7 Effective Yoga Asanas for Healthy Hair

If your hair start falling, you start looking much older then you actually are. Eating a healthy diet along with regular yoga can go a long way in solving the problem of  hair fall and making the hair healthy and shiny. There are many such asanas which help to improve digestion and this, in turn, helps to improve the blood circulation to your scalp. This then helps to nourish the hair, making them healthier.

Here are 7 yoga asanas which can help to make your hair healthy, dense and shiny: 

1) Vajra Asana

Vajra asana is different from other asanas since it can be done immediately after having food while other asanas cannot be done with a full tummy. In this asana, one needs to bend the head forward and this increases the blood circulation in the blood vessels of the scalp. This asana is also helpful in treating urinary disorders, losing weight and improving digestion. When  digestion improves, the body gets better nourishment and this reduces hair fall and makes your hair shine.

2) Kapalbhati Pranayam

This kind of pranayam helps to increase the supply of oxygen to the brain cells and this is very beneficial for the nervous system. It helps to flush out the toxins from the body and also aids in losing weight. Kapalbhati pranayam helps to improve the blood circulation of the body and it also increases the metabolism of the body and this, in turn, decreases hair fall.

3) Savranga Asana

This asana helps to strengthen the thyroid gland and this, in turn, helps in the proper functioning of the respiratory system, digestive system, reproductive system and the nervous system. In this asana, the head is in a bent position on the floor and this improves the flow of the blood to the scalp and makes the hair shiny.

4) Pawanmukta Asana

This asana helps to get rid of gas and flatulence and improves digestion. Practicing this asana regularly helps to strengthen the muscles of the lower back and helps to reduce the fat from the stomach and the hips. Good digestion helps provide good nutrition to the hair and helps to maintain healthy hair.

5) Adhomukh Shavasana

In this asana, the neck is bent and so it helps to improve the blood circulation of the scalp, which improves the health of the hair. This asana is also helpful in treating sinus and cold. Apart from the above, this asana is also beneficial in relieving mental tension, stress, and sleep related problems.

6) Matya Asana

In this asana, one needs to bend the body just like a fish. This is a kind of Hatha Yoga, which is a branch of yoga. This asana has to be done on an empty stomach. The torso is bent towards the back and the head is completely bent and this helps in improving the blood circulation of the shoulders, neck, throat and head, which is beneficial for the health of the hair.

7) Uttana Asana

In this asana, the body is bent forwards and this improves the blood circulation in the upper part of the body. This helps in reducing hair fall and makes the hair healthy and beautiful. It helps to cool the head and relieve any tension and this improves the quality of hair.

Image Source: www.wikipedia.org

8 Beneficial Yoga Asanas for Treating Kidney Stones

Having kidney stones is a painful condition to live with. It can happen to anyone at any age.

Men are at a higher risk of developing kidney stones than women.

Yoga asanas help in stretching the body and stimulates the vital organs including your kidneys and it is therefore important to perform yoga to get rid of kidney stones. Yoga for kidney stone issues  has been used as a form of treatment for a very long time.

Yoga helps in relieving symptoms of kidney stones like cramps, restlessness, nausea and helps enhance kidney function. It also helps in disposing off very minute to moderate sized kidney stones with regular practice. However, effect of yoga varies from person to person depending upon their specific body constitution, symptoms and diet.

Here is a list of 8 beneficial yoga asanas that help prevent kidney stones and relieve its symptoms-

Camel pose helps in preventing kidney stones. If you already have kidney stone, this yoga asana helps relieve the symptoms of kidney stone.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  chandanabhowmick.com

Uttanpada asana strengthens the muscles of your lower back, abdomen, pelvic area and legs. It helps abdominal muscles to contract which improves the function of your kidneys, liver and pancreas. It also relieves lower back pain.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  fitbodyhy.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

Pawanmukt asana helps relieve gastric problem, constipation and kidney stone.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  eyogaguru.com

Bala asana in Yoga helps prevent the formation of kidney stones and also relieves its symptoms. Additionally, this asana improves your digestion and relieves stomach cramps.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  miravalresorts.com

Bhujang asana improves blood circulation in the body and stimulates the organs in the abdominal region. It helps relieve symptoms of kidney stones and enhances kidney function.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit: i.ytimg.com

Dhanur asana is beneficial in relieving symptoms of kidney stones and improving kidney function.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  cdn.artofliving.org

Garuda asana increases flow of blood to the kidneys, boosts kidney function and relieves the symptoms of kidney stone. It improves your body balance and strengthens the muscles of lower body.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  yogajournal.it

Ardha matsyendra asana improves the functioning of your kidneys, liver, stomach and pancreas. It is recommended for conditions like urinary disorders, obesity etc. which are common causes of kidney stones.

Steps to do it:

Pic credit:  augustyoga.com

It is best to learn and practice these Yogasanas under a trainer to do them effectively and to avoid any kind of strain or injury. Asanas give your maximum benefit when done on a light stomach on a regular basis. Make sure to warm up before you start doing yoga and to cool off after the practice with pranayama. Trying out yoga for kidney stone issues is definitely a worthy experiment.

