May 3, 2022 0

Yoga is a great way to start your day. Whether you are a morning person or not, the practice of yoga can make your day a success. You will start your day with a positive feeling and you will be filled with a new energy that will make you able to face any challenges during the day. It doesn’t take long and you can do it almost anywhere, even if you are a beginner. We’ve collected the best beginner tips and answered the most common questions to get you started and prepared for success.

Why practice morning yoga?

Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can be done at any time during the day. But for many yogis, a mindful movement practice at sunrise or shortly after waking up is the best way to wake up your body and mind. Taking a few minutes in the morning to breathe deeply and move through a sequence of yoga poses is a great way to boost your overall wellness and increase the chances of having a great day. A morning yoga routine has many benefits. It can increase mental clarity, stabilize your mood, boost your energy and stamina, and reduce stress and anxiety.

When should you do a morning yoga practice?

That depends on your schedule, level of fitness, goals, and needs. You can do yoga in your bed as soon as you wake up or later in the morning after you’ve showered. Traditionally, the best time to practice yoga is at dawn or sunrise. Like any mindfulness practice, yoga teaches you to listen to your body and only do what works best for you.

Yoga before or after breakfast?

Should you eat breakfast before or after yoga? This depends on your practice, routine and your diet. You will not want to eat a big heavy meal before a good yoga workout. But if you want to feel invigorated and strong, you don’t want to overexert yourself on an empty stomach. Since practicing with low blood sugars can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded and lethargic it is best to consume something before your morning practice.

What to eat for breakfast before yoga

The body needs fuel to keep up in a yoga session, but you want to make sure you’re eating the right kinds of foods. The key is to focus on whole, minimally processed foods that will make you feel satiated and give you plenty of energy. Try to eat a small, high-protein, low-fat, and low-sugar breakfast about 1-2 hours before your session. For example, try a pre-yoga smoothie made of protein powder, greens, fruit, and a little coconut milk, or a bowl of chopped fruit with a scoop of yoghurt. Oatmeal is also an excellent choice as it is high in fiber and slow digesting carbs. If you need just a snack, consider a handful of plain, unsalted nuts like almonds or a banana or an apple. Stay away from greasy, fired or heavy foods like eggs, bacon, cheese and potatoes that will weigh you down during your session.

How long should your morning yoga practice be?

It’s tough to find the motivation to work out in the morning when you’re already pressed for time. The beauty of yoga is you can find a way to work in a yoga practice 10-15 minutes long that can help you stay healthy, improve circulation, and even improve sleep, so you feel more rested in the morning. You can do a morning yoga practice in bed to make it that much easier to make the time, even on your busiest mornings. A longer practice, up to 90-minutes, can also be done and will provide a more complete workout. What is most important is to find a length of time that allows you to practice on a regular schedule without making you feel rushed or stressed to complete.

How to start doing yoga in the morning
  1. Be prepared.
    A short daily yoga session does as much or more as a longer one once or twice a week. A ten-minute morning yoga practice to start your day can help you feel ready to face the world. Get ready by setting the alarm 15-30 minutes early, so you have plenty of time for your practice without the need to rush. Keep a yoga mat and any yoga props you use under your bed or in a convenient and easily accessible location.
  2. Set up a yoga space.
    One of the best ways to build up a routine is to create a designated space for practice. This goes for everything from cooking to working from home, and yes, to your yoga practice. Choose a space that gets good natural lighting so you can soak up that invigorating early morning light that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic so that you can stay calm and centered.
  3. Start with basic postures.
    If you’re just starting out, choose simple beginner asanas like Mountain, Cat and Cow, Seated Head to Knee, Downward-Facing Dog, Cobra, Triangle, Crescent Lunge, Reclining Goddess, and Bridge. Sun salutations are a traditional vinyasa sequence to practice as the sun rises and is an easy set of postures to memorize. If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, try some simple asanas in your bed, and you won’t even need to change out of your PJs! The main point is not to challenge or exert yourself too much but to build habits that will give you more flexibility and movement over time.
  4. Give yourself a goal.
    Keep yourself motivated by giving yourself a goal. Maybe you want to learn a certain number of asanas in a month, lose a certain amount of weight, or take on a new or more advanced class by a certain time. Setting yourself a goal helps you stay focused on what you’re getting from your yoga and helps keep you moving forward!
  5. Keep it simple.
    When it comes to building good habits, the best way to build them up is to start small. The great thing about yoga is it doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment. You don’t need to leave your home, or even your bed to learn! Start with simple stretches and breathing exercises you can build on. Check out online morning yoga videos to keep your routine fresh. And try to be gentle with yourself. The goal is to get you moving and help you have a more mindful morning, so schedule your time and remember to focus on yourself.

