Yoga is an ancient and scientific Indian practice that offers immense benefits to the modern civilisation. As in any other Ayurvedic system, yoga takes the holistic approach to health – it’s a lifestyle that works on all levels of the body and mind. Thousands of people across the world are experiencing the stress busting, healing, energising and refreshing qualities of various yoga asanas.
Would you like to reap these benefits too? To get started, practice basic yoga positions that open various parts of your body like the hips and joints, as well as stretch your muscles and spine. This not only prepares your body for more advanced (and fun!) poses, but also has relaxing, clarifying and revitalising effects on the mind. Earlier, we spoke to you about yoga asanas for beginners. In this Yoga Month special article, you’ll learn 5 more.
5 Easy Yoga Asanas to Stretch and Strengthen Your Body
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
- Stand with your back erect, feet together and hands by your side.
- Inhaling, raise your hands towards the ceiling.
- Exhaling, move your hands down and bend your hips until your palms reach the mat in front of each foot.
- Bring your face towards your knees and hold the breath for 30 seconds (or lesser time if you feel uncomfortable). Relax your body.
- Inhaling, come back up.
2. Palm Tree pose (Talasana)
- Stand with your back erect, hands on your sides and feet hip width apart. Keep your eyes focused at a point ahead of you.
- Inhaling, raise your arms above your head with your palms facing inwards, at each other. Simultaneously, raise your heels until you are standing on your toes.
- Hold the breath for up to 30 seconds. Feel the stretch in your arms as they extend towards the ceiling, and in your calves as your body weight lies on them.
- Exhaling, bring your arms and feet back down simultaneously.
3. Bow pose (Dharunasana)
- Begin lying flat on your stomach with your chin on the mat. Rest your hands on either side. Bend your knees and bring your heels towards your buttocks.
- Now begin by inhaling, raise your back upwards and bring your hands to your feet to hold them. Your body will rest on your abdomen.
- Hold the breath for up to 20 seconds. Relax your body.
- Exhaling, gently bring your legs and chest down to the mat. Release your feet and relax.
4. Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
- Lay on your stomach with forehead on the mat. Keep your hands palms beside your shoulders and elbows inwards, not pointed outwards. Keep your thighs, knees, heels and toes together.
- Inhaling, take the balance of your palms and slowly lift your chin, chest and abdomen upwards. Your back should arch and your body from the navel to the toes should stay on the mat.
- If you are comfortable, keep going until you straighten your arms.
- Hold the breath for up to 20 seconds and relax in the position.
- Exhaling, lower your torso to the mat and relax.
5. Corpse pose (Savasana)
- Finish every yoga session with this pose. Lie flat on your back and if needed, a small pillow to support your neck.
- Keep your feet at comfortable distance from each other.
- Keep your arms at an easy distance from your body with palms facing upward.
- Breathe slowly and with your belly.
- One by one, bring your attention to and relax your:
15. Facial muscles
Surrender your body to the earth, releasing your weight on the floor and let go of all your tension.
Getting out of Corpse pose:
- After 10 minutes, roll onto your right side with your eyes still closed.
- After a minute get up with the support of your right hand
- Sit comfortably with your legs folded.
- Rub your hands together and cup them over your eyes. Then, gently open the eyes.