Yoga Master Akshar explains how practising yoga every day keeps you fit.
Yoga marks the perfect communion of body and mind. Yoga is one of the oldest forms of fitness regimen rooted in ancient wisdom. It integrates various elements of life and provides a holistic regimen to improve well-being. The curative properties of yoga have been much talked about but the most interesting aspect is its lack of rigidity.
One doesn’t need a specific time or location to perform yoga. It can be performed by anyone at any point in time.
Be it at your work, while travelling or even in the pool. Yoga can be fun even off the mat. To start your day on a positive note, concentrate on your breathing for a 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 without difficulties.
Sukshma vyayam or subtle exercises can be practised to gently mobilise 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.
- Keep your head, neck and spine in a 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 and exhale.
- Come back to the centre.
- Inhale and turn left arm stretched out forward, keeping your back straight.
- Repeat the asana for 3-4 times.
Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
- Lie flat on your stomach with toes out. Place your palms under your shoulders.
- Keep your fingers together and pointing forward.
- Tuck elbows close to your body pointing towards the sky.
- Keep your feet and heels together.
- Rest your forehead on the floor and relax the whole body.
- Slowly raise the head and tilt backwards with chin pointing upward.
- Inhale as you slide your chest forward by lifting your shoulders.
- Straighten elbows and palms by gently pressing on the ground.
- Create an arch with your spine and focus on the centre of your eyebrows.
- Keep your hips and thighs close to the floor.
- Open your shoulders and keep the neck in a neutral position.
- Hold for 30 seconds retaining inhalation.
- Exhale and lie down.
- Repeat the asana for 3-4 times.
This asana is known for its various benefits. It strengthens the spine and gives a deep stretch to the upper and the lower back. It stretches the chest, lungs, shoulders, abdomen and thighs. This asana also improves blood circulation and increasing lung capacity. It releases tension in the upper back. It stimulates appetite, alleviates constipation and aids digestion. It also helps women tone the uterus.
Caution – Perform this asana slowly and gently and pay careful attention while stretching the spine.
Pranayam (Breathing exercise)
Practise balanced breathing with basthrika. Inhale, retain and exhale – all for the same number of counts. If your duration of a deep, long inhale is 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds and slowly exhale for the same amount of time. Repeat the asana for 10-15 times.
Sahej means simple or easy. Practise this relaxed breathing with your stomach tucked in. Consciously inhale and exhale by simply counting the number of breaths taken. Repeat the same for 2-3 minutes.
Yoga helps to maintain flexibility. It keeps you fit and energetic throughout the day. Simple yoga poses can enhance body movement and can help to prevent postural problems.
Master Akshar is a Yoga expert and the founder of Akshar Yoga.