Everyone is well aware of the wonders yoga can do to you physically, mentally and spiritually. Unfortunately with our fast paced lives and crazy work schedules, sometimes it becomes impossible to squeeze in some time to reboot and recharge ourselves. But something is better than nothing; you don’t need to spend hours in a gym or a spa to feel refreshed and relaxed. All you need is: 20 minutes a day for a brighter personality and to achieve a greater sense of well-being.
These 5 basic yoga poses will help you feel better and relaxed. You can do them daily right in your lounge or a personal space. So no excuses!
Cat/Cow Pose: This is one of the most common and wonderful way to start off with your yoga practice. Begin with all fours on the mat, knees under your hips and your wrists should be right under your shoulder. Keep your abs engaged with your back flat and spine neutral, inhale deeply. Now exhale rounding your spine towards the ceiling and imagine pulling your tummy up towards the spine, tuck your chin towards your chest and release your neck. This is exactly how a cat stretches and hence it is known as the cat pose.
Hold onto this pose and on your next inhale, arch your back and release the tension from your belly. Now lift your head and tailbone up towards the ceiling without putting any pressure on the neck. This is the cow pose. Continue moving back and forth from cat to cow pose in a continuous flow. Make sure that you keep your breathing connected throughout as mentioned. Repeat for at least 8 rounds or more.
Benefits: Improves flexibility of the spine and strengthens abdominal walls
Mountain pose: Stand straight keeping your feet hip-width apart, weight spread evenly on both sides; keeping your arms at your side. Keeping your neck aligned with the rest of your spine, breath slowly and deeply at an even pace. You can modify this move by taking a prayer position or stretching up reaching towards the sky.
Benefits: Improves breathing, posture and provides mental clarity
Tree Pose: Start just like the mountain pose then shift your entire weight onto the left leg. While you are standing straight, place the sole of your right foot to your left inner thigh and try to balance. Once you find your balance take a prayer stance with your hands. Repeat on both sides after holding it for a few seconds on each side.
Benefits: Strengthens your legs, ankles, spine and improves your balance.
Bridge pose: Lie down on your back on the mat with your arms at your sides. Bent your knees, press your feet into the floor and lift your hips. Press your arms beneath for support and clasp your hands. Make sure that your hips are parallel to the floor as you bring your chest to your chin.
Benefits: Great warm up for backbends, strengthens your neck, spine and chest
Happy baby pose: lie flat on your back and hug your knees to the chest. Now grab the soles of your feet or the ankles or the back of your legs. Open the feet apart so that they are above your knees, and now slowly pull the knees towards the floor alongside your chest. Do not stress your head and shoulders, keep them relaxed throughout.
Benefits: Stimulates the spine and works well for your digestive system
Do these yoga poses religiously every day. Once you master it, you will see the positive impact these yoga poses have in your mind and body. Get started!!