Amidst the global pandemic, where stress and anxiety levels are running high, yoga could help you de-stress and calm down. However, besides mental wellbeing, yoga can also help strengthen the immunity when practised regularly. A strong immune system is what we need to protect ourselves from any kind if viruses. Yoga expert Bharat Thakur lists 5 easy yoga poses that you can try at home, if you are a beginner.
Dhanurasana. Dhanur in Sanskrit means a bow. In Dhanurasana or bow posture, the whole body is stretched like a bow. A powerful backward bend, Dhanurasana increases lung capacity, removes blockages in the respiratory tract and allows deep breathing. Technique: 1. Lie down on your stomach. 2. Keep the thighs hip width apart. 3. Bend your knees and hold the ankles. 4. Inhale deeply and lift your upper body and legs up. 5. Keep the big toes crossed. 6. Keep the elbows straight and curve the back like a bow. 7. Look up slightly and take deep breaths in the posture. 8. Exhale and relax. Duration: Start by holding in the posture for 15-20 seconds. Do it for 2 sets. Gradually do the posture only once but increase the holding time to 1 minute or longer. The longer you hold the posture, the better.
Kaliasana. It is a powerful posture that strengthens the whole body. This asana boosts blood circulation and metabolism. It also signals the nervous system to relax, sending calming signals. The stretching up of the torso in Kaliasana, forces the lungs open, and supplies oxygen to the entire body. So while the body gets more active and energetic, the nerves are relaxed, and start functioning more efficiently. Kaliasana is a great strength building posture. Technique 1. Stand straight with your feet wider than the hip. 2. Turn your feet out, at a 45 degree angle. 3. Inhale and stretch your hands up next to the ears. 4. Keep your elbows straight and palms pressed together. 5. Exhale slowly as you bend your knees and lower your body. 6. Lower your hips till they are at the same level as your knees. Duration: Start by holding for 10 – 20 seconds. But as you build your strength, try to stay still in this posture for 1 minute, and gradually increase to 2 minutes.
Kandharasana Kandha in Sanskrit means shoulder, this is also called the shoulder pose. In Kandharasana, while lying down on the back, you bend your knees with the feet on the ground and raise the hips and back up, and press the shoulders down. This posture tightens the buttocks and the hamstrings, at the back of the legs, improving blood flow and strengthening these muscles. The pelvic region is squeezed, releasing all the tension in this area and strengthening the pelvic floor as well as the pelvic organs. The back muscles are contracted to lift the hip. This strengthens the deep muscles of the back, supporting and strengthening the spinal column. The shoulders are stretched well, and the lungs are completely expanded. This sends oxygen to the entire body and flushes out toxins, building a strong immunity. Technique: 1. Lie down on your back with the hands straight down by your sides. 2. Bend your knees and keep the feet on the ground close to the buttocks. 3. Keep the feet as wide as your hips. 4. Exhale slowly and raise your hips and back off the floor. 5. Keep the shoulders and neck pressed down on the mat. 6. Once the hips are high enough, bend your elbows and place your palms under the hips. 7. Tuck your elbows under the shoulders. 8. Breathe deep. Duration: If you are stiff, just keep the hands by your sides, without bending the elbows. Exhale and raise the hip and drop down keeping it just off the mat. Repeat this movement 8-10 times, and then slowly begin holding the posture. Start by holding for 10-20 seconds and gradually increase to 2 minutes.
Ushtrasana Ushtra in Sanskrit means camel. Ushtrasana or camel pose creates mobility in the spine. The entire frontal part of the torso gets stretched. The neck opens up, this activates the thyroid glands, activating metabolism. The shoulders get a good stretch and the chest muscles are expanded. This regularises breathing. It is a posture that engages the entire body and strengthens the deeper muscles at the core. Technique: 1. Stand on you knees, with the knees as wide as the hips. 2. Keep the toes curled inwards. 3. Inhale deeply and as you exhale bend backwards to grip your ankles one by one. 4. Drop you head back completely. 5. Now exhale and push your hip forward, as much as possible, with the palms still gripping the ankles. 6. Exhale slowly while holding the posture 7. Inhale slowly as you let go of your ankles, stand on your knees and slowly drop. your buttocks on the heels, stretching the torso and arms forward, into sharanagat mudras. Duration: Perform this posture 2-3 times, holding for 10-30 seconds every round. Each time you perform ushtrasana, stretch back into sharanagat mudra. Sharanagat mudra is done by sitting in vajrasana and completely easing your torso forward on the floor. This is essential to relax the back after an intense contraction in Ushtrasana.
Virbhadrasana. Strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back. Energizes the entire body. Technique 1. Stand legs wide apart and point your left foot out. 2. Bend your left knee at 90 degrees. 3. Stretch your right leg back completely without bending the knee. Your heels should be aligned. 4. Stretch your arms up in Anjali Mudra keeping them next to your ears. 5. Look up and tighten your butt. 6. Inhale and stretch your upper body backward, while it faces the direction of the left foot. 7. Make sure the soles of the feet are pressed firmly to the ground. Hold the posture and breathe there. 8. Keep your focus at the heart region for extra benefit to the thymus gland. 9. Gradually come out of the posture, by reversing the sequence. 10. Repeat by switching the sides. Duration: Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute