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‘Yoga’ means the union of the mind and body. The world has always been intrigued by this spiritual element associated with yoga, which originated in India centuries ago. Over the years, yoga has diverged into different approaches like Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga, and hot yoga. And for beginners, the different types, the Sanskrit jargon, and convoluted yoga poses may seem daunting.

So here’s an initiation into the world of yoga:

What is yoga?

Contrary to the popular notion, yoga is not an exercise. It’s a synergy of your breath, body, and mind. It involves yoga asanas, pranayamas (breathing techniques), and meditation — all of which are rooted in age-old philosophy. ‘Prana’, or the life force, keeps the body and mind alive.

The yoga poses performed with the appropriate breathing techniques help balance the ‘prana’, ensuring a healthy body and a peaceful mind.

 Who can practice yoga? 

Regardless of age and weight, anyone can perform yoga. Begin with yoga poses for newbies and gradually improve your strength and flexibility to practice advanced poses. Certain yoga poses may give discomfort as you may be challenging your limits. But immediately stop if you get intense pain in your joints. 

Benefits of Yoga

Research has proven the following benefits of this low-impact activity:

  • Regular practice improves your posture, flexibility, mobility, and overall strength. The full range of motion and body stretching relieves muscular tension.
  • Yoga is ideal for relaxing worked out muscles after a high-impact activity
  • It improves the overall immune system and helps you stay away from heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, and Hypertension problem
  • The rhythmic breathing relaxes your mind, improves concentration, ensures sound sleep, and eliminates mental stress, anxiety, and depression.
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Yoga poses for beginners 

Learning under an expert’s guidance enhances the benefits of yoga for newbies. But in the case of a medical condition or injury, consult your doctor before beginning yoga.

Here are some yoga poses that can be easily performed at home. Though it’s compulsory to start with warmup exercises like shoulder and hip stretches before the session.

Downward-facing dog pose

Come on all fours. Form an upside-down ‘V’ shape, straighten your arms and legs, and lift your hips high. Bend your knees slightly to avoid the curving of your spine. Maintain this for five breaths.

Cobra pose

Lie down on your stomach, keeping your feet apart at hip distance. Placing your palms on the ground, inhale and lift your torso away from the ground. Keep the hips on the floor. Finally, exhale and bring your body back to the supine position.

Tree pose

Stand with your heels apart and toes together. Bend your right leg, place your right foot on the inner thigh of your left leg. The right knee should be turned out, and the right thigh should face the ground at a 45-degree angle. Balance this position and fold your hands in a prayer pose. Hold this position for five to ten breaths. Later change the sides.

Plank pose

Come on all fours. Lift your knees off the ground with your arms at shoulder distance and feet at hip distance. Make sure your posture is straight, and body parallels to the ground. Tighten the stomach and hold for five breaths.

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Seated forward fold

Seated on the ground, stretch your legs in front of you, and toes pointed towards the ceiling. Sit tall and bend forward. Avoid curving your back as you place your hands on your feet. Hold for five to ten breaths.

Child’s pose

Kneel on the ground. Your knees should be kept wide with the big toes touching each other. Bend forward, stretching your arms and resting your forehead on the ground. Breathe deeply for five to ten breaths.

 Tips for beginners

Whether you plan to join a yoga class or practice from home, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Make sure you’re practicing yoga on an empty stomach, minimum two-three hours after your meal. Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing and avoid jewelry for the yoga sessions
  • If you are practicing at home, reserve a space exclusive for your yoga session that will mentally prepare you, and help you stay committed to the routine.
  • As a yoga beginner, you can start with a 10 to 15-minute session and gradually increase the time based on your comfort level.

 In conclusion

You will be able to reap the benefits of yoga only through a regular and disciplined routine. So stay focused and allocate yourself some time for your physical and mental well-being.

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