal Lock)Bahya Pranayama.JPG

Uddiyana Bandha, otherwise known as upward flying is located in the abdomen. In this lock, the breath is kept held outside (Kumbhaka). This lock is performed by pulling the abdomen muscles inwards and upwards while pushing the abdominal muscles against the back side of the spine towards the rib cage. Generally, it is practised along with the Jalandhara Bandha. This lock enables the Prana and Apana to merge at the solar plexus and thus improves the digestive power. It awakens the Manipura Chakra which is located at the naval region. In Sanskrit, it’s called उड्डियान बंध.

Benefits

  1. This Bandha helps to stimulate, lift and retain your prana
  2. It improves the functioning of the adrenal glands.
  3. Brings a higher level of awareness and aids in the higher practices of Dhyana and Samadhi.
  4. Massages internal organs, increases circulation and thus improves digestion.

Steps

  1. Continue from step 9 of Jalandhara Bandha.
  2. Concentrate on the Manipura Chakra and pull your abdominal muscles in and up under the rib cage such that your stomach and back seem to touch each other from the inside.
  3. Hold the breath for as long as you feel comfortable.
  4. Now, to get released from the pose, take a deep inhalation and release the muscular tension.

Maha Bandha

When we combine all the above three bandhas, it becomes Maha Bandha. Practise this Bandha after you become comfortable with all three Bandhas. Start with Mula, then Uddiyana and then Jalandhar Bandha. Reverse the order, while you release the Bandhas. In Sanskrit, it’s called महा बंध.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your Bandhas practise and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Yoga is a tool for realigning our awareness with the divine, creating a state of oneness that is our true nature”

Yoga poses for Swimmers

Top 10 Yoga Poses for Swimmers (Swim Better)

Have you ever encountered injury while swimming in a pool? Swimming is one of the most use full body workouts that help to burn calories without sweating. Some people do swimming for fun and pleasure and some people swim for competition on a professional level. When you train rigorously for swimming, there is a chance of encountering injury due to tightness in the shoulders, hamstrings, and hip muscles. It’s always a better choice to take precautionary measures to minimize the injury. Regular practice of yoga poses for swimmers help to improve flexibility, build muscle strength, decrease the risk of injury and improve the performance level.

Moreover, yoga also helps to lower the risk of hypertension, chronic illness and to lose excessive fat. Whereas, Pranayama helps to improve the breathing and lung capacity, improve your focus and concentration with regular practice. This is not the end of the list of benefits, it also helps to restore and rejuvenate your energy levels.

Note: If you have any recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising any yoga poses. You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before practising Pranayama and yoga poses. Ensure to have your meals at least four to five hours before you do the asanas so that your food gets properly digested, and you can expand your body fully during the practice.

Now, when we already know that Yoga provides many benefits, let us find out the best 11 yoga poses and useful breathing practices to help improve your swimming experience. Find your yoga mat and lots of willing power. Now, let’s start with the Pranayama to create a better environment for the yoga practice.

  1. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom Pranayama)

This pranayama helps to cleanse, balance and purify your life force(prana) and provides you with a healthy mind and body. It removes toxins from your body and improves blood circulation. This breathing practice helps to clean the pranic channels and makes sure prana flow freely in the entire body. Know more

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  1. Kapalbhati Pranayama

A powerful and popular breathing technique which is most useful to lose weight, bring your entire body to a perfect balance and improves overall well-being. It improves the function of the lungs, kidney, and other respiratory systems. Moreover, it also improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the body. Know more

  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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    Photo Credit: Gaia

One of the most basic and most recognized yoga poses around and must be learned to pose for the swimmers which can provide you with multiple health benefits starting from blood flow to the brain to rejuvenating your entire body. It brings strength throughout the body and deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, hands, and spine while it builds strength in your arms, shoulders, and legs. Know more

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

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    Photo Credit: Yoga International

This pose stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest, and abdominals. It opens up the shoulders, neck, tones the abdomen and buttocks and increases the flexibility of the spine. Improves circulation of blood and removes fatigue and stress. Know more

  1. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

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    Photo Credit: Yoga International

This pose improves flexibility in the hip, groin region, feet, ankles, and knees. Moreover, it also improves blood circulation throughout your body and reduces weight which helps to improve the swimming experience. Know more

  1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)Bow Pose.jpg

This pose helps to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, tones legs, and arm muscles. It is also effective in weight loss, digestion, and improving appetite. Know more

  1. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)Locust Pose.jpg

This pose helps to stimulate your abdominal organs and enhances the digestion and blood circulation of your body. It strengthens arms, thighs, shoulders, legs, hips, calf muscles and increases flexibility and provides strength to the entire back of the body. Know more

  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)Bridge Pose.jpg

This pose helps to keep your spine and brain healthy. It strengthens your back muscles and gives relief from the back pain. Know more

  1. Hero Pose (Virasana)Hero Pose.jpg

This pose helps to improve your posture, reduces stiffness and improves blood circulation in the legs by relieving the tiredness. It stretches knees, ankles, feet, thighs and improves flexibility. Know more

  1. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)Cow Face yoga Pose.jpg

A seated hand twisting yoga Pose which provides various benefits for the entire body starting from stretching your shoulders and back to calming your mind and relaxing your body. It develops the chest muscles and makes your back flexible and more elastic. Know more

  1. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

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    Photo Credit: Love My Yoga

This asana helps to improve your concentration, energy level and releases stress, anxiety and tiredness. This asana is practised after an active yoga session or whenever you feel tired during the session. It promotes rest and thus relaxation. Concentration and deeper breaths are what you need in this asana practice. Know more

Swimming provides you with a platform to connect yourself without listening any chaos happening outside. Yoga helps to develop a better coordination between your mind and body while you swim and improves the overall experience. The inclusion of Pranayama helps to improve your concentration and better your lung capacity.

Enjoy the practice of Yoga and Pranayama for a better swimming experience. If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

A Beginner’s Guide to Chakras and Their Benefits

In Sanskrit, ‘Chakra’ means ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’. Chakras are wheels of pranic energy at specific areas in the body which controls the circulation of prana permeating the entire human structure. Chakras are beyond human perception because they belong to the Sukhsma sharira or subtle body.

The chakras are both real and symbolic. They represent the centres of subtle energies or prana within the pranic body in which each chakra is associated with pranic energy at specific frequency levels and subtlety. They also represent the progressively higher state of awareness. The chakras symbolize varying levels of awareness in man from the more instinctive realms associated with the Muladhara chakra to the more intuitive realms associated with Ajna chakra.

So, each chakra has two defining characteristics, i.e. prana and consciousness or awareness. Physical and mental stimulation of these psychic centres (chakras) rouses to the psychic potential in man and provides him with an insight into his own reality which is the aim of the yoga practices.

There are seven chakras in the human body and these chakras lie at the points of intersection of the three main nadis i.e. Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. The seven chakras are the Muladhara, the Swadhisthana, the Manipura, the Anahata, the Vishuddha, the Ajna, and the Sahasrara chakra.

When you practice yoga and mudras, the chakras get balanced and brings physical and mental stability in your life. Let us understand how the chakras operate and what are their effects on the human body.

  1. Muladhara Chakra (The Root Chakra)

Muladhara Chakra.jpgMuladhara chakra or the Root chakra means the support for other chakras. It is associated with the reproductive glands. It is located at the base of the spine and the seat of kundalini shakti. Its colour is red and is symbolised as a lotus flower which has four petals. It is the centre of the physical energy, grounding and self-preservation. Th element of this chakra is earth. The root chakra governs the back, feet, hips, ovaries, vagina, spine, and legs. It is responsible for the fight and its response when the survival is under threat.

  1. Svadhisthana Chakra (The Sacral Chakra)

Svadhisthana Chakra.jpgSvadhisthana chakra, also known as the Sacral chakra, or the spleen chakra, is located just below the navel near the abdomen. It is a seat of shakti and is represented as an orange coloured lotus flower which has six petals. The element of this chakra is water. If the Sacral chakra is working well, one will feel confident and emotionally balanced. If this chakra is overactive, one tends to be emotional all the time. It governs the reproductive organs, bladder, bowel, and lower intestine. Cleansing of this chakra is possible by getting rid of low self-esteem, fear and desires.  

  1. Manipura Chakra (The Solar Plexus)

Manipura Chakra.jpgIn Sanskrit Mani means jewel and pura mean place. Manipura chakra has been so named because of its radiant lustre which makes it look like a jewel. This chakra is a centre of dynamism, dominance, and self-assertion which is represented by a yellow coloured lotus flower which has ten petals with an inverted triangle representing fire. It governs the spleen, stomach, upper intestines, upper back and upper spine. This chakra symbolises peace. When the consciousness rises above this chakra, one is said to get free from stress and tension.

