Yoga is a sport that arises as a Hindu physical and mental discipline, originated in India. It has a strong relationship with the meditation practices in Hinduism and Buddhism and seeks to integrate the physical, spiritual and psychic body into one. To achieve this, self-knowledge, self-analysis and personal growth are used to achieve the greatest happiness.
As for the best known and most widespread practice in the West, yoga is a sport that connects the body and the mind through breathing exercises, body poses and meditation. It is used to improve physical and mental health, and allows us to strengthen the muscles of our body while gaining flexibility and reducing stress.
Despite beliefs, yoga is not just for women but also for men’s health. It is a very complete way of doing fitness and is perfectly compatible with diet plans and other healthy routines and sports.
Benefits of yoga for health
When you do yoga, you exercise all the muscles of the body in a balanced way. Unlike running or doing weights, when you do yoga, you can work your arms, legs, buttocks and abdomen at the same time in a coordinated and balanced way.
Being a sport that is practiced gradually, your exigence can be increased depending on your level, flexibility, resistance and capacity of each one. Little by little, with effort and perseverance, it is possible to have greater balance, flexibility and strength in the muscles that will allow us to perform the postures better while being more demanding with ourselves. Yoga allows leveling depending on the time and the difficulty that our body resists. And the best part is that it can be practiced anytime or anywhere: you don’t need a lot of space, no special machines or tools.
Some of the most widespread benefits that yoga will allow us to achieve with our body are to improve the balance, flexibility, strength and resistance of our body. In addition, it will reduce blood pressure and improve heart rate, aid in digestion and improve our sleep patterns. In addition, it will allow us to have greater mental health such as reducing stress, anxiety and depression, and strengthen our concentration, which will improve many different areas of our life. It is a different way to take care of our health and wellness.
Basic yoga postures and their benefits
In this article you will find some of the most common yoga postures explained in detail and the benefits they will bring to your health if you include them in your daily exercise routine.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This posture is the most basic of yoga. It seems simple but it has its trick: the idea is to use it to connect with our interior and with the earth.
The posture must be performed standing with the feet together. We have to stretch our arms along our body, separated from our hips. Also, we must keep our shoulders relaxed. We have to keep our heads upright, looking straight ahead.
The objective of this posture is that we enter the mentality of yoga, becoming aware of our body and our center of gravity.
Sukhasana (Easy Seat)
This is another basic posture that we can get into in practice. We must sit on our crossed legs. We have to have a straight back, relaxed shoulders and a chin parallel to the ground.
With this posture we will be able to relax, meditate and strengthen the back. At the same time, we will improve the flexibility of the knees and ankles.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This pose is useful for the end of the workout. With it we seek to calm us and feel our breath along our back. The pose is performed with the legs bent, sitting on our heels, lying on the knees. We must leave the head facing the ground and the arms stretched to the side and side of the head.
This posture is used to observe how our breathing affects the abdominal area. In addition, it relaxes the muscles of the back and gluteus, and releases pressure.
Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
To perform the bridge pose you have to start lying on your back and with your arms stretched out along the body. You have to bend your legs and bring your feet closer to your buttocks. Little by little, you have to lift the hips and maintain the posture, noticing the stretch in the back. Then you have to lower your hips back to the ground carefully, little by little.
This position serves to stretch the spine and fill the chest with air. In addition, it is very useful to strengthen the legs and buttocks. We must be very careful if we have neck or cervical problems and not make an undue effort to avoid injuring that delicate area.
Bidalasana (Cat Pose) and Marjaryasana (Cow Pose)
These two positions are contrary to each other and start from the same base. To perform both, you must place yourself on all fours on the ground, resting on your knees and the palms of your hands. The arms and legs must be separated the equivalent of the width of our torso.
When inhaling, we must bend our back towards the ground (doing the Cow Pose), stretching the spine. As we exhale, we will arch the spine outwards, directing it towards the ceiling (doing the Cat Pose).
These two postures are used to relax and strengthen the muscles of the back and the pelvic area. In addition, we will exercise the entire back.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog Pose)
Although this is one of the most popular poses, it is difficult to perform properly. To do it, we will start from the position on all fours and we will raise the hips up and back. We will stretch our arms and legs (as far as possible), forming an inverted “V”.
It is important to know the limits of our body so as not to suffer injuries. At first, it is very likely that we will not be able to do it like in the photos: do not worry. The important thing is to stretch the back properly, little by little we will be able to stretch the legs.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
To perform this pose you have to start from lying face down on the floor. We will place the palms of our hands on the floor to the side and side of our chest, and little by little we will raise our head and chest while we breathe in. You have to stretch your head up and push your pelvis down. This posture will considerably improve the flexibility of our spine.
Uttanasana (Standing Fold)
We will have to bend our back down with the help of gravity. The arms and neck should be relaxed. It serves to de-stress the muscles of the legs and back after doing other exercises in which we load them more.
Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
We must start standing up, with our feet together seeking balance. We will put the weight on one of the feet and lift the other little by little. When we have the balance found, we will support the sole of the foot that we have raised on the inside of the leg. We join the palms of the hands in front of the chest and relax the shoulders.
This pose serves to strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle and improve balance.
These are some of the basic yoga postures perfect to introduce into our daily sports routines. They serve us both to reduce belly fat and to lose weight. Also, if you have never started doing sports, this is the perfect way to introduce yourself to a healthy life.