Like timely meals and sound sleep, yoga must be integral to the daily routine. While practicing yoga, the focus should be on the spine. When the spine is worked in all directions, your body naturally gets worked out in all directions.
Since all the nerves pass through the spine, keeping it healthy can keep all parts of the body naturally active and energetic. Working on the flexibility of the spine naturally tends to loosen up all stiffness in your body.
Different types of stretches make the spine flexible. These stretches induce upward, lateral, forward, twist, inversion, and backward stretches that boost mobility and flow. This helps improve balance and provides relaxation too. Here is some asana everyone should practice regularly: –
- Sit on a mat spread on the floor with legs fully stretched out, without any back support.
- Now, sit cross-legged and try to keep both knees equidistant from the floor.
- Gently place your hands on your respective thighs near the knees, palms facing downwards.
- Keep your body erect, abdomen and head aligned, chin parallel to the ground. The elbows should be in a comfortable position too.
- Sit in this position and watch your breath (or focus on any object of your choice).
- Straighten both your legs as in the starting position.
Benefits: – It boosts posture correction while stretching the muscles in the lower body. It calms and relaxes the body while improving focus and concentration. It also improves the flexibility of the lower extremities, especially the hip and knee joints.
The practice of these asanas helps reduce the dullness (tamas) and kicks us off for a better day filled with high energy levels. It also helps us be more mindful and calmer in situations that are challenging. It improves our focus and boosts internal regulation as well as external health.
Yoga Mudra: –
- Sit on the mat with legs crossed, inhale with your right hand holding your left wrist behind you.
- As you exhale, bend forward with your upper body; try to touch your forehead to the ground without moving your lower body.
- Hold that position for 6 seconds while holding your breath.
- Inhale as you resume back to the initial position.
- Exhaling again, twist your upper body slightly to the right and try to touch your forehead to your right knee. Hold this for 6 seconds.
- Inhale as you resume the initial position.
- Repeat for the left knee.
Benefits: – It stretches the neck and upper back muscles while improving circulation around the spinal column. The compressions of abdominal muscles help in regulating gastric abnormalities and prevent sagging of the uterus. It also boosts health around the pelvic region and vital parts of the colon.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise arms above head, while raising both heels stretch upwards with palms facing each other, while keeping them close to ears and inhaling.
- Maintain this position retaining breath.
- Lower heels and hands simultaneously while exhaling.
- Now repeat.
Benefits: – This asana facilitates maximum stretching of the body and aids in increasing height. It also improves muscular coordination, the vitality of the lungs, and blood circulation.
Vajrayana Standing: –
- Stand with feet 20-24 inches apart, upper body aligned straight, raise hands to shoulder level with palms facing the ground, and inhale normally.
- Exhaling, swing your hands to the right side while twisting your upper body only.
- Bending your left arm at the elbow, swing your right hand as far as possible without causing any strain.
- Move the neck, shoulder, and right hand as one unit without any inclining or jerks.
- Inhale and return to position. Then repeat the same procedure with the left hand.
Benefits: – It exercises and relaxes the spinal, abdominal, and back muscles. It relieves persisting stiffness and pain. It also helps in toning the waistline and fighting abdominal fat.
- Start by keeping feet 20-24 inches apart.
- Inhale as you raise your left hand, keeping it close to your ear while looking straight ahead.
- Slowly slide your hand down, bending your upper body sideways while keeping your legs rooted in place.
- Focus on stretching your spine and oblique sideways and maintain the position and breath for 6 seconds.
- Exhale and return to the position.
Benefits: – This stretches the oblique muscles, which helps in reducing the waistline. It also aids in better circulation around the abdomen and pelvic area and significantly improves digestion and the nervous system’s functioning.
- Lie down, face first on a mat, elbows bent, palms next to the chest, and hands close to the body.
- Raise your head as you inhale, raising your upper body only to your navel.
- Hold that position for a second.
- Exhale as you resume your initial position.
Benefits: – It alleviates various diseases linked to the digestive system, regulates the menstrual cycle, improves the vital capacity of your lungs, and also helps cope with insomnia. It also gives your nervous system a boost.
- Lie down on your back, elbows very close to the body, and inhale.
- Exhaling, lift your legs to form a ninety-degree angle with your body.
- Now buck your legs straight, stretching them upwards, your hands supporting your hips as your upper body and upper arm balance your suspended weight.
- Hold the position for 6 seconds.
- Resume initial position while inhaling.
Benefits: – This asana provides temporary replacement of the abdominal and pelvic viscera, relief in the case of constipation, indigestion, headache, giddiness, neurasthenia, functional disorders of the eye, ear, and nose, and the throat as well as general and sexual debility. It also effectively activates blood flow to the upper body and brain & regulates the flexibility of the spine.
Namaste, Wishing You a Happy & Healthy Life