Consult our doctor to find out how to include yoga asana regimen in your kidney stone management plan.

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How Yoga Asanas Can Bring Outstanding Health Benefits To You

When we think of yoga, we must consider the mind and body as an intricate unit with many complexities. The aim must always be to consider health on a wider scale. Therefore, it is not just about the physical aspects but the mind and emotions too. The greater the understanding of yoga asanas, the greater the benefits.

Yoga asanasPhysiological and Psychological Processes

Yoga asanas are an integral part of any yoga practice. Although many people think that the physical postures are the most important aspect of yoga, in reality, every aspect is essential to progress. Each posture will have a powerful impact on every cell and tissue within the body. When practicing regularly and with full focus, these postures improve the health of the organs and clear the mind. The result is harmony on an emotional and mental level along with a strong, supple body.

Understanding How Yoga Asanas Work

Yoga postures have distinct requirements. The stretches must be exact, there must be counter-stretches, and there must be resistance. In addition, there are postures that provide a wealth of other benefits which include boosting concentration levels and helping to improve sleep patterns. Yoga also stimulates the mind and body and can also calm them.

Think of this when you are practicing yoga– the standing poses provide you with vitality, twists provide a cleansing effect, and prone poses help to energize. When you practice back bends, there is a sense of exhilaration while seated postures will have a calming effect. When practicing inverted postures, there will be greater mental strength. Balancing poses helps increase well-being and lightness along with a sense of achievement. 

Yoga asanasTake the Holistic Approach to Health

When performing yoga regularly, many health issues can be alleviated. This includes overall fitness and strength and greater oxygenation of the body. Heart health improves along with muscle tone and respiration as does blood circulation. Of course, to achieve all of these benefits, it is paramount that practice is regular, and this way, both mental and physical states improve at the same time. 

It is important to remember that the rewards of yoga are the journey and progress itself. It is not about the end goal but the merging of these benefits. Once there is an understanding of all yoga asanas, it is easier to maximize benefits by studying the correct alignment. Therefore, a deeper stretch is achieved. It is this approach that creates positive changes that really makes a difference.  

The 5 Best Yoga Asanas for Improving our Mobility.

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All yoga asanas are a combination of strength, flexibility, mobility, and balance.

We always feel our muscles working hard to support our foundation or hold a certain pose while we’re practicing, but we’re rarely aware of the hard work our ligaments, tendons, and joints do in order to make the posture possible.

Joint mobility is defined as the degree to which an articulation (where two bones meet) is allowed to move before being restricted by surrounding tissues (ligaments, tendons, muscles)—otherwise known as the range of uninhibited movement around a joint.

People often confuse the term with flexibility, when actually, flexibility is just one of the components which, when utilized properly, can dramatically improve one’s mobility. Tight muscles lead to restricted joint movement and put a lot of stress on tendons and ligaments, which are then overused to compensate and stabilize the posture.

Not addressing the issue causes lots of problems down the line, but thankfully, yoga is one of the most effective and non-invasive techniques we can use on a daily basis to enhance our range of motion.

Here are five of the best asanas for actively improving our joint mobility:

1. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

Trikonasana is an amazing hip opener which at the same time works on stretching the hip flexors and strengthening the our entire spine and legs. Having the legs straight and every muscle active relieves the tension from the knees and ankles and allows the focus to be on the hips and back. Having the constant feeling of “growing” and “lifting” from your sitting bones all the way through your head and neck creates space in between your vertebrae, strengthening all joints equally.

2. Downward-facing Dog

One can never go wrong with this strong foundational pose which makes so many different muscles and joints work together at the same time. Wrists are strengthened by the constant action of “pushing the floor away from you,” shoulders are opened by the conscious act of getting them away from the ears and sliding the shoulder blades down the back, the whole spine is elongated by the hips being diagonally lifted towards the sky, and hamstrings and calves are stretched as the heels reach toward the floor—which at the same time, strengthens the Achilles tendons.

3. Prasarita Padottanasana C

All versions of the Prasarita pose (A, B, C, and D) are equally important for hip and ankle mobility, but the C version includes interlacing the fingers behind the back and using them to bring the body into a deeper forward fold, which creates a deep opening of the shoulders and improves the mobility of the joint.

4. Twists

Traditional yoga practice has many twists which are used to detoxify the body and rejuvenate it with new bursts of energy. These are also an amazing tool for strengthening the joints and muscles by allowing the entrance of fresh oxygen and improving blood flow. Whether you prefer them standing, seated, or lying down, they are a great choice for working on mobility in every part of the body.

Just remember: as much as it is important to enter a twist properly, it’s just as crucial to exit it right. Keep your spine straight the whole time and use your inhales to grow taller and exhales to go deeper into the twist.

5. Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)

Wheel pose, or any backbend, is one of the best ways to stretch, tone, stabilize, and mobilize the whole posterior part of the body while at the same time stretch the hip flexors. Carefully stacking the joints one on top of the other (wrists under shoulders, ankles under hips) while having the constant action of squeezing the thigh adductors toward each other and contracting the hamstrings, relieves the compression of the lower back and allows for it to stretch, elongate, and stengthen over time.

