Yoga as we all know is our country’s heritage. Yoga is a union of mind, body and soul. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body.
As we celebrate The International Day of Yoga on June 21st, here’s Deepika Padukone, an avid yoga practitioner and the global ambassador of Adidas showcasing a few easy yoga asanas that you can practice at home.
Deepika Padukone shares, “I started practicing yoga with consistency about two years ago after what felt like a deep inner calling. The beauty of yoga, apart from its numerous benefits, is that you can practice it in absolutely any space, in any part of the world. All you need is your mind and your body. I have, over the years, been exposed to many different types of workouts, exercises and practices; however it is practising yoga that makes me feel the most centered, balanced and grounded.”
Yoga is essentially a practice for your soul, working through the medium of our bodies. There couldn’t have been a better time than now to include these in your everyday regime for holistic wellness.
1). Camel Pose— Ustrasana
Camel Pose (Ustrasana) is an energising and beneficial backbend—a welcome, heart-opening addition to your sequence that counteracts slouching and relieves lower back pain. Camel Pose can help build confidence and empowerment. It improves your posture and counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting, slouching, and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). It may also help relieve back pain. Camel Pose stretches your abdomen, chest, shoulders, the front of your hips (hip flexors), and the front of your thighs (quadriceps). It also strengthens your back muscles, the back of your thighs (hamstrings), and buttocks (glutes).
2). Warrior Two Or Virabhadrasana II
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose), named after Hindu god who incarnated as a human, enhances the strength and stamina of beginner and advanced yogis alike. In the pose, your front knee bends to create a stretch in your hips, your arms engage and extend straight out from your shoulders, and your gaze, or dristhi, remains calm and steady toward your front hand. It is the second of three poses dedicated to Virabhadra. The standing posture opens your hips and strengthens and stretches your legs and ankles.
Garudasana (Eagle Pose) requires careful focus. You must bend your knees, cross your left thigh over your right, hook the top of your foot behind your right calf, spread the scapula and snug your right elbow into the crook of your left, bring your palms to touch, lift your elbows, and stretch your fingers towards the ceiling. Eagle Pose improves balance and focus, and postural and body awareness. It stretches around your shoulders, upper back, and thighs, as it strengthens your core, thighs, legs, and ankles.
4). Camatkarasana (Wild Thing or ‘Flip Dog’):
Camatkarasana or the Flip Dog Pose meticulously combines backbend and single-hand balance. Therefore, before practicing this asana or yoga pose, it is important to work on the strength of your arms and shoulders. This Pose is very beneficial to strengthen the muscles located around the spine while at the same time it extends and relaxes the spine. Camatkarasana or wild thing Pose provides an intense stretch to one side of the body at a time, which is very beneficial for your health. This will benefit you by opening up your chest muscles while stretching them out. It opens up your lungs. Camatkarasana sticks out your throat which has a direct impact on the thyroid glands releasing more hormones from it. Camatkarasana or wild thing Pose also lengthens and stretches your shoulders muscles to improve the overall flexibility of your body.
5). Ashwa Sanchalan asana – Equestrian Postures
Start with standing, both feet together and hands by the sides of your body (Samasthiti). Exhale and bend forward so that your palm comes flat on the floor by the sides of your feet (Uttanasana), you can bend your knees if it’s not possible with straight legs. Inhale and stretch the right leg back as far as is comfortable and grasp the floor with the toes. It stretches the groin, quadriceps, leg and the hips along with it stretches the back muscles and opens the chest. It’s good for indigestion, constipation and sciatica.
Photo credit: Deepika in Adidas Make Space Yoga Collection
– BY NAMITA GUPTA