Mornings are a great time to practice yoga. Whether you’re preparing for a stressful day at work or school, or you just want to start your day in a healthier way, morning yoga offers you a great way to set the tone for a happy and productive day.

May 2, 2022 0
What is Immunity?

All physiological systems helping a person’s body to defend itself against infections through alien materials which might result in harming the body can be defined as immunity.

The threat which could risk us of getting infected is present everywhere from our homes to office, in our transportation or coffee shops, etc. However, our body’s immune system has created its own shield to fight against such threats at the microorganism level. It is a sophisticated network of organs, tissues, and cells that work together to keep attackers out of your body. Attackers might include bacteria, viruses, parasites, and even fungus, all of which have the potential to cause illness to our body.

Why Boost Immunity?

The goal of strengthening immunity is simple: to live a healthy life. As winter approaches, we observe that many individuals suffer from the common cold or flu, while others manage to go on without contracting any sickness. Immunity is the secret to this mystery.

During winters, when cold and flu are prevalent, you have to pay greater attention to the health of your immune system. But the fact is that your immune system has to work hard all year long, whether it is providing protection from a flu virus or an illness that might occur at any moment.

The immune system defends the body by first protecting it from intruders or antigens. If these enter the body, the immune system produces white blood cells, chemicals, and proteins that fight and kill the foreign object. Antigens are usually targeted and removed before they can replicate. If that fails, the immune system begins to work even harder to eliminate the intruders as they grow.

How to Boost Immune System through Yoga?

The prospect of increasing our immunity is appealing but the capacity to do so has proven difficult for a variety of reasons. The immune system is, in fact, a system and not a single entity. It requires balance and harmony to work properly.

Following the basic good-health principles is the single most important action you can take to naturally keep your immune system in excellent functioning order. When you shield your body from environmental assaults and supplement it with healthy living practices, every aspect of your body, including your immune system, performs better.

Yoga has been practised in India for over 5000 years. It focuses on bringing the mind and body into harmony. It is a combination of physical activity, nutrition control, breathing methods, and focus that both strengthens and calms the body and mind. As a result, immunity improves. Practising some simple Yoga Asanas, Kriyas and Pranayamas assist to boost the immune system and strengthening overall health.

Here are some simple yoga practices that you should include in your lifestyle aiding your overall wellness:

Yoga Asanas for Immune Boosting and Stress Reduction:
  1. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) – This chest opening posture stimulates the thymus (a lymphoid organ where white blood cells grow), hence enhancing the general health of the immune system.
  2. Balasana (Child’s Pose) – This restorative posture stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps to boost immunity. It also benefits the neurological system and the adrenal glands, promoting total body relaxation and deep sleep.
  3. Setu Bandhasana (Supported Bridge Pose) – Bridge pose (whether supported or unsupported) opens the heart and lungs, improves blood circulation, stimulates the thyroid gland (a crucial hormone gland that governs how the body’s cells use energy from food), and boosts energy in the body to help fight germs.
  4. Matsyasana (Fish Pose) – Fish pose detoxifies and increases energy levels. It also helps to clear congestion by opening up the lungs and nasal airways.
  5. Savasana (Corpse Pose) – We activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) which allows the body to absorb and repair. This type of rest is incredibly helpful to the mind, immune and digestive system.
Kriya Yoga for Strengthening Your Immune System:
  1. Kapal Bhati – The term Kapal (skull), Bhati (shine), and pranayama (breathing method) are all derived from Sanskrit. It is an excellent breathing technique that can help to enhance physical processes. Through the outgoing breath, this breathing exercise can eliminate up to 80% of the toxins in our bodies.
  2. Jal Neti – Jal Neti is a technique used by yogis to keep disease-free and, more significantly, to use their breath freely for their yoga activities. Jal Neti is nasal hygiene in the same way as cleaning your teeth is dental hygiene. Water is used in this approach to cleanse and clear the nasal tract, from the nostrils to the throat.
Boosting Immunity through Pranayamas:
  1. Anulom Vilom – Anulom Vilom, also known as alternate nostril breathing, is reported to offer several medical and psychological advantages, including stress reduction and enhanced breathing and circulation.
  2. Bhramari – Bhramari Pranayama makes a sound comparable to a bee’s humming. Bhramari is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Bramar,’ which refers to a type of black Indian bee. Bhramari pranayama has a calming impact on the mind and has a relaxing effect on the brain.
  3. Bhastrika – Bhastrika strengthens immunity by improving thyroid function and tonsils resulting in common episodes of cough, flu, or cold.

