This website has been set up by a group of yoga enthusiasts, who among them have run yoga teacher training schools and are past students of schools. The aim is to spread what a yoga teacher training course can do to enhance lives.
Read this blog to learn the top 10 wonderful benefits of downward-facing dog pose.
Many individuals have been practicing the glorious art of yoga for ages across the globe and they all have been nurturing good health and well-being. A vigorous physique, peaceful mind, and lively soul, it’s no surprise that the science of yoga is one of the most powerful and mindful forms of exercise. And, for several entities, a regular yoga practice is incomplete without the performance of an iconic downward-facing dog pose ( Adho Mukha Svanasana).
Adho Mukha Svanasana is the signature yoga asana of a yoga practice. Even people who do not delve in the practice of yoga have probably heard about this amazing yoga posture and the ones who take up yoga on a daily basis get to hear and practice this a dozen of times! It’s a centerpiece of sun salutation series and serves as a strengthening pose, inversion, relaxing yoga posture that leaves you feeling clearer inside and vibrant outside.
But how often do you dig into a downward-facing dog posture and really allow it to nourish and transform your body? The adho mukha svanasana has many health benefits and deservedly one of the most recognized and practiced yoga postures.
Here is a list of the top ten excellent benefits of adho-mukha svanasana:
1. Stretches and opens the back of the legs: Walking, running, standing– are some of the activities that we perform throughout the day and it brings tensions to the back of our legs. It is the leading cause for tight hamstrings and calf muscles. The downward facing dog is a great posture for opening the back of the legs and provides a rejuvenating stretch to the legs.
2. Increases Blood Supply to the Brain: Downward-Facing dog is a basic inversion and is best suited for beginner level yoga practitioners. During the performance of this pose, the head is aligned below the heart that helps bring blood flow to the brain. An increased blood supply to the brain nutrifies the brain cells that improves focus, calms the mind, and re-charges the body.
3. Stronger Bones: Adho-Mukha Svanasana works as a weight-bearing yoga posture that assists in building stronger muscles, greater bone density, and strengthens the upper extremities. Having a muscular body not only enhances your personality but is vital in preventing the risk of osteoporosis. It’s good to practice downward-facing dog posture to tones the wrists, engage the rotator cuff that we normally don’t do in everyday life.
4. Lengthens the Spine: The friction you get from planting your feet and pressing the hands strongly into the yoga mat is one of the best ‘spine elongation’ tools, which the practice of downward-facing dog pose offers. By coming into an upside down position, you reverse the downward pressure on the spine that gently re-aligns the vertebra in a natural way. Also, by stretching and lengthening the spine, you bring more oxygen to the body.
5. Corrects the Slumpy Posture: The constant hunching over the desktop screens leads to a poor posture and a backache that many of us suffer from. Luckily, the downward dog serves as a powerful antidote to the slumpy posture. It effectively opens up the anterior chest wall, rounded shoulders, and provides relief from neck pain that occurs due to a sedentary lifestyle. It heals the body on many levels.
6. Strengthens the arms: The Downward dog is an awesome posture for increasing strength in the upper body in general and, especially reinforcing the arms. When you press your arms into the ground and roll your shoulder blades away from the ears, you get a powerful muscular engagement throughout the entire arm, which in turn, builds stamina in the arms.
7. Healthy Skin: Toss the expensive makeup products, chemicals and practice adho-mukha svanasana for a healthy skin and youthful radiance. The enhanced blood flow to the face rejuvenates the skin and results in a clear, glowing, and brighter complexion.
8. Relieves Stress: Perform downward-facing dog pose on a daily basis and get relief from stress, anxiety, and worries. The elevated blood flow to the brain nurtures and calms the mind. It also alleviates headaches, insomnia, and mental fatigue.
9. Prevents injury at the feet: Downward-facing dog provides a powerful stretch in the ankles and calves. It also strengthens the various muscles in the foot and protects from injuries. Activities like walking, running, etc., require feet that can conform to the ground quickly and can transfer weight effectively, the downward dog helps you get that.
10. Tones the Waist: Everyone wishes for a slim, toned waist, and adho-mukha svanasana is a natural way to get that. As you hold yourself in a downward position, you actively engage your core region, abdominal muscles, and the waistline.
Reap the spectacular benefits of downward facing dog pose by practicing the posture regularly and correctly. Make your way towards a vivid and healthy living.
