What is Shakti Yoga – How to do Poses and Benefits
Are you under stress most of the times? If yes, it time that you come out of it and have a normal life that is free from stress. One of the best solutions for leading a stress free life is to practice yoga. This calms your brain and nerves and makes you healthy and fit.
What is Shakti Yoga?
An ideal yoga style that helps in giving you peace of mind is Shakti Yoga. It makes you healthy and fit physically as well as mentally. This yoga is also called Yoga Shakti. This is considered as an ideal yoga for women. It gives more stress on hip movements and the movement of lower belly.
You can practice a number of asanas at home, together with pranayama and meditation. Shakti yoga is a yoga style that is simple and you can easily practice it at home. The word Shakti is taken from the Sanskrit language, which means ‘creative energy’. This yoga is further divided in to two sets of yogas, which are Power Vinyasa Yoga and Shakti Vinyasa Yoga.
Practicing Shakti yoga does not take much time and you can do it without taking much effort. It includes various asanas and poses, which you can do without any difficulty. Some of the asanas that you do in Shakti yoga are also found in Surya Namaskara. Surya Namaskara has spiritual importance also besides being an excellent form of exercise for the body. This is because Surya Namaskara is the worship of Lord Surya according to the Hindu tradition. So, it is practices early in the morning facing the sun, when the sun rises up in the horizon. Smooth movements of poses are made in Surya Namaskara.
How to do Shakti Yoga Poses – Benefits:
Sun Salutations consist of 12 poses, which are done one after the other. The instructions given below help you to practice these poses in a simple way.
Pose 1: Stand straight on the floor or a yoga mat and fold your hands in such a way that your palms touch each other in Anjali Mudra or prayer pose. Exhale.
Pose 2: Now raise your hands upwards as you inhale. Take care to keep your palms together in prayer position. After rising your hands, bend your body backwards.
Pose 3: Exhale and then bend your body from the waist in the forward direction, so that you can touch your feet with your fingers.
Pose 4: In this pose you have to inhale and move your right leg back. As you do this, you have to arch your legs and lift your chin up.
Pose 5: Now exhale again and then move back your left leg also, so that both your legs are in a plank position. Stretch your legs as much as you can. In this pose the whole weight of your body is supported by your hands and the feet.
Pose 6: Now lower your body to touch the ground with your knees, chest and forehead. Take care not to touch the ground with any other parts of the body.
Pose 7: Inhale and stretch your body forward, and at the same time bend backwards. Your arms must be kept straight. This pose is also known as Bhujangasana and also as Sarpasana or Snake position.
Pose 8: Now lift your hips and curl your toes as you exhale.
Pose 9: Inhale and bring your right foot forward, lift your chin up and look straight ahead.
Pose 10: Bend and touch your foot with the fingers of your hands.
Pose 11: Inhale and bring your hands backwards over your head.
Pose 12: Exhale and return back to the original position. Relax.
Doing this exercise every day in the morning helps in keeping you healthy and rejuvenated for the entire day. It is also good for preventing stress, depression and various diseases. It has spiritual value also. Pranayama is also included in Shakti Yoga. Here is how you do this.
How to do Pranayama?
In this type of pranayama you have to breathe in fully and then close your left nostril and breath out through the right nostril very slowly. Do this in several strokes. In the beginning you may do only five strokes and then increase it up to 54 strokes. Do the same by closing your right nostril and breathing out slowly through your left nostril.
Here you inhale from one nostril and exhale from the other nostril. Alternate it between the two nostrils. First close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe in with the left nostril. Hold it for a few seconds and then open your right nostril and close your left nostril with your middle and ring finger. Breathe out through your right nostril. Again breathe in from your right nostril and then close your right nostril. Breathe slowly and deeply as you do this exercise. Open your left nostril and exhale though it. Repeat this process several times.
To do this exercise, you have to suit in Sukhasana, Vajrasana or padmasana. Choose the pose that is most suitable for you. Keep your spine erect and your legs crossed. Now take in a deep breath completely. After taking a deep breath, release it in a number of strokes from both the nostrils simultaneously. When you do Kpalbhati, you can do up to 108 strokes. However, in the beginning you must not do so many strokes at a time. Five strokes are more than enough for the beginners. Then you can increase it slowly up to 108 strokes.
Make sure that you practice kapalbhati in the correct way. Otherwise it can be harmful.
As you do pranayama, you have to breathe deeply so that it is your lungs that fill with the air you breathe in and not your stomach. This makes sure that the oxygen in the air is absorbed well by the body.