5 ways to bring Yoga closer to everyday lives

Grandmaster Akshar, Founder & Chairman, Akshar Yoga

Fitness off the mat – 5 ways to bring Yoga closer to everyday lives

-Grandmaster Akshar, Founder & Chairman, Akshar Yoga

Yoga marks the perfect communion of the body and the soul. Integrating multiple elements of life to provide a holistic solution to mankind, Yoga is one of our oldest forms of fitness regimen rooted in our ancestral wisdom. The curative properties of yoga have been much deliberated about, but the more interesting aspect is its flexibility. One needn’t really designate a specific time or location to perform yoga. It can be performed by anyone at any point of time. Be it at your work, while traveling or even at the pool! Yoga can be fun, even off the mat. Given below are few ways to bring yoga closer to lives.

  • Awakening in the morning

As soon as the alarm goes off early in the morning, instead of waking up with a frown, embrace the day with a smile. Only then you could look at the upcoming day as an enlightening experience. In order to get a great start every day, try concentrating on your breathing for few minutes; this is an essential part of yoga. Focus on your breath and try to enjoy the solitude. You will be able to approach the challenges in your day to day life with restraint. Stretch your entire body to relax your muscles and joints and enjoy the bliss of yoga right on your bed.

Sukshma Vyayam

 

SukshmaVyayam or subtle exercises can be practiced to gently mobilize muscles and get the day started on an active note.Here is a simple torso movement for your upper back, shoulders, and neck.

 

  • Sit in Sukhasana or cross-legged posture with your back straight
  • Head, neck and spine erect in one straight line
  • Interlock your fingers in front of your chest and inhale
  • Exhale to stretch your hands out forward keeping your elbows straight and palms connected
  • Gently inhale and turn towards the right side with arms stretched out, exhale come back center
  • Inhale and turn left arms stretched out forward, keeping your back straight
  • Repeat this 3-4 times

 

 

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie flat on your stomach with toes out
  • Place your palms under your shoulders, fingers together pointing forward
  • Tuck elbows into body and point them towards the sky
  • Keep your feet together behind, heels touching
  • Rest forehead on floor, relax the whole body
  • Slowly raise head and tilt backwards with chin pointing up
  • Inhale as you slide chest forward, lifting your shoulders up. Straighten elbows, palms gently pressing into the ground
  • Arch spine and focus on eyebrow centre
  • Hips and thighs should remain on floor
  • Open shoulders and keep neck neutral
  • Hold for 30 seconds retaining inhalation
  • Exhale and lie down
  • Repeat 3-4 times

Benefits:

  • Strengthens spine, particularly thoracic vertebrae
  • Gives deep stretch to upper and lower back
  • Stretches chest, lungs, shoulders, abdomen and thighs
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Releases tension in upper back
  • Tones ovaries and uterus
  • Stimulates appetite, alleviates constipation and beneficial for abdominal organs

Caution – Perform this asana slowly and gently with awareness on stretch in spine

  • Getting on the commute

Making a move to your day’s destination can be a hectic process. While everyone you see is on the run, try practicing mindfulness to let things fall into place. Taking deep breaths and counting the process can calm your nerves and provide you with patience to deal with the rest of the day. Apply it while driving, walking to work or taking a cab.

 

Pranayam Breathing Exercise

BasthrikaPranayam:

Practise balanced breathing with Basthrika. Inhale, retain breath and exhale – all for the same number of counts. If your duration for a deep, long inhale is 5 seconds, retain breath for 5 seconds and slowly exhale for the same amount of time. Practise up to 10-15 counts.

SahejPranayam:

Sahej means simple or easy. Practice this relaxed breathing, with your stomach tucked in. Conscious inhalation and exhalation simply counting the number of breaths taken. Practise for 2-3 minutes.

 

  • During work time

When you are busy working and planning your day-to-day activities, you tend to forget to give the much-needed care your body deserves. Why not pamper your body with some easy workouts sitting in your workstation itself? For this few simple yoga poses can be practiced while sitting at your desk, just before a meeting or while hustling over to your client/boss’s office.

Asana 1: Malasana Variation (Thigh stretch)

Kneel on the floor, placing your palms on a chair in front of you. Sit on your haunches bringing your toes in. Lift your knees just above the floor and balance.Slowly inhale breath and look up, exhale breath and look forward, bringing your head back center.

