By Shreya S. Bhuyan
We all love the prospect of beautiful, young and naturally glowing skin. We are always trying to shed those extra kilos. Each one of us wants a detoxified body and a stress-free mind. And most of all, we are always on the lookout for ways to keep diseases at bay and to boost our immune system. But can we really achieve all of this? The answer is yes, we can! With regular practice of yoga, one can achieve all of this and a lot more.
Through this post, I share with you 7 of my tried and tested yoga poses to enhance your overall well-being and to leave you feel beautiful and confident.
• Lying on your back, bend both knees and place the feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Slide the arms alongside the body with the palms facing down. The fingertips should be lightly touching the heels.
• Press the feet into the floor, inhale and lift the hips up, rolling the spine off the floor.
• Press down into the arms and shoulders to lift the chest up. Engage the legs, buttocks to lift the hips higher.
Inhale, hold, exhale and slowly roll the spine back to the floor.
Benefits: Bridge pose builds core and lower body strength, lengthens and strengthens the spine, energizes the body, and stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems.
• Kneel on the floor with knees hip-width apart, the tops of your feet flat on the floor and sit back on your heels.
• With hands hip width apart, move forward and rest your hip on the floor, relaxing your head and shoulders while extending your arms and finger tips.
Benefits: Child’s pose calms the body, mind and spirit and stimulates the third eye point. Child pose gently stretches the low back, massages and tones the abdominal organs, and stimulates digestion and elimination.
• Start in knees down plank position, with your body in a straight line from head to knees.
• Keep your back straight and draw in your abdominal muscles.
• With your hands planted, lift your hips as high as you can, forming an inverted V.
• Inhale, hold for 4-6 breaths, and exhale.
• Come down to knees down plank position or child’s pose.
Benefits: Downward facing dog deeply stretches the back, opens the chest, and builds upper body strength. This posture stimulates the brain and nervous system, improving memory, concentration, hearing and eyesight.
• Lying on your back, bring your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down in a T position. Bend both knees into the chest.
• Exhale; drop both knees over to the left side of your body, twisting the spine and lower back. Slide the knees as close to the left arm as possible. Look at the right finger tips.
• Keep the shoulders flat to the floor, close the eyes, and relax into the posture. Let gravity pull the knees down, so you do not have to use any effort in this posture.
• Breathe and hold for 6-10 breaths.
• To release, inhale and roll the hips back to the floor. Repeat on other side.
Benefits: This pose stretches the back muscles, realigns and lengthens the spine, and hydrates the spinal disks.
• Get on your hands and knees. Position your hands directly under your shoulders, palms open, fingers spread and knees under your hips.
• Keep your back straight. Draw in your abdominal muscles.
• Lift your left arm in front of you to about ear height.
• Straighten and lift your right leg behind you to about hip height.
• Hold the posture for 30 seconds. Slowly lower your left arm and right leg and perform with opposite arm and leg.
Benefits: This pose improves balance, memory, focus and coordination. This posture builds core body strength and lengthens the spine.
• From a standing position with the legs 3 feet apart, turn the right toes to the right wall and the left toes slightly inwards. Inhale and press the left hips out to the left as you slide both arms to the right parallel to the floor.
• Exhale and rotate only the arms, raising the left arm up and resting the right hand against the right leg, with the palms facing forward.
• Press into the feet; pull up the knee caps, keeping the legs strong. Reach the finger tips away from each other, bringing the arms into one straight line with the shoulders stacked on top of each other. Press the left hip forward and the right hip back.
• Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
• To release, inhale and reach the raised hand up towards the ceiling as you press down into the feet using the whole body to lift back into 5-pointed star.
• Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Triangle pose engages every part of the body, strengthens the core, opens the hips and shoulders and stretches the legs.
• Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the floor — do not tuck your toes, as this can crunch your spine.
• Place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Point your fingers to the top of the mat and hug your elbows in close to your ribcage.
• Inhale as you press through your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and your legs a few inches off the floor.
• Press palms down into the floor, drop the shoulders down and back, press the chest forward and reach the crown of the head up towards the ceiling.
• Inhale and lift thighs and legs off of the floor by pressing the tops of the feet down.
• Breathe and hold for 1-3 breaths.
• To release, bend the knees and lift the hips back.
Benefits: This pose opens the chest and strengthens the whole body. It aligns the spine and invigorates the kidneys and nervous system.
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