So, there you have it: some significant and beneficial yoga practices to boost immunity.

April 30, 2022 0

Senior officers from the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, visited Mysuru yesterday and held a closed-door meeting with the top officers of the District at the DC’s Office and discussed the possibility of holding the main International Day of Yoga (IDY)-2022 event in Mysuru, on June 21.

They later visited Mysore Palace, Karnataka Exhibition Grounds and proceeded to the Mysore Race Course.

Inspecting the entire venues and asking for site maps, the officials examined the area, extent, facilities, entrance and exits, security, parking, transportation, nearby accommodation and also the likely weather in June.

The visit comes in the wake of Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha and Uttara Kannada MP Ananth Kumar Hegde urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi  to attend the IDY-2022 main event in Mysuru on June 21. As it has been a practice, the PM attends the main IDY event (mass Yoga demonstration) from 7 am to 8 am and this time, the inclination is on choosing Mysuru as the main event venue.

The officers team was led by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi. Others in the team were Kavita Garg, Joint Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH and Ramachandra, Commissioner, AYUSH.

They held discussions with the District Administration authorities including DC Dr. Bagadi Gautham, senior officials from Ayush, Police and Deputy Director of Mysore Palace Board T.S. Subramanya.

The media was not allowed to the meeting. This IDY (eighth in a series) will be a grand affair as it is being held after two years of virtual events and this year’s celebrations coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The final decision on the venue will be taken by the officers in New Delhi in consultation with the Prime Minister’s Office that will have a final say in PM Modi’s visit and security clearance.

As it will be a large gathering in case the PMO confirms the visit, the sprawling 139.30-acre  Mysore Race Course is likely to be a preferred venue.

The Race Course can accommodate a large gathering nearing a lakh or so and moreover it has good access roads and not congested. The PMO will prefer such a venue where a security blanket can be thrown on, sources added.

April 19, 2022 0

Yoga does not always result in weight loss immediately as these poses are simple. These Yoga poses focus mostly on building body flexibility, improving concentration, and building your muscle tone. Once your body gets used to these asanas, you will begin to practice Yoga asanas for weight loss.

Some of the Yoga asanas and yoga tips for weight loss are as given below.

1. Chaturanga Dandasana – Plank Pose

Chaturanga dandasana is the best way to strengthen your core. As simple as it looks, its benefits are immense.

It is only when you are in the pose that you start to feel its intensity on your abdominal muscles.

2. Virabhadrasana – Warrior Pose

Toning your thighs and shoulders, as well as improving your concentration has become more accessible and interesting with the Warrior II pose. The more you hold that pose, the better the results you gain. With just a few minutes of Virabhadrasana, you will get tighter quads.

Warrior III pose is made to improve your balance along with toning your back end, legs, and arms. It also helps to tone your tummy and give you a flat belly if you contract your abdominal muscles while you hold the position.

3. Trikonasana – Triangle pose

The trikonasana helps to improve digestion as well as reduce the fat deposited in the belly & waist. It stimulates and improves blood circulation in the entire body. The lateral motion of this asana helps you burn more fat from the waist and build more muscles in the thighs and hamstrings.