Stomach unease and heartburn have been killing your joy? Happens to the best of us, only some know better to choose sustainable lifestyle modifications and exercise routines as with yoga, over a dependence upon quick-fixing over-the-counter drugs.
The holistic health approach to yoga can strengthen the body’s system from the core by massaging the internal organs into flowing digestive juices and a much-eased excretion and toxin removal. In addition, the mindfulness approach of yoga makes you more conscious of your food as well as hike your metabolic rate. At the end of practice, you come out a mature eater and an abler of digestion.
Get your bowels moving, your juices set in a flux and have detoxification happening inside-out with these seven best yoga poses for digestion—
Cat/Cow to Start the Flow
(Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)
A beautiful amalgam of the two most important spinal yoga workouts, the Cat-Cow bends the back smooth as spaghetti and instills spinal neurons, unleashing a number of mind-body health benefits for correcting one’s ingestion process.
Alternating between the tilt of the Cow pose and the thorough Stretch of the Cat, your intestines will fold and unfold, elongate and compress but gently. The guts thus receive a fresh blood boost and everything churns in a flux motion.
The deeper you are able to fold into the feline stretch, more of the gentle pressure will your lower abdomen will receive, thus relieving flatulence and rigidity in the belly. This is your way to a complete soothing and toning of the gastrointestinal tract.
Folding Forward for a Circulatory Boost
Uttanasana or the Folding Forward practically sets the head below your heart, thus giving a free reining blood flow to the crown and a tender thrust in the abdomen. Observing this asana will give you immediate relief from the torpor and tiredness of suffering a congested stomach. You are likely to feel more agile, energetic, and some fluidity in the abdomen. Over the days of doing the asana, expect your ingestion rate to stabilize, intensified enzymes, and properly functional digestive glands.
It’s better to perform this asana in the morning before food intake as the abdominal fold can lead to negative results in a full stomach. Also, remember to breathe out deep and slow as you bow down to touch the ground and fill up with fresh air by breathing in when coming up. Let that sense of relaxation spread because it is in an unperturbed state that the body systems can function best.
Upward Dog to Open Out Abdominal Organs
(Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
Stress and tolls of inconsistent lifestyle can cause havoc for digestion and affect other areas of the body. Backache is common for those suffering regularly from improper digestion and that is when the hip and chest opening yoga exercises must come into play.
The Upward Dog is a great one to inject some energy into the abdominal organs as well as for opening up the torso, stomach, and hips in one go. The spine forms into a delicious curvature and works up a gentle pull in the hamstrings too. With the regular practice of Upward Dog, you can slowly dispel the tolls anxiety takes in stagnating digestion and building up of toxin level.
Camel Stretch to Expand Digestional Area
The stomach is really a bag of elastic muscles which can stretch out and compress as per the requirement. However, a sedentary lifestyle of physical inaction can affect the digestive field within this organ. To expand the area and ease the churning movement of digestible material inside the stomach, you need to give your abdomen a stretch with this posture once in a while.
Besides maximizing the digestion field, the posture also helps eliminate waste push down towards the rectum and thus relieves constipation.
Boat Pose for a Supine Belly Stretch
Wake up your abdominal powerhouse with this supine outstretch. This posture is a tool for liquefying lower belly fat besides its contribution in boosting digestive functions. The Boat works great for giving a gentle rubdown on the innards and appropriate an hour before taking a main meal.
A relaxed habit of folding in and out of the Boat Pose on the bed can do wonders for your digestive health and you won’t even have to break a sweat!
Wind Relieving Pose to Loosen Up
With the power of yoga, you can take charge even of the most involuntary of your body functions, as evident with the wind relieving pose. This comforting posture can immediately loosen you up, belly, back, and chest and ease you into your skin.
Bid goodbye to anti-flatulence pills and practice this posture a little after taking the main meal every day to stay on top of your digestive health.
Revolve Triangle to Move Things From Inside
By just so much as twisting your body about left and right, there is a world of benefits for your digestive process in this particular yoga posture. Soak in the gentle unwinding of the hips and more power building up in your back.
This posture in the spirit of dancing twisting frolic is ideal for ending your yoga sequence for digestion as well as move things about in the stomach with an improved fluidity of the inner abdominal muscles.
