The growing acceptance of Yoga by the world community tells a lot about this ancient art of healing mind, body and soul. Originated in India and propagated by many influential gurus, Yoga has been a way of life all through this while. Practicing Yoga not just keeps you in good health, but it also helps you focus on your energies and attain your goals in life.
For centuries, Yoga Sutra, which is a collection of most primitive forms of Yoga poses and related texts, has been offering wisdom and guidelines to people in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
Therefore, going by its utility and effectiveness, Yoga is a dire need for today’s fast paced world where people are grappling with physiological as well as psychological health issues. If you want to improve your health, increase your stamina, and come out of a stressful and hectic life, you need certain efficient and powerful exercises that can help you stay fit and make you mentally strong.
Here are 5 powerful Yoga exercises for you:
- Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
This posture gives your body the shape of a boat and if you have been fighting that extra flab of fat in your stomach, it is ideal for you. Remember all the Yoga poses need perfect alignments of your body parts, which could be a little difficult for beginners. But daily practice will easily get you there. The Boat Pose or sometimes also called as “Naukasana” has many more health benefits: it tones and strengthens your abs, improves your digestion, strengthens your spine and hip muscles, and reduces stress.
So how to get into the full boat pose? You need to sit in the floor, knees joined and feet stretched. Now lean your back backwards, lift your feet in the air and stretch your hands alongside your knees with palms facing downwards. Breathe steady and hold your body in this position for 4-8 breaths. Relax and repeat the same process.
- Crow Pose (Kakasana)
The crow pose is a powerful balancing Yoga exercise that has incredible health benefits. This pose is performed by the variations with bent arms. Kakasana is an amazing full body exercise that mainly works on your arms and core muscles. It strengthens your wrists, abdomen, upper back and legs. It reduces heartburn and acidity and increases the flexibility and elasticity of your spine. From mental perspective, crow poses teaches patience and overcoming fear since it channels your focus on lifting versus falling. It also hones your mind-body connection.
To perform crow pose, you first need to sit in “Yogi Squat” and place your palms firmly on the floor. Now bend your knees, stretch your legs and lift your body in the air. Transfer your weight evenly on to your hands and squeeze your elbows in alignment with your shoulder in order to lift your body higher. Now breathe calmly and stabilize your shoulder muscles, and hold in this position for a few breaths. Please note that if not done properly, this pose can create potential injury to your muscles.
- Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
There is a good reason why many Yoga experts consider plank pose as one of the best Yoga exercises. The plank pose is specifically recommended to the beginners because its variations help build stamina and core body strength. This pose is difficult to hold, but practicing it regularly can work wonders on your body. It improves your body posture, supports a healthy back and enhances the overall movement and coordination of your body muscles.
Plank exercise is also performed in gyms and fitness centers in order to get perfect abs and activate multiple muscles throughout the body. Especially, more and more women are taking up plank pose on a regular basis; so if you want solid results, you can also try a 30 day plank challenge. The various useful variations of plank pose help reduce back pain as well as stress.
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Cobra pose resembles much like the hood of a cobra (also “bhujanga” means snake in Sanskrit); it is a great pose for alleviating stress, anxiety and even depression. It is one of the best exercises for athletes as they need flexibility and stamina in higher degrees. In addition to that, it stretches the muscles of your shoulders, chest and abdomen, decreases stiffness, strengthens arms and shoulders, invigorates the heart, tones the buttock muscles, improves digestion, and strengthens the spine.
In order to get into this Yoga pose, start by lying flat on your stomach, join you legs and stretch your feet. Now place your palm firmly on the surface of the floor and lift your upper body just like a cobra does, forming an arc with your back caving in. Breathe calmly and remain in this position for some moments. While performing this, inhale and exhale slowly and deeply.
- Garland Pose (Malasana)
Garland pose or Malasana is basically an intermediate form of Yoga exercise and is also known as Yoga Squat because it is a squatting position with toes out and heels in. it stretches your calves and inner thighs due to which your back ache is reduced. Before attempting this pose, you need to make sure that your stomach and bowels are empty and also is the best to practice during early morning hours. Being simple, powerful and highly effective, Malasana strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, gluteal muscles, core and the lower back. It also tones your abdominals, improves digestion, strengthens your metabolism, and keeps you pelvic and hip muscles strong and healthy.
To perform Malasana, start by squatting with heels in and toes out. Spread your thighs placing them a little wider than your torso. Now put your hands in a praying position and hold this pose for a few seconds. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. You need to do all the actions in a coordinated fashion by making sure that no body part is being overworked.
By embracing Yoga in your life you can transform your life for sure. Although, according to Yoga Sutras, there are many more asanas in Yoga that have equal potential to make a positive impact in your life if not more. Nonetheless, the above mentioned poses are the some of the most effective ones.
Suzanne is independent health care industry analyst & speaker and entrepreneur. She has two little cute children. Having hands-on experience in health, she has answer to all your health related queries. She loves to share her thoughts by writing article and discussion with people. She is also contributor on Esprittoday.