Yoga is a practice of mind and body performed with a combination of physical exercises, breath control and meditation. The main aim of yoga is relaxation in stress and anxiety. It also helps with stretching, flexibility and balance of the body.
Why is Yoga important?
It is important because rising concerns regarding mental health have been recorded in the last decade. It’s a high time that we give equal importance to our mental health as we give to our physical fitness. In today’s lifestyle, not only adults but even teenagers face stress, anxiety, depression, etc. It is important that we don’t ignore these issues and work towards achieving a good mental health.
“The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga”
Importance in Mental Health
It helps balancing mind, body and soul. It helps us heal, it improves concentration, promotes peace and helps us be positive about life. Also, it helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Seriously, since how long you haven’t pampered yourself?
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Balasana (Child Pose)
Balasana can be defined as a resting yoga pose. In other words, it is super relaxing and it feels good. Besides, you can hold this yoga pose as long as you want. Also, it helps stretch, calms down mind and body, helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves breathing, etc
How to do Balasana in Yoga? Step – by – Step Guide
- Sit in Vajrasana on a yoga mat
- Now slowly bend forward and make sure your forehead touches the floor
- Keep your arms along side, palms facing upwards
- Gently press your chest on the thighs
- Focus on your breath, ensure a deep breath.
- Stay relaxed and free
Precautions : For pregnant women and people suffering from injury, it is advisable not to perform this yoga asana.
Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose)
You will be amazed to know that simply putting up the legs on the wall can do end number of health benefits! It helps improve blood circulation, gives a good stretch, helps relax tired feet and legs, helps with digestion issues, insomnia, migraine, etc.
How to do Viparita Karani in Yoga? Step – by – Step Guide
- To begin with, lie on a open space near a wall, make sure your legs are facing the wall
- Further, bring your legs up on the wall, make sure the back of your legs and hips touch the wall
- Your back and head should rest on the floor
- Make sure you are making a 90 degree angle
- You can use your hands to make adjustments
- You can relax your arms on the floor
- Next, Close your eyes and breath deeply
- At last, Focus on your breath
Precautions : Either avoid or perform this asana under the instructions of your yoga teacher in the following cases – glaucoma, neck and back problems, menstruation, pregnancy, injuries, high blood pressure, etc.
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Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
It isn’t as easy as it seems! Most people will think what’s so hard in just lying on the floor? Well, shavasana is a relaxing pose. Specifically, it rejuvenates the mind, body and soul. Besides,it helps in deep healing. You need to rest your mind in this pose, however most people complaint that they are not able to control their thoughts, while some people felt asleep while performing the pose!
How to do Shavasana in Yoga? Step – by – Step Guide
(What?? I need a step by step guide to just lye? – Well yes, yoga poses are only effective if performed in a proper manner!)
- At first, simply lie down on your back on a mat or blanket, make sure you don’t use any cushions or anything
- Relax your arms and legs, make sure you are comfortable
- Further relax and take a slow deep breath
- In this step, you have to scan your body right from the fingers of your toe to the crown of the head (Scanning is important for focus and concentration, it helps you find the tension areas in your body)
- At last, keep breathing and at the same time upgrade yourself to a deeper state of relaxation
Precautions : Well precautions here are quite simple! Pregnant women and people with injuries should perform it with more safety.
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Pranayama (Breathing Excercises)
In simple words, Pranayama refers to breath control exercises in yoga. ‘Prana’ means breath or vital energy and ‘ayama’ means control. For instance, pranayama helps to cope up with stress and anxiety, improves sleep quality, improve lung function, promotes better sleep and healthy immune and respiratory system.
Anulom Vilom is alternate nostril breathing exercise. It promotes healthy respiratory system and helps with respiratory issues like asthma. Also, it helps in headaches, releases toxins from the body, reduces stress and anxiety and promotes lung health. Thus, it increases concentration and balances the three doshas of the body. And it is also good for skin and eyes!
To start with, sit in Sukhasana or Padmasana and make sure your upper body and head is straight. Now block your right nostril with your thumb and inhale from your left nostril and hold on for 2 seconds. Now block your left nostril and exhale from the right nostril and then inhale from right and again block the right nostril and exhale from left. You can practice this technique as many time as you want. Pregnant women or people suffering from cardiac disease or high blood pressure should do this under the instructions of yoga trainer.
Undoubtedly, exercises are important for your physical as well as mental health and even 15 minutes of exercise per day can do wonders. To maintain good health is an ongoing process. Yoga is soothing for your mind and body. It helps you become a better person. It promotes optimism in you. With proper care and precautions anyone can do yoga. Not only health, but yoga will also help you to see the world with a great vision. Above all, this will not only help you in your personal life but also in education, career, dreams and goal.