Achieve Flexibility and Serenity in Five Easy Steps

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in ” – B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga: the path to Holistic Health.

Think about what it would feel like if your muscles were flexible, you could reach down and touch your toes, feel energized in the afternoon, and relaxed on the drive home.  Have you given a thought as to how beautiful and stress free you will be outside, when you take care from the inside?

Deep down, we all want to practice Yoga and be fit, but somehow don’t follow through.  We often find excuses.  Maybe, “We don’t have the time” or “Can’t afford a class.”  In today’s stressful and hectic life, we are always on the go, so our body, mind and soul take a beating.

Amidst it all, Yoga can help relax one’s mind, body and spirit, and the best part is it is free and can be done in privacy for a few minutes a day.

Commitment is all that is needed.  If you want to indulge, add some soothing music, a mat and a relaxed corner.

Yoga For Health

The following selected daily exercises from yoga for healthy living will not only help you rejuvenate, but also combat stress to keep you healthy. They are very simple and each requires only 4-5 minutes.

1. Shava Asana (The Corpse/ Death Pose):

savasana yoga benefits
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by teakwood
  • Just lie down on the mat, close your eyes and try to put all your weight on the ground. Concentrate on your breathing; breathe deeply and slowly with your nose.
  • Learn to be patient and observe the way your weight is shifting towards the ground and let go of everything, all the heaviness and all the tiredness.
  • Gently open your eyes and roll over to your side before coming to seating position.

This asana is to just relax.

 

2. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose):

  • Lay on your stomach, place your palms just under your shoulders. Without letting your elbows drop away from your body, have them point straight back behind you as pictured.
    bhujangasana yoga benefits
    By Joseph RENGER (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Push gently on your hands to slowly lift your upper body, head – inhaling.
  • Act slowly, not too high, elbows should not be locked.
  • Slowly lower your body with your forehead touching the floor – exhaling.
  • Repeat 3- 5 times.

Benefits: Relieves Back Pain and strengthens spine.

 

3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (The Downward Facing Dog Pose):

  • Start on your hands and knees on All Fours.

    health benefits of adho mukha svanasana
    cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by Sarah Siblik

     

  • Keeping fingers wide apart, press hands and feet downward, firmly to the mat.
  • Simultaneously, lift hips and tailbone to the sky – body in a V-shape.
  • Head down and relaxed.
  • Hold position for 2- 3 breaths.

Benefits: Clears congestion, increases bloodflow to sinuses. May cure a cold.

[ Read: Slimming Face Yoga Exercises ]

4. Balasana (The Child Pose):

  • In this asana, the body faces the floor in fetal position. This is passive and relaxing pose.

    balasana benefits
    By Iveto (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Touch forehead to the floor (if forehead cannot touch) tuck yoga block or book under forehead to touch.
  • Rest and breathe as long as desired.

Benefits: Soothes headaches, relaxes upper back and neck.

5. Uttanasana (Forward Bending Pose):

  • Stand with feet parallel and hip width apart. Fold forward slowly while exhaling.
    Forward Bending Pose
    By Joseph RENGER (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Allow arms to come forward. (If hamstrings are tight or lower back is sensitive, bend knees.)
  • Relax head and neck to bounce and release all stress from head.
  • Hold for 2- 3 breaths, then slowly rise to stand while inhaling.

[ Read: Yoga For Stress Relief ]

Benefits: Soothe the nervous system.

But at times when you feel you are too busy and don’t have much time, stick to Pranayama (deep breathing) and Shava Asana. Do not force yourself through all the exercises, simply do one or two with proper rhythm and gradually increase the numbers later. Never strain, and know your flexible. The aim is to relax. So resting every few minutes. These asana’s of yoga for good health is all you need.

Finally, Yoga is not only about asanas but also about healthy diet, correct postures, emotional balance and proper sleep. Once you reach the gateway of this proper stability, then with Yoga you are sure to attain a healthy body, mind and soul.

Daniel Potasz, M.S.

Our Science Reporter covers biology, technology and their impact on health. He holds a Masters in Science from UCLA.

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