As we try to get through the challenges of life, it is important to keep the energy or ‘prana‘ flowing efficiently through the body. So, here are some simple yoga poses you should learn to holistically improve your mental and physical health.
‘Prana‘ is the vital life force that helps optimise both voluntary and involuntary functions in our body while increasing our overall well-being. And yoga helps the flow purify your body and mind through chakras or energy centres. The Sanskrit word ‘yoga‘ means union and can be defined as bringing together mind and body to the present moment by breathing.
So, learn some beginner-friendly and powerful yoga poses (asanas) to reduce anxiety and improve conscious body movement. These tips will help guide you back into calming waters when the going gets rough.
Here are some invigorating yoga poses you must try
Anjaneyasana or Crescent Moon Pose
In the lunging back pose, Anjaneyasana stretches the muscles of the hips, thighs and quadriceps while opening up the chest, shoulders and torso. This pose is considered to keep you fresh and energised throughout the day and to improve overall balance. If you are a beginner, make sure to lunge back gradually and start by trying to hold this pose for 20-30 seconds before you start releasing it.
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior Pose 1
Warrior 1 is a strength-building and foundational yoga pose that helps develop a strong core, strengthens leg muscles and prepares one for advanced postures such as Warrior Pose 2 and Warrior Pose 3. It is a great pose to test your body’s flexibility and stretch your lower as well as upper body. This will help you stretch and tone muscles of the chest, shoulder, abdomen and back.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
Cobra pose provides a much-needed stretch for the upper body to give the energy boost and increases mobility. The pose opens up the chest cavity and shoulders while increasing the flexibility in the arms and groin as you move forward. This pose is great for releasing stress and open up your heart chakra.
Vrikshasana or Tree Pose
Standing tree pose is one of the easiest yoga asanas to enhance stability and energy flow throughout the body. The pose boosts awareness while working on the core to coordinate the upper and lower body. If your body needs balancing and stability, you should try this pose. Be sure to practise on one side at a time.
Balasana or Child Pose
The Child Pose is easy to do and helps oxygenate your entire body using rhythmic breathwork and movement. This pose gently warms up the spine and prepares you for advanced yoga postures. The restful pose helps in stretching your front torso, including shoulders, neck and spine, and gently relieves stress, fatigue, back pain and neck pain.
Seated Garudasana or Eagle Pose
Seated Eagle Pose is an excellent way to stretch your legs and hips, strengthen your core and correct your posture. It is great to relieve stress in your neck or head muscles, especially from long hours of sitting in front of the gadgets. This beginner-friendly yoga pose can be done standing as well. Make sure to hold your breath for a few seconds before releasing the pose.
Dandayamana Bharmanasana or Balancing Table Pose
Balancing Table Pose pairs rhythmic movement with stretching to gently improve balance on each side of the body. This beginner-friendly yoga pose helps build core muscles, improve memory and focus, relieves fatigue, lengthens the spine and improves mindfulness. Make sure to gently flow between the poses on each side.
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
The Triangle Pose helps open the chest cavity and opens up the throat as well as heart chakras. It is a great pose to enhance physical and mental equilibrium while strengthening upper as well as lower body muscles such as legs, knees, chest, shoulders, arms, spine, calves and hamstrings. The pose helps alleviate stress, symptoms of menopause, neck pain, sciatica and anxiety. Make sure to keep the eyes open to stay balanced throughout the pose.
(Main and featured image credit: Cliff Booth/Pexels)
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Singapore
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Yes, practising yoga poses can alleviate tiredness and boost energy levels. Constant mental or physical exertion, stress, and lack of sleep can make people lethargic. Low energy levels indicate that there is insufficient 'prana' (vital force) in the body. Yoga poses and breathing exercises help increase the supply of oxygen to your body and reduce fatigue. As your stress levels go down, you will feel energised and refreshed.
Answer: Yes, you can use yoga as a tool to get a natural energy boost. It also stretches your body and helps improve focus. Additionally, studies suggest that yoga lowers the resting heart rate, increases endurance and can dramatically change your body’s oxygen consumption. Every time you practise a yoga pose or some pranayama, you improve your ability to control your body’s reactions and optimise breathing and focus. The poses also increase the hormone cortisol – low levels of which can drain your energy.
Answer: Yes, yoga combats mental fatigue as well. Next time you are feeling tired, instead of reaching for a double espresso, practise a few restorative yoga poses for a sustainable energy boost. Despite the initial invigorating jolt, coffee slowly depletes your energy levels through overstimulation. Yoga, on the other hand, soothes the senses and urges the nervous system to stop reacting to external stimuli. The asanas can also reduce stress-induced anxiety and help direct your mind’s attention inwards. A state of true relaxation can be achieved through the long-term practice of yoga and 'pranayama'.
Answer: If you consistently practise yoga and gentle breathing exercises, it can permanently improve your energy levels. Adopting yoga as a lifestyle can help you achieve a balanced state of being. To achieve sustainable results, however, you must consciously shape your attitudes and habits to be more in sync with the philosophies and principles of yoga, along with practising various poses.