Benefits:

  • Enhances concentration
  • Strengthens thighs and spine
  • Stretches toes
  • Tones calf muscles
  • Massages abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates diaphragm and heart
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens knees and ankle joints
  • Reduces flat feet
  • Strengthens lower body

Words of advice:

  • Go slow while practising this asana if you have knee or ankle concerns

 

Asana 2: Samakonasana /Back stretch

Formationof the posture:

  • Stand straight slightly away from the chair
  • Lean forward and place your palms on the armrests of the chair, forming a 90-degree angle with your legs
  • Arms are straight and place your head in between your arms
  • Hold the posture for 30 seconds keeping a gentle bend on knees
  • Inhale to come back up straight, exhale and go half down
  • Repeat 3-4 times

 

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the shoulders and back
  • Corrects poor posture
  • Relieves tension

 

 

 

  • After a meal

Who doesn’t love a hearty meal to satisfy those hunger pangs? But what most of us don’t really bother about is the whole process which is initiated soon after consumption of food. Only proper digestion can ensure healthy bowel movements and your colorectal tract will be fit and fine. Sit in the pose during a meal. A great asana for spine and digestion, this provides the digestive organs with a good internal massage and stretch.

 

Asana 1: Sukhasana/Cross-legged Posture – Happy Pose

Formation of the posture

  • Lie down on your back, stretch your legs forward and bring your hands beside your body with palms on the floor
  • Lift your upper body to attain sitting posture with legs stretched out
  • Fold the left leg and tuck it inside the right thigh
  • Then fold the right leg and tuck inside the left thigh
  • Bring your palms together to hold Pranam in front of your Heart Chakra
  • Sit erect with spine straight

 

Breathing Methodology

Balanced breathing

 

Navigating back from the posture

  • Place your palms on the floor beside your pelvis and straighten your legs forward
  • Relax in Dandasana

 

Benefits:

 

  • It stretches and lengthens your spine
  • Broadens your collarbones and chest
  • It calms your mind
  • Enhances your condition of peacefulness and serenity
  • Kicks out anxiety, stress and mental tiredness
  • It helps in improving body posture
  • It opens your hips

Words of Advice

  • Do not perform this pose in case of any severe leg problem
  • Do not practice this pose if there is any pain in the lower spine or sciatica
  • In case of any severe knee problems avoid this asana

 

Asana 3: Vajrasana – Thunderbolt pose

Formation of the Posture

  • Sit on the floor with your knees close together
  • Place your right big toe on your left big toe, heels apart
  • Place your pelvis in between your heels and hands on your knees, palms facing down
  • Your spine, head and neck should be upright and straight without straining. Do not arch your back
  • Observe the total posture of your body and make the necessary adjustments so that perfect alignment and balance are the experience

 

Breathing Methodology

Soft inhale-exhale

Benefits

  • This asana helps digestion
  • The calf muscles are also sometimes known as the second heart of the body because our mobility is determined by the strength in your calf muscles. Vajrasana mobilizes and massages your calf muscles
  • Asana relaxes and strengthens feet, ankle, and knee caps
  • Ankles are flexed
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Good posture for meditation and/or Pranayam

 

Words of Advice

  • A person suffering from joint pain, Arthritis or any knee injury should avoid this asana
  • Arthritis patients must avoid this asana too
  • This is the only asana which can be done any time of the day- even just before food and just after food.
  • While watching TV

After an exhausting day, all you need is some me-time watching your favourite TV shows. You could guiltlessly spend time before the idiot box by actually trying some simple yoga stretches like cow face pose, vajrasana etc. and build your muscle core even while you are having your daily dose of entertainment.

 

Asana 1: Baddhakonsana variation/Butterfly Pose(Chest-to-feet- Variation):

Formation of the Asana:

  • Sit at a comfortable place with back and head straight
  • Fold legs in front of you and bring soles of feet together, heels as close to your groin as possible
  • Push your knees down towards floor, keep thigh and calf together
  • Interlock your fingers and place them under your feet
  • Stretch your spine upward, open chest and tuck your abdomen in
  • Inhale to lift up and exhale as you bring feet close towards your chest
  • You can use your elbows to lock your arms around your legs
  • Keep torso erect, focus gaze on horizon
  • Balance and hold for longer duration
  • Exhale and relax muscles, stretch out legs to release pressure from thighs
  • Repeat 3-4 times, exhaling each time you pull your feet towards your chest

 

Benefits:

  • Keeps kidney and prostate glands healthy
  • Reduces sciatic pain and prevents hernia
  • Relaxes heart, good for nervous system
  • Makes spine flexible and strong

Words of advice:

  • Proceed slowly, if your feel pain or discomfort, come out from the posture and resume after you feel comfortable

 

Asana 1: Marjari Asana/Cat Posture:

Formation of the Asana:

  • Sit on all fours, palms under shoulders, knees open under pelvis in line with your palms
  • Keep your toes out, head in line with spine
  • Inhale to curl your back and look up
  • Exhale to arch your back and look down at your navel
  • Repeat 3-4 times

 

Benefits:

This asana improves the flexibility of the neck, spine and shoulders

About Neel Achary 18718 Articles
Neel Achary is the editor of Business News This Week. He has been covering all the business stories, economy, and corporate stories.