  1. Anahata Chakra (The Heart Chakra)

ANAHATA CHAKRA IMAGE.JPGIn Sanskrit Anahata means unstruck. This chakra is said to be located in the centre of the heart where the unstruck vibration of the eternal nada or sound can be sensed. It is represented by a green coloured lotus flower of twelve petals located in the centre of the chest. It is the seat of emotions and feelings, of unconditional love, compassion, selflessness, and devotion. One’s real self which is always pure and stable is said to reside here. Love manifests in the heart giving rise to the feelings of universal brotherhood and tolerance. The Anahata chakra bestows on one sense of responsibility, total security, confidence, and chastity. Biologically, this chakra is related to the heart, blood, lungs and the circulatory system and the immune and endocrine systems. The imbalanced working of Anahata chakra leads to love related problems. The imbalance creates agitation in the thymus glands, the endocrine gland that is associated with this chakra. Asthma and disorders of the heart are believed to result if the chakra is underactive. If the chakra is overactive, one tends to suffocate another with love- a selfish kind of love.

  1. Vishuddha Chakra (The Throat Chakra)

vishuddha chakra.jpgThe Sanskrit word Shuddha means ‘Pure’ and Vi is used as a prefix to enhance the quality. The centre of pure consciousness and creativity, the Vishuddha chakra is symbolised by a sky-blue lotus with 16 petals. When the consciousness dwells in this chakra, one develops right understanding and discrimination, and as a result, does not experience dualities in life. One accepts everything, both the good and the bad and is able to have pure relationships with others but with detachment. On the physical level, this chakra is associated with the thyroid gland and the lungs. It controls metabolism and the activity of the vocal chords, the pharynx and the oesophagus. It influences the way we express ourselves. If the chakra is underactive, one suffers from cold, cough, thyroid problems and lack of communication skills. If it is overactive, one becomes extra talkative and boastful. One should practice meditation, Bhramari pranayama and yoga asanas like Bhujangasana to maintain balance in this chakra.

  1. Ajna Chakra (The Brow Chakra)

Sixth-Ajna-Chakra-Lotus.jpgThis highly important chakra is known by various names; as the third eye or jnanachakshu – the eye of wisdom; as Triveni or the confluence of three rivers; as the guru chakra; and, the eye of Shiva. The word Ajna means ‘command’ in Sanskrit. An advanced student who is in deep meditation will receive commands or guidance from his guru and from the divine self. This Chakra is denoted by a lotus flower which has two petals. It is a gate which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to its final destination, which is the seventh centre. On the physical level, Ajna is apparently related to the pituitary gland and the small brain which secretes hormones to communicate to the rest of the endocrine system and also connects to the central nervous system via the hypothalamus. The hypophysis has a vital role in the physical basis of consciousness.

It is the seat of wisdom and intuition. If it is underactive, one will experience negative thoughts, fatigue and incur more of the bad karmas. If this chakra is overactive, one ends up living in a world of fantasy and may even suffer from hallucinations. This chakra can be opened by contemplation on the divine, pranayama and Guru’s Grace.

  1. Sahasrara Chakra (The Crown Chakra)

sahashra chakra.jpgThe most sacred chakra of all is Sahasrara Chakra meaning “one thousand”. It has been named so at is depicted by a brilliant violent coloured lotus flower comprising a thousand petals. It is the centre at which Self-realization happens. When the kundalini is awakened, it ascends up to the Sahasrara chakra through the various chakras. At the Sahasrara Chakra, the kundalini merges with its source and attains supreme bliss. This chakra is related to the pineal gland, a sensitive gland producing the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep and wakefulness. When it functions properly, one’s thinking power and intelligence improve. The gland is large in childhood but shrinks by puberty. The Ajna chakra helps in giving one the direct perception of the ultimate reality through the central nervous system. Sahasrara chakra is an integration of all the qualities of other chakras. It can be activated only by the Divine Grace.

Chin Mudra: Steps and Benefits

Mudras are higher practices which lead to the awakening of the pranas, chakras and kundalini. It establishes the pranic balance within the koshas and enables the redirection of subtle energy to the upper chakras inducing a higher state of consciousness. Each mudra sets up a different link and has a corresponding different effect on the body, mind and prana.

Chin Mudra is a yogic gesture which represents psychic nature of human consciousness. It is also called as Gyan Mudra which refers to the psychic gesture of knowledge. Chin Mudra is one of the most commonly used gestures for practising Meditation and Pranayama.

Chin- Consciousness | Mudra- Gesture

This Mudra connects you to the inner self, builds energy, relaxes the mind and improves the overall mood. In Chin mudra, the index finger represents individual consciousness whereas the thumb finger represents the universal consciousness. The index finger says about the limited perspective of self whereas the thumb finger is all about the expanded perspective of Self. When the two joins, the limited self is getting connected to the Universal Self and it connects you to the inner self.

Practice this mudra sitting simply cross-legged (Sukhasana), in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) or in the lotus pose (Padmasana), or even by sitting comfortably on a chair. Hold this Mudra for at least 12-15 breaths and closely observe the flow of energy in the body.

Precautions

There are no side effects associated with the Chin Mudra. But, it’s always advisable that if you have any current or recent medical concerns, discuss with your doctor before practising any Mudras.

Benefits

  • This Mudra helps to cure insomnia, increases energy and stamina.
  • Improves concentration and memory power.
  • Regular practice of this mudra can eliminate all psychological disorders like anger, depression, stress and anxiety.
  • Improves sleep pattern and alleviates lower pain.
  • Helps to connect you to the inner self.
  • Relaxes your mind and brightens the overall mood.

Procedure

Practice this Mudra using both your hands.

  • Sit in a comfortable meditation posture like Padmasanaor Sukhasana.
  • Fold your index finger in such a way that it touches the tip of the thumb.
  • Extend the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart.
  • Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing upward.
  • Relax the palms and arms. Closely observe the flow of energy in the body.

Tips

When the palm side of your hands faces upward, the gesture is called as Chin Mudra. But, if the palm side faces downward, the gesture becomes the Gyana mudra.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy the Chin Mudra practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

Yoga Mudras: Types and Health Benefits

Yoga is more than just about the asanas wherein you twist your body or practice difficult asanas. There are a lot of other ancient techniques that work in the Yoga. Today, we will talk about one of them i.e. Mudra, an ancient technique which we practice during Pranayama or Meditation. The Sanskrit word Mudra is referred as ‘gesture’ or ‘attitude’. Mudras can be described as psychic, emotional, devotional and aesthetic gestures or attitudes. Ancient yogis had described mudras as attitudes of energy flow, intended to link individual pranic force with universal or cosmic force.

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Mudras are a combination of subtle physical movements which alter mood, attitude and perception. And which deepen awareness and concentration. A mudra may involve the whole body in a combination of asana, pranayama, bandha and visualization techniques, or it may be a simple hand position. Mudras are higher practices which lead to the awakening of the pranas, chakras and kundalini. It establishes the pranic balance within the koshas and enables the redirection of subtle energy to the upper chakras inducing a higher state of consciousness. Each mudra sets up a different link and has a corresponding different effect on the body, mind and prana.

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Diseases in our body are caused due to an imbalance in the body, which in turn is caused by lack or excess of any of the five elements- Air, Water, Fire, Earth and space. Our fingers have the characteristics of these elements and each of these five elements serves a specific and important function within the body. When a finger representing an element is brought into contact with the thumb, that element is brought into balance. Therefore, the disease caused by the imbalance is cured. The use of mudras adjusts the flow of energy affecting the balance of air, fire, water, earth, ether and facilitate healing with the restoration of health.

Air (Vayu)- Index Finger

Fire (Agni)- Thumb Finger

Water (Jal)- Little Finger

Earth (Prithvi)- Ring Finger

Space (Akash)- Middle Finger

The Yoga Mudras can be categorized into five groups depending on the body part we use for the practice.

  1. Hasta (Hand Mudras)
  2. Mana (Head Mudras)
  3. Kaya (Postural Mudras)
  4. Bandha (Lock Mudras)
  5. Adhara (Perineal Mudras)

Today, we will talk about some of the most powerful mudras which help to cure diseases. Mudras can be performed either in combination with or after the asana and pranayama.

  1. Jnana/Gyan Mudra (Psychic gesture of Knowledge)

This is one of the most basic yoga mudras which help to improve your concentration and knowledge.

Procedure: Sit in a comfortable meditation posture like Padmasana or Sukhasana. Fold your index fingers so that they touch the inside root of the thumbs. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing down. Relax the hands and arms.

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Chin Mudra (Psychic gesture of consciousness)

Chin mudra is performed in the same way as Gyan mudra, except that the palms of both hands facing upwards, with the back of the hands resting on the knees.

Benefits: This Mudra helps to cure insomnia and improves concentration and memory power. Regular practice of this mudra can eliminate all psychological disorders like anger, depression, stress and anxiety. Moreover, it also improves sleep pattern, increases energy in the body and alleviates lower backache.