In all of these poses, being conscious of the breath and using it to go deeper into the stretch will not only result in greater progress over time, but will also teach us how to use a certain asana when a part of our body feels tight or sore.

In this sedentary life we are all living, it’s important that we actively work to improve our mobility before we cause serious damage! Learning how to properly move, strengthen, and stretch our bodies is essential on the path to a healthy and fit life.

Author: Karla Ilicic
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson

 

Karla Ilicic is a yoga teacher, fitness trainer, nutritionist, and essential oils lover who travels the world and hopes to change people’s lives one asana at a time. Find her on Instagram, and find out more about her work on her website.

7 Baba Ramdev Yoga Asanas To Treat Asthma

7 Baba Ramdev Yoga Asanas To Treat Asthma

When I say yoga can help treat asthma, it makes sense. Doesn’t it? Breathing and yoga go hand in hand, and if there is a problem involving your breath, yoga can surely help cure it. If you are an asthma patient, you know the trauma of constantly dreading that shortness of breath. Approximately 358 million people around the world suffer the same. Yoga, along with regular medicine, is an ideal alternative to counter the asthma problem. Wondering how? We won’t keep you in the dark anymore. The following 7 Baba Ramdev yoga asanas will treat asthma, and all you must do is scroll down to find them.

Before that, let’s find out how yoga works to cure asthma.

Yoga For Asthma

Asthma is a respiratory disease involving the airways or the bronchial tubes. The airways are swollen in an asthma patient, and get inflamed further when triggered by symptoms, narrowing them and making it difficult for the person to breathe. The ancient Egyptians recognized this problem and gave it its name. The problem significantly increased from the 1960s and now accounts for 397,100 deaths globally.

Exercise offers natural relief for asthma patients, but the intense physical movements can be challenging. On the other hand, yoga is slow and soothing, combined with deep breaths, which greatly help the patient’s asthmatic condition. The causes of asthma are genetic and environmental. Whatever the reason may be, yoga acts as a shield for asthmatic patients and helps you gain control over it.

So, without further ado, check out the following Baba Ramdev yoga asanas for asthma patients.

Baba Ramdev Yoga For Asthma – 7 Best Asanas

1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

 

Sukhasana or the Easy Pose is a simple seated pose that is also one of the easiest poses to sit down in meditation. In many Asian countries, Sukhasana is a natural way of sitting down and also assumed while having meals. For best results, practice Sukhasana in the morning, not necessarily on an empty stomach. The Easy Pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold the pose as long as you are comfortable sitting in it.

Sukhasana For Treating Asthma

 

Sukhasana focuses on your breath and controls stress. It broadens your chest, relaxes your brain, and makes you strong and steady. The pose gives you a sense of calm and peace and helps you avoid circumstances that trigger asthma attacks due to tension and stress.

To know more about Sukhasana and how to do it, click here: Sukhasana

 

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2. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide Angle Pose)

Upavistha Konasana or the Seated Wide Angle Pose involves sitting down on your buttocks and spreading your legs apart as wide as possible. Practice the pose in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening after a gap of 4 to 6 hours from the last meal. Upavistha Konasana is an intermediate level Hatha yoga asana. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.

 Upavistha Konasana For Treating Asthma

 

In this pose, the upper body is stretched out. This opens up the lungs and betters the breathing. It also calms the brain and de-stresses your mind. The pose improves the body’s flexibility and, as a whole, is ideal to prevent an asthma attack.

 To know more about Upavistha Konasana and how to do it, click here: Upavistha Konasana

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3. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)

Ardha Matsyendrasana or the Sitting Half Spinal Twist is an asana where you sit down and twist your spine sidewards. Practice the Ardha Matsyendrasana in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. The pose is a beginner level Hatha yoga asana. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.

Ardha Matsyendrasana For Treating Asthma

Ardha Matsyendrasana stretches your chest and opens it up, thereby paving the way for more oxygen to enter your lungs and improving their oxygen capacity. This function of the pose reduces the possibility of an asthma attack.

To know more about Ardha Matsyendrasana and how to do it, click here: Ardha Matsyendrasana

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4. Sethu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Sethu Bandhasana or the Bridge Pose looks like a bridge when assumed. It works best when practiced in the morning on an empty stomach. The pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.

Sethu Bandhasana For Treating Asthma

Sethu Bandhasana is very effective for asthma patients. It keeps your body balanced by opening up your chest and lungs, keeping a check on your thyroid gland, and improving digestion.

To know more about Sukhasana and how to do it, click here: Sethu Bandhasana

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5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose is an energizing backbend that resembles the raised hood of a cobra. Practice Bhujangasana in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. The pose is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds.

Bhujangasana For Treating Asthma

Bhujangasana eases the symptoms of asthma. It improves oxygen and blood circulation throughout the body. It also opens up your chest and clears the passages to the lungs. The pose increases your flexibility, elevates your mood, and stretches the muscles of your chest.

To know more about Bhujangasana and how to do it, click here: Bhujangasana

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6 Purvottanasana (Upward Plank Pose)

Purvottanasana, which means eastward facing, signifies the onset of new and bright beginnings, just like how the sun rises in the East in all its glory. Practice this Upward Plank Pose early in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels for best results. The pose is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.

