Today we celebrate International Yoga Day. So why not talk about the benefits of yoga and a little and easy yoga practice routine that we all can easily follow?
If you want to lose weight, develop a flexible and strong body, have a graceful and glowing skin, or just want a peaceful state of mind, Yoga can help you achieve that all. Yoga is often misunderstood as being limited to asanas aka poses and its benefits are only supposed to be at the mental level. However, yoga brings harmony to your body and when you are in harmony; the journey through life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Daily
Most of us attend yoga classes on the weekend only, which is good but practicing yoga daily has a lot more health benefits. If you don’t have time to go to the yoga classes daily then try to squeeze 15 minutes from your daily morning routine and practice yoga every day. Here are some of the many benefits that you get from practicing yoga daily.
- Improved muscle Flexibility, Strength, and Posture
Doing yoga daily helps stretch and tone your body muscles. You don’t have to be super flexible to practice yoga. You can practice yoga at all levels of ability. Daily yoga also improves your body posture, making you sit up straighter at your desk and walk taller. Aches and pains caused by incorrect body posture such as back pain will be improved gradually.
- Better all-round Level of Fitness
People think that going to the gym only can help them to be fit. But yoga not only makes you fit from outside but it helps you stay fit from inside. It combines features of cardio, functional and strength training all in one. And you don’t have to go anywhere to practice yoga, it can be done at your place in your home.
- Weight Loss
An everyday gentle yoga practice can help you improve your metabolism and that helps in burning fat. Daily yoga can also help improves the hormonal balance in your body and bring back your normal weight. Daily yoga also fortifies your mind-body connection and helps you deal with emotional eating more effectively.
- Energy Boost
Just 10-15 minutes of yoga daily will provide the energy boost that will help you stay active the whole day. Daily yoga practice awakens the chakras in our body. If you want extra energy to do more, you can try the poses that extend the spine, such as the tree pose and poses that open the chest, like the cobra pose.
- Reduced Stress
Yoga is an amazing stress buster. So if you are coping with stress or you are not able to sleep in the night properly, try to do yoga daily. There are some studies that show that practicing yoga daily can reduce insomnia and gradually eliminate it completely. There are relaxing asanas or postures that you should practice before going to bed to get a good night sleep, such as uttanasana. These relaxing asanas calm both your body and mind.
- Mindful and Happier Being
Yoga makes you emotionally stronger and a happier person. Also, Yoga and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. When you practice yoga poses, you shift your awareness to the breath and sensations that you feel during the given pose. This awareness is related to mindfulness. The main aim of being mindful is to be in the present and not constantly thinking about other things. Yoga has long-lasting benefits whether it’s physical or psychological. You feel more calm and relaxed, and less stressed and anxious. And, with that, you feel more energetic and more self-confident.
10 Yoga Poses you should do Everyday
Now that you are aware of the long-lasting benefits of yoga, let’s talk about the yoga poses you should practice daily in the morning to be more focused and energetic all day long. Here, I want to mention that there are hundreds of yoga poses you can practice and every pose has its own benefits, but I am listing a bare minimum routine that you can follow. However, if you get some extra time, feel free to add a few more yoga poses to the routine.
Tadasana aka Mountain Pose is a great asana to start with. Stand straight and place your feet a little away from each other. Stretch your arms towards the floor, breathe in and draw your abdominals in. Hold for five to ten seconds then breathe out and come back to relax position. Repeat the process by stretching your arms towards the sky this time. Repeat again on both the sides.
- Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar aka Sun Salutation is an overall body exercise that has several variations to its sequence of postures. Surya Namaskar is traditionally practiced at the time of sunrise. Surya Namaskar is a great way to warm up and sync movement of the body with the flow of the breath. As the poses work all of the 7 chakras, it helps you light up gain inner calm. Follow the process and repeat three to five times.
Utkatasana aka Chair Pose generates heat in the body and quickly builds energy. It activates the core and the legs. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Inhale and raise your arms towards the sky and join your arms to give them support if you want. Exhale and bend your knees, keeping your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and keep your spine straight. Stay in this position for 8 to 10 breath and return. Repeat three to five times.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
The whole body is involved in this asana and thus it is a great way to energize every part of your body. Put both your hands and feet on the floor making a table position. Exhale and gently lift your hips and straighten your elbows and knees. Hold for 10-20 seconds then bend your knees and return to the table position.
Start with the table position and move to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Once you are in the pose, exhale and place your right foot beside your right hand. Gently lower the left knee, placing it on the floor, right behind your hips. Inhale and lift your upper body. Then, raise your arms above your head and join them. Exhale and settle down your hips forward. Extend your lower back as you engage your spine. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Return to Adho Mukha Svanasana. Repeat the pose with your left leg.
Trikonasana powers up the legs and core. The asana should not be practiced by those suffering from back conditions. Stand straight and keep a distance of about 3-4 feet between your legs. Extend your arms at the shoulder level. Exhale and bend your right arms towards the left side. Make sure that the right arm is parallel to the ground. Repeat with the left arm. Do three to five rounds of trikonasana.
Stand straight keeping a distance of 3-4 feet between your legs. Raise our hands parallel to the floor and turn your head to your left. Bend your left knee making a 90-degree angle. Stay in the position for five to eight breath then come back to the starting position. Repeat with the right side.
Stand in Tadasana. Breathe in and lift your left foot. Grasp the left foot with your left hand. Start lifting your left foot up and extend the left thigh and try to make it as parallel to the floor as possible. Stretch your right arm forward, parallel to the floor. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then come back to starting position. Repeat with the right side.
- Prasarita Padottanasana
Start with the mountain pose keeping 3-4 feet gap between the legs. Exhale and lean forward and bring the palms of your hand to the floor from under the shoulders. Hold for 10-20 seconds and get back to the starting position. Repeat three to five times.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you. Bend the left leg and place heal of the left foot beside the right hip. Take the right leg over the left knee. Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you. Twist the waist, shoulders, and neck towards the right and look over the right shoulder. Keep the back straight. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat to the left side.
Pranayam plays a crucial role in keeping your mind and body in sync. If you get some time, do include pranayam in our yoga routine. Anulom- Vilom, Bhramari, Ujjayi Prayanam, Kapalbhati, Bhastrika are five pranayam that you can practice daily. These asanas will make you feel more relaxed and balanced.
Follow the steps of each asana carefully and do not make any changes to them by yourself. It is important to follow the sequence of steps to maximize the effects of these asanas and to ensure that you do not strain any of the muscles in your body. Remember, whether you practice one pose or all of them, you should be focused on finding a balance between your body, mind, and breath. Did I miss your favorite asana? Let me know which one it is and why.