Though this pose does not make your muscles shake as others do, it does give you the benefit that other asanas do. It also improves balance & concentration.

4. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana tones your whole body with a little extra attention to specific muscles.

It helps to strengthen your arms, thighs, hamstring and back. Holding this pose and concentrating on your breathing engages your muscles and tones them, as well as improves your concentration and blood circulation.

5. Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose

Sarvangasana comes with multiple benefits, from increasing your strength to improving digestion. But it is known for boosting metabolism and balancing thyroid levels.

Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand strengthens the upper body, abdominal muscles, and legs, improves the respiratory system, and improves sleep.

6. Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose

Yet another asana with multiple benefits is the Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge pose. It is excellent for glutes, thyroid as well as weight loss.

The Bridge pose improves muscle tone, digestion, regulates hormones, and improves thyroid levels. It also strengthens your back muscles and reduces back pain.

7. Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair pose

The Parivrtta Utkatasana is also called the Yoga’s version of the squat. But you must know that it is a little more intense and tones the abdominal muscles, works the quads and glutes.

The asana also improves the lymph system and the digestive system. It is a great way to lose weight.

8. Dhanurasana – Bow Pose

Are you looking for the best way to lose that belly fat? Dhanurasana helps massage the abdominal organs, improves digestion, and strengthens the thighs, chest, and back. It stretches your whole body, strengthens and tones your muscles with improved blood circulation.

9. Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation Pose

The Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation does more than warm up the muscles and get the blood flowing. It stretches and tones most of the major muscles, trims the waist, tones the arms, stimulates the digestive system, and balances the metabolism.

April 18, 2022 0

Our goals and good intentions like New Year resolutions are often based around becoming happier and healthier, more fulfilled and free of (negative) habits. When we let go of one habit though, there’s often a gaping hole left in its place, which is why things like quitting smoking, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, meat or anything else you’ve decided to move away from is so difficult; there’s nothing to take its place.

There’s often a reason we develop habits in the first place; they serve a purpose. Our habits can help relieve stress or provide some sort of entertainment, they sometimes make us feel good or subconsciously provide a sense of security. So habits aren’t unnecessary, they’re just not always  helping us to be our very best selves….

Out with the old, in with the new

In order to let go of unhelpful habits, new ones have to be put in their place which provide similar benefits to the mind and body, which is where the practice of yoga comes in. As well as boosting mental clarity and relaxation, yoga also has the added benefits of increasing the release of endorphins (happy hormones) and making the body a more physically comfortable place to live in.

If you get into the habit of practising yoga each morning for 21 days, there’s a chance you’ll continue (maybe even for the rest of the year?) and you’ll definitely thank yourself for it by the time the next New Year comes around.

I’ve enlisted the help of some of my students and yoga teacher friends who practise in the morning – as well as offering you some guidance from the pages of the ancient Yoga Sutras and Ayurvedic texts – so you can find out for yourself why growing numbers of people start their day with yoga, and the reasons they choose to do it!

1. Set your intention

At the beginning of many yoga classes, we’re offered the chance to set an intention for the practice. This could be an intention to practise with kindness towards the body if its feeling tired, to practise focusing the mind into stillness, or an intention to step outside your comfort zone to develop self-trust and confidence. Whatever it may be, this intention has the ability to shape the rest of your day, and will give you a focus throughout the hours that follow. It’s basically like setting a New Year’s resolution every morning, although it may be a little easier to keep this one for 24 hours as opposed to 365 days….

2. Salute the Sun

Traditionally, the practice of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) was performed at sunrise, as a way to greet the sun and the arrival of a new day. By being aware of the rhythms of the natural world and practising as the sun rises, we tap into our own natural rhythms too.

Many of us are so caught up in the world of technology and work that we forget we too are a part of nature and this morning routine is a reminder of our more natural state.

3. Get rid of the Fuzz

Dr Gil Hedley explains brilliantly in his online talk that in order for the body to be optimally healthy and feel physically good, it’s important to move at the beginning of the day. Overnight, our muscles rest and while they’re not moving, layers of connective tissue and bodily fluid – fondly known as ‘fuzz’ – builds up between them. That urge to stretch we get upon waking is essentially an act of releasing the fuzzy build up found between muscles. If we don’t move and stretch however, this layer continues to thicken and build up, causing stiffness, chronically ‘tight’ muscles and common aches and pains.

