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On World Yoga Day: Begin Practising With This Beginners Guide

Jun 20, 2020

The present times have seen a massive gain in the popularity of the ancient Indian philosophy of yoga. Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices that aims at harmonizing the inner soul with the external environment. This sacred knowledge was hidden deep in the holy Indian scriptures for centuries. However, due to an increased interest in this discipline, the philosophy has now spread far and wide all across the world. The moto of peaceful existence, by stressing on inner peace along with a holistic approach to wellness, has found many followers all over. From John Lenon of the Beatles to our very own parents, yoga has touched the lives of many and improved it in some or the other way. Many suffering ones have found an ever-lasting solution through yoga, while for many others it helps them face the rough days by bringing in a sense of deep calm and relaxation. 


It was only a matter of time to witness the recognition of yoga worldwide. To celebrate this ancient philosophy and bind together its many followers, the United Nations declared the 21st of June as the International Yoga Day. And hence, since 2015, every year, on this day, Yoga is celebrated all over the world through various steps like large workshops, awareness campaigns, academic engagements, etc. The international recognition through the world yoga day has helped everyone understand that yoga is not merely a bunch of exercises or a few meditation poses, but a way of life. Yoga promotes a healthy life that comprises of a benevolent outlook towards everything, a healthy body that is free of diseases and illness, a happy and balanced mind that promotes and upholds the ideals of peace and humanity. 

 

What is yoga?

As stated above, yoga is a deep spiritual practice that combines physical exercises, mental stimulation, and soul searching. It is a holistic way of living life. It aims at unison of the mind, body, and spirit in a balanced manner. Followers of this philosophy experience changes in the way they view the world, the way they live life, how they maintain relationships, etc. Yoga aims at harmony within the individual but also among the individuals and in the larger society. 

 

Importance of yoga

Everyone today understands the importance of yoga in life. In times like today, when high environmental pollution, compromised principles, degrading relationships, has eroded the inner peace of every individual, yoga brings in calm and simplicity. It not only helps in maintaining a fit body, a strong immune system, but also a positive mind. Yoga helps in facing the day by recharging the mind and body. Through asanas and deep breathing exercises, yoga helps in harnessing the hidden energy in the body and mind. 

 

Yoga encourages spiritual introspection. This, in turn, helps in self-reflection which leads to understanding oneself better. This leads to correct decisions, stronger relationships, and a wilful commitment to a better tomorrow.

 

On this world yoga day, begin your journey towards a better version of yourself. Indulge in treating yourself the right way in and out with the help of yogic philosophy. Here is a list of some easy yoga poses for beginners, so that you can start that journey today!

 

Child's Pose or Balasana 

As the name suggests, this posture is the fetal position of a child. One may experience child-like fragileness while practicing this pose. This resting pose is also known as Shishuasana. 


Child's Pose or Balasana 


How to perform Balasana:

  • Gently sit on your heels

  • Place the hip on the heels

  • Gently bent forward touching the forehead on the floor

  • Place the torso in between the thighs

  • Extend your arms forward

 

Benefits of Balasana:

  • Effectively calms the mind

  • Lengthens and strengthens the lower back

  • Enhances blood movement

  • Stretches the Shoulders and Ankles

  • Strengthens the ligaments inside the knees

 

Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

This pose is an upward back-bending pose. It is also one of the best back-bending poses for those who are new to yoga.


Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana


How to perform Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

  • Lie flat on your back.

  • Fold your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

  • Place the arms along the body with palms touching the floor.

  • Inhale and gently lift the torso, touching the chin to the chest.

  • Do not bring the chin down.

  • Form an arch by extending up.

  • Hold the pose for a minute.

  • Exhale as you gently release the pose and come down.

 

Benefits of Bridge Pose:

  • Calms the brain and central nervous system 

  • Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs

  • Improves digestion

  • Helps relieve symptoms of menopause

  • Reduces backache and headache

  • Reduces fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia

  • Rejuvenates tired legs

  • Relieves symptoms of asthma and high sign 

  • Therapeutic for hypertension, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

 

Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana

It’s a leaning back-bending asana and very easy for beginners. The cobra pose is also performed as a part of the Suryanamaskar.


Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana

 

How to perform Bhujangasana:

  • Lie flat on the stomach with toes and forehead touching the floor.

  • Place the arms along the body.

  • Inhale bringing the palms below the shoulders and lift the head, chest, and abdomen.

  • Pull the lifted torso back forming an arch.

  • Make sure the elbows are parallel to the body.

  • Exhale as your release the pose and bring the torso down.

 

Benefits of Cobra Pose:

  • Stretches muscles within the shoulders, chest, and abdominals

  • Decreases stiffness of the lower back

  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders

  • Increases flexibility

  • Improves menstrual irregularities

  • Elevates mood

  • Firms and tones the buttocks

  • Invigorates the center 

  • Stimulates organs within the abdomen, a bit like the kidneys

  • Relieves stress and fatigue

  • Opens the chest and helps to clear the passages of the center and lungs

  • Reduces belly fat

  • Strengthens your spine: Since the snake pose in yoga is beneficial in providing an honest extension to your back.

  • Extremely helpful in strengthening your spine. it's designed so as that your lower and upper back is stretched. But if you suffer from chronic back pain, it's recommended to consult a doctor to make sure you've no contraindications.

 

Corpse Pose or Savasana

One among the least difficult yoga and perhaps the most loved of the numerous, Savasana is a relaxing pose usually practiced at the end of the session.


Corpse Pose or Savasana


How to perform Savasana:

  • Lie flat on your back.

  • Place the arms along the body with palms facing up.

  • Keep the feet apart with toes facing sideways.

  • Relax the entire body by concentrating on one part of the body at one time. 

  • Relax as you breathe.

 

Benefits of Corpse pose: 

  • Effectively calms the mind

  • Lengthens and strengthens the back

  • Enhances blood motion

  • Reduces blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia

 

Easy Pose or Sukhasana

Sukhasana is a meditating pose, very easy for beginners. 


Easy Pose or Sukhasana


How to perform Sukhasana:

  • Sit with legs crossed.

  • Keep the feet under the opposite knee

  • Inhale and exhale as you pull your shoulders up and down respectively. 

  • Place the palms on the knees facing up or down.

  • Lengthen the neck.

  • Keep the spine straight. 

 

Benefits of Sukhasana:

  • Discover quietness and peacefulness. 

  • Reduce anxiety

  • Deep relaxation

  • Strengthens the back

  • Increased concentration

  • Improved posture

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