A while ago, I did 2 posts on fitness, one was exercises for pregnant women and the other one on how to meditate. Today, on the occasion of International Yoga Day, I shall take you to the world of yoga. Check out 5 simple yoga asanas for a healthy you and a fit family!
Yoga isn’t just practiced in India anymore. Although it originated in ancient Indian Sannyasa traditions (Sannyasa is a Sanskrit word meaning the practice traditionally conceptualized for men or women in the late years of their life), but with time, the movement also traveled to the western parts of the world.
The term Yoga in Sanskrit means ‘to unite’. True to its literal meaning, yoga is a technique of uniting the body and the mind. As a family, we are always trying to achieve the dynamics of yin-yang, a higher level of discipline, trying to achieve basic to more complex goals in our day-to-day lives. And in order to reach a higher level of self-consciousness, yoga actually is an ultimate solution. Besides, it is said to help in managing anger, fight stress, depression, cancer, helps in weight loss, cures asthma, migraines, indigestion, diabetes.. the list is endless!
The right age for kids to start yoga is at around 8. However, there is easy yoga for kids and preschoolers. Yoga practice should ideally begin at an early age, it certainly helps in proper child development (physical as well as emotional). Moreover, kids can grow into well-formed individuals. Do remember that yoga should not be an after-thought (like a quick-fix solution). It should rather be a part of your life.
Top 5 yoga asanas for beginners and those who are looking to change their lifestyle:
1. Tadasana: It isn’t just about standing with your back straight! What is challenging is the entire idea of reaching out to your inner self. Be self-aware. The heels root down, the muscles of the legs are engaged, the bones are stacked with the shoulders directly over the hips, the shoulder blades slide down the back, and the crown of the head rises. Breath in and out and focus on ‘exhale’- ‘inhale’. 2. Uttanasana: Exhale and fold over your legs into a forward bend. Let the head hang heavy. Slowly straighten the legs if you like but keep the head hanging. Be sure that your neck and hamstrings are not tight. War-up a bit before you get down to Uttanasana. 3. Paschimottanasana: On an exhalation, bring your torso over your legs in a forward bend. Breathe in and out, lengthening the spine on each inhale and deepening your forward fold on each exhale. Stay in this position for at least five long breaths, keeping the feet flexed. This asana helps in stretching the hamstrings and spine. 4. Vriksasana: Take mountain pose as shown in the picture. Now shift your weight onto your left leg. Keeping your hips facing forward, place the sole of your right foot inside your left thigh, and strike a balance. Now take a prayer position (join your hands together) with your hands. Be sure to repeat on the other side. 5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: Lie face down on the floor with your thumbs under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor. Keep your shoulders down, push up, and lift your chest off the ground. Relax and repeat. Note: While all these asanas are beginner’s yoga poses and can be easily done at home without any guidance, however, do consult a yoga practitioner before you get started. It will also help you understand how to achieve just the right position in each of these asanas.