It is universally acknowledged that yoga is a wonder science that provides energy, strength, beauty, and flexibility to the mind, body, and soul. From providing overall personal well-being to reconnecting the practitioners with their lost spirit, the comprehensive practice of yoga involving yoga postures, meditation, and pranayama nurtures a sense of joy, internal peace, wellness and the interconnection with what truly matters. The practice of mystical yoga asanas is aimed at purification of the physical and mental body for a long-lasting health. And, sirsasana (headstand) is one such incredible yoga posture that stills the turbulence of the mind, perfects the physical health, and makes you extra focused and luminous in life.
The king of all asanas, Sirsasana (headstand) requires the whole body weight to be borne on the head that assists in the integrated development of the body, calms the brain, and expands the horizons of the soul. Learn the correct steps to performing a headstand and garner the amazing benefits of sirsasana:
1. Come on your fours on a yoga mat. Locate your forearms on the floor and interlace your fingers. Make sure your elbows are shoulder-distance apart.
2. Place the top of your head against the clasped hands. With an Inhalation, uplift the knees off the ground.
3. Bring your body into an upside-down “V” position. Walk your feet nearer to your elbows, heels raised.
4. Slowly, lift your feet off the ground and bring your knees closer to your chest.
5. Gently extend your legs upward. Keep them vertical to the ground.
6. Evenly distribute your weight between the forearms and remain in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
7. To release the posture, Exhale; come down to the floor without lifting your shoulder blades from the ground and rest the feet on the yoga mat.
Here is a list of best seven benefits of headstand. Take a look at the pointers below:
1. Stimulates Brain Function: The brain is the place of intelligence, wisdom, power, and knowledge. The skull encases the brain which regulates the nervous system and other organs of the body. The brain is also the center of the cognitive functioning of the humans. Headstand yoga posture increases the supply of pure blood to the brain cells making them healthy and rejuvenated. Robust brain cells result in an improvement in cognitive functioning, enhance focus, and clear the thoughts. The nutrients and blood nourish the brain cells and elevate the functioning of the brain.
2. Invigorates the Mind: Many of us live a life inflicted with stress, tension, and some even with depression. The persistent anxiety takes a toll on the physical health and leads to an imbalanced livelihood. Sirsasana is a natural way to calm the wobbling stress. It increases the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain that activates the pituitary gland and pineal gland that efficiently alleviates all the worries, depression, insomnia, and revitalizes the mind. “The peaceful mind aids in better concentration, circulation, and controls metabolism”, according to Iyengar.
3. Healthy Hair Growth: The sirsasana is an amazing yoga posture if you want to optimize the flow of nutrients and blood to your scalp region. Perform the upside-down headstand yoga pose that enhances the supply of nutrients to the hair follicles, preventing hair fall, and grants the practitioners with strong and luscious hair.
4. Improves Vision: A cost-effective and safe method of improving vision is found in the consistent practice of headstand. Going upside down increases the blood flow rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients to the sensory organs including the eyes and prevents the onset of various eye abnormalities such as myopia, cataract, astigmatism, and macular degeneration.
5. Treats Sexual Disorders: It is well-known that the headstand enhances the blood flow to the head, glands, and other organs of the body. Additionally, it carries positive effect for some of the sexual disorders like menopause syndrome, menstrual cramps, sperm deficiency, and other sexual problems. It drains out the blood from the endocrine glands and results in optimal functioning of the sexual glands.
6. Strengthens the Body: As you hold yourself up on the head in a headstand, you utilize the strength of your arms, shoulders, and back to keep the pressure off from your neck and head. By encouraging you to lift your own body weight, sirsasana improves muscle endurance and uplifts the upper body strength.
7. Remedy For Hypertension: The performance of sirsasana is a great remedy for people suffering from hypertension. The inverted position greatly increases the blood flow and normalizes the blood pressure.
Sirsasana (headstand ) is a great yoga posture with tons of benefits that help a ‘sadhak’ (practitioner) stay fit and healthy.
Planning for a getaway with your dear ones to escape the unvaried and soul-irking life? If you are eagerly waiting for a lifetime opportunity to travel to a location which aggravates your happiness and sets you on the path of personal growth then consider going on yoga retreats. Combine the pleasures of vacationing on a tropical beach or in the high-altitude mountains with yoga practices and elevate your spirits on the perfect yoga vacation.
