Yoga also called “pranayama” is a term that has originated from a Sanskrit word ‘yoke’. It is a series of exercises. It is said that yoga unites the three elements – physical, intellectual and spiritual. The effect can be felt from the very first session of yoga. It helps the body to feel light, the mind to feel clear and the spirit to feel calm. There are several misconceptions about yoga. Some people perceive yoga as religious. It is not so, when doing yoga we connect to the universe and the positive vibes around us. We do not seek the favor or blessings of any God. Yoga has indeed originated from the philosophy of the Hindus but it is not related to religion. Anyone who wishes to do yoga can do it regardless of caste, sex, race, background or any such social stigma. Some people believe that yoga is only meant for people of a particular age group. It is not at all this. Yoga is very basic and is meant for the sole purpose of being healthy mentally and physically. Anyone who can understand how to pose can do yoga.
Leg tuck is a posture of the body where one bends the knees and keeps the thighs close to the chest. The hands are then drawn around the shins. There are several yoga poses to choose from to improve the flexibility and the strength of the body.
1. Child’s pose – The pose increases flexibility, helps one relax and is a stress buster. Sit down on your knees, put your head on the surface, and place your palm on the sole. The pose is to be maintained for 10-15 minutes.
2. Wind pose or wind relieving – This is great for boosting the strength of the body. Lie down on the mat on your back. Bring your knees to your chest. Hold your knees with your head and focus on the ceiling or the sky if doing the pose in an open area.
3. Tree pose – In this pose, you are supposed to stand on one feat. Fold the other feat and place the sole near your knee. Make sure that the other leg is straight. Now join your hands, stretch them about your head, and keep them straight. Then join them. This pose is for both flexibility and strength. Initially, you may even start at 2 minutes. Try to increase this time as you being more regular about yoga.
4. The downward-facing dog – One of the yoga poses for the flexibility of the body. It is one of the major yoga posses too. Lie down; let your palms and your leg touch the mat. Slowly, raise your waist. Let your legs be straight and let your hands be straight. Become a sort of triangle. This position is to be held for at least five or six breaths.
5. The extended side angle pose – Increases the power of the legs. It is also good if one wishes to work on the waist’s sides. All the yoga poses to relieve stress so does this one. Additionally, it is also stretching, helps in digestion and opens up the lungs. To do this pose you need to put one palm at the mat and stretch the other one stress. One leg will be folded up to the knee; the other one will be stretched and balanced on the toes. Keep changing the folded leg and the hand that is touching the mat.
6. The warrior pose – This is great for boosting the strength of the body to its core. For the pose, one needs to straighten the hands and join the palms. Then stretch one leg at the back. Bend the front one on the knee to maintain a balance. Stay in the pose for around 5 breaths. The leg at the back can be a little bend else it will be very difficult to keep the balance. Wrong yoga postures can cause aches or even twist of muscles.
7. Bow Pose – This pose, on one hand, strengthens the back of the body and on the other side stretches the front part of the body. It also improves the posture in which a person stands. To do the pose one needs to lie down on the mat. Then try to hold your feet with your hand from the backside. Then hold your other feat from the other hand from the backside only. Once the pose is complete, you will look as if you have taken the shape of the bow. The pose is to be held for 8 to 10 long breaths.
8. The boat pose – It strengthens the portion of the lower back and the thighs in the body. It is also good for digestion, kidney, thyroid, intestines and so on. For the boat pose, sit down on the bat. Stretch your legs straight. Now raise them. You can hold your legs with your hands in case you are unable to maintain the balance.
Yoga is good for everyone. As yoga is not a competition it eliminates performance pressure from the mind of the individual. This helps to focus on the process with a free mind. It teaches a person that bodies can be physically the same but different bodies require different things and function differently. It teaches them to respect the bodies and minds of others in a world that is highly judgmental. It helps them explore their bodies and find out about their needs. Aren’t we all looking for a way to explore our bodies and mind? Yoga is the best way. It helps its practitioners to be familiar with the flaws of their bodies and yet love it. If this feeling is engraved at a young age, it reduces the possibility of future stress which hits during teenage years where the world keeps pushing everyone to be models of perfection. Like the term, ‘namaste’ means that I am equal to you and you are equal to me. No caste, creed, race, religion stands between us. I acknowledge the light in you. Similarly, yoga over many years has taught people to be tolerant of others and accepting one’s true self. This feeling brings peace in the mind of anyone doing it and lays the foundation for better communities.
With the growing digital dependence among everyone has become a cause of laziness. Our bodies are no more internally full of strength or are flexible. Yoga eliminates this. The most basic yoga exercise is to exhale and inhale which means concentrating on breathing. This immediately helps to improve the focus. Researches show that the individuals who do yoga have much better and longer focus than the other people who do not do any type of exercise. Breathing is also a great way to calm down when feeling sudden attacks of anxious.
It is always said that healthy habits go a long way. Yoga is one of those healthy habits. Individuals who learn to stay active at an early age have a higher percentage of healthy adulthood than those who do not. The more yoga, the more flexibility and strength.
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