Yogasanam

What is Yoga ?

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga. The origins ofyoga have been speculated

History Of Yoga

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century.Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive.On December 1, 2016, yoga was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible cultural heritage

Yogasanams

Here’s our pick of 6 asanas you should try out in the morning:

Padmasana

  1. Sit on the floor or on a mat with legs stretched out in front of you while keeping the spine erect.
  2. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure that the sole of the feet point upward and the heel is close to the abdomen.
  3. Now, repeat the same step with the other leg.
  4. With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on the knees in mudra position.
  5. Keep the head straight and spine erect.
  6. Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.

Shirshasana

1. Start by kneeling down on your yoga mat. Interlock the fingers of your hands and place them and your forearms on the yoga mat. Keep the elbows fairly close together.

2. Then place the back of your head into the hollow of the palms (not on the palms or fingers).

3. Now rise up off your knees and take a step or two towards your head.
Inhale, and slowly raise the legs until they are vertical. Keep your back straight and try to relax. Breathe slowly and deeply from the abdomen.

4. Concentrate on the brain or the pineal gland between the eyebrows.
To come down, bend your knees and lower one leg and then the other.

Kapalbhati Pranayama

1. First and foremost, sit in a comfortable position with your spine erect. Place your hands on the knees, palms open to the sky. Then take a deep breath in.

2. As you exhale, pull your stomach. Pull your navel backwards towards your spine. Now repeat the steps quickly and as many times as you can do comfortably.

3. You can keep your right hand on the stomach to feel your abdominal muscles contract.

4. When you relax your navel and abdomen, the breath flows into your lungs automatically. Take 20 such breaths to complete one round of Kapalbhati Pranayama.

Anulom Vilom Pranayama

1. To perform Anulom Vilom, sit in Sukhasana (similar to sitting in a simple cross-legged position) or Padmasana (or Lotus pose is a cross-legged yoga posture which helps deepen meditation by calming the mind.)
2. Now place your left hand in chin mudra and right in Vishnu mudra.
Vishnu mudra is when index finger and middle finger touch the base of the thumb. The ring finger, little finger and the thumb remain up. You should first close your eyes and relax all your muscles for a while. Then, inhale from your left nostril while keeping your right nostril closed with the thumb of your right hand for the count of 4.
3. Retain the breath for a 16 counts and exhale from your right nostril with your ring fingers and little finger closing your left nostril to the count of 8. Then, once again take in the breath from your right nostril. Finally, exhale from your left nostril while closing your right nostril with your thumb. This will complete one round of the pranayama. You could perform this exercise for around 15 minutes while taking a minute rest after every 5 minutes.

Ardh Matsyendrasana

1. Sit with your spine erect and legs straight ahead of you. Now fold the left knee like sitting in cross-legged position.
2. Fold the other knee. Keep the right foot close to the knee of left foot. Take the knee over and above the left knee.
3. Then take the right hand behind your back. Now lift the left hand up. Stretch it. Take it across the right knee and towards the right ankle.
4. Twist the waist and the spine. Look across your right shoulder behind you. If you can go deeper then, join both the hands from under your right knee.

Vrikshasana

1. Start by standing tall and straight with arms by the side of your body.

2. Now bend your right knee and place your right foot high up on the left thigh. The sole of the foot should be placed flat and firmly near the root of the thigh.
Note: Ensure your left leg is straight.

3. Once you have found your balance start taking a deep breath in.  Then raise your arms over your head from the side, and bring your palms together in ‘Namaste’ position (hands-folded position).

4. You should be looking straight, see some distant object in front of you.

5. Make sure that your spine is straight. Keep taking in long, deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Now with slow exhalation, gently bring down your hands from the sides. You may gently release the right leg too. Stand tall and straight as you did at the beginning of the posture. Repeat this pose with the left leg off the ground on the right thigh.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

This one will strengthen the lower back muscles while cushioning the spine, triceps and opens the chest to promote the inhalations. It also makes the spine flexible.

Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, lift your waist and raise your head while inhaling in. Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. Keep your elbows straight and make sure you put equal pressure on both palms.  Tilt your head back and make sure your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground.

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

It stretches the legs and torso, mobilizes the hips and promotes deep breathing, leaving one with enlivening effects. Stand with your feet wide apart. Stretch your right foot out (90 degrees) while keeping the leg closer to the torso. Keep your feet pressed against the ground and balance your weight equally on both feet. Inhale and as you exhale bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up. Keep your waist straight. Ensure that your body is bent sideways and not forward or backwards. Stretch as much as you can while taking long, deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.

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