Purvottanasana For Treating Asthma

Purvottanasana opens up your mind to new possibilities and positivity. It improves the working of your respiratory system and keeps a check on your hormones. It helps you stay calm and composed as well as strong by strengthening your wrists, arms, and back, hence keeping asthma attacks at bay.

To know more about Purvottanasana and how to do it, click here: Purvottanasana

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7. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

The ending pose for every yoga session, the Shavasana or the Corpse Pose gets its name as the pose requires you to stay immobile like a dead body. Shavasana can be practiced anytime during the day and not necessarily on an empty stomach if not preceded or succeeded by other asanas. Shavasana is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Stay in the pose for a couple of minutes till you feel completely relaxed.

Shavasana To Treat Asthma

Shavasana relaxes your entire body and mind and takes away any built-up anxiety or pressure. It brings you into a meditative state and completely refreshes you. The pose helps you to be calm and composed, which is essential to tackle asthma.

To know more about Shavasana and how to do it, click here: Shavasana

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Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What are the symptoms of asthma?

Symptoms of asthma include chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.

Is asthma infectious?

No, asthma is not contagious.

What diet works best for an asthma patient?

Stay away from any food that triggers the symptoms of asthma.

Yoga helps you breathe better. Although breathing is a natural process, with yoga, it is possible to change your breathing pattern and habits for a more holistic breathing experience that will help you tackle your asthma problem effectively. Along with it, yoga has other physical and mental benefits, all working together in tandem to help you combat the asthma menace. Try the mentioned yoga poses and save yourself from pain. Have you ever considered Baba Ramdev yoga for asthma? How did it help you? Tell us by commenting below.

 

 

Top 5 yoga Asanas To Do In Bed

Top 5 yoga Asanas To Do In Bed

Looking for a workout routine with a difference? How about burning calories at the place most comfortable to you? What better place to start your yoga routine then your very own bed? This unique form of yoga allows you to be comfortable while working out. StyleCraze offers you the best-in-class information on the various poses of yoga to do in bed.

Wake up with yoga to rejuvenate your body and keep yourself relaxed and refreshed throughout the day.

Yoga poses in bed give your body a good physical exercise along with increased concentration and flexibility.

Yoga to Do in Bed

Following are the top 5 wake-up yoga poses with gentle stretches and breathing exercises:

1. Pawanmuktasana (Wind Releasing Pose):

  • Lie down on the bed.
  • Rest your legs in a straight position.
  • Place both the hands besides the body and palms on the bed.
  • Elevate your left leg upwards in a 90 degree angle.
  • Fold it and place it over the stomach.
  • Intermingle your fingers from over your leg and press it firmly on to your stomach. Here, both your knees should be close to your chest region.
  • Repeat the same process with right leg.
  • You can even practice the same with both legs at the same time.
  • Relax.

2. Sleeping Spinal Twist Pose:

Via pinterest

 

  • Lie on your back.
  • Fold your knees and turn your body towards the left side.
  • Place your right leg over your left leg. Your right leg has to overlap your left leg.
  • Place your left hand on your right thigh and the right hand on the bed besides the body.
  • Look towards your right.
  • Stretch your body as much as you can. Relax.
  • Repeat the same twisting activity on other side.

[ Read: Yoga Asanas To Reduce Scoliosis]

 

3. Seated Padangusthasana:

  • Sit on your bed in a relaxed position. Keep your back straight. Spread your legs in the front direction and stretch them.
  • Close your eyes.
  • As you exhale, bend forwards from your waist.
  • Place your forehead on your knees and relax. You can also touch your feet with your hands.
  • Relax.

4. Supta Virasana:

 

  • Lie down on your back in the bed.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Lay your hands besides the body in a relaxing position.
  • Fold your knees and rest the top of your feet on the bed.
  • Lower your waist, back and head and place it on the bed.
  • Look towards the ceiling.
  • Relax

5. Shavasana:

 

  • Lie back on the bed.
  • Close eyes and keep it relaxed.
  • Lay your hands besides the body in a comfortable position and at a comfortable distance from your body.
  • Keep your legs at a comfortable distance from each other and rest them.
  • Rest your head on any one side of the body.
  • Relax.

Benefits Of Bed Yoga Poses

Yoga can be practiced anytime and anywhere. Yet there are certain set of rules that needs to be followed. Practicing yoga asanas early in the morning, after you wake up, is a good practice for your mind and body. Few of the well-known benefits include:

  • It increases your physical stamina.
  • It increases your concentration levels and sharpens your memory.
  • It relaxes your body muscles and relieves tension in your joints.
  • It keeps you refreshed throughout the day and is a good start-up activity to keep you going through the day!

You no longer have an excuse to avoid yoga. These yoga-in-bed poses are super easy to do. It cannot get easier than this! No need for fancy yoga mats and other costly accessories. The only thing you need for these exercises is your beloved bed! You can no longer put off working out because of rain, heat or cold either!

In the comfort of your room, you not only have the privacy to practice yoga but also the comfort of being home. Start your day with a daily dose of yoga-in-bed and see the difference it makes to your body and mind!