4. Don’t start stressed…

We know how it feels to leap out of bed after hitting the snooze button one-too-many times and rushing around in the morning – our nervous system definitely knows how it feels all-too-well…. Giving yourself an extra hour or half an hour in the mornings to wake up and practice will allow your nervous system to begin the day in a far more relaxed state. Our levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) are already high in the mornings in order to give us the boost we need to wake up. If this level of cortisol is quickly increased with added stress however, we’ve set ourselves up for an equally stressful day. Making the practice of yoga a habit each morning allows the body to get into the habit of switching off the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ stress response, and instead able to finally tap into the healing benefits of the parasympathetic nervous system – increasing the health of both body and mind immensely.

5. Negate the need for coffee

Yoga has a fantastic way of serving the exact purpose we need; it can be restoring and deliciously relaxing, but it can also be stimulating and energising. Even if you’re tired upon waking, a morning yoga practice is guaranteed to make you feel more awake and alive. Specific postures and practices to build energy include Sun Salutations, backbends and twists.

6. Activate your army

The disease-fighting white blood cells in the body are able to do their best when our blood flow and lymphatic system has efficient circulation. By moving in a way that feels good first thing in the morning, we essentially ‘wake up’ all the body’s systems, which enhances the flow of circulation and give the immune system an immediate boost. Gentle inversions like Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose) are especially effective for stimulating the immune system, so be sure to add these into a winter morning practice.

7. Get happy

As well as boosting your circulation and immune system, the mood boost received through a yoga practice is one of the most beneficial reasons to practice in the mornings. In a study conducted by the Yoga Biomedical Trust in London, 94% of participants with anxiety were significantly helped by practicing yoga regularly each morning, and 82% of those with insomnia reported valuable benefits too.

8. Me-time

Especially if you’re a parent, or your job entails managing or looking after others, it can be difficult to feel as though you’ve had any time to yourself. That extra amount of time in the morning is a way to show yourself not just that you care about yourself, but about others too. In order to give our energy out in the world, it’s essential we have enough within us in the first place. A morning yoga practice is a way to know you’ve done something for yourself that day – whether it was for five minutes or an hour.

9. No more procrastination

If you’re the type of person who sets that New Year’s resolution to be healthier but you never seem to get around to it – this is one of the best ways to tackle it. Making your morning yoga practice the very first thing on your to-do list of the day ensures you’ll get it done first and won’t end up feeling guilty about not having practiced that day. Achieving something early in the day is also a great way to build confidence and a sense of self-worth. It takes a little discipline at first, but even Aristotle said “Through discipline comes freedom”.

10. Meditate for mental clarity

A morning yoga practice doesn’t have to be all about the postures; meditating is a yoga practice with unlimited benefits, and starting your day with even a few minutes can have profound effects in a short time. Becoming aware of our thoughts and observing them rather than getting caught up in them at the beginning of the day makes us more able to decide whether those thoughts are necessary or not, and from there we’re able to tap into this throughout the rest of the day more easily. The habit of watching thoughts instead of getting caught up in them is one of the most beneficial habits we can get into, and it’ll determine our actions instantly: a calm and grounded person makes different daily decisions to a stressed and anxious person!

11. Positive points

If you’re very new to meditation and the mind is a little too scary to observe at the moment, the practice of reciting affirmations silently or out-loud can be very powerful and healing. The word ‘affirmation’ is defined as ‘emotional support’, and also the act of affirming and making something stable. By reciting phrases such as ‘I am calm’, ‘I am peaceful’, ‘I am strong’, ‘I am powerful’ right at the beginning of the day, we give ourselves a sense of stability as words and thoughts like this instantly effect the body and mind. Our thoughts and words create chemical reactions in the body – a happy thought will encourage the body to create ‘happy’ chemicals, and a negative thought will encourage the body to believe it needs to create ‘negative’ chemicals. Get into the habit of reciting affirmations and your brain will literally ‘re-wire’ itself.

12. Breathe Here Now to Be Here Now

Breath awareness – i.e. focussing intently on each inhale and exhale and noticing the quality of the breath – is an instant way to bring us into the present moment. Leslie Kaminoff nailed it when he said “The body tries to hold onto the past, the mind tries to take us into the future. It is the breath that keeps us present”. When the mind is busy and over flowing with thoughts or chitta vrittis, paying attention to the breath brings us out of the trap of the mind and into reality. While thoughts and ruminations are often nothing to do with the situation right in front of us, the breath is a reminder of something that is real, something that it here and now. Movements within a yoga practice are almost always initiated by an inhale or exhale, so by moving with the breath, we move into the present moment. A shallow breath, held high up in the chest indicates stress and also activates the body’s stress response, whereas deeper ‘belly breathing’ where the abdomen is allowed to expand and relax with the breath, calms the nervous system and brings the body and mind into the present resulting in  a far more relaxed state of being. If breath awareness can become a habit, we’ll eventually be able to use it instantly through the day to become more aware and alive.

13. Boost digestive fire

Yoga’s sister science Ayurveda states that our overall health is determined by the health of our digestive system. We can drink all the green smoothies we like and eat organic meals, but if the body can’t properly absorb, assimilate and use those nutrients – it’s a little like putting your food straight in the rubbish bin….  By practicing yoga in the morning, the body’s metabolism is boosted, and so is the digestive system or Agni, known as ‘digestive fire’. When circulation of the systems is boosted and the internal organs have been gently massaged by yoga postures, the digestive system is far more efficient at releasing toxins and properly metabolising the vitamins and minerals from our foods.

14. Boost brainpower

Focussing early in the morning may not be something we’re all accustomed to, but it’s significantly beneficial for heightening our productivity and alertness throughout the rest of the day. If you find it difficult to concentrate at work or school, spend some time practicing breath awareness and a few mildly challenging yoga postures, and your mind will have woken up in no time!

15. The early hours….

The traditional yogic texts state that the hours between 4am and 6am are most conductive for meditation and yoga practice because the mind is at its most still and the rest of the world hasn’t yet sprung into action, so there’s a sense of stillness in the air. If these hours are a little too early for you, then….

16. Become a ‘morning person’

If you’re not the type to jump out of bed to greet the new day, then this new habit could make you one…! A dedicated morning practice allows those of us who could quite easily sleep the day away to make the most of this time when it otherwise may have gone to waste. Just as it’s the yoga postures we enjoy the least that we really need to practice, it’s the disciplines we wouldn’t usually choose that could really serve us the most. Life is short and it’s a pretty precious thing, so rather than sleeping in and wasting the day, make a habit of getting up a little earlier to re-introduce yourself to the morning time.

17. Prolong the benefits

If you usually practice evening yoga classes, consider adding in morning practices or switching your practice to the morning time for 21 days – this way you’ll be able to feel the benefits of the practice for far longer. Surely a day of increased breath awareness, the ability to be present, healthier digestion, stimulated circulation and improved mood are better put to use throughout the many hours of the day than the few hours before going to bed?

18. The inner world creates the outer world

The Buddha is well known for saying that our experience of the world around us is entirely created by our minds. You may notice how the world seems to miraculously change the moment you step out of your yoga class. The people on the street seem friendlier, your family is easier to get along with, the choices you make are more aligned with a healthier life, and even your boss is nice! Here’s a hint; it’s not the world that has changed, it’s your mind…. Start the day by creating a positive environment within yourself, and the outer environment will be a lot more positive too.

19. Know thyself

A morning practice is the perfect way to measure whether your actions off the mat are having a positive or negative impact on your physical, mental and emotional health. If you feel ‘heavy’ during a morning practice, there’s a chance last night’s dinner wasn’t digested properly or you ate a little too late. If your body is tired and aching, it’s a message you’ve been pushing yourself too hard and need to take some time to restore, and if you notice your mind is focussed on one particular thought or worry during meditation, then you know it’s time to listen and take action. By practicing yoga postures daily, you’ll also notice yourself change as the strength and flexibility of both body and mind vastly improve.