  1. Chinmaya Mudra (Gesture of awareness)

This is one of the powerful mudras that promote physical and mental health.chinmaya 2.jpg

Procedure: The thumb and forefinger form a ring and the other three remaining fingers are curled into the palms of the hands. Now, place your hands on the knees with palms facing upwards and take deep comfortable breaths. Relax the hands, arms and observe the flow of breaths.

Benefits: This mudra improves the flow of energy in the body and stimulates digestion.

  1. Adi Mudra (First Gesture)

This is a symbolic and ritualistic gesture of the hands used in a spiritual yoga practice to calm the mind and nervous system. adi-mudra.jpg

Procedure: The thumb is placed at the base of the small finger and the remaining fingers curl over the thumb, forming a light fist. Now, place your hands on the knees with palms facing upwards and take deep comfortable breaths.

Benefits: This mudra relaxes the nervous system and helps to reduce snoring. It also improves the flow of oxygen to the brain and increases capacity of the lungs.

  1. Vayu Mudra (Gesture of air)

As the name suggests, this is for balancing the air element of your body.Vayu-Mudra-techiniqus.jpg

Procedure: Fold your index finger. Press the second phalanx bone of the index finger with the base of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to release the excess air from the body reducing chest pain due to trapped gas.

  1. Agni Mudra (Gesture of fire)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the fire element of your body. Avoid this mudra, if you are suffering from indigestion or acidity.Prtivi-shaamak.jpg

Procedure: Fold your ring finger and press the second phalanx bone with the base of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

This mudra should be practised only in sitting position early in the morning with an empty stomach.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce the extra fat around your belly, boosts metabolism and controls obesity. It also helps to improve digestion and body strength.

  1. Varun Mudra (Gesture of water)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the water element of your body.  This mudra can be used to enhance the beauty. It makes your skin glow because it makes the fluids in your body flow and keeps your skin moisturised. Ensure not to press the tip of the little finger near the nail. That may cause dehydration instead of balancing the water level in your body.Varun Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Touch the tip of your little finger with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to activate fluid circulation within the body keeping it moisturized. It cures skin diseases, infections and prevents the appearance of pimples. It adds a natural glow to your face and prevents muscle pains.

  1. Prana Mudra (Gesture of life)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the life element of your body. This yoga gesture improves your immune system, increases the sharpness of your vision and helps you to feel energetic by fighting fatigue. This is a very important mudra as it activates the energy in your body.prana_mudra.jpg

Procedure: Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other two fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra improves your immune system. This improves eye power and sharpness of your vision. It also cures eye diseases and reduces tiredness.

  1. Shunya Mudra (Gesture of sky)

This mudra is also known as heaven mudra and regular practice of this mudra helps to enjoy a level of tranquillity.shunya-mudra.jpg

Procedure: Press the first phalanx of your middle finger with the thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce earaches and also helps people who are going deaf due to age or disease. It also helps in overcoming travel sickness and vertigo related issues.

  1. Surya Mudra (Gesture of sun)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the sun element of your body. You must do it early morning to get the benefit of sun’s energy.ff5a031beae7b69421550670f3e821e9.jpg

Procedure: Press your ring finger with the thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to reduce bad cholesterol and weight. It also reduces anxiety and improves digestion.

  1. Prithvi Mudra (Gesture of the Earth)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the earth element of your body. This is also an amazing mudra for glowing skin.FB-Benefits-of-Prithvi-Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Touch the tip of your ring finger with the tip of your thumb. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra improves the blood circulation throughout your body. It increases patience, tolerance and concentration while meditating. Moreover, it also helps to strengthen weak and lean bones. Surprisingly it helps to increase body weight, reduces weakness and dullness of mind.

  1. Linga Mudra (Gesture of heat)

This mudra increases body heat by focusing on the element of fire inside the body.

Procedure: Bring both your hands in front of your body and clasp them so that the fingers are intertwined. Ensure that the left thumb is pointing vertically upwards and encircle it with the thumb and index finger of the right hand. Take gentle breaths and stay in this posture for 7-10 minutes.

Benefits: This mudra generates immense heat within the body and is very useful for fighting the cold. It also helps to boost the immune system and makes the body more resistant to cold and cough infections. Moreover, it also helps with weight loss and improves the function of the respiratory system.

  1. Apana Mudra (Gesture of digestion/vital air)

As the name suggests, this mudra is for balancing the digestive element of your body. The Apana Mudra is also known as the purification mudra. It helps to increase the balance of the elements of space and earth within the body.apana-mudra.jpg

Procedure: Bend the middle and ring finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb. Your index and little finger should be pointing straight. Straighten the other two fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart. Now, Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing up. Relax the hands and arms.

Benefits: This mudra helps to purify your body and get rid of unwanted toxins. It also helps to deal with constipation and useful during childbirth in case there is a delay in childbirth.

  1. Dhyana Mudra (Gesture of Meditation)

This is a hand gesture used by ancient yogis during meditation to build and improve the ability to concentrate and heal.Yoga-Mudras-Dhyana-Mudra.jpg

Procedure: Keep both your hands resting on your legs while keeping the right hand over the left. The palms should be facing upwards and fingers extended.

Benefits: This mudra helps to relax your mind and release the stress, anxiety and depression. It also helps to move you towards the enlightenment.

Yoga mudras are practised sitting simply cross-legged (Sukhasana), in Vajrasana or in the lotus pose, or even by sitting comfortably on a chair. In each yoga mudra, take at least 12-15 breaths and closely observe the flow of energy in the body.

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga mudra practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

12 Basic Asanas of Hatha Yoga and its Benefits

Hatha Yoga is a holistic way of achieving mastery over your body and mind. This further leads to health, joy, and happiness. Hatha yoga refers to the practice of physical asanas or yoga postures. Hatha yoga practices help to calm your body, mind, soul and prepare for the deeper meditation. It can be explained in two ways. ‘Ha’ means ‘Sun’ and ‘tha’ means ‘Moon’. Hatha means balancing the sun and Moon energies in your body. It also means ‘forceful’ in Sanskrit. Because the ancient yogis believed that the yoga practice was challenging.

We have three main nadis in our body namely Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Ida spirals up the left side of the spine ending at the left nostril, whereas Pingala ending at the right nostril. Hatha yoga is the science of maintaining the balance between the Ida and Pingala to bring us to the higher consciousness of life. It also activates the third Nadi which is called Sushumna towards the path of enlightenment.

“Hatha Yoga is the science of using the body to prepare oneself for the ultimate possibility”-Sadhguru

Hatha Yoga works on five principles to find the ultimate possibility in your life.

  • Proper Exercise
  • Proper Breathing
  • Proper Relaxation
  • Proper Diet
  • Positive Thinking and Meditation

The 12 basic asanas have more meaning than just the postures or stretching your body. It activates the chakras which are the pranic energy channels along with increasing the flexibility of the spine, stimulating the immune system and strengthening each body parts. Moreover, it also helps to alleviate diabetes, arthritis, stress-related diseases and sexual disorders. Regular practice of these 12 poses ensure to bring physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium in your body.

12 Hatha Yoga Poses

Let’s practice the 12 basic asanas to live with a sense of divinity, spirituality and stress-free life.

  1. Headstand (Sirsasana)
  2. Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
  3. Plough Pose (Halasana)
  4. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
  5. Sitting Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
  6. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  7. Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)
  8. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  9. Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  10. Crow Pose (Kakasana) or Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)
  11. Standing Forward Bend (Pada Hasthasana)
  12. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

It’s always advisable to discuss with your doctor if you have recent or current medical conditions before you practice the 12 basic asanas of Hatha Yoga. Now, let’s move into each pose in details.

  1. Headstand (Sirsasana)

This asana is also known as the king of all asanas. Headstand flushes fresh nutrients and oxygen to the face, creating a glowing effect on the skin. Due to the increase in the blood flow and nutrients into your head and scalp, hair fall gets reduced. Since the adrenal glands are also flushed and detoxified with the regular practice of this pose, you can create positive thoughts. Depression, stress, and anxiety will reduce as you get upside down and smile will come to your face. This pose develops strong core muscles and eliminates the chances of strokes. To know more

  1. Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

An intermediate yoga pose in which the whole body is balanced on your shoulders. Sarvangasana is also called as the mother or queen of all asanas since it is one of the oldest asanas and addresses every organs and chakra in your body. This asana helps to cure sinusitis, asthma, infertility and relieves the symptoms of menopause. It stimulates thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, the abdominal organs and helps to relieve stress, depression and calms your brain. To know more

  1. Plough Pose (Halasana)

An inverted back-stretching pose which provides your entire back with a good stretch and brings flexibility and strength to your back muscles. It stimulates the reproductive organs, thyroid glands and strengthens the immune system of our body. This pose helps women during menopause. Moreover, it provides flexibility to the spine and effective for weight loss also. To know more

  1. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

This is a back-bending sleeping pose that opens the chest, throat, abdomen and helps to cure thyroid disorders. Regular practising of this pose can be a great way to regain balance and flexibility of your neck and spine. It also helps to relieve constipation and menstrual pain. To know more