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4 Yoga Asanas to Heal your Solar Plexus Chakra

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ross

The Solar Plexus or the third chakra is the power center of our body, radiating vital prana, the sum total of all energy that manifests in the universe. Situated just above the navel, below the chest, Manipura chakra is associated with the element of fire.

Just as fire transforms solids into liquids and liquids into gas, the inner fire transforms our unconscious into conscious awareness. This chakra is your core self and represents your ability to be confident and in control of your life.

It is also associated with digestion and movement. In this respect, our emotional self and mental correlate which are found within intuition and “gut feelings.” Those who lack confidence in life, suffer from insecurity, low self-esteem or are fearful about things suffer from an imbalanced Navel Chakra.

This chakra is responsible for a healthy, spirited, warm, hearty, radiant and a strong willed person.

A guide to the Solar Plexus Chakra:

Colour: Yellow
Element: Fire
Glands/Organs: Pancreas, adrenals, stomach, liver, gallbladder and nervous system
Gems/Minerals affecting it: Citrine, Gold Topaz, Amber, Tiger Eye, Gold Calcite and gold.
Foods: Starches and yellow fruits & vegetables

Here are some yoga poses for strengthening and energising your Solar Plexus Chakra:

Paripurna Navasana/Boat pose

How to: Be seated in staff pose or Dandasana, gently bend your knees while you have your hands on the side and pressed to the floor. Following the variations mentioned in the image above, lean back slightly and lift your feet, bringing your shins parallel to the floor and lift your arms up with palm facing each other.

Take a deep breath if you can and gently straighten the knees, so that the legs form a 45 degree or a V shape. Bring your hands to the front, facing each other. Try to pull the abdomen in to support the spine and create greater balance. Hold for 5 to 7 breaths while you focus your awareness within.

Why to: As mentioned above the position of the Solar Plexus is our core area. Paripurna Navasana is a great core strengthening posture. Stimulating the digestive system, it balances the whole body and creates self confidence. Enhancing the sense of personal power, it awakens the go-getter attitude.

Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Half lord of the fishes pose

How to: Sit in Staff pose or Dandasana, now gently bend the right knee and place the right foot flat over the left leg. Now, bend the left knee and place the leg on the floor with the heel touching the right hip and toes pointing outward. The leg on the floor will point 45 degrees (refer to the image above).

Take a deep breath and twist the torso towards the right side. Place the left hand elbow outside the right knee. The right hand will be pressed to the floor, behind the hips. The spine should be erect at all times, while you hold the pose for 5-7 breaths and looking back. Gently untwist and repeat on the other side.

Why to: Targeted towards the digestive system and abdominal twisting, it accentuates the feeling of comfort and relaxes the spine and the back. Pressing the abdomen, it strengthens our will power and develops a balance in the right and left sides. Seated twists are generally directed towards harmonising the body and increasing elasticity of the spine.

Dhanurasana / Bow pose

How to: Lie on your stomach with arms by your side, palms facing upwards. Inhale, place the chin on the floor, exhale, bend your knees, so that the feet move towards the buttocks. Grasp your ankles with your hands. Inhale and lift both your chest and thighs up, while still holding your ankles. Ensure your knees do not separate and keep them hip width apart, while you continue breathing deeply at all times. With each breath press the heels back and up, gradually increasing the back bend, keeping the spine long. Hold for 5-7 breaths and slowly release the feet.

For beginners, a belt can be used to hold the ankles, if your hands do not reach the legs completely.

Why to: Generating a sense of equilibrium in the body, the whole weight along with the blood flow is transferred to the abdomen area. This movement strengthens the abdomen as well as stimulates the digestive system, thereby empowering the Manipura chakra.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana or Upward Extended Feet Pose

How to: Lie on your back with the hands on your sides. Now, inhale and raise the hands, placing them back on the floor above your head. If you need extra support, you can place the hands underneath your hips as well with palms facing downwards. Lift your leg up gently at 30 degrees and hold for 3-5 breaths. Keep your toes flexed. Now repeat the same process at 60 degrees and 90 degrees. Hold the pose at all the three phases for 3-5 breaths or more, if you can and come back in the same pattern.

Why to: Builds the strength of the core muscles and improves posture. This pose will challenge your limits and can build massive strength in the abdominal area. By extending and lengthening the abdomen muscles, the pose will involuntarily direct the focus towards the centre as it blurs of all other distractions.

Agnisar Kriya or Churning of abdomen

Agni means fire and Sara means wash so it literally means to wash the fire chakra or Manipura Chakra.

How to: Be seated in any comfortable pose like Easy pose, Thunderbolt pose or Lotus pose, place the hands on the knees and breath in a normal, rhythmic fashion. Focus on breathing for a while, then take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Without inhaling, expand and contract the abdomen 5-10 times or more. Each time you contract, try to suck the belly in deeply, like you are touching the abdomen muscles with back muscles.

While coming back, keep a steady stance, gently and slowly inhale deeply. Take a couple of breaths and try again. Ensure that this Pranayama practice is done on an empty stomach, i.e. minimum of 4 hours of fasting. People suffering from high BP, hernia or disease related to intestines should avoid this pose.