20. Get a move on

If your day is mostly spent sitting at a desk or in a car, a morning yoga is just the medicine your body has been looking for. Postures like backbends are effective for ‘un-doing’ all the hunching and slouching we often unconsciously do throughout the day, and can help open the muscles surrounding the hips, which are a common area of tension due to long hours of sitting. By practicing in the morning, we also remind ourselves of what it’s like to stand with healthy posture, so you’ll begin to notice when you’re slouching more often and prevent back pain before it even occurs!

21. Start Now

A yoga practice has no pre-requisites; you do not have to be flexible, strong, skinny, vegan or any other stereotype attached to ‘yoga people’. All you have to do is be you and let the practice do the rest. A yoga practice is not about attaining the ability to perform impressive postures, not is it about being able to sit in meditation for hours and hours; it’s about finding out who you are beneath the bad habits that have built up over time, the chattering mind and the aching body. It’s about being your authentic self. As the saying goes “Start from where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.

April 15, 2022 0

From maintaining a healthy posture and increasing metabolism to decreasing fatigue, resting heart rate and stress levels, Yoga is packed with health benefits and is also effective in boosting stamina on physical, physiological and mental levels. Yoga can make one’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems more efficient by improving aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

Are you usually out of breath while completing daily tasks or workouts or during any aerobic/anaerobic activity? Here are 5 Yoga asanas to boost you stamina, improve your endurance and make you persevere longer or help sustain exercise for a prolonged period of time.

1. Naukasana/Navasana or boat pose

Method: Sit on the floor with your legs spread straight in front of you. Keeping your spine erect and hands resting beside your hips, bend your knees and lean back slightly. Now inhale and lift both legs up while extending your hands forward. Keep your toes at eye level and lengthen your spine. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 seconds and release the posture.

Benefits: Yoga’s Naukasana or boat pose not only beats stress but can also row you out of many issues that your body maybe undergoing. It helps strengthen the core and hip flexors, strengthens and improves flexibility in the hip joints and legs, stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion while also improving the steadiness of the body.

Naukasana helps in regulating blood flow at sugar level and strengthens the abdominal muscles. It improves the health of all organs in the abdomen, especially the liver, pancreas and kidneys and also strengthens the muscles of the arms, thighs and shoulders.

2. Balasana or Child Pose

Method: Sit on your heels on the floor or a yoga mat and keep your knees either together or wide apart. Slowly, exhale and bend forward to touch the floor with your forehead or rest it on a block or two stacked fists while keeping your arms alongside your body and palms facing up.

Alternatively, you can keep your palms facing down on the mat by reaching out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat. Now, if your knees are together, gently press your chest on the thighs or press your chest between the thighs if the knees are apart.

Relax the shoulders, jaw and eyes and find a comfortable place for the forehead as there is an energy point at its center, in between the eyebrows, that supports a “rest and digest” response by stimulating the vagus nerve. Hold onto the pose for as long as you like and pull your navel towards your spine while inhaling and softening your body and the arms while exhaling. Return to the sitting position on the heels slowly while inhaling and as if uncurling the spine.

Benefits: This beginner’s Yoga pose not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helps releasing the tension in the chest, back and shoulders but also helps if you have a bout of dizziness or fatigue during the day or during your workout. It can help relieve back pain as it is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles.

Precautions: This exercise is not recommended for pregnant women or those suffering from diarrhea or knee injury.

3. Setubhandhasana/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose

Method: Lie down on your back with legs straight on the floor, palms beside your thighs. Bend both your knees while keeping the legs and hips apart and bring the heels closer to the hips.

Inhale and lift your stomach and chest up by taking your hips off the floor. Give support to your lower back with your hands. Now straighten your legs with your toes pointing in the front. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and release.

Benefits: This variation also known as the Bridge pose stretches the chest, neck and spine. It not only strengthens the back, buttock and hamstrings but also increases blood circulation, alleviates stress and calms the brain.

4. Ustrasana or camel pose

Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.

Bend your head and the spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.

Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.

5. Padmasana or lotus pose

Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.

Bend your head and the spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.

Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.