Flexibility is one of the core reasons people turn to yoga rather than the hard hitting gym workouts. Every yoga pose you perform aims at specific aspects of your body. Some make you feel peaceful, while others deal with different aches and health issues and some improve your body. Here we take a look at 6 moves that are specifically designed and scientifically proven to improve flexibility. So what’s the wait for? Get a mat and get started right away.
As more and more people are opting to stay fit by performing yoga, we are seeing a lot more yoga injuries due to a lack of experience and over-doing. Yoga is meant to heal but if what it is doing to you is opposite, then you aren’t doing it right.
Yoga is one of the best ways to remain healthy without hitting the gym and has an added advantage over it. It not only makes you fit and increase your flexibility. It also helps in reducing your stress and anxiety levels.
Although most yoga injuries aren’t serious, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So what are a few common injuries which you could prevent by being a little careful?
Although a lot of people generally have tight hamstring, this injury is most prominent when you are stretching or pulling. We people are used to sitting at our desk the whole day, so when we get a chance to stretch our body, our body gets a little shock.
You can avoid this by trying a few poses like dog down or lunges to help stretch out your hamstrings, but remember to take things slowly.
Even the most experienced yogis tend to face this issue several hours after the class. A common cause of this is the cross-legged position during yoga.
A simple way to prevent this would be to avoid sitting in a cross-legged or full lotus position for longer periods of time.
You could also keep a rolled up blanket or some block to give extra support to your knee. Just make sure that there’s a vertical line from your bent knees to your heels, this would ensure that your weight is being properly held by your body.
Many of these poses require active use of hands to support your body, so if you are doing it slightly wrong, you are quite susceptible to a wrist injury.
If you don’t want to end up with aching or bruised wrists for a few weeks, we would suggest you to make sure that you don’t end up putting your whole body weight on your tiny wrists.
Uniformly spread your whole weight on both of the hands and for the ensure you keep your hands wide apart, push your hips back and decrease the angle of your wrists.
Lower Back Pain and Injuries
Got back aches? Well you’re not alone. Most experts speculate that this is because of twisting of the back during complicated poses such as dog down etc. These poses can the spine to flex wrongly.
So what we can do to prevent this is try to focus on lengthening your spine up and away from your hips before you bend over. Another thing which you could try is bending your knee a little while performing dog down or other bending poses and lower the strain on your lower back.
With poses such as the warrior and splits etc. as mainstay in every routine you’ll often find newbies with a torn inner thigh or groin muscle – Ouch!
My advice to you for this would be to make sure your toes always point straight similar to the direction of your hips. Just keep your toes and hips in sync and you should be good to go.
So now you know all the common injuries which you could incur during yoga and what to do to prevent it. So why don’t you go and get that perfect body and mind relaxation which you’ve been wanting since ages? Yoga up, people and don’t forget to check out out injury prevention guide below for more details.
A lot of people think Yoga is a waste of time or that it doesn’t have any benefits apart from the physical ones. But yoga isn’t all about staying fit and healthy, yoga helps you with facing various adversities in your life and brings a peace and calmness which was previously lacking. But how could yoga be so life-changing you ask?
Here are 3 ways which will help you understand how yoga can be one of the most motivational things in your life, altering your life forever:
I Found inner peace
Yes, as clichéd at it sounds yoga has proven to be the best tool to rein in your over complicated mind and release you from all the drama which is ruining your whole outlook on life. People are messy and tend to overthink about some basic stuff and as a result, some of the simplest situations prove too demanding for us and we end up losing our peaceful nights over it.
Yoga helps you in regaining your peace and serenity. When you are just focused on your breathing and cut off from your outer surroundings, you realize you have been chasing the wrong solutions in your life. You understand that your current situation isn’t really hard, you are being bothered by it without any reason. Hence you gain back your calmness and find peace with your situation.
Next time if you are worried about an assignment deadline or exams coming up or break up problem, just take up yoga for some time and you will notice that you are now in peace with these situations, you aren’t going to let them overcome you.
