Using the yoga mat regularly has its own perks. All of us are aware of this fact. We read about this everywhere and then 80% of us conveniently come up with a fabulous excuse to not exercise. You don’t have to hit the gym to get fit. Yoga can help you!
Spend 60 minutes a day by indulging in a series of standing, sitting, prone, supine, and relaxation poses combined with some powerful breathing technique. Just a few days and you will notice a happier, healthier you. Still not convinced? Check out what yoga can do to you.
The Benefits of Yoga:
1. Your nagging back ache vanishes!
2. You will have better a better night’s sleep.
3. You will feel fresher.
4. You will look younger and rejuvenated.
5. Your stress vanishes.
6. You will become more toned and own that sculpted body.
7. Last, but not the least, you get steamier in bed.
Here are 7 easy to do yoga poses – a mix and match along with the simplest of the Pranayamas – which are sure to pep up your body’s fitness levels.
7 Must Do Yoga Poses For A Fitter You:
1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose:
Overhaul your posture while toning your abs and butts with this pose. Plus, it improves the circulation of blood, ensuring that the pains and aches you experience fade away. This pose also helps in improving digestion. In short, an ideal way to keep yourself fit!
- Stand on the mat, feet flat, heels spread out and hips width and big toes in contact with each other. Keep your spine straight, with hands resting on either side of the body, palms facing the thighs.
- Stretch out your hands and join the palms in Namaskar mudra (hands in prayer position).
- Taking a deep inhalation, lengthen your spine while bringing the hands above your head. Stretch to your maximum possible level.
- Balancing on your toes, push your ankle off the floor.
- Tilt your head backwards, with your eyes fixed on the fingertips.
- Indulging in normal inhalation and exhalations, hold the pose for a slow count of 20 , to begin with.
- Inhale deeply and while exhaling, slowly relax, and bring your feet back to the floor.
- Allow your hands to rest on body sides, palms on the thighs.
This makes one repetition. Do 3 such repetitions, with a pause of 15 seconds between reps.
2. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose:
This is a standing cum mild inversion pose. It helps you beat stress and anxiety, while giving your circulation levels the much required boost. Your hamstrings and hips get a good stretch, the tension at your back eases, while your digestive system becomes stronger. The improved circulation of blood to face makes you look younger, while your tresses grow long and strong with that added blood supply. Do this 15 minutes before you hit your bed for a deeper sleep.
- Stand on the mat with feet at 3 inch apart. Keep your spine erect, while hands rest alongside your body palms facing the thighs.
- Take a deep inhalation and bring your hands atop your head, palms spread out.
- While exhaling, bend forward, allowing your body to sway away from the hips.
- Simultaneously, bring your hands down in such a way that your fingers touch the floor. If you are a beginner, then you can try touching your toes. If you have a stiff back, then try to hold your ankles at least. Do not strain as it could lead to a sore back.
- Breathing normally, hold the pose for a slow count of 20.
- Take a deep inhalation and lift your body away from the ground to come back to initial position.
This makes one repetition. Repeat thrice, with a pause of 15 second between repeats.
3. Vajrasana – Thunderbolt Pose:
This is one yoga pose that you can practice at your own convenience, even just after you fill up your tummy. The reason – it aids in digestion. The blood supply to your digestive system improves, thwarting off any digestive disorders. Plus, it is quite an easy way for toning up those thighs.
- Sit on the yoga mat with your thighs and buttocks resting on the heels.
- Let your palms rest on your thighs in Gyan Mudra.
- Keep your head, neck, and back erect.
- Hold the position for a count of 30 to 60, while indulging in deep inhalations and exhalations.
- Taking a deep exhalation, stretch your legs outward. Come to Staff Pose with hands resting on the floor.
4. Baddha Konasana – Butterfly Pose – Bound Angle Pose – Cobbler’s Pose:
Ease your muscle fatigue by relaxing in this pose. Along with bequeathing an awesome stretch to your hips, groin, inner thighs, and knees, this pose allows you to relax completely. Deepen the benefits the simple butterfly pose with Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose). And why not? I even sleep at times, with my baby on my lap, in Supta Baddha Konasana. My back muscles also get a soothing relief. If you have a stiff knee, then you can take the help of cushions for added support. I feel Supta Baddha Konasana is better as it allows your knees to be rested.
