By now, you must have already known how important Yoga is for your health and fitness. Yoga exercises (asanas) increases your flexibility and improves your strength. Yoga has the zeal to change your energy. If your morning routine starts with dragging yourself out of bed and gulping down a cup of hot coffee, try ten rounds of Surya Namaskar or some pranayama, and notice the energizing effects it has on the nervous system. Conversely, if you need a change later on in the day, just a few minutes of asana practice can re-balance the nervous system, calm the mind and give you a different perspective.
So, the bottom line is that Yoga makes you feel better. It makes you feel different, more open, present and happier by reducing the levels of anxiety. Now, when you already know that there are tens of dozens of advantages and benefits of Yoga, then it is also important to know how to practice Yoga. This means that you need to really study and learn the technique to perform the Yoga asanas and exercises. If not, you may end up damaging your body, spine, back or any other body part. To help avoid such kind of situation, we have brought forward the detailed steps for some of the popular Yoga asanas. This step-by-step procedure would make it easy for you to perform these exercises.
But, before starting with the Yoga exercises, we have brought steps to perform slow Sun Salutations which is part of the warm-up routine associated with Yoga.
Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. It serves as an all-purpose yoga tool, kind of like a hammer that’s also a saw and a screwdriver if you can imagine such a thing. It is a classical sequence of twelve yoga positions, for an energizing warm-up routine that is performed at the start of every Yoga session. Dozens of muscles are stretched and toned in this Yoga exercise.
There are 12 sun salutations which are important for warming you up before your Yoga session.
1. Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
(i) Stand at the edge of your mat, keep your feet together and balance your weight equally on both the feet.
(ii) Then, expand your chest and relax your shoulders.
(iii) As you breathe in, lift both arms up from the sides and as you exhale, bring your palms together in front of the chest in prayer position.
2. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
(i) Breathing in, lift the arms up and back, keeping the biceps close to the ears.
(ii) In this pose, you need to stretch the whole body up from the heels to the tips of the fingers.
3. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
(i) Breathe out; bend forward from the waist, while keeping the spine erect.
(ii) As you exhale completely, bring the hands down to the floor beside the feet.
(iii) You may bend the knees, if necessary, to bring the palms down to the floor. Now make a gentle effort to straighten the knees.
4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
(i) Breathe in; push your right leg back, as far back as possible.
(ii) Bring the right knee to the floor and look up.
(iii) Ensure that the left foot is exactly in between the palms.
5. Dandasana (Stick pose)
(i) As you breathe in, take the left leg back and bring the whole body in a straight line.
(ii) Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.
6. Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts Or Points)
(i) Gently bring your knees down to the floor and exhale. Take the hips back slightly, slide forward, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your posterior a little bit.
(ii) The two hands, two feet, two knees, chest and chin (eight parts of the body touch the floor).
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
(i) Slide forward and raise the chest up into the Cobra posture. You may keep your elbows bent in this pose, the shoulders away from the ears. Look up.
(ii) As you inhale, make a gentle effort to push the chest forward; as you exhale, make a gentle effort to push the navel down.
8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
(i) Breathe out; lift the hips and the tailbone up, chest downwards in an ‘inverted V’ (/\) posture.
(ii) If possible, try and keep the heels on the ground and make a gentle effort to lift the tailbone up, going deeper into the stretch.
9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
(i) Breathe in, bring the right foot forward in between the two hands, left knee down to the floor, press the hips down and look up.
(ii) Place the right foot exactly between the two hands and the right calf perpendicular to the floor.
(iii) In this position, make a gentle effort to push the hips down towards the floor, to deepen the stretch.
10. Hasta Padasana (Hand to Foot pose)
(i) Breathe out, bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary.
(ii) Breathe out; bring the left foot forward. Keep the palms on the floor. You may bend the knees, if necessary.
11. Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
(i) Breathe in, roll the spine up, hands go up and bend backward a little bit, pushing the hips slightly outward.
(ii) Ensure that your biceps are beside your ears. The idea is to stretch up more rather than stretching backward.
(i) As you exhale, first straighten the body, and then bring the arms down.
(ii) Relax in this position; observe the sensations in your body.
Visit these top Yoga related websites for information on a wide variety of topics.
Yoga: Its Origin, History and Development
The Science behind Yoga
How to Improve Mind Body Connection with Yoga
Make sure to check out our health, fitness and personal development related free learning guides and quality digital products.