Basic Yoga Practices for Beginners
I’ve earlier written a hub on the history, science, benefits & the instructions for doing Yoga. Here I would be discussing some of the Yoga postures that those aspirants can start practicing. According to saint Pathanjali, Asan means molding the body in one particular shape and staying still comfortably for a fixed period of time. These preliminary poses are easy to start, no need to give any stress to your body. After doing the basic routines such as prayer, meditation and ‘Savasan’, these postures can emerge a kick start for a beginner.
Respiration can be controlled to some extent through this practice. Lungs organ won’t expand or contract by itself. To improve its efficiency in these functions, ‘Swasanakriya’ contributes a lot.
How to do Swasanakriya
- In the lie down posture, hold your toes facing upwards. Slowly start taking breath accompanied by raising your hands upwards.
- When you’ve taken the breath or inhaled almost completely, your hands should rest parallel to the line containing your head.
- Release air or exhale through the nose and again move your hands upwards to place them in the beginning position.
- The speed with which the breath is controlled should be equal to the speed with which hands are moved.
- Repeat this cycle for 20 times with good concentration.
Benefits of doing Swasanakriya
1. Helps in enhancing the respiratory power.
2. As the practice continues, the intake and release of oxygen while breathing gets increased that is necessary for purifying blood.
3. Doing Swasanakriya is good for concentration too.
‘Sukham’ in Sanskrit means comfortable. Correspondingly, ‘Sukhasan’ means comfortable posture. Doing this Asan may seem to be difficult for those who don’t have the practice of sitting on floor crossing the legs. But after some days, this posture may become silly for them as there is no any complex bends or stretches required.
- Sit on the floor with the legs stretched forward. Slowly bring back your right leg so that the foot touches the left thigh.
- Similarly place the left leg to touch the right thigh. Now both the legs are crossed. Ensure that your knees touch the floor.
- Stretch your hands to reach the knees and hang them.
- Close your eyes and count your breaths. When 16 breaths are over, you would’ve sit for about 1 minute. Do this Asan for 2 minutes.
Practising this Asan for a long period of time may make your body viable to sit in crossed leg position comfortably. Swasthikasan is also like Sukhasan and both are the gateways for doing Padmasan.
Vajrasan is popular as Buddhists and Muslims conduct their prayers sitting in this pose. Sitting in between legs folded backwards is Vajrasan.
- Sit with your legs stretched forwards. Fold each of your leg backwards.
- Make your toes face upwards and sit in between them.
- Sit straight in this pose with the hands holding the knees.
- For 2 minutes, try to sit in this posture counting the number of breaths. This pose is not very easy for beginners, but Vajrasan is the base for doing many major Asans.
Benefits of doing Vajrasan
1. Blood circulation in the lower abdomen increases thereby making its parts and bones powerful.
2. Promotes digestion.
3. Good for diabetic patients. Doing Vajrasan for about 10-15 minutes after taking food improves the functionality of pancreas that produces insulin.
4. Helps prevent hernia.
‘Go’ in Sanskrit means cow. ‘Mukha ‘means face. Gomukhasan has the outlook of a cow’s face as the legs are positioned looking like that.
1. Sit stretching your legs forward. Slowly, fold the right leg and place it on top of left thigh raising the knee.
2. Fold the left leg in a similar fashion so that it rests on top of right thigh. Now, left knee would be on top of the right knee.
3. Draw your right hand backwards folding the elbow joint and bring the fingers towards the left shoulder.
4. Raise your left hand and fold it down so that the elbow joint coincide the ear. Hold the hands and sit in this position for about 2 minutes.
5. Ensure that spine, neck and head stand erect. Continue this Asan in the reverse order too for the same period of time.
Benefits of doing Gomukhasan
1. Good for diabetic patients.
2. Back pain and sciatica are relieved.
3. Good exercise for neck, shoulder and chest.
4. Great booster for the kidneys.
These are some of the basic Yogasans that a beginner may start with. Some may be easy to practice, while others may torture the body. After continuous and dedicated period of training, these torturing poses may transform into comfortable poses resulting in a healthier, independent, disease-free body that is envying.
Caution: Those who are under medication or have any ailments should consult their physician before start practicing Yoga.
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