Yoga asanas to stay fit during the lockdown (and what makes them so effective)
If you’ve attended a good Iyengar Yoga class, chances are you’d have noticed that the instructor takes you through just 5-6 asanas. They don’t push you to do more asana because they stress on getting the posture and the breathing right. And that’s really the secret of a good yoga routine – do fewer asanas but do them well. With that in mind, here are five easy-to-do yoga asanas for beginners that’ll help you stay in shape. We start with:
Better known as the Cat-Cow Stretch, Chakravakasana helps you flex and extend the spine that improves circulation in the discs in your back. Chakravakasana is a great asana for a healthy spine and is particularly recommended at a time like this when you’re spending extended hours sitting in a single place working beyond your normal 9-5 routine. Since the movements line with your breathing, Chakravakasana is also a great stress reliever.
How to do the Chakravakasana
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward-facing Dog Pose targets your hamstring and calf muscles but it also strengthens your back and your arms. Because it is one of the inverted yoga asanas, the Adho Mukha Svanasana helps the blood flow to your brain while simultaneously strengthens muscles in your abs.
How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana
This is perhaps the most basic of the yoga asanas. The Tadasana or the Mountain Pose may not seem very difficult except when you actually follow the instructions and try to keep your body active and aligned. Tadasana isn’t just standing but being aware of every single muscle in your body that helps you stand straight and erect. Tadasana doesn’t just improve your posture but also strengthens your leg muscles. The more you do the Tadasana correctly, the more you realise how difficult it really is.
How to do Tadasana
4. Virabhadrasana 1
From Tadasana, you can transition into Virabhadrasana 1, the basic of the three Warrior Poses. Like the Tadasana, Virabhadrasana 1 is one of the foundational poses in yoga practice that helps you align your body’s alignment. Virabhadrasana 1 doesn’t just help you improve your overall balance and core strength, it also aids in strengthening your upper arms as well as legs and especially the muscles around your hips. If you perform the Virabhadrasana 1 correctly, you can get a great stretch for your quadriceps and hamstring muscles but also your hips and chest. The Virabhadrasana 1 helps you open up your hips, which tend to get stiff when you sit in one position for long hours and aids in better breathing and blood circulation.
How to do Virabhadrasana 1
If as a beginner you’ve followed the instructions on the previous asanas, chances are you’re done for the day. So take a break and lie down in Shavasana or the Corpse Pose. To be clear, this isn’t the same as sleeping so don’t just give up and fall asleep (trust us, it’s way easier to do that than you may think). The key is to being mindful of your position and the muscles you’ve used. Shavasana is when you process all the asanas you’ve done in the session and helps you unwind and relax. This is also a great way to quieten your mind before you go to bed.