  1. Sitting Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)

This is a sitting pose which helps to calm your mind and relieve stress. This pose is generally practised later in a sequence when the body gets warmed. Regular practise of this asana gives your entire body a good stretch and is effective for diabetes and high blood pressure. To know more

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

This is a back-bending yoga pose which stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest, abdominals and opens up the neck, and tones the abdomen and buttocks. It increases the flexibility of the spine and stimulates abdominal organs and thus improves digestion. This pose heals the diseases and awakens Kundalini which is the divine cosmic energy that brings self-realization. To know more

  1. Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)

An intermediate backbend poses which provide your entire back with a good stretch and brings flexibility and strength to your back. This pose stretches out your spine, chest and helps to feel more energized. It stimulates internal organs and enhances blood circulation in the body. To know more

  1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This is a back-stretching pose which helps to stimulate the reproductive organs and relieves the mensural discomfort with regular practice. It strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, tones legs, arm muscles and helps to open up your neck, chest, and shoulders. The function of liver, pancreas, intestine problems and diabetes can be improved with the practice of this pose. To know more

  1. Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

A powerful seated twist poses which provide various benefits for the entire body. When you twist your body in this pose, it increases the flexibility of your spine, relaxes the nervous system and calms our brain, tones the abdominal organs and improves the digestion. This asana brings many benefits to your body, mind and soul. To know more

    10. Crow Pose (Kakasana)

An arm balance poses which requires strength in arms and shoulders to perform this asana. Kakasana strengthens the muscles of arm, cores and promotes a good posture. It also tones and strengthens the upper arms, forearms, abdominal muscles and wrists. To know more

         Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

This is an effortless balancing pose that helps to build your arm strength, abdominal muscles, and concentration. It helps to detoxify the body, tones the digestive organs and removes constipation problems. To know more

  1. Standing Forward Bend (Pada Hasthasana)

An intense forward stretch pose which provides your entire back muscles with a good stretch and brings flexibility and strength to your back. It helps to alleviate menopause and menstrual problems. Moreover, it also cures asthma, osteoporosis, sinusitis, infertility, and high blood pressure. To know more

  1. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

This is a standing pose that helps to tone the legs, reduces stress and increases mental and physical equilibrium. This pose strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, chest, arms and stretches and opens the hips, hamstrings, groins, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. To know more

The above classical Hatha yoga asanas have been designed for the systematic movement of every part of your body in a balanced way that can enhance your pranic force and keep you away from stress and lifestyle diseases. You need to take rest between the yoga postures during the session and at the end of the session to feel more energized and to provide your body with enough rest. Corpse pose or Savasana provides you a better relaxation. You can bring variations into each pose mentioned above after mastering the basic asanas completely to deepen your practice.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

The easiest pose in a yoga sequence, yet the hardest one. Because you need to relax your body, mind and need to restrain yourself from falling asleep while practising. This pose improves concentration, memory and releases stress, depression, tension, and fatigue. It relaxes your whole-body muscles, calms your mind and improves mental health. To know more 

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy the 12 basic asanas of Hatha yoga and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

“Hatha Yoga teaches us to use the body as the bow, asana as the arrow, and the soul as the target”- B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Yoga Poses to Improve Balance

Yoga Poses to improve Balance.png

Everyone wants balance in their life irrespective of whatever they do. But, the balance needs concentration, intention and the ability to hold on and go on. The ability to maintain balance prevents injury, improves dynamic joint stabilization, relieves stress and improves your focus. Body balance can be improved through practice of simple yoga postures which you can do anytime, anywhere. 1500x300-v2._CB519728005_.jpg

Before we move into the postures and how to practise it, let’s keep some tips in mind:

  • For beginners, easy yoga poses would look difficult and impossible at first. Make sure you have a wall or chair nearby to support your body in case you fall.
  • Take your own time. Move into each pose slowly and keep aware of what your entire body is doing. Please understand that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. Never force your body.
  • Work on each pose from the ground up: Start with aligning your feet, then legs, torso, arms and head.
  • Keep your mind relaxed and focus on breathing. Slowly and steadily with the practice, you will regain flexibility. Keep it up!

Now, let’s start the practice with top 7 yoga postures to improve balance. Ready with your mat!

  1. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

A perfect posture to improve your balance and strengthen your back and legs.DSC_0294.JPG

  • Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be flat and placed firmly. Keep your left leg straight and find balance.
  • While inhaling raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together.
  • Ensure that your spine is straight and take few deep breaths.
  • Slowly exhale and bring your hands down and release your right leg.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
  1. Eagle pose (Garudasana)

This pose stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the thighs, hips, ankles, and calves. It builds balance, calm mind, and improves concentration. Do not practice this asana if you have a recent knee, ankle or elbow injury.DSC_0113.JPG

  • Stand straight on both feet. Then, Raise the right leg and wrap it around the left leg
  • The right thigh should be over the left thigh and the right feet will touch the calf muscles from behind.
  • Similarly, wrap the right hand around the left hand.
  • Now place the palms together to resemble the beak of an eagle.
  • Try to maintain the balance and remain in this pose for as long as you can maintain the balance.
  • Concentrate on balancing the body pose and then come back to the original position.
  • Relax for few seconds and repeat the same procedure.FO728-x-90.jpg
  1. Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)

This pose is an active pose that strengthens the ankles and legs, tones the muscles of the abdomen, and offers a stretch through the chest, shoulders and hamstrings. This pose also helps to improve balance and coordination.

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Photo Credit: Sammy Veall
  • From Mountain pose, step the right foot a foot length forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg.
  • While Inhaling raise the arms over your head and interlace the fingers, pointing the index finger up.
  • As you exhale, lift the left leg up and out, hinging at the hips to lower the arms and torso down towards the floor.
  • Look down at the floor and stare at a point for maintaining balance. Reach out through the left toes and the crown and fingers making one straight line.
  • Breathe and hold for few breaths.
  • Come back to the mountain pose, relax and repeat on the other side.
  1. Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustana)

This yoga pose helps in stretching the hamstrings to make it flexible and prepare it for the other poses. It strengthens your ankles and legs along with that it stretches the backs of your legs and beneficial for your nervous system.DSC_0114.JPG

  • First, stand in the Mountain Pose or Tadasana and let your arms out to either side of your body, with your feet placed firmly on the ground
  • Lift your left leg and bend it at the knee till it touches your abdomen
  • Now let your left-hand slide down the inner thigh and hold the other part of your foot.
  • Bring your outer thigh towards the inside as you now tighten the muscles of the right thigh.
  • As you continue to grasp your left foot allow it to extend it forward and straighten as much as possible.
  • Maintain your balance and slowly swing the left foot to the side. Continue to breathe normally in this position.
  • Stay in this posture for around 30 seconds and then slowly inhale and bring the leg to the front again and place it on the floor.
  • Repeat the same procedure with right foot.
  1. Crow Pose(Bakasana)

This pose strengthens the upper arms, forearms, and wrists. It tones and strengthens the abdominal muscles and the organs of the torso while stretching the upper back and groins. This pose also improves balance and full-body coordination.IMG_4465.JPG

Beginners must use pile of blankets or a pillow in front of them to protect them in case they fall forward.

  • First, stand in the Mountain Pose or Tadasana with your arms at your sides. Step your feet about as wide as your mat.
  • Bend your knees and lower your hips, coming into a squat. Separate your thighs so they are slightly wider than your torso, but keep your feet as close together as possible.
  • Drop your torso slightly forward and bring your upper arms to the inside of your knees. Press your elbows along the inside of your knees.PC_Bunk_FITBIT_1500x300._CB519825849_
  • Bring your palms to the mat, keeping them about shoulder-distance apart. Spread your fingers and press firmly to the ground.
  • Press your shins against the back of your upper arms. Draw your knees in as close to your underarms as possible.
  • Lift onto the balls of your feet as you lean forward. Round your back and draw your abdominal muscles in firmly. Keep your tailbone tucked in toward your heels.
  • Look at the floor between your hands or at a point even more forward, if possible.
  • As you continue to lean forward, lift your feet off the floor and draw your heels toward your buttocks. If it’s difficult to lift both feet at the same time, try lifting one foot and then the other. Balance your torso and legs on the back of your upper arms.
  • Keep pressing evenly across your palms and fingers, then begin to straighten your elbows. Keep your knees and shins hugging in tightly toward your armpits. Keep your forearms drawn firmly toward the midline of your body.
  • Touch your big toes together. Draw your belly in. Breathe steadily.
  • Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable. Then release and repeat it for 3-4 times.
  1. Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)

This pose helps to Strengthens legs hips, ankles and chest. It Stretches the thighs, groin, and abdominal organs release stress and calm the mind. Moreover, it is good for improving concentration. Those suffering from low blood pressure should not practice this asana.IMG_4637.JPG

  • Stand straight on your yoga mat and arms by your sides.
  • While inhaling bend your right leg backwards and hold with your right ankle with the right hand.
  • Try to move your right leg upwards as much as you can.
  • Extend your left arm straight out in front. Hold this posture for 20 to 30 seconds and keep breathing normally. Now slowly come back to starting position.
  • Repeat this with another leg and practice for 3 to 4 repetitions.
  1. Tiptoe Pose (Padangushthasana)

This pose remedies flat feet and improves strength and flexibility in the toes, ankles, knees, hips and thighs. It also improves physical balance, mental focus and concentration.IMG_4562.JPG

Tiptoe pose looks simple but it requires strong toes and ankles and flexibility in the knees and hips It is an advanced version of yoga pose and it should be practised under the guidance of an instructor. If you have any lower back or neck injuries or pain, this pose is not advisable.

