As our life becomes hectic with each passing day, most of us struggle with keeping both our mind and body fit. It is no news to all of us that yoga does not just have physical benefits but also has a positive impact on our brains. In fact, yoga was created as a way to bring the mind and body together.

Fun fact: Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj, which means "to yoke or bind," and is frequently translated as "union" or a discipline method. 

There are more benefits to this ancient exercise than just making you physically fit and calming your mind. Fitness Expert, Neha Khattar, takes us through the many benefits of yoga and the easiest asanas a beginner can get started with.

Why should you try yoga?


Other than the above-mentioned benefits, you can also opt to do yoga that focuses on a certain ailment or health benefit; yoga for diabetes, blood pressure relief, pain relief, asthma relief, better eyesight, glowing skin, etc.

So what equipment does one need to start a basic yoga routine?

First, 

We’d suggest getting a non-slip yoga mat that’ll help you hold your stance better. It's a good idea to invest in a nice one that may help you avoid injuries and make your yoga sessions more enjoyable. 

Pro tip: Look for yoga mats that come with stance markings to help improve posture and stance.

Next, 

invest in a good pair of yoga pants that help with better flexibility, are breathable and moisture-wicking. Remember, yoga pants should feel like a second skin so you feel comfortable and non-restrictive throughout the session.

Third,

Do not shy away from investing in a good sports bra for your yoga practice sessions so it can provide you the apt amount of support that your bust needs and keep you comfortable.

While these are the basic necessities if you’re a complete beginner to yoga, there are also a few optional pieces of equipment that you can go for once you are a couple of months into it:

  • Foam Yoga Block - For extra support to your hips; it helps by putting lesser pressure on your flexors. It also helps in supporting during standing balancing exercises. 
  • Yoga Strap - Help with poses where you feel like you aren’t flexible enough for those, it also helps in holding poses by providing a little extra support and better resistance.
  • Yoga Blankets - For when you need to stay warm during a relaxation or need a little support under your head, knee ory any other part during a certain asana.
  • Yoga Socks - These help provide a little extra grip and the ones with better quality also have moisture wicking properties to help you perform your asanas with better balance to hold your stance.
  • Yoga Wheels
  • Yoga Bolster

There should be a reason why anybody should use Yoga props like blocks, straps or blankets, all have a different purpose, and it’s worth mentioning only the basic ones only, as the blankets, bolsters are helpful in Restorative Yoga.

So, how do you get started on an easy, beginner-friendly yoga routine?

Just the way you warm up before lifting weights in the gym, here is a simple routine to follow before you begin with the asanas:

  1. Neck rotation: Neck rotation helps to release any tensions in the neck region. Simply stand straight with legs hip-distance apart and then slowly rotate your neck in a clockwise direction, then after resting for 15 seconds you can rotate it in the anti-clockwise direction.
  2. Shoulder warm-up: Stand straight with legs hip-distance apart and then lifting each hand one by one rotate it first in a clockwise direction and then in the anti-clockwise direction. You can repeat this 10 times for each hand.
  3. Ankle rotation: Either sit or stand in an upright position and extend your arms to your front and rotate both your ankles together first in the clockwise direction and then slowly in an anti-clockwise direction. Keep 10 rotations per side.
  4. Hip-circles: Bring your hands to your waist and slowly start rotating it in a clockwise direction and then in an anti-clockwise direction with 10 rotations per side. Then, stop, breathe and relax.
  5. Ankle rotation: For your legs, you can follow the similar pattern as used for the above rotations, but it is advisable to lie down on your back for this one. Then you can slowly begin rotating your ankles in clockwise and then in an anti-clockwise direction with again keeping 10 rotations per side.

Here are a few simple asanas for you to start off with

Balasana (Child's Pose)

This relaxing position encourages you to let go and submit; it restores physical, mental, and emotional vigor.

How to do it?

  • For this, lie down on your stomach, with toes flat and feet together. 
  • Then as you inhale in, place your hands on the mat below your shoulders, raise your waist, and raise your head.
  • With the help of your hands, pull your torso back, maintaining a straight line with your elbows and applying equal pressure to both palms. 
  • Ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears and tilt your head backward. Then slowly exhale as you return to the ground.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

This one will develop the lower back muscles and help open the chest to aid with breathing while also helping the spine to be more flexible.

How to do it? 

  • For this, lie down on your stomach, with toes flat and feet together. 
  • Then as you inhale in, place your hands on the mat below your shoulders, raise your waist, and raise your head.
  • With the help of your hands, pull your torso back, maintaining a straight line with your elbows and applying equal pressure to both palms. 
  • Ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears and tilt your head backward. Then slowly exhale as you return to the ground.


Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)

This helps strengthen your glutes and quads and helps stretch your chest, shoulder, neck, and spine. It also helps calm your body, improve digestion and stimulate tired legs.

How to do it?

  • Lie down on your back, knees bent and feet flat.
  • As you extend your arms onto the floor, keep your palms flat then exhale as you push your hips upwards, pressing your feet and arms into the floor.
  • Keep your arms as straight as possible while rolling your shoulders underneath your body and clasping your hands together.
  • Maintain a small raise in your chin while keeping your thighs and feet parallel.
  • Hold the posture for up to 60 seconds while breathing normally.


Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

This asana helps you with standing strong, steady, and centered in Mountain Pose helps to improve posture, alignment, and balance.

How to do it? 

  • Stand with your feet together and your back straight with your toes and heels touching together. Stretch all of your toes while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Keep the palms of your hands by the sides of your thighs.
  • Tighten the knees, draw the kneecaps up, contract the hips, and pull up the muscles at the back of the thighs.
  • Maintain a straight neck, stomach in, chest forward, and spine straight.
  • Take a few deep breaths and hold your position for as long as you comfortably can. Then return back to your initial position.

Tiryaka Tadasana (Swaying Palm Tree Pose)

It helps in clearing the phlegm from the lungs, stretching the ribs and side muscles and stretches all the compressed joints above your waist.

How to do it? 

  • Stand with your feet approximately 2 to 3 feet apart. Fix your focus on a stable spot in front of your body.
  • Then, inhale and lift your hands over your head, interlocking your fingers with your palm facing up.
  • Now exhale and bend to your right side as much as possible from the waist; stretching the left side of the body while contracting the right.
  • Try to hold your breath here for a few moments then exhale and return to the initial position. Perform this on the left side and repeat these steps 5 more times, each side.

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves. Strengthens the thighs and knees strong and flexible. Reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

How to do it?

  • Stand tall with your feet together and your arms at your sides and inhale. Then, slowly bend forward and place the palms of your hands on the floor.
  • Next, try to touch your knees with your forehead (you might not be able to do it in the first go but don’t stress). Try keeping your arms and legs straight, take a deep breath, and exhale. Maintain your current position for as long as it is comfortable.
  • At first, you might be able to hold the final position for 30 seconds to one minute which can be extended up to two or three minutes over the course of the session.

Paschimottasana (Seated forward fold)

In addition to calming your mind and relieving stress, this pose stretches your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus—and can help improve digestion.

How to do it? 

  • To begin, sit on the ground and stretch both legs wide with your toes pointing forward.
  • Then inhale, raise your arms, and bend your body forward as far as possible while you exhale.
  • Try that your Interlocked fingers extend past the toes and the nose touches the knees in the final stage.
  • Do this for 5 seconds at first, then aim to hold the stance for as long as you feel comfortable.
  • Do this twice at first then slowly increase the number of rounds as well as the duration of holding the pose.

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose)

This asana helps prepare the hips and groins for meditative seated poses, which require more flexibility in these areas. Helps to sooth menstrual discomfort and digestive complaints.

How to do it? 

  • Begin by sitting on a mat with your back and legs straight.
  • Then bend your knees gently and get your heel close to your pelvis, drop your knees to the ground and grab your toes with your index, middle, and thumb fingers to bring the heel as close to the pelvic as possible.
  • Do not force the heel and adjust the distance according to your hip comfort.
  • As a beginner, you should focus on the ankle and shin to push the heel closer to the pelvis.
  • Additionally, sit in a way that your tailbone and pubis are at the same level as the floor.
  • Ensure that your pelvis is neutral, and your perineum is parallel to the floor.
  • While keeping your back straight and shoulder blades firm flap your legs up and down. Perform this for 5 to 10 minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable while inhaling and exhaling deeply.
  • Stop, relax and slowly straighten your legs.


Jatara Parivarttasana (Spinal twist)

This asana helps you strengthen your core and abdomen.

How to do it? 

  • To perform this asana, begin by lying down on the yoga mat in a comfortable position.
  • Then, keep your feet together and your arms parallel to your shoulder with your palms facing opposite to the ground.
  • After then, maintain a 90-degree angle between the feet and the head.
  • Then, keep your foot to the left and your head to the right, take a deep breath while maintaining your left foot on the ground and keeping a straight spine.
  • Exhale after that while maintaining your shoulders on the ground. Hold for 40 seconds then repeat with the other side.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

This asana helps calm the  central nervous system, aiding the digestive and immune systems. Calms the mind and reduces stress. Reduces headache, fatigue and anxiety. Helps lower blood pressure.

How to do it?

  • All yoga sessions end with this pose, it is to completely relax the mind and body after the session.
  • For this relaxation pose all you need to do is lie flat on your backs with your heels stretched as wide as the yoga mat. 
  • Arms are relaxed on the ground, palms facing upwards, and the eyes are normally closed. You can either spend a few moments or several minutes in this pose relaxing your body, focusing on your breath and meditating.
  • As simple as it sounds, doing it the right way, not distracted or half asleep, but purposefully relaxing the body and mind with a focused method, can be difficult.

In the end...

Yoga might seem like an excessively easy exercise to perform at first and you might think how would such slow motions ever help you lose weight or improve your health but trust us it is not that easy (not too hard as well!) and would take a bit of practice to master.

But fear not, try this simple yoga routine to get started with and slowly build your flexibility and endurance for the many asanas. So, get your yoga gear ready and prepare to find your zen.

Posted 
Jan 25, 2022
 in 
Fitness
 category

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