Yoga Exercises to Stay Fit and Young
Our yoga is on its way back to its glorious days. Fitness freaks all around the world is seeing yoga as the way to go. The days when yoga used to be the exercise routine of only saints and old age people is long gone. Thanks to the celebrities who endorse yoga; now it has become part of the day to day fitness routine of the young brigade too. Yoga asanas are good for your body and mental health. It keeps you physically fit, and also improves your mental health by keeping mind free from stress and anxiety. Let us see some of the important benefits of yoga for health and fitness.
How Yoga Helps to Stay Fit:
- Yoga, like any other exercise strengthens our bones and muscles. It can help in easing your muscle joints and also increase your flexibility. Practising yoga regularly can give you relief from muscle cramps or any accident related pains.
- Yoga can also improve the functions of your digestive system. The abs exercises of yoga burns the fat from the stomach and also increases the metabolic rate that fastens digestion process by giving a gentle massage to the digestive tract.
- Yoga is also good for your cardiovascular system as it improves the blood circulation to your heart and arteries. Regularly practising yoga can also help you in keeping blood pressure under control.
- Regular practicing of yoga can also help in rejuvenating your nervous system by allowing enough blood and oxygen flow to your brain. Focused breathing, which is an essential part of yoga can control the mind functions, and thus keep you away from stress and anxieties.
What makes it special is that there is no particular age to practice yoga. There are a wide range of yoga exercises varying from asanas to pranayama. Asanas focus on body movements and pranayams focus on mind relaxation.
Best and Easy yoga asanas that can help you stay fit:
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
- For this asana, first lie down on your stomach with your chin touching the ground. Keep your hands beside you with the palms facing upwards.
- Place your legs at 6 inch distance from one another.
- Bend your legs at the knees and bring the heels closer to the hips. Then grasp the ankles with both the hands.
- Now keeping your chest on the ground, slowly lift your chin, head and neck backwards.
- Deeply inhale and lift your legs, thighs, and chest until only your abdomen touches the ground.
- Make your body into the shape of a bow by pulling your legs with your hands as much as possible.
- Bring your feet together and look up and gaze at a point on the ceiling and thus attain your final position. Hold your breath while in this position.
- Exhale back and return to the original position when you feel the strain on your back.
Paschimottanasana (Bent knee trunk flexion):
- Sit down with your legs stretched in front of you. Keep your palms on the ground beside your hips, and make sure not to bend your knees.
- Straighten your spine by deeply inhaling.
- Bend forward to touch the fingers of your toes while exhaling.
- As per the correct pose, your face should now be on your knees. In the beginning if you face problems you can even bend your knees slightly.
- Remain in this position for some time and take some normal breaths. Then sit up straightening your spine along with a deep inhalation. Release your hands and keep then on your sides as it was before.
- You have to repeat this five times with the same breathing process.
This is a good stretching asana that helps to slim your waist and broaden your chest. Let us see how to do it.
- Stand erect with your hands raised above your head in a Namaste position. Make sure that your feet are together.
- Keeping your legs grounded bend the upper body to the right side as far as possible until you feel strain on the left waist. Maintain this position for about 15 seconds.
- Now return back to the original position.
- Do the same thing again now by bending to the left side
- When the strain comes down you can slowly increase the holding time to 30 seconds.
Yoga exercises for mind relaxation:
Setu Bandhana (the Bridge Pose):
This is a difficult pose for beginners, but it is a very effective pose to fight depression, anxiety or stress.
- Lie on the ground straight with your spine erect, and keep your hands on the sides with the palm facing downwards.
- Now, keeping your feet together on the ground, bend your legs at your knees.
- Keeping your feet grounded and the hands by your side slowly lift your hips off the floor.
- Holding this pose, now lift your hands above your head
This pose is very good to rejuvenate and relax your mind.
Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
This asana is good for getting relief from mental stress and anxiety. It is also found to be effective for people who suffer from mild depression.
- Stand straight in a relaxed position, with your legs together with only a few inches distance from one another.
- Now touch your ankles by bending forward so that your forehead gets positioned in front of your knees.
- For a beginner who finds it difficult to touch the ankles without bending the knees, they can keep a block in front and support on that.
Yoga exercise that is good for a healthy heart:
Supta hasta Padasana (lying hand to leg posture):
- Lie flat on the back with the hands on your sides. Takes some normal breaths in this position.
- Now with a deep inhalation lift your right leg up and bring it to such a position that your leg becomes perpendicular to your upper torso.
- Hold the right leg at the ankle with the right hand, or hold it at the thigh with both hands.
- Hold that position for five seconds, along with normal breathing.
- Bring your leg down as you exhale.
- Now you have to repeat the same thing with the left leg.
- Repeat this exercise 5 or 6 times.