- Sit on the mat with spine erect, hands resting on the sides, and legs stretched out in front of you.
- Push your knees outwards and bend them in such a way that your feet soles come into contact.
- Keep the feet away from a body at a distance that do not give you knee pain.
- Keeping your spine erect, press outer edges of feet firmly.
- Hold the pose for a count of 30 before exhaling and coming out of the pose.
Lying Down Poses:-
5. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose:
This is the first yoga pose I tried as I kicked off part of my post natal exercise routine. My back muscles were sore from lack of proper sleep and continuous waking up sessions. Within 3 days of practicing this, my sore back vanished. Plus, after about one month, my abs and butts started toning up. That is why this pose made its way into the yoga poses for body fitness. Plus, you can flaunt enviable arms in your favorite sleeveless top!
- Lie down on the yoga mat in prone position, back straight, hands resting on the mat on either sides of the body, toes and heels in touch.
- Taking a deep inhalation, bring your hands above your head.
- Stretch your legs outward at hips width.
- Breathing normally, slide your palms underneath your shoulders while aligning the fingertips with shoulders. Your palms should face the floor and should be in the same line with your chest.
- Taking a deep inhalation, push your torso off the ground, balancing yourself on the fingers, toes, and thighs.
- Tilt your head backward as your gaze moves up and fixes on the ceiling.
- Stretch backward as much as possible.
- Hold the position for a count of 30 to 60, while breathing normally.
- Exhale and slowly roll chest, neck, and then forehead, stretching your hands above the head, to come back to the opening position.
Repeat three times, relaxing for 15 seconds in between repetitions.
6. Viparita Karani – Legs Up The Wall Pose:
If your debilitating leg ache is preventing you from sleeping well, then this yoga poses should be embraced by you. One of the easiest inversion poses, it is also known as the ‘Fountain of Youth’ yoga pose due to its profound rejuvenating and revitalizing benefits. It improves the blood supply to your brain and wards off stress, tension, and headache. Keep your eyes closed and experience that surge of energy, leaving you calm and composed.
- Sit on the yoga mat, next to a wall. The left side of your body should be on the wall with knees resting on the chest.
- Slowly, rest your lower back on the floor, while straightening your knees and allowing your legs to rest on the wall.
- Using your elbows, support the upper portion of your body.
- Now, gradually relax your lower back and elbows to rest completely on the mat.
- Stretch out your hands on either side of your body.
- Close your eyes and hold the pose, breathing deeply, as long as you can.
- For relaxing, bring your keens back to the chest and roll on the side.
There are various breathing techniques in Yoga with Kapalabhati being the most popular and sought after one, given its awesome benefits. However, I have chose Anuloma Viloma here as it will be easier for a beginner to learn this. If you are a seasoned Yogi, then you could opt for Kapalabhati followed by Brahmari and then Anuloma Viloma.
7. Anuloma Viloma Pranayama – Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Alternate nostril breathing helps in purifying the entire nervous system. It is, in fact, one of the best stress busting exercises you can ever learn.
- Sit on the yoga mat in any cross legged position, Padmasana or Sukhasana.
- Allow your hands to rest on your thighs in Gyan mudra.
- Lift your right hand, with finger folded into the Pranayama Mudra. [The thumb of your right hand will be used to close right nostril; at the same time, the middle and ring fingers of your right hand will be used to close the left nostril].
- Close your right nostril and take a slow, deep inhalation via your left nostril.
- Close the left nostril quickly and hold the breath for a count of 5.
- Open your right nostril and exhale completely.
- Closing the left nostril, take a slow, deep inhalation via the right nostril.
- Close the right nostril, hold the breath for up to a count of 5.
- Open the left nostril and inhale completely.
This completes one round of Anuloma Viloma Pranayama. Do 15 such rounds to begin with, increasing the count to 50 over the time.
The above mentioned yoga poses for your body fitness are quite simple and can be followed even by a newbie. There are countless poses that you could actually try. Just keep researching. But do remember to follow instructions while doing yoga!
What are your yoga poses for keeping yourself fit? Are they in sync with the ones mentioned above? Do share with us in the comments section below.