Tuesday, June 20, 2023

This year too innumerable people from more than 170 countries across the world are going to celebrate “International Yoga Day” on 21st June by participating to practice Yoga. It is really heartening that Yoga – the science of integrating body, mind and soul is getting ever growing acceptance in all time zones. The reason is clear and noteworthy. Practicing Yoga is simple, easy and cost-less. It has immense health and medical benefits. Besides protecting us largely from many minor as well as major ailments, the stress related multiple diseases can very well be prevented and addressed effectively through practice of Yoga as well.  This becomes possible due to sustained improvement in our 1) Blood circulation 2) Digestion 3) Immune system 4) Physical flexibility 5) Detoxification process 6) Memory power 7) Level of concentration 8) Awareness & Consciousness 9) Intuitive ability 10) Self- confidence 11) Energy level and 12) Peace of mind. The list is only indicative.

Obviously, this is an appropriate moment to discuss a few Yoga exercises (Asanas) which would definitely benefit in a big way, if we practice them consciously and sincerely on a regular basis. Yes, all Yoga activities should be practiced during morning hours after finishing washroom engagements and are initially to be practiced under the guidance of a suitable trainer. The Asanas are:

1. Bhujangasana:  It is also known as cobra pose asana.


Process: 1) Lay flat on your belly. Bend the arms at the elbow and place the palms beside the lower chest at the level of the last rib exerting the least pressure on the palms. 2) Keep the elbows close to each other and let them not spread out. 3) Breathe in (Inhale) and slowly come up and raise your body. 4) Arch the dorsal spine and neck backwards as far as you can. 5) Keep the body below the navel in touch with the ground. 6) Maintain the final position with normal breathing for about one minute with the least pressure on the palm. 7) While breathing out (Exhaling) , come back to the starting position. 

Benefits: This asana strengthens the spinal muscle; activates the function of kidney and liver; reduces abdominal fat and back pain.

Point of caution: Those who have problems with hernia, have undergone abdominal surgery or are suffering from intestine related illness should avoid this asana.

2. Shashankasana:

Process: 1) Sit in Vajrasan (fold both the legs at the knees and sit on the heels resting the palms on the thighs) pose. 2) Raise both the arms upwards while inhaling. 3) While breathing out or exhaling, bend forward from the waist bringing the forehead on to the ground in front of the knee and hands right straight. 4) Maintain this position for about one minute with normal breathing. 5) While breathing in or inhaling, come to the starting vertical position slowly.

Benefits: This asana improves the functioning of adrenal glands; enhances blood flow to the brain; makes the spinal cord, ankles and knees flexible; helps people suffering from constipation.

Point of caution: People suffering from slip-disc or gastritis and peptic ulcer should avoid this asana.

3. Pashimottanasana:

Process: 1) Sit comfortably keeping both the legs right straight. 2) Raise both the arms upwards while inhaling. 3) Now while exhaling, bend the trunk forward from the lower back and form hooks of index fingers and catch hold of the big toes. Try to rest your face on the knees. 4) Maintain this position for about a minute with normal breathing. 5) Return to the starting position of sitting with legs straight forward while inhaling.

Benefits: This asana is very good for all, particularly persons suffering from diabetes, obesity and constipation. Actually it helps energise the whole body; stimulates the spinal nerves and back muscle; improves kidney function; improves digestion.

Point of caution: Persons suffering from spondylitis, sciatica, abdominal ailments should avoid this asana. 

Undeniably, there are many more yoga practices – Asana (Physical exercise), Pranayama (Breathing activity) and Dhyana (Meditation) to know, learn and practice regularly to keep us fit and fine - physically, mentally and spiritually. Nevertheless, it is always better to start with a few simple but important yoga activities, continue it for a few weeks and then go for a few more as per your experience, need and requirement, and guidance of the yoga trainer. Happy ‘International Yoga Day’ to all.


As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.


Published in "Morning India" daily.
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