A practice that strengthens your body and mind. Keeping it as an ongoing routine improves your wellbeing. Learn about its five basic poses.
Lina Bremen Yoga Instructor.
Each asana, or yoga pose, has a physical, emotional and mental effect. Practicing it does not just result in weight loss, as with aerobics; in greater flexibility, as with stretching; or in an improved physical state, as with any exercise. It does not just benefit the body. Its other benefits include quieting the mind, developing intuition, improving balance and breathing, and gaining greater awareness of the body and mind. A practice that began over 5,000 years ago in India, it can develop into a way of approaching life at its deepest level. Yoga is appropriate for people of all ages, physical conditions and religions.
- Sun salutations revitalize
This is a complete sequence for starting the day full of vitality. Breathing is an essential part of it. Remember to breathe in when stretching or spreading your body out, and to breathe out when moving back or contracting. It is important to focus your attention on the present.
- Sleep well with the seated forward bend
Postures that work the pituitary gland help you to fall asleep. This gland is located in the brain where the hormone melatonin is produced. In Paschimottanasana, you lift your arms, stretch them towards the sky and bring your core and arms towards your legs as you exhale. This pose calms the mind.
- Asana for stress relief
Jumping forwards is part of Uttanasana, a pose that starts by inhaling to stretch and bend over, bringing your hands to the ground and then bringing your head as close as possible to your knees. If you have a back injury, use caution.
- Poses for improving your digestive system
Twists, inversions and backbends help to improve your digestive system. In the Ardha-Matsyendrasana pose, it is important to keep your back straight and chest open. Hold for 30 seconds while continuing to inhale and exhale.
- Breathing to enter into a calm state
Changing how we normally breathe to a specific pattern can help us achieve different objectives. The Nadi sodhana pose, for example, brings on calmness and serenity.
In order to practice this type of breathing you must alternate inhaling air between each nostril. It is important to sit with a straight back and with relaxed shoulders.
In the West, techniques that derive from Hatha Yoga are practiced: spiritual techniques, such as with Kundalini Yoga, or physical and demanding techniques, such as Bikram Yoga.