Although originating in South Asia, yoga has become a global phenomenon. Not simply an exercise, yoga is holistic in impact. Amongst its numerous benefits is the beautiful way it cultivates trust in your body’s abilities, spatial perception and the rekindling of the connection between the mind and the body.
Yoga is also great for improving balance and coordination. This is especially important during old age, where impaired balance leads to injuries. Moreover, yoga is also great for remedying musculoskeletal aches like back pain, arthritis etc.
As yoga also prevents against chronic illnesses like heart disease, it improves the quality of life. It also has a profound impact on mental health. Yoga is an excellent for decreasing stress and anxiety levels. It also helps in relaxing the body, leading to a better-quality sleep. People who regularly do yoga feel more energized.
Yoga, however, needs to be started off carefully. It includes a lot of precise movement and dexterity. Body is also stretched, beyond the comfort zone. Hence, if people are not careful, they can sustain injuries. It is best to consult the top physiotherapist in Lahore when a yoga pose goes awry, leading to pain.
Therefore, start from the bottom, and listen to your body as you do the steps. The best part about yoga is that even its very basic stretches are good for the body. 7 of its essential postures that can be done easily by the beginners include:
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is excellent for give your back a good stretch. It also helps in improving the nervous system.
How to do it: Sit in the kneeling position, with your toes tucked under. Extend your arms upward, and gradually bring your upper body forward, till your arms rest on the ground. Your forehead should be touching the mat, whereas your belly will be resting on your thighs.
2. Cat and Cow Pose
This essential pose targets your neck, spine, core and shoulders. It gives a wonderful stretch to the back, so that any backaches get better.
How to do it: Get on all fours with the shoulders above your arms and knees beneath the hips. Then, as you exhale, push your spine up and tuck your chin under, as your head falls. Hold for 10 seconds. Inhale and draw your face up as you push your spine down.
3. Mountain Pose
Just because the pose is rather basic, it does not mean it is not effective. It can be either done at the start of your yoga routine, as it helps to set the tone for the rest of the workout or can be done alone as well. Mountain Pose is great for improving posture, and also makes your legs stronger.
How to do it: First, stand with your feet hip width apart. Try fanning out your toes for a stronger grip. Make sure your feet dig into the ground, as you use your thighs to stand up tall. Engage your core by drawing your belly in.
Shoulders should be stacked just atop of the pelvis but drop your arms in their natural stance. Keep your chin straight and do not slouch your neck. Take 5-10 breaths as you hold the pose.
4. Downward-Facing Dog
Downward dog is effective for back aches. It also helps in improving strength and balance in the body. It also tones the arms and makes the body more flexible.
How to do it: Get on all fours, with hands below the shoulder, and knees beneath the hips. Then, lift your knees up with your hips jutting out towards the ceiling. Give a slight bend in the knees if need be. Lift your feet a little to balance your body, let your head fall between your arms. Hold the position for a few seconds.
5. Chair Pose
This move is great for improving your balance. It works the muscles of the upper body alongside the core, glutes and thighs.
How to do it: Stand with the feet joined, then, inhale as you extend your arms upwards. Exhale, and sit back by bending your knees. Ideally, your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
6. Cobra Pose
Great for making the arms and butts stronger, cobra pose is also a great for stretching the body.
How to do it: Lay down on the mat, with your stomach touching the floor. Then, move your hands underneath your shoulders, and use them to push your chest up but the lower limbs will stay firmly touching the ground. Push your shoulders back and hold the pose for at least 30 seconds.
7. Corpse Pose
The easiest to do, and most relaxing pose is the corpse pose. It is saved for the end of the routine, as it helps to relax from the exertion of the workout. Moreover, it also is great for destressing the mind as well.
How to do it: Lie down on your back and let your arms fall to your sides, with palms facing up. Place your legs slightly apart, as you relax your body. Hold this pose for as long as you like.
Safety is important:
The risk of injury is present in any exercise, but all can be avoided if you are careful. Be sure to exercise on the mat to avoid falling or slipping on the floor. Moreover, do not overexert your body. Go as far as your body will let you, and gradually, build your stamina. In case of any muscular injury, talk to the doctor or the top physiotherapist in Karachi before it gets worse.