The yoga retreats offer a golden chance to unwind from the tedious life and allow you to focus on the real you– rather than the stressed, overworked you, and help feel fresh, peaceful, relaxed, and alive. It’s a great opportunity to step away from the day-to-day chores and give yourself the much-needed break to restore the well-being and balance in life. With retreats popping all over the globe, it becomes crucial to plan a yoga retreat that ensures a memorable and rejuvenating experience. Therefore, given below are few pointers that can help you select a perfect yoga retreat in 2018:
1. Mesmerizing Location: Whether you imagine yourself practicing a yoga posture on a beautiful sandy beach or you wish to head to the chilly Himalayas for meditative yoga, a mesmerizing location is a must to enhance a yoga retreat experience. If you are planning to take yoga retreats in India–the land of yoga then there are several beautiful locations you can head to experience the unparalleled tranquility and stupendous beauty that renews your spirit. You can take up yoga retreat in Rishikesh, or a yoga retreat in Kerala, Goa, and many more places that provide you with space to embark upon an inward journey and heal you from within.
2. Certified Yoga Institute: If you are looking for yoga retreats that expand your wisdom about the authentic yoga knowledge, helps existing yoga practitioners to enhance their yoga practice and provides you with an invigorating experience then consider going for yoga retreats in India at certified yoga schools. These validated yoga schools offer some of the best yoga retreat packages characterized by classical yoga techniques, wholesome food, ayurvedic teachings and so much more. They ensure that the students imbibe quality yoga education along with an uplifting experience.
3. Set Your Intention Before planning a yoga retreat: Ask yourself what are you looking for before you make a decision to go for a yoga retreat. Do you wish to dwell into the glorious yoga practices or you desire to detox your body from the unwanted ill-effects of modern life? According to your goal, select an appropriate yoga vacation such as meditation retreats, detox retreats, yoga retreats, and so on. Moreover, if your heart yearns for some spiritual elevation, seeks to experience the majestic beauty of Himalayas then you can go for a yoga retreat in Rishikesh which treats you with the glimpses of ethereal beauty and tranquility.
4. Perfect Amalgamation Of different styles of yoga: There are many different styles of yoga that are practiced across the globe which confers a practitioner with multiple physiological and psychological benefits. Therefore, undergoing a retreat program from a registered yoga school gives you the opportunity to learn the traditional styles of yoga: Hatha and Ashtanga along with other yoga forms. There are several yoga schools that offer Kundalini and Kriya Yoga Retreat, Meditation Retreats for the ones wishing to expand and refine their practices in these particular yoga styles.
5. Heart-Warming Activities: If you are going on a yoga retreat to dig the secrets of peace, happiness, and perfect health then it is imperative that your yoga holiday package includes some exciting activities and gives you an adrenaline rush. Melt all your tensions and recharge your batteries with venturesome sports like Himalayan biking, skydiving, surfing, etc. Explore and embrace the subtle beauty that leaves you captivated, enlightened and elevated.
6. Revered Yoga Masters: If you are hailing to the motherland of yoga–India for a yoga retreat program then you get a golden chance to learn, enhance and get into the practice in the leading light of the most eminent yoga masters of the world. The experienced, inspirational figures impart the yoga teachings with utmost gratification and in an efficient manner.
The sacred book Upanishad 3.2 quotes that ‘From all food, beings are born. By food they live and into the food they return.’
So, anything and everything we eat is food for our soul and the types of food we intake to reflect the level of our conscious development and our lifestyle. The science of yoga suggests for a pure vegetarian diet which promotes the development of ‘sattva’. Sattva facilitates love, peace, and harmony with all the sentient beings. The basis of ‘sattva’ is enrooted in the concept of ahimsa (non-violence). The ‘sattvic’ diet encourages food that is naturally grown, does not involve the killing of animals, and is harmonious with nature. Additionally, ‘sattvic’ diet means food rich in ‘prana’ the vital life force that sustains all the living beings. By way of yogic diet, we aim to enhance the quality and quantity of breath and developing ojas.
Additionally in the mystical universe energy has three qualities like Sattva (purity); Rajas (passion); Tamas (darkness) that exist in equilibrium. A tamasic diet includes meat, poultry, and other intoxicants that tarnishes the prana and mislead a person from the spiritual path. Whereas on the other hand, Rajasic food is concerned with energy and creativity. Rajas food is best suited for individuals who seek to develop a meditative mind, an athletic body, etc., and, a sattvic diet includes light, easily digested food that motivates a person to walk on the path of self-improvement and spirituality.
Here is a list of 10 vegan foods that you can include for an ideal yogic diet:
1. Legumes: Legume is an alternative iron-rich, protein plant for animal products. Include beans, lentils in your diet that contain sufficient amount of protein. Additionally, legumes are rich sources of fiber, iron, zinc, antioxidant, and other health nurturing compounds. You can cook, ferment legumes or ingest it in the form of sprouts that nourishes your organs with all the required proteins.
2. Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butter: Add a variety of nuts, seeds to your refrigerator that satiate your hunger pangs as well as restore your health. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of iron, fiber, magnesium, and other important plant compounds. These are extremely versatile that can be worked into recipes such as desserts, sauces, etc. Treat your taste buds with cashew cheese which is one delicious option. Opt for unblanched and unroasted nuts to reap the maximum nutritional value. During a yoga teacher training, you come across a lot of ‘sattvic’ variety including the delicacies with chia seeds that are a powerhouse of fiber, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. The consumption of the chia seeds regulates bowel function, increases bone strength and results in a healthy heart.
3. Yoghurt: If you are looking for a food item that is highly nutritious and enticing at the same time, then adding yogurt to your diet is a must. Apart from an abundance of vitamins including B12 for healthy red blood cells and an invigorating nervous system– yogurt improves digestion and promotes healthy bones with the presence of high calcium content.
4. Fruits: Savor ripe, delicious, creamy fruits like avocado, bananas, apples, melons, cherries, etc., that are rich in vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. Fruits are perfect food that you can eat anytime and anywhere. Particularly avocado regulates your blood pressure, keeps heart and mind in an optimum state, and contains anti-aging properties.
5. Oats: Oats should be a staple of yoga teachers diet. They are packed with magnesium, protein, and fiber crucial for strong bones. Oats fill you up, keep you satiated for a longer time and aid in proper digestion. This staple food can be added to anything from cookies to bread and even smoothies. Make your oat dish more wholesome and enticing by adding berries, honey, and yogurt.
6. Fresh Green vegetables: Increase your intake of iron, calcium with green vegetables such as spinach, kale, watercress, cauliflower, etc. Kale is a powerhouse of calcium that promotes healthy spine and skeleton. Get creative with your cooking and try interesting recipes with it like baked kale chips.
7. Whole Grains and cereals: Cereals, whole grains contain a good proportion of complex carbs, vitamin B, phosphorus, etc. The pseudocereal quinoa is highly nutritious and high in protein content that is very good for the nervous system and bones.
8. Oils: Oil varieties such as olive oil, sesame, sunflower, etc., contain essential fatty acids which are vital nutrients required by the body. Also, 3-4 servings of oil a day keeps your calorie count in check.
9. Spices: Herbs and spices make your food delicious and boost health. Cardamom, Asafetida, Turmeric, Basil, and Cumin are full of healthy compounds that prevent various illness and diseases.
10. Choline Rich food: A large amount of choline is present in Broccoli, cauliflower that plays a vital role in the health of your body and mind.
Making insignificant changes in your diet can have profound effects on your life. Keep your food choices natural, fresh, healthy, and use your best discernment. Your inner yogi knows best!
The reason for the choice is obvious – India, after all, is the country where Yoga emerged for the first time around 5,000 years ago and has been practiced ever since. For centuries, yoga has been practiced in India as a way of connecting the mind, body, and soul.
Yoga gurus in the country have dedicated their lives towards preaching and practicing the wisdom of yogic healing through various ancient scriptures, oral traditions, and physical practice. Indulge in the vibrancy of Indian culture and fall in love with one of the most spiritual countries on the planet as you submerge yourself in practicing yoga in India.
We all encounter several moments in life that leave us worried, stressed, and anxious. At times we are so anxious that we are unable to think. Our thoughts become distorted and we feel numb. Some people treat anxiety with overeating, medications, that leads to other addictions. Though they may work for some people temporarily, they do not relieve the underlying causes. What’s needed is a permanent, safe, and healthy solution for long-term results.
Of course, regular yoga practice incorporating right techniques of performing yoga postures, breathing exercises and meditation effectively alleviates anxiety. The practice of gentle yoga asanas stills the mind, allows you to concentrate on your inner voice rather than the external noises, keeps you in the current moment without making you feel rushed and brings you a sense of calmness.
