Ayurveda and Yoga have been the biggest gifts by India to the World. Many compare Yoga to Calisthenics form of Body Training, because of the fact that both use one’s itself to train the body and the mind. Calisthenics helps in growing one’s muscle mass and strength making someone physically strong whereas Yoga focuses on soothing the mind to make it calm making someone mentally strong. But Yoga isn’t limited to that only. Doing Yoga regularly also helps in better respiration and releases stress. It builds immunity and makes oneself overall healthy.
And that’s why its importance in these Corona times has skyrocketed. As most of our readers would know, Immunity and respiratory system are the main targets of the Corona Virus. Anyone with both of these aspects strong has a better chance at fighting Corona Virus even if he is infected. Of all, the stress hormone cortisol is the worst enemy of our nervous system. Yoga is helpful in lowering the stress hormones which in turn strengthens the immune system all while stimulating the lymphatic system which eventually releases all the toxins from our body. Not only that, but Yoga also serves as a complement to medicines, antibiotics, or other treatment drugs by better absorption and faster recovery. And more than physical well-being, yoga helps in bettering the mental health of a body that is perhaps the most important in these direst times of Covid-19 Pandemic.
Recognizing its universal significance, United Nations declared 21st of June as International Yoga Day to raise awareness about the benefits of practicing Yoga and it’s strengthening of an individual; mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This year too, International Yoga day was celebrated and as you might have guessed, at that time then the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak. Everyone was freaking out because of the rising death numbers and the world saw an incline in the no. of anxiety victims. The world needed to calm down and Yoga was the key to it. This year the PMI made a module named ‘Yoga for health-Yoga at Home’ and sent it to the UN on the 19th of June to help the world with some exercises that’ll help everyone fight the physical and mental wrath of the pandemic.
So today, we’d be telling you 12 of those exercises that you can do at home with only a yoga mat or a simple mat and a space of 2*1 meter as the pre-requisite. These exercises will strengthen the breathing patterns and immunity and after a mere investment of 20-30 minutes a day, you’ll see changes for sure.
1. Deep Yogic Breath
This one is the easiest of all. You have to sit down in a very basic asana with hands in your lap. Then close your eyes and start taking deep breaths. Make sure you do it slowly, breathe through your nose with an estimated 4 seconds of exhalation, 4 seconds of hold, and 3 seconds of exhalation. You can increase these time limits with the progressions you make as soon your breathing would better and you could much slower. This helps in fixing our breathing and should also be implicated in day to day life.
This one is known as the bellows breath. In this one has to clench their fists in the mudra and straighten their back while breathing. One has to feel his chest while inhaling and feel it while releasing it out. You can start by doing 2 rounds of 15 breaths each and then go onto increase the no. and rounds as you progress.
This one is also known as the ardhauttanasana. As the name suggests, hasta means hands and pada means feet which explains the asana in itself. One has to stand straight and then bend forwards till they can touch either their knee or their toe. This one helps in stretching the muscles which in turn relaxes the body.
Trikona is the Sanskrit word for Triangle. Stand straight in attention pose. Slide your feet at a 45-degree angle and do the Hastapadasana. From their stretch either of your arms towards the sky and stretch fully. Repeat for both the hands and increase the angle as you progress.
This one is also called the Ardha Matsyendrasana. In this, you sit in a simple asana and then half-twist your spine by looking behind your either shoulders while keeping the lower back stable and intact. To help your stretch you can fold the consequent leg towards the belly. As progressions try to stretch more with the lower back fixed and try to hold it for longer.
Bhuja stands for arm in Sanskrit and Bhujang for the elbow. This one is also called the Cobra Pose. Lie down on your belly and then tilt your head upwards and try looking at the sky. Keep your elbows intact at the ground. Stretch to the limits its comfortable and then try to increase the stretch and hold it as a progression.
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Adho means half, mukh means face and swan refers to your pelvic area and the thighs. As the name suggests, stand firm in the attention position and then bend downwards to touch the floor with your hands in such a way that your legs and upper body make a 60-degree angle at the hips. Try to decrease this angle as the progression.
Setu stands for a bridge in Sanskrit. This one is commonly known as the bridge pose. In this one, lie down on your back and then plant your feet on the ground and pick your body up, starting from the thighs. This is really good for the stretching of the hamstrings and thus helps you get better and stronger legs.
This one is also known as the Vipritkarni. It’s one of the exercises that work on your balancing skills. Lie down on your back and then lift your legs upwards to the sky. Now shift the pivot from your lower back to your upper back as you lift more. Keep lifting till only your shoulders and head is on the ground. This shoulder stand helps one in strengthening.
This one is easy with great benefits. Lie down on your back with arms open like a cross. Now try to touch the lats of your right side with your left knee and repeat it with the right knee to your left lats. This stretches your abdominal area and strengthens your core which helps in better breathing.
Pawan stands for wind and mukt stands for release. That’s why this pose is also called as the wind release pose. Lie down on your back and then try to touch your forehead with your knees. As a progression try to hold this pose for a long while. It’s good for the lower back and your core.
12. Nadishodhan Pranayama
This one is the most popular of all the yoga exercises for breathing. It’s popularly called as the alternate nostril breathing. Try to close on of your nostrils by placing your fingertips or your thumb on its sides and breath only through the other. Try it alternatively with both the nostrils. After doing it regularly, you’ll find your breathing would’ve got better.
Note: All these exercises are primarily isometric holds which apply pressure on your respiratory system and mild weight on your muscles due to the contraction to which body responds with making your lungs, respiratory and nervous system and the muscles to work better. It builds the immunity that’ll help you fight the deadly coronavirus.
So, these were our picks for the twelve exercises you should do daily for a healthier life. Let us know in the comments section which exercises you are going to try today.
Until next time. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
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