With our fast and on-the-go lifestyle, we are constantly swamped with work and distractions. We need to make the most out of our days and are continuously under the pressure of getting enough done. We are subjected to a lot of mental stress and this causes premature aging. As we grow old, we lose strength and flexibility but we fail to make it to the gym and work out cause that leads to further physical exhaustion. How do we break through this vicious cycle? The answer is simple: practice Yoga.
Yoga is an experiential science that believes that the body and the breath are intimately connected with our mind. Yoga is not just a form of physical exercise but is a combination of physical postures, breathing patterns, adequate relaxation and positive thinking. It beautifully targets all these aspects and has an array of health benefits. It increases blood circulation in the body, cleanses and detoxifies organs, brings about flexibility and builds up strength, helps you unwind and makes you aware to the present moment. All these benefits lead to longevity and prevent premature ageing. Here is a list of simple yoga practices and postures that can help you rejuvenate and turn back the clock.
Meditation brings about awareness, discipline and stability. Meditation helps reduce stress, de clutters your mind, helps you unwind and relax. Meditation is nothing but sitting in the right posture while watching your breath. It requires you to sit in a cross legged fashion, placing your palms on your knees facing downwards and keeping your spine erect. This posture is called Sukhasana or the happy pose. Sitting in sukhasana, watch your breath carefully, breaking down the inhalation and exhalation. Controlling any thought process, just concentrating on the breath. Practicing this on a daily basis can go wonders!
2. Ekpadasana or the Tree Pose
Ekpadasana or the tree pose helps bring balance, poise, enhances strength and builds up focus. Stand erect with your chin parallel to the ground, eyes fixed at a point and toes together. Now with an inhalation, raise your left foot from the ground placing it on your calf or thigh as per convenience with the toe pointing outwards. Simultaneously, raise your hands and join them in a Namaste position above your head. Hold the posture as per capacity and release.
3. Warrior Pose
Warrior pose is a great posture to build up strength and flexibility. It tones up muscles and increases stamina. Keep your feet apart with a distance of 3-4 feet in between them. Turn out your right foot keeping the left foot at the same position and raise your arms parallel to the ground. With an exhalation, bend your right knee forward to an angle of 90 degrees and keep the left leg elongated. Hold the posture till capacity and release.
4. Pranayama or Controlled Breathing
Pranayama techniques are simple breathing exercises that have a range of extensive benefits. Pranayama is the control of bioenergy in the body, which with regular practise may cure your body of a range of diseases. Various pranayama techniques like anulom vilome (alternate nostril breathing) and kapalbathi can help prevent and cure the body of diabetes and varied disorders. Start by closing the right nostril and gently inhale through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril and exhale fully through the right nostril. While the left nostril is still closed, inhale fully through the right nostril. Finally exhale through the left nostril with the right one closed. Repeat this series 3 times.
5. Downward Facing Dog
The downward facing dog is the most commonly known pose with a variety of health benefits. It increases blood circulation in the body, give you a great stretch, opens up joints and decreases anxiety. Come onto your hands and knees in a cow pose with your palms just forward of the shoulders. Spread your fingers with your index finger forward, knees under your hips and toes tucked.
Inhale and lift your knees away from the floor as sit-bones reach towards the ceiling. At first, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Exhale and elongate up through your tailbone moving the abdomen towards the heels. This posture resembles an inverted “V”. Hold till capacity and release.