  • Sit in a squatting position. Lift the heels up and sit on your toes. Adjust the left heel so that it is directly under the perineum.
  • Place the right hand on the floor by the side of the right thigh for support. With the left hand lift the right foot up and place the top of the foot on the left thigh. The sole of the right foot should be facing up.
  • If you find it hard to place the foot on the opposite thigh, you may want to rest your back against a wall for support (For Beginners). The support will allow you to put the foot on top of the opposite thigh without losing balance and falling down.
  • Once the right foot is in place on top of the thigh, you can place the left hand also on the floor on the side of the left thigh for additional support
  • When you find yourself comfortable enough in this position, you may attempt to bring the palms together in a prayer position at the heart centre.
  • Maintain this position for few seconds, relax and repeat on the other side.1500x150_Books-Content-Grid-Stripe

Balancing posture are sometimes challenging and practitioners feel frustrated with the practice. But, with the regular practice, the postures look awesome and you will enjoy your practice.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” –

Zig Ziglar

Yoga Poses for Kids

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There is no age limit for starting a Yoga practice, but certainly practising yoga from your child hood brings discipline, good health, spirituality and much more. Kids are always inclined to sports and Yoga helps to bring that opportunity and it can be practised anywhere.

Children face emotional, social, and physical challenges, and a dedicated regular yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioural guidelines, and physical postures can be incredibly valuable for them.

Yoga is an alternative for children who shy away from physical activity or group activities for fear of failure or being picked last. Now, Yoga has popularly been adopted by schools through physical education classes and different programs which brought a transformation in kids.Yoga carries different values such as non-harming, truthfulness, cleanliness, gratitude, and self-discipline.

Benefits for Kids: 

  • Physical Flexibility– Yoga helps to build the physical strength of kids whether it is practised as standing, sitting or lying down. Each pose challenges the kids to be aware of their own body and its efficiency.
  • Maintains balance & coordination– Yoga teaches kids on how to maintain balance. Balancing poses gives a platform for kids to build physical and mental health. Yoga not only teaches kids on how to stand on one foot physically but also it teaches on how to maintain mental balance when they fall and trying to stand again.
  • Focus and concentration– The regular yoga practice helps children to be mindful and focus on whatever they do. It helps them to focus and concentrate on school education and culture for future growth.kids-header-pc._V519828201_
  • Self-confidence and discipline– Yoga help to build self-confidence and learning in the minds of children.  It is our responsibility to develop our children’s sense of wonder and to give them a strong sense of self so that they know where they belong in this world and can contribute to making their community a better place. Yoga teaches kids to be patient and work towards their goals. A yoga teacher can only offer guidance; it is the child who has to work to succeed.
  • Connect mind and body– Yoga helps kids to achieve a clear mind in a sound body by exercising the physical body and calming their mind. Every parent wants their children to act and behave with mindfulness and compassion, to be brave, to know love and happiness, and to find inner peace. Since the modern world moves very fast for children, yoga helps them to cope up with the pressure.

Let’s practise some useful and funny yoga poses which are beneficial for kids. Along with the below yoga poses, Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar is also an excellent yoga practice for kids which involves a series of 12 yoga poses.

  1. Lotus Pose(Padmasana)

This is one of the best meditation poses as it helps to calm down your brain and restores energy levels. It also increases the levels of concentration and awareness for kids to focus well in the study.P1010733child-in-lotus.jpg

  • Sit down on your mat in a crisscross position with spine erect.
  • Keep your left thigh on the right thigh and vice versa.
  • Let your hands rest on the thighs in Gyan mudra (palms facing forward while the thumb and index finger are in touch).
  • Close your eyes and hold this position, while continuously deep inhaling and exhaling.
  • Stay in this position for at least 1 minute and increase the time slowly and steadily.
  • Kids can chant mantras and ‘Om’ while keeping their eyes closed. This will help to improve concentration and make them spiritual.
  1. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

A perfect posture to improve the balance of kids and strengthen their back and legs.tree-pose.jpg

  • Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be flat and placed firmly. Keep your left leg straight and find balance.
  • While inhaling raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together.
  • Ensure that your spine is straight and take few deep breaths.
  • Slowly exhale and bring your hands down and release your right leg.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
  1. Warriors Pose (Virabhadrasana)

This pose opens your hips, chests and lungs and improves balance and flexibility.

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Photo Credit: namaste kid
  • Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
  • Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
  • Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; straighten both your hands. Stay for few breaths
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Childs Pose (Balasana)

This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety of kids.girl_childs_pose.jpg

  • Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
  • Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and bring your both hands by your side.
  • Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.
  1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

It Strengthens the whole back body and abdominal muscles, opens up the chest, neck and shoulders. Kids love this pose to perform.large_b6a2413b-401b-4e6b-9c91-1a95e8f9cebf.jpg

  • Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body.
  • Fold your knees, take your hands backwards and hold your ankles.
  • Inhale and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back.
  • Look forward and stay there while paying attention to your breath. Now, your body looks like a curve.
  • Continue to take long deep breaths as you relax in this pose. Bend as far as your body permits and don’t force your body unnecessary.
  • After few seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax. 1500X150_1._V508412086_

The above yoga poses help the kids to develop physical and mental well-being. It also increases their focus and concentration in studies. In childhood, the kid’s body is normally flexible and it helps them to learn and practise more easily.

Yoga for Relaxation

Yoga for Relaxation (1).png

Are you feeling stressed and tired? Everyday life can get hectic due to office work, school, family life and much more! You might know how it feels when your day passes stressed and tiring. If yes, then it’s the right time to open your yoga mat. The simple practice of Yoga can cleanse your body, mind and give internal happiness. Regular practice of yoga can heal your body and give you a positive mind. Moreover, you will experience inner peace and more clarity in your life. So, let’s practise top 7 yoga poses to relax our body, mind and find inner happiness. 1500x300-v2._CB519728005_

  1. Lotus Pose(Padmasana)

This is one of the best meditation poses as it helps to calm down your brain and restores energy levels. It also increases your levels of concentration and awareness.lotus-700x700_2 (1).jpg

  • Sit down on your mat in a crisscross position with spine erect.
  • Keep your left thigh on the right thigh and vice versa.
  • Let your hands rest on the thighs in Gyan mudra (palms facing forward while the thumb and index finger are in touch).
  • Close your eyes and hold this position, while continuously deep inhaling and exhaling.
  • Stay in this position for at least 1 minute and increase the time slowly and steadily.
  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This pose helps to stretch your hamstrings, chest and lengthen the spine. It provides blood flow to the head.downward_dog_yoga_pose__medium_4x3.jpg

  • Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
  • Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
  • Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
  • It will look like an inverted V-shape.
  1. Childs Pose (Balasana)

This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety.Child-Pose.jpg

  • Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
  • Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and stretch your hands forward.
  • Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.
  1. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This pose relaxes your whole body and releases stress, depression, tension and fatigue. Moreover, it relaxes your muscles, calms your mind and improves mental health.shutterstock_78517363.jpg

  • Lie down flat on your back in supine position and close your eyes.
  • Allow your whole body to be relaxed completely.
  • On each inhaling and exhaling think that your body is totally relaxed. Let your tension, stress, depression and anxiety go off on each exhaling.
  • Maintain this position for 3-5 minutes.
  1. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

This pose stretches the back of the legs, calms the mind and nervous system and provides better relaxation. It also regulated blood flow and improves digestion.Legs-Up-The-Wall-Pose-Viparita-Karani-yoga-poseiStock_000030761864_Medium-300x192.jpg

  • Lie down flat on your back in supine position.
  • Position your buttocks closer to the wall as much as possible and then Inhale slowly and deeply.
  • Rest both your legs on the wall while keeping them straight.
  • Tilt your toes towards your body until you feel the pressure on your hamstrings.
  • Stretch both your hands on either side of your body.
  • Hold the position with regular breathing for at least 2-3 minutes.
  1. Relaxed Pose (Adhavasana)

This is a good pose for relaxation as it relaxes your muscles and improves the posture. It’s a good medicine to cure slip disc and control blood pressure.0d896fc9e4673c9be709215441f9bf46.jpg