I started Living in the present
A lot of us have the habit of either living in the past or the future, we ignore the present and hence regret it in the future, thus entering into a form of loop.
Yoga teaches you how to keep your mind in the present and not waste time on things that have already happened and things which might happen. It’s the present which is important and you learn just that with the help of yoga.
Yoga makes you aware of your present and makes you ask questions like “Is this going to still bother me after 5 minutes?” and if your answer is a No, you realize that there is no reason to waste time on feeling anxious or angry about it. Yoga is all about the present, probably one of the most important lessons we need to learn in life.
I Gave back to others
It’s easier than it sounds once you are at peace with yourself. Once you have understood the importance of living in the present and attaining that Zen state of mind, you find you have more time to help others and give back what you were given from nature.
Yoga helps you assess your current situation and realize it’s not that bad and once you find that you have time on your hand which doesn’t involve worrying about useless details anymore, you decide to utilize your time to the fullest and help others to reach this same state of mind which is proving to be helpful to you.
So, yet again yoga helps in making you a more empathetic and sympathetic person who thinks it is good and fulfilling to give back.
Although yoga is known as one of the most effective stress buster, it can also help you in gaining balance and reducing weight. Surprised? A lot of actors and actresses perform yoga to keep their body fit and prevent themselves from gaining any extra weight. Want to try it out for yourself?
Here are 5 yoga poses which will help you in reducing that extra body fat which we all know is just lying around there:
One of the most effective poses in a weight loss program, this pose helps in reducing all that belly fat as it gives maximum stretch to your body. But not only weight loss, this pose also helps with backache, diabetes and other issues you’d commonly face.
How it’s done: With your face facing the floor and your legs stretched out, take a few deep breaths before you get going. Now inhale slowly and begin bending your legs backwards so you can hold your ankles with both your hands. Hold for as long as possible and then while you’re exhaling get back to your original position. Repeat this cycle for 4-5 times daily. Check out video guide below for more details.
Also famous as the Cobra pose, this pose is an important one for losing belly fat. Apart from that relieving back aches, acting like a stress buster, enhancing digestion, etc. are other issues it solves It also prevents women from many gynecological problems and is found to be beneficial in case of a slipped disk and thyroid problems.
How it’s done: Lay on your stomach with your face towards the floor and your legs and feet stretched and close to each other. Position your arms in line with your shoulder on each side and rest your head on the floor. Inhale and lift your head and chest from the ground while looking at the roof. Hold this position as long as possible. Take deep breaths. Then while exhaling, bring your head back to the ground. Repeat this for a few times.
Plough pose is good for reducing tummy fat and known to help with thyroid problems, diabetes, piles, constipation and dyspepsia. It also provides flexibility to your spine and helps strengthen the back muscles.
How it’s done: Lie on your back with your legs joined together and your palms fixed to the floor. Take in normal breaths. Then slowly raise your legs straight up and lift your buttocks rolling backwards away from the floor. Bring your legs close to your head while touching the floor with your toes. Your arms should be pressed down on the floor and behind your back. Maintain this position for as long as comfortable and then slowly get back to your initial position.
Also known as the wheel pose, it proves to be beneficial for attaining slim waist while providing flexibility to the vertebral column. It is known to be good for asthmatic patients and persons suffering from respiratory problems.
How it’s done: Lie down with a flat back and bend your knees while maintaining a slight gap between your legs. Keep your palms above your shoulders next your head. Inhale and raise your body according to your comfort. Slowly drop your head and try to make your legs and arms as straight as possible. Hold this position for as long as possible and take deep breaths. While exhaling, bring your body down.
This arm legs pose helps in controlling your obesity and relieving constipation. It also helps in reducing blood pressure and beneficial for heart issues.
How it’s done: Stand straight with joined legs and inhale while stretching your hands above your shoulder. Exhale and bend down and try to touch your ankles with your hands while your nose is touching your knees. Hold this position for some time and then while inhaling, go back to your initial position.