Why to: Instantly activating the Solar Plexus, it stimulates the digestive system and is a great way to balance the Solar Plexus chakra. Helps with constipation, tones the stomach and even low appetite, this exercise generates and circulates energy in our whole body. The video below will guide you with this breathing practice..

Seed Mantra Meditation

How to: RAM (pronounced as rum) is the seed or beej mantra of the Solar Plexus Chakra. Sit away from any support in cross legged or lotus pose and take deep breaths. Visualise the colour yellow in the region of the chakra and chant ‘RAM’ three times, then chant ‘OM’ three times and feel the flow of the energy vibrating from head to toe. Now repeat the chant mentally beginning with RAM then chant OM, three times. This is one set. Continue to chant RAM and OM, till you wish to.

Why to: The seed invocation is a form of a charged mantra. The sound when chanted resonates and reaches directly to the centre of the solar plexus chakra and immediately opens it. The beej meditation will increase the circumference of the chakra and balance it. Problems and diseases related to abdomen like digestive disorders, lack of energy, anger, fear, hatred, or excessive need of authority and power can be eased out.

The postures mentioned above can be practiced by all levels of practitioners but if you wish to challenge yourself further, here are some advanced poses you can try: Pasasana or Noose pose, Standing Splits, Urdhava Dhanurasana or Upward bow pose and Nauli Kriya. While practicing these poses, try to ensure your safety first or perform under expert guidance.

 

Image Source

Solar Plexus chakra
Boat pose
Raised Stretched-Out Foot Pose
Bow pose

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6 Powerful Yoga Asanas To Build Six Pack Abs

6 Powerful Yoga Asanas To Build Six Pack Abs

Today, almost everyone you know does yoga. And why not, it is one of the most relaxing and refreshing ways to keeping in shape. Are you aware of the magic of yoga for six pack abs? Yoga is for everything, and yoga for six pack abs is a reality. In fact, three-five weeks of dedicated practice will turn you into a believer. So, what poses you should perform to get those six-pack abs? Read on and find out.

Below given are the powerful yoga six pack exercises:

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose):

The beginning of most yoga routines, Tadasana is a popular pose. Even if this is essentially a warm up pose, which has various health benefits, and can help tone your abs.

Directions:

  1. Begin by standing in the middle of your yoga mat.
  2. Bring your feet together and keep your heels one inch apart.
  3. Flatten your soles.
  4. Your hands should be at the sides of the body.
  5. Fix your gaze forward.
  6. Remain in this position for 3-5 minutes.

[ Read: Diet Tips To Get Six Pack Abs ]

2. Down Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):

 

This asana has many health benefits, including toning your legs, strengthening the spine and giving you rock hard abs.

Directions:

 

  1. Get down on your knees.
  2. Bend forward and place your hands under your shoulders.
  3. Keep your toes pointed inward and raise your hips.
  4. Your heels should be raised from the ground.
  5. Keep holding this position until you feel a stretch in your hips.

3. Warrior Pose Or Virabhadrasana:

 

The warrior pose or virabhadrasana is an important pose for improving core strength. It also helps you get toned legs. This workout is effective for the body, as your hips and core are exercised at the same time.

Directions:

  1. Place your right foot in front and bend the knee.
  2. Turn the left foot 90 degrees to your right leg.
  3. Raise your arms by the sides, so that they are parallel to the floor.
  4. Gaze ahead and remain in the position for 60 seconds.

[ Read: Yoga Exercises For Toned Abs ]

4. Plow Pose (Halasana):

Halasana stimulates the digestive system, boosts appetite and helps you overcome constipation. The pose also helps tone your abdominal muscles, shoulders, back and legs.

Directions:

  1. Lie down on your back (you can use a yoga mat, or a carpet).
  2. Raise your legs so that they are above your stomach.
  3. Proceed to bend your legs towards your head and keep going until they fold over your head and your toes are placed just beyond the shoulder.
  4. Remain in this position for around 20-25 seconds.

5. Child’s Pose (Balasana):

Another great asana for toning your abs, the child’s pose or Balasana has many health benefits. It helps promote digestion; eases bloating and constipation. It is also quite essential for strengthening the back.

Directions:

  1. Get down on your knees.
  2. Keep your spine erect.
  3. Raise your arms.
  4. Proceed to bend forward at the torso so that your chest touches your thighs.
  5. Keep bending forward until your forehead is in contact with the ground.

6. Plank Pose:

The plank pose isn’t a yoga pose, but has been adapted as one because of its immense benefits. This is the best low-impact exercise for toning your abs. It also helps rejuvenate your body.

Directions:

  1. Begin by getting into push up position, arms under the shoulders and legs straight.
  2. Tense and tighten your abdomen, thigh and posterior muscles.
  3. Raise your legs on your toes and hold this position for around 45-60 seconds.
  4. Rest and repeat once.

Check out this video on how to perform the Plank Pose.

Try these yoga six pack abs exercises and get that incredible body soon. Tell us about your progress here. Go ahead, inspire others to try this wonderful routine.

