Following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, the International Yoga Day has been observed annually on June 21, since 2015. With India being a frontrunner in introducing and familiarising Yoga to the world, it is celebrated with much more gaiety and fun in the country.
Come June 21 and you can see scores of people flooding the social media with posts of them posing in various Yoga asana postures. Celebrities, politicians, sportspersons, and the general public, from young to old, everyone with access to the Internet and a phone would be posing and posting, whether they practice daily or are novices at Yoga.
If you are looking for some inspired Yoga asanas to practice this Yoga day, we are here to help you out with the top 5 Yoga asanas. These are simple yet effective asanas that tend to each part of the body differently.
So, get ready in your fabulous Yoga outfits, with your Yoga mat.
1. Tadasana (The Mountain Pose Yoga)
Tada means mountain and you would resemble a majestic mountain when you are in the final pose. Involving a major muscle group while working to improve concentration and focus, Tadasana is highly recommended for beginners and people of all ages.
To start this pose, stand with your heels slightly apart and your hands hanging beside your body, relaxed. Gently spread out the toes and balls of your feet until you are able to balance yourself on your feet properly. If you are unable to balance, a trick would be to concentrate on a single point or thing. Try and clear your mind. Now inhale deeply, while elongating your body and pulling your hands up above your head. Your shoulders should be broadened and your neck should be straight and elongated. Your body should be in one line. As you straighten your shoulders, exhale and hold the pose. Breathe deeply and easily while holding the pose. This asana is perfect for stretching various muscle groups across your body and hence is the beginning and end of many other asanas. When you clear your mind and balance properly, this asana also helps with concentration, improving brain function. It is ideal for young children and elders.
2. Baddha Konasana (The Butterfly Pose Yoga)
Did you know that Yoga asanas do not just engage your outer body muscles but also help with organs and tendons inside your body? Baddha Konasana or the butterfly pose is one such amazing asana. Performed simply, it is highly effective in solving kidney problems, urinary bladder problems, and other lower body issues. In women especially, this asana can help with menstrual cramps, irregularity, and other reproductive organ-related problems. To perform this asana, simply sit down on your yoga mat. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees relax on either side. Bring your feet as close to your body. Press your feet towards each other in a manner that your lower body opens up like a book. Sit with a straight spine and hold your feet together with your hands to lock them in. In some variations, Yogis are asked to move their knees like a butterfly flutters its wings. This movement along with the pose will stretch your groin area. It is one of the best poses for persons of all ages, however, it is to be avoided if one is suffering from a knee injury.
3. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)
One of the core asana poses, Bhujangasana makes you resemble a cobra with an open hood. It works on engaging your core muscle groups and is ideal for stomach muscles, back muscles as well as arm muscles. More importantly, it opens up your chest muscles, making breathing easier and more open. It is considered to be one of the best asanas for the spine. Start with lying on your stomach, with your feet together and toes flat. Put your hands next to your shoulders on the mat and slowly lift the top half of your body, till the waist, while inhaling. Pull up your torso as much as you can and balance your arms. Try to keep your elbows straight and ensure that both your hands endure equal pressure. Tilt your head back as much as you can and keep your shoulders straight. Hold the pose for a minute and exhale slowly as you come back to your starting pose. However, a word of caution for those with severe lower back issues. Consult a doctor before trying the same.
4. Sukhasana (The Easy Pose Yoga)
It is considered to be one of the most basic yoga asanas. Its name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘sukha’ which means comfort or pleasure. In this form of yoga, the yogi is supposed to be sitting on the floor and folding the left leg until it touches the right thigh. The same is done with the right leg until it touches the left thigh. Moreover, the yogi needs to keep the hands on the knees while the spine remains erect. The good thing about Sukhasana is that it is very easy to do and hence, the name. It helps in opening up the hips and lengthening the spine. It also helps to ground the human body. This calming posture is a must-try for everyone.
5. Shavasana (The Corpse Pose)
As the name suggests, this pose is named so because the Yogi is supposed to lie like a dead body. The easiest asana to perform, it is however the most difficult one to practice. It is a relaxation pose and a holistic one that engages the entire body, mind, soul, and breath. To practice it, lie down on your back on your yoga mat and spread your legs one or two feet apart. The toes should be turned outwards, heels facing each other at a simple distance. Your arms should be next to your body, palms facing upward, relaxed. Keep your neck straight but turn to one side as is comfortable. Close your eyes and try to concentrate on each of your body parts. Breathe normally and focus on relaxing your body, one part by one part. As your body relaxes slowly, keep breathing easily and keep your mind clear. As this asana is difficult to practice, you succeed in it when you keep your mind focussed. Your body should be comfortable absolutely. This holistic asana will give great benefits to your body as a whole and mind.
Enjoy Yoga Day this year by practicing these top five asanas and reap the benefits of this amazing routine.
Also Read: 7 things you need to know about yoga
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