Here is a list of six yoga postures that are highly helpful in easing anxiety. Learn, understand, and practice for a happy life:
1. Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): Kneel on the floor. Set the knees directly under the hips and wrists under the shoulders. Spread your fingers on the yoga mat. Keep your shins and knees hip-width apart. Draw your belly out, lift your hips, chest, and chin up, and gaze up towards the sky (Cow Pose). Exhale, pull your stomach in, round your spine, and drop your head towards the floor (Cat Pose). Inhale, come into a cow pose, exhale and return to a cat pose. Repeat the movement 5-20 times. A relaxing yoga asana which when practiced in synchronization with the breath fosters stability in the mind, releases tension from the body, and activates the swadhisthana chakra.
2. Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana): Begin in mountain pose. Spread the feet 5-6 inches apart. Keeping the legs straight. Exhale and bend downward from the hips. Reach down with the hands and slide the index and middle finger of each hand between the toes and the adjacent finger. Make sure the grip is strong. Keep the forehead relaxed. Hold this pose for 30 seconds or more. This yoga asana deeply stretches the hamstrings, legs, and ankles. It also improves balance and develops greater focus.
3. Camel Pose (Ustrasana): Come on your fours. Spread your knees wider than your hips. Rotate your thighs inwards and keep the feet on top of the yoga mat. Place your hands on the pelvis. Elongate your spine toward the floor and widen the back of your pelvic bone. Lean back, bring your chin close to your chest and grab the heels with your hands. Keep your thighs vertical to the ground. Remain in this pose for 30-60 seconds. A heart opening yoga posture that results in robust health, calm mind, and emotional stability.
4. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana): Stand straight on a yoga mat either with your feet together or hip-distance apart. Keep your spine erect as you breathe in and raise your arms up overhead. Exhale; hinge from the hips as you bend forward reaching down to the ground. Place your palms on the backside of the calves. Keep your eyes closed and breathe deeply. Stay in this pose anywhere between 20-30 seconds. A beneficial yoga pose that releases anxiety and fills with energy and exuberance.
5. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana): Sit tall on a yoga mat. Stretch your legs out and place your hands on the floor. Adjust your hips to make a direct contact with the floor. With inhalation, stretch your arms up toward the ceiling and with exhalation fold forward. Keep your spine upright and go as far as possible. Rest your head, chest, and chin over the thighs. You can keep your toes flexed. Hold this posture for 30 seconds. Seated forward fold pose is highly therapeutic for mild depression and headaches. It soothes fatigue and anxiety.
6. Staff Pose (Dandasana): Sit on the ground with a straight back. Keep your legs together and place the palms close to the hips. Keep the torso perpendicular to the floor. Firmly press the thighs against the mat and flex your ankles towards you. Keep breathing and hold this pose for no less than 60 seconds. A wonderful pose that relaxes the brain, creates body awareness and improves physical health.
Don’t fill up your mind with the fear that anxiety is for forever. Practice these wonderful yoga poses for anxiety to clear and calm the mind and relax the body from within.
Most of us spend our lives in forwarding movements. Let’s take a moment to think and analyze how we live our daily lives, how we maneuver through the endless tasks and become more aware of our daily actions and body shape. We drive vehicles which results in rounding of shoulders, closing off the chest, and forward motion of the body, desk-bounds jobs involve hunching over the computer screens that tightens the muscles of the body and creates tension in the chest. Thankfully, to correct our body shape, to heal our heart and to rejuvenate our spirits we have the natural healing system of yoga.
The science of yoga consists of several heart opening yoga poses that expand the rib cage, perfect the posture, strengthen the shoulders, and energize the soul. Open your heart and shoulders with the practice of these best seven yoga asanas:
1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): Lie on your stomach with your hands alongside your torso and legs extended behind. As you exhale, bend your knees and raise your legs up towards the hips. Reach back with your hands and catch hold off your feet. Keep your knees-hip-width apart. With an inhalation, lift your heels away from your posterior and thighs off the floor. Firm your shoulder blades and try to raise your heels as high as possible. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and slowly release.
2. Camel Pose (Ustrasana): Begin on your fours with legs hip-width apart. Place your hands on your pelvis and rotate your thighs inwards. With an inhalation, elongate your spine and lean your head backward. Bring your chin close to your chest. Stretch your arms behind and grab your heels with your hands. Make sure your fingers are pointing towards the toes. Keep your thighs upright to the ground. Do not strain your neck and remain in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
3. Fish Pose ( Matsyasana): Lie in a supine position on a yoga mat. Stretch your arms and legs alongside the floor. Press your forearms firmly into the ground and lift your chest up to create an arch in your upper back. Bend your head backward and rest the top of the head on the ground. Keeps your thighs actively engaged. Hold this pose for 5-10 breaths.
4. Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana): Lie on your face on the ground and keep your legs behind, a few inches apart. Place your hands on the floor next to your lower ribs. Bring your elbows close to your ribcage. Inhale, straighten your arms, lift your torso and legs up and above the floor. Keep your thighs lifted off the yoga mat. Drop your shoulder blades away from your ears and lift your chest up towards the ceiling. Hold this posture for 30 seconds.
5. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Begin in a prone position. Ensure your toes are not tucked inwards to avoid crunching of the spine. Place your hands on the mat with fingers spread out and elbows hugged to the edge of your body. Inhale; elevate your chest and head over the yoga mat. Gaze in the forward direction and keep breathing. Hold this posture for 60 seconds.
6. Locust Pose (Salabhasana): Lie on your stomach on the yoga mat and rest your forehead on the floor. Breathe in, lift your upper torso, legs, chest, arms, and head of the floor while resting your lower ribs, pelvis, and stomach on the ground. Lengthen your legs. Straighten your arms parallel to the ground. Keep your head in neutral position and gaze in the front direction. Retain this posture anywhere between 30-60 seconds.
7. Upward Bow Pose (Urdhva dhanurasana): Lie on your back, bend your knees and bring your heels close to your hips. Raise your arms towards your head, bend your elbows and place your palms next to your head. Keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Inhale; uplift your hips off the floor. Press your hands into the ground and raise your head up from the yoga mat. Make sure the arms remain parallel to the ground, hips raised towards the ceiling and head aligned with the arms. Hold this pose for 20 deep breaths.
Cure your body, mind, and spirit with chest opening yoga postures and live with vitality.
While flipping through magazines, browsing the Instagram feeds, advertisements you might have come across images of yogis in tricky arm balances inspiring millions of yoga practitioners across the globe with their sense of poise, focus, and strength. Not to mention, they look incredible. But, are they worth all the time and effort? The yogis say, ‘Absolutely!’
Practitioners claim that there is something joyful, intriguing, and fascinating about the family of handstands. Performing arm balances instills a sense of confidence, courage, and inner strength. Balancing poses connect the postural performer with the present moment. When you add the challenge of balancing the yoga postures on your hands instead of your feet, the degree of mental focus needed escalates. You can’t think of easily getting into a handstand if your mind is thinking about future happenings. And they provide a playful method of practicing the art of yoga.
Build greater strength, stamina, and balance with these top seven arm balance yoga postures.
1. Crow Pose (Bakasana): Begin in Mountain pose. Bend your knees and lower your hips while coming into a squat position. Spread your thighs wider than your torso. Place your hands on the yoga mat below your shoulders and spread your fingers. Rest your knees on your upper arms close to your armpits. Rise up on your heels and transfer your weight to your hands. Lift your head up and look in the forward direction. Gently, uplift your feet off the floor and balance your torso and legs on your arms.
2. Plank Pose ( Kumbhakasana): Kneel on the ground with palms right under the shoulders. Curl your toes inward and stretch your legs behind. Keep your arms perpendicular to the yoga mat. Align your neck with your spine and gaze at your hands. Make sure your body falls in a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
3. Four-limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana): Begin in a plank pose. Look straight down at the floor. Keep your neck relaxed. Pull your abdominal muscles in so that your hips do not sag. Upon exhalation; bend your elbows and lower your torso to the floor. Make sure your torso is parallel to the floor. And, lift your legs a few inches up and above the floor. Keep your shoulders blades broad.
4. Dolphin Plank Pose (Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana): Come on your fours on the ground. Keep your forearms parallel to the floor and place your elbows directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs behind and align your heels with your toes. Bring your body into a straight line. Keep your thighs above the yoga mat. Ensure your posterior does not sink too low. Keep your shoulders blades broad and gaze fixed between your hands.
5. Peacock Pose (Mayurasana): Kneel on a yoga mat with knees hip-distance apart. Extend your hands in front with bent elbows and palms on the floor. Rest the top of your head in between your hands. Place your torso on the back of your upper arms and keep your elbows below the navel. Slowly, straighten your legs and curl your toes in. Ensure your elbows make a firm contact with your stomach. Raise your head up and look at a point in front of you. Gently, raise both legs up off the mat. If difficulty in lifting both the legs together, you can do it one by one. Raise your left leg first and then the right leg.
6. Scorpion Pose ( Vrschikasana): Begin on your hands and knees. Lower forearms to the floor and keep your elbows shoulder-width apart. Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Straighten your legs, raise your hips towards the ceiling and come into an upside down ‘V’ position. Bend your knees and raise your feet up off the mat. Keep your legs straight up so that your body is in a vertical line. Pressing your forearms against the mat, bend your knees and bring your feet towards your head.
7. Shoulder-Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana): Squat on a yoga mat with feet shoulder-width apart and knees spread wide. Tilt your torso in front of your thighs and raise your hips until your thighs become parallel to the floor. Place your upper left arm and shoulder underneath the back of your left thigh just over the knee, and rest your left hand on the ground at the outside edge of your left foot. Repeat this with your right arm. Firmly press both your hands on the ground. Lift your body weight. Look in the forward direction.
Include arm balances yoga poses in your yoga routine and greatly improve your stability, strength, and stamina. Happy Flying!!
Although breathing is a natural process, due to current environmental condition, this normal process is becoming a struggle. The polluted and intoxicated environment not only makes breathing difficult and uneasy, but also leads to many respiratory diseases. Asthma is one of the common respiratory diseases which is caused due to a number of reasons. With yoga asana and Pranayama, you can tackle and manage the problem of asthma effectively.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory disease involving the bronchial tubes. The airways of an asthma patient are swollen, narrow, and produce extra mucus. The condition can make breathing difficult and trigger an asthma attack. Asthma triggers due to various reasons like air pollution, respiratory infection, certain medication, stress, strong emotional breakdown, airborne substance, cold air, etc. With the help of yoga, you can combat the asthma attacks, the risk of developing respiratory diseases and promote a healthy being.
Pranayama And Asanas
Pranayama or breathing techniques are the most crucial aspects of yoga when it comes to treating Asthma and other respiratory problems. Yoga Asanas and Pranayama improve the lung capacity and help in minimizing the attacks of asthma.
Pranayama to help:
• Nadi Shodhan Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique) – It is a great way to calm the mind and release stress from the body. This pranayama heals many circulatory and respiratory problems.
• Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing Technique) – This pranayama relaxes the brain, improves blood circulation, clear all the nadis or energy channels, and strengthens the nervous system.
• Bhastrika Pranayama (Breath of Fire) – The asana is great to prevent lung problems, but the asthma patient should practice it carefully, as it includes forceful inhalation and exhalation. Strengthen lungs, improve the immune system and prevent respiratory problems.
• Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Nostril Breathing Technique) – An easy but very effective breathing exercise that improves lung functioning and works great for asthma patients.
Yoga Poses for Asthma:
Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
An easy and simple seated yoga pose that is also used in meditation. Practicing it in the morning will give you immense health benefits. It is the beginner level Vinyasa yoga pose. The pose helps in controlling stress and focuses on the breath. It broadens the chest, relaxes the body, and helps you to avoid circumstances that trigger an asthma attack.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
In this asana, you have to sit down and twist the spine sideward. The asana clears the chest, reduces the risk of asthma and enhances oxygen supply to the lungs. It also helps lower the asthma attacks. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and hold the pose for about 30-60 seconds. It is a beginner level Hatha yoga pose.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
Another beginner level Vinyasa yoga pose for asthma that reduces thyroid problem, clears the chest and lungs. The pose should be practiced in the morning. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. An effective one for asthma patients as it promotes a healthy digestion and improves body balance.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Cobra pose is one of the best yoga poses for asthma as it broadens up the chest, improves oxygen and blood circulation, and stretches the abdomen. The asana also clears the lung passage, stretches chest muscles, increases flexibility, and elevates mood. It is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga pose, and a person should practice this asana on an empty stomach in the morning. Hold the asana for 15-30 seconds.
Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)
This yoga asana promotes healthy breathing in the organs, strengthens wrists, arms, back, and spine, stimulates the endocrine or thyroid gland, elevates mood, and prevents asthma attacks. Purvottanasana is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga pose. While practicing, hold it for 30-60 seconds.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Shavasana is a yoga pose that should be practiced at the end of a yoga practice. It is the ending pose of every yoga practice session. It relaxes the body and mind. You have to lie down on the floor for few minutes like a corpse. This is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga pose that rejuvenates you and puts the body into a meditative form. Shavasana reduces anxiety, releases stress, relaxes the mind and body, and tackles asthma.
Asthma issues come with a lot of physical restrictions. Yoga is the ideal way to remain composed and manage asthma naturally.