6 Best Yoga Poses For Flat Abs

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4 Effective Yoga Asanas To Improve Mental Health

4 Effective Yoga Asanas To Improve Mental Health

Yoga has many health benefits: from removing constipation to relieving neurological disorders. You probably knew that yoga can help you calm the mind, but did you know that yoga can also improve your mental health? Amazed? Well, you should be! Read this post and find out how yoga can help boost your mental well-being and help you overcome anxiety and stress.

Stress and anxiety are the main reasons behind many kinds of disorders affecting your mental health and you need some remedy that can help you rid yourself of these unwanted conditions.

Yoga is a great stress reliever and it has been shown to ease anxiety and depression as well. When you shift focus from the body to your breath, yoga helps relieve anxiety and also eases physical tension.

According to ViraYoga founder Elena Brower, yoga helps slow the system down and promotes healing processes and eases the stressors of daily life.

Poses To Improve Mental Health:

Some poses that help improve mental health and provide other health benefits include:

1. Balasana Or Child’s Pose:

Balasana or the child’s pose offers many health benefits; it helps curb constipation, promotes digestive processes and helps lower bloating. Balasana also helps you keep your abs toned. Most importantly, balasana stimulates your nervous system and helps reenergize your body.

Steps To Balasana:

 

  1. Get down on your knees and keep your spine erect
  2. Now, begin bending forward so that your thighs touch your chest and your forehead touches the ground beyond your knees.
  3. Straighten your arms by the sides of the body
  4. Your palms should face the floor.

Other Benefits Of Balasana:

 

Balasana has many benefits, with the major one being improving your mental health. Some other benefits include:

  • Helps develop strong hips, ankles and thighs
  • Helps you overcome fatigue and stress.
  • Balasana improves your blood circulation.
  • It also helps reduce back pain

 

Cautions:

Balasana is a simple pose to perform, but keep in mind:

  • Use pillows instead of resting your head on the sweaty yoga mat or floor.
  • Don’t perform this pose if you suffer from diarrhea, hypertension, heart problems or a knee injury.

2. Viparita Karani:

 

Viparita Karani is a brilliant pose for improving blood circulation in your body. It has other effects like stimulating the nervous system, helping relax your mind and others. People with joint pains perform this asana quite regularly.

Steps To Viparita Karani:

  1. Begin by lying on the floor with your face facing the celing. Place your hands beneath your body, palms facing upwards.
  2. Holding your hips, and balancing your body on your arms and elbows, slowly raise your legs and your body.
  3. Your legs should be at a right angle to your torso
  4. Bring your arms to the side of the body.
  5. You can also add cushions under pressure points like the neck and back.

Benefits:

Apart from boosting mental health, Viparita Karani has other benefits like:

  • Regulates blood flow
  • Relieves menstrual cramps
  • Reduces swelling in ankles
  • Calms anxiety
  • Rejuvenates the body
  • Treats depression and insomnia
  • Overcomes symptoms of Lupus, Arthritis and Sciatica

3. Standing Forward Bend Pose Or Uttanasana:

This is another great pose for improving your mental health and treating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Steps To Uttanasana:

  1. Begin by standing straight.
  2. Keep your hands on your hips and inhale.
  3. Extend your hands out above you and while you exhale bend your torso forward.
  4. Keep going until your hands come to rest on the ground next to your feet.
  5. If you find this too difficult to do, you can alternatively hold onto the elbows.
  6. You have to ensure that your knees remain straight at all times.
  7. Hold this pose for around 10-15 seconds and release.

Benefits:

There are many health benefits of the Standing Forward Bend Pose, apart from promoting mental health. Some of these benefits include:

  • Stronger calves, hamstrings and hips
  • Stronger knees and thighs
  • Stimulates digestion by massaging your organs
  • Helps push mucous from the lungs
  • Helps relax your central nervous system and calms the mind.
  • Reduces and relieves stress effectively
  • Also helps reduce insomnia, fatigue and headache
  • Helps remove menopause symptoms
  • Is therapeutic

4. Corpse Pose Or Shavasana:

This pose is used to end almost all yoga routines and is an excellent pose for meditation. It helps boost your mental health by helping you meditate and eases your body. Savasana is an excellent way to relax the body.

Steps To Shavasana:

  1. Lie down on your back and keep your body straight.
  2. Your hands should be at the body’s sides
  3. Keeping your palms pointed upwards and close your eyes
  4. You can consider counting your breaths.

Benefits:

Apart from offering an excellent relaxation period and being an excellent restorative for energy, Shavasana has many health benefits, which include:

  • It helps curb the spread of indigestion, constipation, diabetes and asthma as well.
  • The asana not only improves concentration, but also boosts mental well-being, while relaxing your body.
  • The asana helps stimulate blood circulation.

Tips:

Shavasana is a zero-impact exercise which can easily be performed by people from all age groups. Even pregnant women can practice this asana without any hesitation. You should consider these simple tips when you perform the Shavasana:

  • Try breathing faster or deeper if you feel sleepy
  • Begin your yoga session with this pose and aim to wind up with the same pose.
  • The best thing about this pose is that you can perform this asana from the comfort of your bed.