  • Lie down on a yoga mat in prone position, with your abdomen touching the ground.
  • Fold your arms and place it beneath your forehead. Your arms act as a pillow and allow your head to rest on the arms.
  • Stretch your legs backwards completely in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing and allow your body to relax completely.
  • Maintain this position for 3-5 minutes.
  1. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This pose relaxes the mind, body, and spirit while decreases muscle tension gives relief from anxiety and increases overall energy.How-To-Do-Reclined-Bound-Angle-Pose.jpg

  • Lie down flat on your back in supine position with your legs and arms extended.
  • Bend your knees and bring your heels towards your pelvis area. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides.
  • Keep your arms open on both sides with palms up.
  • Lengthen your spine along the floor and maintain the natural curve of the lower back.1500x150_Books-Content-Grid-Stripe
  • Relax your buttocks and lengthen your tailbone toward your heels.
  • Close your eyes and turn your awareness completely inward.
  • Hold this position as long as you feel comfortable. Don’t force your body unnecessarily.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

Yoga means Relax, Refresh and Revive…

7 Yoga Poses To Develop Stronger Arms & Core

7 Yoga Poses To Develop Strong Arms & Core.png

Everyone likes to have stronger arms and core. It not only helps you look good but also give strength to perform an action. But, is it possible to build strong arm strength without the use of weights and other equipment we normally use in Gyms? The answer is simple and its yes. It all depends on how you use this body to build stronger muscles. Stronger arms and core also helps in practising advanced yoga poses like Headstand, Scorpion and Handstand. So, if you are ready to build a stronger arm for you, here are my top 7 yoga poses for toned and stronger arms.amazon-india-deals-of-the-day-best-discounts-offers-coupons-banner

  1. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)

plank.pngIn this pose, you engage your core and hold yourself at the top of push up which helps you to tone your arms and shoulders.

Procedure:

  • Keep your hands and knees shoulder-width apart and fingers spread wide. Keep your toes pressed towards the ground.

    plank_dolphin.png
    All Yoga Pose Photos Credit: Pocket Yoga
  • Your backbone, hip and head must be in line. Your fingers grip the mat while shoulders are straight as you keep your chest forward.
  • You can modify this pose by aligning your forearms down by 90 degrees with your shoulders, which we called forearm plank pose. Make sure your hands face straight forward and palms are flat on the ground.
  1. Side Plank Pose (Vashistasana)

plank_side_L.pngThis is a great pose for strengthening your shoulders, wrists and arms. It also helps to develop core strength, balance and concentration.

  • From plank pose, lift your hips up and shift your weight into one hand as you are rolling your whole body open to one side.
  • Keep your ankles, knees and hips vertically on top of each other.
  • Your ankles, hips and shoulders should be one straight line.
  • Raise your top arm straight up with your fingers open towards the sky
  • Stay there for few breaths and then move to plank pose again and repeat the same procedure with another side.plank_side_extended_L.png

You can bring some variation as you gain flexibility and balance with your practice where you can raise your top leg towards the sky and firmly catch it with your hand fingers which are already raised.

  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

cobra.pngThis pose improves flexibility, elevates mood and strengthens arms and shoulders.

  • Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, while inhaling, lift your waist and raise your head.
  • Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. By putting equal pressure on both palms, keep your elbows straight.
  • Move your head back and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground. Relax and then repeat the procedure 3-4 times.
  1. Upward facing dog Pose (Urdha Mukha Svanasana)

upward_dog.pngThe main difference between cobra pose and this asana is that the thighs are lifted off from your mat. Your forearm and shoulder must be in a single line.

You can practice a series here where you flow into Plank pose down to Chaturanga, into Upward facing dog and then Downward facing dog. This is one of the best series to tone up your arms and you can repeat it for 5-7 times.

  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

downward_dog.pngThis pose helps to stretch your hamstrings, chest and lengthen the spine. It provides blood flow to the head.

  • Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
  • Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
  • Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
  • It will look like an inverted V-shape.
  1. Dolphin Pose (Makarasana)

dolphin.pngIt stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches and strengthens the arms and legs. This is one of the best preparatory exercises for headstand.

  • Start in downward dog pose and then lower your forearms as you continue to shift your hips up and back.
  • Point your tailbone up to the sky, relax your head and keep your shoulders away from the ears.
  • As your press, your chest toward the thighs, spread your hands wide or alternatively, grip your hands together while staying on the forearms.
  • Continue this with 7-10 repetition while holding your breath for few seconds during the pose.
  1. Four limbed staff pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

four_limbed_staff.pngThis asana helps to strengthen the core stability, arm, shoulder and leg muscles. It also prepares the body for arm balances and inversions and increases stamina.

  • First, start from plank pose while Keeping your arms fully extended and spine completely erect.
  • Exhale, bend your elbows and keep down your lower body towards the ground but not touching it, few inches away from the ground.
  • Keep your body parallel to the ground and your hips need to be straight. Turn your legs inward.
  • Keep wide space between your shoulder blades. Your elbows need not be spread outwards but rather be pushed back downwards towards the heel.
  • Ensure that your neck is adjusted straight with the rest of body and press your palm fingers firmly to the ground.
  • Stay in this position for around 30 seconds to 1 minute and then exhale and rest gently on the floor.
  • Repeat this procedure for 3-4 times.PC_Bunk_FITBIT_1500x300._CB519825849_

Do these above 7 poses regularly with variations and you will see your body transforming with a stronger and toned arms and core!

Keep Calm and Practice Yoga for a better health!

Yoga and Pranayama for Beginners: 11 Basic poses for Beginners Yoga

When we see someone twisting her body parts and showing us some difficult postures through Instagram/YouTube/Facebook, at that time we think that practising Yoga is difficult and it’s not my cup of tea. “When I can’t even touch my toes, how can I practice Yoga?”. But you are absolutely on the wrong side my friends. Yoga is not about twisting your body parts or showing some difficult postures but it is a medium to unite your body, mind and soul. It helps to increase balance, strength and flexibility of your greatest gadget called the body.

Yoga is a simple process and today I picked 11 Pranayama and yoga poses for you to practice which we called as “Beginners Yoga”.

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(Photo Credit: Pocket Yoga)

Note: If you have a history of a disease or are recovering from an injury, consult your physician before starting. Please note that everyone’s body is different. So, there is no competition in Yoga practice, it’s a journey and you must enjoy it. Never force your body and practice it slowly, steadily and comfortably.

Here you go… 1500X150_1._V508412086_

Start your yoga practice with an invocation to bring the calmness and sense of spirituality. In the Yogic science, an invocation is usually in Sanskrit used to connect sound with forms. We called this as a yoga of sound. A simple invocation can be started with:

Asato ma sadgamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
Mrityor ma amritangamaya
Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Lead me from untruth to truth

Lead me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowing)

Lead me from death to deathlessness

After the invocation start your practice with two simple pranayamas (meditation).

  1. Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing):

It has a cleansing effect on the lungs, balances and strengthens the nervous system and tones the digestive organs. Moreover, it removes sleepiness and energises the mind for mental work.

  • First sit on the Padmasana or Sukhasana (simple sitting pose), close your eyes and keep your spines straight.
  • Now take a deep inhale through both of your nostrils until your lungs get full of air.
  • Now exhale through both of your nostrils forcefully so that your stomach will go deep inside. As you exhale you will feel some pressure in your stomach.
  • During the process of exhaling, you will feel a hissing sound, at this moment try to think that all toxins and disorders from your body are coming out of your nose.
  • Repeat this process for 5 minutes.
  1. Anulom-Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing):

It helps to cure diabetes and blood pressure, improves concentration, patience and relieves anxiety. The oxygen supply throughout the body can be greatly enhanced.

  • First sit on the Padmasana or Sukhasana (simple sitting pose), close your eyes and keep your spines straight.
  • Keep your left hand in Chin Mudra and rest on your right knee.
  • Close your right nostril with your right thumb in Vishnu mudra. Inhale slowly through your left nostril, inhale as much oxygen as you can so that your lungs get full of air. amazon-india-deals-of-the-day-best-discounts-offers-coupons-banner
  • Remove your thumb from right nostril and exhale from the right while closing your left nostril.
  • Now, inhale through your right nostril and close your right nostril and exhale from left nostril.
  • Repeat this procedure as long as you feel comfortable. Remember it’s your body and you must not force it.

After practising both the pranayamas, now you are ready to practise yoga which is simpler in nature but very helpful to your body and mind. Keep your practice slow and steady, don’t move forcefully.

  1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana):

mountain_arms_up.pngA simple yoga which helps in improving your focus and concentration.

  • Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed and arms at your sides.
  • Take a full deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other and arms are straight towards the sky.
  1. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):

04-tree-pose.jpgA perfect posture to improve your balance and strengthen your back and legs.

  • Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be flat and placed firmly. Keep your left leg straight and find balance.
  • While inhaling raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together.
  • Ensure that your spine is straight and take few deep breaths.
  • Slowly exhale and bring your hands down and release your right leg.
  • Repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
  1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

downward_dog.pngThis pose helps to stretch your hamstrings, chest and lengthen the spine. It provides blood flow to the head.

  • Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
  • Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
  • Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
  • It will look like an inverted V-shape.
  1. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana):

triangle_forward_R.png It promotes deep breathing, stretches legs and muscles around the knee. Stimulates function of abdominal organs.

  • Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart.
  • Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height.
  • Move your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees.
  • Keep your feet pressed against the ground and inhale. While exhaling, bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up.
  • Keep your waist straight and your body is bent sideways. Take deep breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana):

cobra.pngThis pose increases flexibility elevates mood and strengthens arms and shoulders.

  • Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, while inhaling, lift your waist and raise your head.
  • Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. By putting equal pressure on both palms, keep your elbows straight.
  • Move your head back and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground. Relax and then repeat the procedure 3-4 times.
  1. Warriors Pose (Virabhadrasana):

warrior_II_R.pngThis pose opens your hips, chests and lungs and improves balance and flexibility.

  • Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left the foot in slightly.
  • Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
  • Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; straighten both your hands. Stay for few breaths
  • Repeat on the other side.
  1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana):

bridge.pngThis pose helps in improving digestion and circulation of blood. It also reduces stress, depression and stretches the chest, spine, neck and hips.

  • Lie on the floor with knees bent and directly over heels.
  • Place arms at sides, palms down. First, inhale and then exhale and press feet into floor as you lift your hips.
  • Make a fist with your hands under lower back and press arms down. Lift your hips until thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing chest towards the chin. Stay for few breaths.
  1. Sitting half spinal Twist (Ardhamatsyendrasana):

marichi_III_L.pngThis pose stretches shoulders, hips, and back. It also helps to calm the nervous system and tones abdomen.

  • Sit up with the legs stretched out, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
  • Bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip.
  • Take the right leg over the left knee and place the left hand on the right knee. Keep the right hand behind you.
  • Twist your waist, shoulders and neck towards right look over the right shoulder.
  • While keeping your spine straight, continue long breath in and out.
  • While exhaling, release the right hand first, then release the chest and waist. Release your neck and sit relaxed. Repeat on the other side.
  1. Childs Pose (Balasana):

2013-09-27-Enfant-Child-pose-Balasana.jpgThis posture is helpful for relaxing the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety.

  • Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
  • Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and bring your hands forward by your side.
  • Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.

Use this pose throughout your practice whenever you need a break or get tired.PC_Bunk_FITBIT_1500x300._CB519825849_

The above 11 yoga and meditation postures help you to align your body and mind. Please take a note to breathe consciously throughout the practice and do necessary modifications wherever it’s required.

You are the in-charge of your own body. Sthira Sukham Asanam…

How to start a Yoga Practice???

Are you always thinking about how and when to start Yoga? If so, then you have come to the right place! Yoga not only helps you to be fit but also keep you away from stress. Then why to be late, let’s start the Yoga practice. Ahhh! before that you need to create a right kind of atmosphere to get its effectiveness and here are the 11 tips for you to keep in mind before starting Yoga and Meditation practise.

  1. Choose a convenient time

The most convenient time for practising yoga is in the early morning time as you are free from daily chaos and stress. Moreover, your energy levels are high and there is always a greater chance of getting morning sunlight which is always good for your health. But, if you are not an early morning guy then there is nothing to worry about. You can choose a convenient time prior to breakfast or at evening time. Evening time can also be used to practise yoga as this is the right time to refresh your mind and release the stress you have accumulated during the day.

  1. Choose a comfortable place

It would be best if you can practise yoga in your terrace, balcony or in the garden area. This will expose you to the morning sunlight which is good for your health. If not, please mind that you only need a place which can cover your yoga mat and a small place for movement. You can choose a small room in your home which is clean, well-ventilated and free from disturbance for the time you will practise yoga.

There are different types of yoga mat available in the market. But, choose the best yoga mat wisely keeping few things in your mind like thickness, durability, stickiness, easy to clean and many other factors. This allows you to enjoy the Yoga practice without thinking too much about your mat. To know more you can visit reviews.com, a website that provides well-researched pieces of information for you to take an effective decision.

  1. Make sure your stomach is empty

Yoga is not just an exercise but a powerful tool to enhance yourself and bring your energy upward. Therefore, ensure that you are practising yoga before taking breakfast or taking any meal i.e. empty stomach. You can practise yoga and meditation about 3-4 hours after your meal.

  1. Keep your yoga clothes loose fitting and comfortable

Choose loose-fitting clothes for the yoga practice since it provides you comfort while stretching your body. 

  1. Warm up your body before practising any intense yoga postures

After practising meditation and pranayama, do warm up your body with simple stretches to bring flexibility. Practising intense yoga postures without warm-up may invite strain and sore in your muscles.

  1. Sthira Sukham Asanam

Please keep a note that it’s your body and you know it better than the whole world. Don’t practise beyond your capacity or move faster. Respect your body and practise gently with a smile on your face. Everyone is blessed with a different body with flexibility.

  1. Be regular and focused

Whatever you do in this world, you need to be consistent and focused on achieving your goal, yoga works in the same way. It is very important to be regular with your yoga practice and include it in your daily schedule. Make it a habit, as a regular practice of 20 minutes of Yoga can give you better results than 2 hrs. of occasional practice.

  1. Learn how to breathe

It is always important to breathe while practising yoga, especially when holding the postures. Breathe in and breathe out helps you to remove the toxins from your body and allows the fresh air to be a part of your body.

  1. Start the practice with Beginner Yoga

There is always a human tendency to move faster and you can’t exclude yourself from that list. But, it is most important for yourself to understand that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You need to proceed from basic yoga pose sequences like cat pose, dog pose, downward dog, cobra, seated twist, triangle, forward pose to understand each aspect of this beautiful ancient practice. Then you can explore the intermediary and advanced yoga postures as you understand it better.

  1. Start with an invocation and meditation

An invocation is a tool to bring the calmness and best in you before you practise any kind of yoga. In the Yogic science, an invocation is usually in Sanskrit used to connect sound with forms. We called this as a yoga of sound. A simple invocation can be started with:

Asato ma sadgamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
Mrityor ma amritangamaya
Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Lead me from untruth to truth

Lead me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowing)

Lead me from death to deathlessness

  1. End with Savasana

Always end your yoga practice with simple Savasana, resting your back and consciously relaxing your body for 10-15 minutes. It helps to relax your body and mind.PC_Bunk_FITBIT_1500x300._CB519825849_

Keep these 11 things in mind before laying your yoga mat to start the practice for effective results.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

How to start a Yoga Practice (Yoga at Home)

How to start Yoga practice at home.png

Are you always thinking about how and when to start Yoga? If so, then you have come to the right place! Yoga not only helps you to be fit but also keep you away from stress. Then why to be late, let’s start the Yoga practice. Ahhh! before that you need to create a right kind of atmosphere to get its effectiveness and here are the 11 tips for you to keep in mind before starting Yoga and Meditation practise.

  1. Choose a convenient time

The most convenient time for yoga practice is in the early morning time as you are free from daily chaos and stress. Moreover, your energy levels are high and there is always a greater chance of getting morning sunlight which is always good for your health. But, if you are not an early morning guy then there is nothing to worry about. You can choose a convenient time prior to breakfast or at evening time. Evening time can also be used to practise yoga, as this is the right time to refresh your mind and release the stress you have accumulated during the day.

  1. Choose a comfortable place

It would be best if you can practise yoga on your terrace, balcony or in the garden area. This will expose you to the morning sunlight which is good for your health. If not, please mind that you only need a place which can cover your yoga mat and a small place for movement. You can choose a small room in your home which is clean, well-ventilated and free from disturbance for the time you will practise yoga.

There are different types of yoga mat available in the market. But, choose the best yoga mat wisely keeping few things in your mind like thickness, durability, stickiness, easy to clean and many other factors. This allows you to enjoy the Yoga practice without thinking too much about your mat. To know more you can visit reviews.com, a website that provides well-researched pieces of information for you to take an effective decision.

  1. Make sure your stomach is empty

Yoga is not just an exercise but a powerful tool to enhance yourself and bring your energy upward. Therefore, ensure that you are practising yoga before taking breakfast or taking any meal i.e. empty stomach. You can practise yoga and meditation about 3-4 hours after your meal.

  1. Keep your yoga clothes loose fitting and comfortable

Choose loose-fitting clothes for the yoga practice since it provides you comfort while stretching your body.

  1. Warm up your body before practising any intense yoga postures

After practising meditation and pranayama, do warm up your body with simple stretches to bring flexibility. Practising intense yoga postures without warm-up may invite strain and sore in your muscles.

  1. Sthira Sukham Asanam

Please keep a note that it’s your body and you know it better than the whole world. Don’t practise beyond your capacity or move faster. Respect your body and practise gently with a smile on your face. Everyone is blessed with a different body with flexibility.

  1. Be regular and focused

Whatever you do in this world, you need to be consistent and focused on achieving your goal, yoga works in the same way. It is very important to be regular with your yoga practice and include it in your daily schedule. Make it a habit, as a regular practice of 20 minutes of Yoga can give you better results than 2 hrs. of occasional practice.

  1. Learn how to breathe

It is always important to breathe while practising yoga, especially when holding the postures. Breathe in and breathe out helps you to remove the toxins from your body and allows the fresh air to be a part of your body.

  1. Start the practice with Beginner Yoga

There is always a human tendency to move faster and you can’t exclude yourself from that list. But, it is most important for yourself to understand that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You need to proceed from basic yoga pose sequences like the Cat-cow Pose, Downward facing dog Pose, Cobra, Seated twist, triangle, forward pose to understand each aspect of this beautiful ancient practice. Then you can explore the intermediary and advanced yoga postures as you understand it better.

  1. Start with an invocation and meditation

An invocation is a tool to bring the calmness and best in you before you practise any kind of yoga. In the Yogic science, an invocation is usually in Sanskrit used to connect sound with forms. We called this as a yoga of sound. A simple invocation can be started with:

Asato ma sadgamaya
Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
Mrityor ma amritangamaya
Aum Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Lead me from untruth to truth

Lead me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowing)

Lead me from death to deathlessness

  1. End with Savasana

Always end your yoga practice with simple Savasana, resting your back and consciously relaxing your body for 10-15 minutes. It helps to relax your body and mind.

Keep these 11 things in mind before laying your yoga mat to start the practice. Consult with your doctor if you have recent or current medical conditions.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – The Bhagavad Gita

Yoga for inner wellbeing!

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self and to the self – The Bhagavat Gita”

Nowadays we can see people doing yoga everywhere. You can find yoga ashrams and studios in each corner of the street. Some people do it for fun and some people do it for finding their life quest. So, what is Yoga? Is yoga all about twisting or bending our body to do impossible postures or something else?

Yoga is more than that. It is a scientifically proven technology which helps us to know our own body. Yoga means union, it unites our body, mind and soul and helps us to lead a better life. Yoga has nothing to do with any particular region. As the scientists use the science and technology for the external well-being, the yogis (AdiYogi) brought yoga as a technology to improve our inner well-being. amazon-india-deals-of-the-day-best-discounts-offers-coupons-banner

Sometimes people try to compare yoga practice with gym exercise. We must understand that gym exercise only helps us to grow our body in terms of physical well-being. But, Yoga helps us to grow physically and mentally. Yoga can just be used as a practice to cure some diseases, can also be used as a tool to find our inner peace and happiness. Moreover, we can use this yoga as a way to climb up the highest possibility within our self.

IMG_3543

When I started practising yoga, I was so much excited about yoga and yoga postures. I tried to practise some difficult postures and was in a hurry to learn quickly. Then my yoga teacher told me that “Sthiram Sukham Asanam”. It means to practise a posture which can be comfortable, firm and you can learn steadily. Yoga is not made to learn in a hurry.

Asanas are only a part of Yoga. A yoga consists of eight steps namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. These eight steps help us to unite our body and mind. But, unfortunately, we believe that asanas are the whole of yoga. Yoga is a tool to find ultimate expression to life.

There are five principles of yoga which helps to find the ultimate expression of life.

  1. Proper Exercise: Asanas help us to rejuvenate our whole body. It benefits us in a different ways starting from effective blood circulation to bringing flexibility in muscles.

  2. Proper Breathing: Pranayama helps us to revitalise our body and mind. Moreover, it also helps us to fight depression, stress and anxiety.

  3. Proper Relaxation: Deep relaxation helps to re-energize our body and mind on three levels i.e. physical, mental and spiritual level. It helps to keep our engine from overheating.

  4. Proper Diet: The yogic attitude to food is eat to live, not live to eat. A proper diet plays a crucial role to gain maximum nutrients and provides a positive effect on our body and mind.

  5. Positive Thinking and Meditation: This is a key to peace of mind. Regular meditation helps us to calm the monkey mind and to align the mental wellbeing.

    Source: (Sivananda Yoga)

That is the reason I always say, “Yoga Heals”. It not only helps us to find our inner well-being but also helps to save the extra cost we usually incur for medical treatment due to stressful life and lifestyle diseases.

 

Yoga is an art and science of living

“Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body”-Mariel Hemingway

My Inner Journey!

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another”

Everyone has their own life journey. From my childhood, I used to pray God without any judgment or knowledge. I usually accompanied by my father whenever I was visiting temples. Gradually, it flowed into my body and I started inclining towards spirituality without thinking much about it. I started reading the books and watching videos of Patanjali Yoga at the age of 17, which was shown by Baba Ramdev at that time. Slowly and steadily I gained momentum and started practising yoga and meditation in my home. When I started doing yoga and meditation, I felt like my body is inflexible and I am not made for yoga. Forget about practising headstand, when I was thinking about it, I felt like failing again and again. But, over the years I realised that yoga is also made for people who are inflexible. It’s not about whether you have a flexible or inflexible body, it’s all about the start we need to do.

I always believe that yoga and meditation are not about moving your body parts but it’s all about knowing yourself and your body. It is the alignment of body, mind, and soul. Yoga helps to unite these three aspects of our life. It gives me strength to rejuvenate and concentrate on my goals. When I was working with L&T as a Civil engineer, our office working hours was more than 12 hours. But, it usually extended between 14-15 hours. I was motivated and working more than 80 hours a week. Working as a civil engineer always exposes you to the sun, rain and cool wind. You get an exposure to every kind of weather and working with India’s leading construction company who always work with a deadline gave me a lot of mental and physical pressure.

I realised that to maintain a work-life balance in this scenario, I need to practice yoga and meditation. It may not be for an hour practice, but can be for 15-30 mins, which I felt was sufficient. It gave me inner strength to cope up with the stress and to maintain a work-life balance. I usually watch the speech of spiritual gurus like Sadhguru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and Baba Ramdev to understand how they approach their life through the simple practice of yoga and meditation.

Here, I would like to tell some insights about my understanding about life and how we can approach our life. This body which we get from the mother earth is the most sophisticated gadget and we seldom use it to the fullest. We get so used to materialistic things that we hardly get any time to know and understand this body. I found this body as a book full of its own stories, but we are more interested in reading other people’s life stories. I started to read this book two years ago and realised that if this book can be read to its fullest, I will be able to know myself better. I am always searching for answers to two questions in my life i.e. who am I and what is the reason I am here? Don’t you think we all are searching for the same answers? amazon-india-deals-of-the-day-best-discounts-offers-coupons-banner

I always believe life has three parts i.e. Personal, Professional and Spiritual. Spirituality is a process in which if we cultivate our body, mind, emotions and energy to a certain level of maturity and when we attain that maturity, deep within us spirituality blossoms in our life.

Some people believe in the existence of God and some not. I would say both of them are believing something that they really never know. I am quite clear that there is a supreme power really exist in this universe which maintains a balance in nature and in our life. It is all about us that how much effort we put into experience our life and give something to the society. God is just like a fuel of a car, without fuel, there is no meaning of a car. But, it is the responsibility of a driver to drive the car to avoid an accident on the road. The Same concept reflects in our life too. God is there to show us the path, but we are responsible for our own life journey. How we design and execute is totally upon us. Don’t you agree?

Apart from yoga and meditation, I love to do plantation, because I do care for nature and I believe that for the survival of our future generation, the existence of environment, trees, and the forest is crucial.

Let’s pledge to make our journey of life more beautiful and fruitful.1500x150_Books-Content-Grid-Stripe

Don’t take your life so seriously, because no one knows what will happen in the next moment.

“What other people think about you is none of your business, what you do is certainly your business”

My first sight with Yoga

“I fell in Love with doing Yoga” – Ione Skye

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Everyone at a certain point of time fall in love with someone. The same thing happened to me at the age of 16. Though I fell in love with Yoga rather than with a human being. My father was working with Odisha Fire Service as a constable at that time and I had just started pursuing Diploma in Civil engineering. One day I was discussing with my neighbourhood uncle and suddenly he started talking about yoga and breathing practice.

I had no idea about what this yoga is all about? The way he gave me the insights about yoga, I got motivated and started doing research about the yogic practice. The first yoga book I purchased from the store was of Ramdev’s Patanjali Yoga. Because I was not fortunate enough to find a yoga teacher at that time. I started reading the book and was trying to understand every aspect of it. At that time I used to practice yoga whenever and wherever it’s possible. I was totally fell in love with yoga and she was calling me again and again.

I usually suffered from fever, cough, and cold once I bath in those days. But, when I started doing yoga and breathing practice, things started to be normal and it helped me to improve my metabolism capacity. Practising yoga and meditation motivated me to do daily prayer in my home. I started learning mantras, shlokas and reading Hindu scriptures. It helped me to unite my mind, body, and soul and at the same time, I had an inclination towards spirituality. I believe that those days of yoga practice really changed the way I was looking at my life.

My first sight with yoga helped me to discover my inner potential and to know this gadget pretty efficiently. Now, my mission is to reach the benefits of yoga and breathing practice in every part of our life!!!