Yoga is an ancient Indian system of health and fitness, which emphasizes the physical body as a temple of God’s energy. Yoga postures are practiced to benefit the entire body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is one of the few Eastern philosophies that have found widespread appeal in both the East and the West. It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age, physical status, or even sexual orientation. In fact, yoga is increasingly popular among people of all cultures. Even if you were not raised in the religion, you may find yoga exercises helpful for your overall well being.
Yoga asanas or positions are exercises or positions that stretch and strengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and joints. An asana is basically a static body pose, originally a generic term for any standing meditation pose, and now expanded into any sort of flexed, lying, stretching, rotating, sitting, or standing position. Many of the ancient asanas or poses are still in use today, although most are simplified to make them accessible to more people. Some popular yoga asanas or positions include the Sun Salutation (Pranayama), Headstand, Dolphin Pose, Cheststand, Half Spinal Twist, Shoulderstand, Hanging Knee Lift, Powerhouse Stretch, Forward Bends, Backward bends, Locust Walk, Butterfly Twist, Dolphin Kick, and Cobra Leg.
The benefits of yoga as a posture system go beyond just helping maintain proper alignment. The right posture, when done for a long period of time, helps reduce stress and tension. It promotes healing in the mind and spirit, removes toxins from the body, enhances sleep, eliminates back pain, improves digestion, increases mobility and strength, calms the nervous system, reduces anxiety, enhances concentration and attention, balances the hormonal system, enhances self-esteem and confidence, and improves moods of both mind and body. Yoga asanas or postures are gentle enough to be practiced by most people, yet help with any number of ailments. By practicing yoga aasan consistently, you can reap the benefits of yoga without straining your body, dealing with the excess weight of excess weight on the spine, and achieving better health and fitness through the mental stress reduction aspects of yoga.
One such benefit of yoga aasan is improving digestion, or better digestion. The bodily systems of all people are connected and dependent upon one another for proper functioning; when one system is affected, others tend to compensate. One of these systems is the digestive system, and the effects of having excess weight on the abdomen, the hips, the legs, or the back can affect digestion greatly.
One of the easiest yoga poses to begin is the Tandoori pose, which is also known as the Indian sit-stay. This pose has origins in India’s ancient yogic practices, which were used to treat various disorders, including constipation and indigestion. There are various yoga poses that will improve your digestive functions, including but not limited to Kapalabhati (abdominal breathing in), Trikonasana (headstand), and Bikram (breath-work).
Shavasana is a yoga posture that allows the mind to focus solely on the feet, while keeping the body straight and relaxed. This technique helps to ease tension, headaches, cramps, and soreness in the muscles and joints. Some of the more difficult shavasana postures include Bikram, which is considered one of the most demanding shavasana poses, involving sixty repositioning steps. However, this pose is necessary for overall health, energy levels, and balance.
The benefits of yoga aasan and bhujangasana are similar, though their effects may differ based on age, health condition, or the body at the time. Yoga is not a replacement for medication, nor is it a miracle cure. However, yoga can help to relieve stress and offer improved mental, physical, and emotional health. In fact, many of the disorders that yoga helps to treat can be the results of stress or lack of proper nutrition, which is why a daily yoga practice can strengthen the body’s defenses.
Yoga pranayama can be performed with a partner or alone. It is a gentle technique that can be practiced anytime, anywhere. To get the full benefits of yoga aasan and bhujangasana, practice regularly to stretch and strengthen the muscles, especially the abdominals. You can learn yoga aasan and bhujangasana from a yoga teacher, or with a DVD or online instruction.