So, practice these poses and boost your mental well-being. Yoga is one of the best tools for improving mental health and these poses will help you relax, focus better and overcome problems like insomnia and depression.

Tell us whether you found this article helpful. Our readers would love to hear your views. Leave a comment and we will get back to you.

 

 

11 Yoga Asanas That Can Fix Your Postural Issues For Good

Since we all are guilty of not paying heed to our posture while we work for long hours, slouched over the several iterations of digital screens we own, we’re almost always setting ourselves up for some serious postural repercussions. While we can reduce the damage we cause to our posture by being conscious of it through the day, we can also avoid and correct our postural issues by spending some time on them. 

Mumbai-based celebrity yoga expert Sunaina Rekhi says, “The number of youngsters facing back, shoulder and neck pain is only increasing by the days. It is important for one to relax these stress muscles.”

These are some of the key postures that can prevent and correct most of your postural imbalances:

#1. Balasana (Child’s Pose) – Rounds out your shoulders

The child’s pose is going to round our shoulders forward to get us into the dysfunction, so when we actually open up, our body is more excited about doing so. This helps counter all the rounding in of the shoulders that takes place while sitting in a slumped position. Sit back on your heels and reach your arms alongside your body, letting your head and shoulders relax to the ground.

#2. Trikonasana (Triangle pose) – Stretches and opens out the entire body

The triangle posture is a classic yoga position that stretches and strengthens your spine, inner thigh, abdominal and side muscles. It also helps to open the pelvis by stretching the pelvic ligaments. It is a great posture to help create alignment, space and openness in the body while releasing stress and improving blood flow across your body.

#3. Dhanurasana (The Bow) – Great stretch and strength builder for the spine 

The Bow raises both halves of the body at once. Like an archer strings a bow, you use your hands and arms to pull your trunk and legs up together to form a curve. This tones your back muscles and maintains the elasticity of the spine, improving posture and vitality. Balancing the weight of the body on your abdomen keeps the digestive system healthy and reduces abdominal fat.

#4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) – Stretches out the neck, spine and hips 

This is a gentle backbend that helps to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. It is also good for stimulating the thyroid gland, which can become unbalanced. Practising this pose will, therefore, help to regulate your metabolism and energy levels. Plus, it is great restorative pose at any time to counteract negative emotions. It helps to strengthen the back and opens the chest.

#5. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – Strengthens the muscles that help hold your posture in place

This posture really strengthens the muscles of the back, butt, hip and leg muscles. It also works on the shoulders and helps rectify tension and poor posture. It also stretches out your Achilles tendons, shin, shoulders and helps open out your chest. 

#6. Naukasana (Boat Pose) – Strengthens your core and abdominal muscles 

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This asana stimulates the muscular, digestive, circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems, tones all the organs and removes lethargy. It is especially useful for eliminating nervous tension and bringing about deep relaxation. This posture really helps to be aware of your centre, your core, and strengthen it. 

#7. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Fish Pose) – Enhances the elasticity and functioning of your spine 

Placing your right foot at the root of the left thigh, grasp the toe of the right leg with the left hand and let the right-hand pass over to the back. Staying in this posture one can increase appetite and overcome diabetes, constipation and dyspepsia. Not only does it improve the elasticity and functioning of your spine it relieves you from pain and stiffness in your vertebrae. 

#8. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose) – Stretches muscles in your shoulders, chest, abdominals and lower back 

‘Bhujanga’, which means Cobra in English, is called so because of its posture like a hooded snake. To perform this, lie down, hands by the side and fold hands at the elbow. Placing palms on the ground, take your chin up without raising the level. Maintain the posture for some time. This Asana affects the muscles of the body. It stretches the muscles in your shoulders, chest, abdominals and lower back alleviates postural related tension. 

#9. Gomukhasana (The Cow-Face Pose) – Helps with the treatment of sciatica and diabetes

Stack the right knee over the left in a sitting posture. Take the left arm up towards the ceiling and right arm down from the centre of the back to hold the left hand. It stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, and chest. The posture helps with treatment of sciatica and improves the functioning of your kidneys, thereby helping people who suffer from diabetes. 

#10. Ustrasana (Camel Pose) – Stretches chest, abdomen, quads, and hips, improving overall posture

Known as the Camel posture, it opens the rib cage to give more space to the lungs, produces maximum compression of the neck and spine. Sit on the ground in the kneeling position. The body should be supported on the toes and the knees. Bend backward. Hold the heels with the hands. The fingers of the hand should point outwards and the thumbs should point towards the toes. While inhaling, gradually lift the pelvis. Press the upper torso, both outwards and upwards and bend the neck downwards. The arms should be kept straight. While exhaling return to the kneeling position.

#11. Yoga Mudra – Increases flexibility in the arms and shoulders, stretches the front of the body and spine

This asana is good for the digestive system, vertebral column, abdominal muscles and muscles of upper and lower limbs. In a seated position, the right foot is placed on the left thigh with the sole facing up. Then the left foot is also placed on the right thigh in the same way. This is the Padmasana posture. Without raising your hips from the seat, the body is bent forward and forehead touches the ground. The hands are kept behind the back with the left wrist held in the right hand.