We are currently living in a stressful and emotionally charged situation for all. Everyone experiences it in their own way, but the anxiety is definitely more present. We can't really change the situation, but we can change the way we perceive it or experience it. Introducing the practice of yoga is a particularly pleasant one.
Yoga in its true nature is much more than what we perceive today, it is a philosophy, a way of life. Explained very simply, it is seen today as a set of postures and breathing exercises aimed at providing physical and mental well-being. Many of the principles explored on the mat can be incorporated into everyday life, even if you don't practice it regularly. Find the best yoga benefits below.
On the one hand, yoga provides multiple physical benefits. The practice of the postures aims to strengthen and relax the body, while the breathing exercises aim to regulate the flow of vital energy. Regular practice can even lead to posture correction and decrease chronic back pain. Together with breathing exercises, it is recognized as a very effective way to reduce stress and anxiety, and even to fight depression. This wonderful discipline is also known to improve cognitive functions, such as attention, concentration and memory.
And after a few months of practice, the body continues to transform. Better balance, improved lung capacities, lower blood sugar in diabetics, lower blood pressure and improved sex life. And there is no contraindication to practicing yoga.
Some simple postures:
- Cat-cow pose (Marjariasana), where we simply place ourselves on all fours. We start by inhaling, while digging our back and lifting our head and neck upwards. Then we breathe out, slowly rounding our backs while also tilting our head and looking at our thighs, and we come back quietly with our backs straight, while breathing deeply. Repeat 4 times.
- Downward dog pose is one of the basic positions of yoga practice. We move from 4 legs to lift the pelvis, placing the hands in front of us and the feet flat behind us, forming an upside down v. We stay there for a few breaths.
We often feel, too often, overwhelmed by events, or lost, unable to maintain focus. Regular yoga practice helps you develop the ability to refocus quickly, no matter where or what situation you are in. To be here and now ’..
The more you practice yoga, the more you will come to feel your feet rooting in the ground, taking root. You will also feel the top of your head connect.
- Child's pose (Balasana): stand on all fours, knees the width of the mat. Join the big toes. On a long exhale, lower the hips towards the heels and ankles while tilting the torso forward and release the arms to the floor in front of you, palms down. Relax your back and put your forehead on the floor. Take the time to refocus on several breaths. On the inhale, allow the rib cage to open. On the exhale, open the heart and anchor the hips in the ground.
- Tree pose (Vrikshasana) : it begins in the same way as that of the mountain, feet together in parallel, standing, straight. With each exhale, feel your roots dig into the ground. After a few breaths, lift your right foot off the ground and drop it on the side of your left thigh. Join your hands together at chest level in a prayer form, and take a few deep breaths (or above your head). You repeat it with your left foot. The position requires focus, to be here and now.
- Lotus Posture (Padmasana): The lotus is a powerful posture. While energizing the body, Padmasana can also be a deeply calming and stabilizing pose. It helps maintain good posture and spine alignment, which facilitates the deep breathing needed to achieve a meditative state.
Start by sitting on the floor. Take one or more deep breaths so that you relax all of your muscles, from top to bottom. Please feel free to close your eyes during this exercise and clear your mind.Once your body is totally relaxed, and your mind calmed, lift your back. To help you, imagine an invisible wire or wall behind you. Place each of your feet on the opposite thigh. Do this movement one after the other, so you don't lose your balance.Finally, put your hands flat on your knees.If you wish, it will subsequently be possible to test different hand positions. For example, you can form a mudra with your fingers by touching your thumb and index finger together, while leaving your other fingers open.
- Savasana: an excellent posture for anchoring, as the whole body touches the ground. The ideal position to end a yoga session. You need to lie on the floor, stretch your legs, spread them comfortably and relax them. You stretch your neck, and leave your arms at the side of the body, palms facing up. Take deep breaths and exhales, feel the energy flow into you, and your body connect to the ground. The biggest difficulty: not falling asleep !!!
Breathing exercises are an integral part of yoga.
With each breath, slowly inhale the surrounding air, realizing how far this air travels through your lungs and body. With each exhale, take the time to slowly exhale all the air from the lungs, releasing tension from your body in stages. Release the tensions of the jaw, neck, shoulders, stomach. The tensions will subside and the stress will be greatly reduced.
Finally, if you have never practiced yoga, it would be wise to sign up for a class to see how to correct your techniques and postures and thus avoid injuring yourself. But then it's up to you to decide whether you prefer to practice it in a group class or at home, depending on your schedule. Several courses are offered online. Yoga really has everything to be perfect.
Article written by Audrée Hogue