Yoga may have been snubbed by many in the beginning as nothing more than New Age, it is now widely accepted to be a suitable fitness routine for those who want to stay fit.
The best part is that doing yoga will not just be good for the body, it also contributes to better mental health by keeping practitioners free of stress and anxiety.
How Does Yoga Benefit the Body?
First of all, yoga, much like any other form of exercise, keeps the bones and muscles strong. When you move your limbs, muscle joints get eased and you can improve your flexibility. You can feel relief from any muscle cramp or aching due to accidents.
When you practice hard and are able to hold these asanas (positions) for a longer period of time, you will be able to increase your strength and stamina.
Yoga is also great for your digestive system. Not only does it work out those abdominal muscles and burns fat, but it also massages your digestive tract, so that your metabolic rate increases and you are able to digest your food properly.
Asanas are also good for blood circulation, specifically to the heart and arteries. It is, in fact, believed that regular yoga helps control high blood pressure.
Lastly, regular yoga is beneficial to the mind because it brings enough blood and fresh oxygen to the brain. Moreover, focused breathing allows you to control stress and anxiety.
Because of the long list of benefits, yoga is viewed to be as good for the body as other forms of exercise. Yoga is also good for people of all ages, as there are poses that are lighter and there are more hardcore ones as well.
Yoga Moves For A Fit Body
1. Paschimottanasana Pose (Bent Tree Trunk Flexion)
You start by sitting on a yoga mat with the legs stretched out. Do not bend the knees and keep your palms beside the hips, straight on the ground.
First, deeply inhale and straighten the spine. When you exhale, bend forward and reach for the toes with your fingers. If done correctly, the face should be on the knees. However, for beginners, it is not as easy, so bend as much as possible. If you find it difficult, you may also bend the knees a bit.
Take a few normal breaths and then while inhaling deeply, sit up and keep the spine straight. Relax your hands but keep them to your side.
2. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Lie down flat on your belly, with the chin touching the ground. Keep your hands to your side with the palms facing up. Keep your legs 6 inches apart and bend the legs at the knees, bringing your heels up close to the hips.
Then grasp the ankles with both hands, slowly lifting back the head, neck, and chin. Make sure to keep the chest on the ground. Inhale deeply and bring the legs, chest, and thighs up until only the abdomen is left on the ground. Keep your balance only on the abdomen.
Pull the legs with your hands as hard as possible so that the body is arched and shaped like a bow. Bring the feet together and look up. Keep the position and hold your breath. When the neck feels strained, exhale and return to a lying position.
3. Urdhava Hastotanasana
Stand up straight with feet together. Raise your hands above your head like in a namaste position. Keeping the legs grounded, bend the entire body to the right as far as possible until your left waist feels strained. Keep the position for 15 seconds.
Go back to the original position before doing the same on the left side. When you have mastered the pose, hold the position longer, for 30 seconds.
4. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose)
Sit on your yoga mat with the spine straight. Bend the legs at your knees and keep the soles of your feet touching. The heels should be touching the inner thigh. Grasp your ankles next.
While inhaling deeply, try to straighten the spine and draw back the shoulder blades. As you exhale, press the soles together. Keep this posture for as long as you can while taking deep breaths. If you can, try to bend forward from the waist so that the chin is touching the ground.
These simple yoga poses are perfect workout exercises for those who want an alternative to going to the gym or for those who want to relax their mind as well as exercise the body.