Exercise, as we have heard or read many times the past 3 years, has been scientifically proven to improve overall health. It helps overcome stress, depression and chronic illnesses. But let’s agree that sometimes, we really do not have the time to travel to the gym due to work or personal reasons.That’s why, Yoga is a convenient and anywhere-to-do, form of exercise. It regulates a better blood flow to the organs and balances the hormone and maintains positivity in individuals. Yoga may also help in muscle strains and tensions, increasing alertness and concentration. This is why yoga is a very popular exercise that promotes calmness and relaxation to its practitioner. Moreover, yoga is also a tool in many psychotherapy treatments.
Recognizing the importance of yoga, this year's yoga day theme focuses on how yoga helps to cure Covid-19 and how it will help the achieving holistic health of every individual.The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his speech at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 27th September 2014. This 2022, the theme for International Yoga Day is “Yoga for Humanity”.
Origin of YogaYoga is an ancient 6000 years old practice, originated in India that combines physical, mental and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony of the body and mind. As a combination of careful body postures and meditation, yoga can help you achieve harmony of the mind, body, and soul. In fact, it can boost your immunity and resistance to common illnesses, stress and anxiety – just what you need these days.
Effective Yoga Poses to Improve Mental Well-BeingSince we want to focus on our mental health this year, let’s celebrate these easy to do, at home, Yoga poses that will not only help you with your physical health but most importantly focus on your mental well-being.
Read and follow these 4 Yoga poses till the end of this article for a little surprise!
1. Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose)Viparita Karani is one of the most relaxing poses (also my personal favourite) and it allows you to lie on the ground with your legs up on the wall, without causing too much twisting. It calms anxiety, treats depression and insomnia and also helps rejuvenate the mind and body.
Let’s Do it!
Sit about 3 inches from an empty wall. Lie onto the back and swing your legs upwards in such a way that the back of the thigh rests against the wall. Rest your entire back, i.e. the spinal column on the floor below and relax the arms on either side of the body or the tummy. Hold the position for 10 minutes or as long as you can and then slowly pull your leg back to the starting position.
2. Sethubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
This pose reminds me of the glutes workout at the gym. Only difference is the gym workout has variations with plates and dumbbells and can be vigorous whereas this Yoga pose focuses on relaxing and removing all the blockages from the mind and restoring peace and calmness.
This is an extremely beneficial posture for relieving arthritic pain and strengthening the leg, thigh and back muscles.
Let’s Do it!
Start the posture by lying flat on your back. Now bend your knees and elbows. Place your feet flat on the floor close to the hips and your hands firmly on either side of the head. While supporting both your hands and legs on the ground, slowly try to lift your body up into the air. Hold this arching posture for 20-30 secs and slowly bring your body up into a standing pose.
3. Uttanasana (Forward Bend Pose)
The forward bend pose is almost as if you are in a foetal position while standing with your legs straight. This inverted posture is an extremely therapeutic posture that enhances your immunity, attenuates stress and relaxes the mind. Moreover, it also strengthens the calves, hamstrings and hips and reduces insomnia, fatigue and headache.
Let’s Do it!
While standing, bring the feet hip-distance apart. Without bending your knees, slowly bend your body above the torso downwards. See that your knees are straight. You can allow your hands and hang down and rest your palms on the ground or just hold your feet to the ankles. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths, then slowly get back to the standing position.
4. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Yes, it sounds scary because it has the word “corpse” in it, but trust me you can fall asleep during this pose and it is one of my favourite poses to end my Yoga sessions. This yogasana not only cools the body, calms the mind but improves concentration, patience and boosts mental well-being, while relaxing the body.
Practice this after every asana to allow the body to relax in between the asanas.
Let’s Sleep! And Wake up!
Lie down on your back and close your eyes. Relax your body and mind. and think happy peaceful thoughts. Take your time while you do this. Breathe normally and do not hold your breath. After some time, stand up.
Yoga only takes a few minutes to do, but its benefits are more than just daily exercising. Let’s understand that although some of us may be going to the gym or running outdoors, it is important to also be physically and mentally flexible and Yoga can help you with just that!
Want your bonus Yoga Poses?
Click on this article for Yoga Poses to help you calm down.
Happy International Yoga Day!