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Yoga Asanas You Can Practise For Better Health

'Yoga' in Sanskrit means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness. It is an ancient physical, mental, and spiritual activity, now practised in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Here are some asanas that can be practised regularly for good health and well-being

Tadasana (Full Spinal Extension): This asana allows you to inhale and lift your spine up, by stretching your body and standing still like a tree. Tadasana helps release stiffness from the body and increases breathing capacity.

Vrikshasana (Balancing Posture): For this asana, you need to shift all your weight onto one foot and place the other heel on the groin, either above or below the knee. Place your hands in front of the chest to stabilise the body. Practising this posture can strengthen the spine and leg muscles. Additionally, it also quietens the mind down, brings a sense of focus and improves concentration.

Uttanasana (Forward Fold): Keeping your feet hip distance apart, you need to raise your hands up, holding your elbows. Inhale and lift the spine up. Then, exhale and fall from the hip, keeping your knees soft or slightly bent. Forward folds are therapeutic postures that improve blood circulation to the head and abdominal area.

Malasana (Squat): To perform this, you need to open your feet wide, exhale, and sit. Hook your armpit to the knee and put your hands in the namaskar mudra. Holding the posture for five to eight deep breaths and practising it regularly can increase the flexibility in the hip joint and aid digestion.

Bhujangasana (Basic Back Bend): To perform this asana, you need to lie down on your belly, take your hands behind your back, and interlock. Inhale, lift the chest up, hold the posture, and breathe. This asana helps increase lung capacity and strengthen the back muscles.

Cat-Cow Pose (Tiger Breathing): To perform this asana, you need to stand on your knees and hands and spread your fingers well. Arch the chest and back, synchronising with your breathing pattern. This asana is therapeutic and helps release stress. Avoid moving the neck, if you are suffering from cervical issues.

Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose): For this, you need to lie down on your back, bend your knees, put your hands on your sides and spread your fingers. In every inhalation, lift the hip up and expand the chest, and in every exhalation, lift the lip higher. This posture helps reduce fat from the body, especially on the buttocks and hip area. The Bridge pose also strengthens the muscles and quadriceps.

Jathar Parivartan Asana (Spinal Twisting): For this asana, you need to lie down on your back with your knees close to your chest and both arms spread on either side. Inhale in the centre, exhale, and drop both knees to the right side while looking the other way. This posture is good to start or end your day, as it helps release stress and anxiety.

Shavasana: To perform this asana, you need to lie on the ground and focus on your belly breath. Then, slowly bend your knees one by one, roll over to the right side, and gently sit up. Shavasana relaxes the body on a physical level as well as the nervous system.

To end the Yoga session, sit in any comfortable cross-legged position of your choice with your back straight and hands in front of your chest. Inhale deeply and end the practice by chanting Om together. Slowly rub your palms against each other, generate energy, cup your eyes, and take a deep breath. Inhale, exhale, and slowly blink open in the palm of your hand.

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