Yoga is the path to bliss and good health. It gained so much importance especially because of its benefits for health. Each asana in Hatha Yoga has direct effects on particular parts of the body. Not only the muscles get a nice stretch, but also the inner organs are affected and benefit from the different postures.We offer the customized 200 hours yoga teacher training course which covers the fundamental concepts of each asana always has a mental benefit as well. It’s therefore a holistic system that contributes to health and a general wellbeing.
The following postures are perfect for the everyday practice. They each work with the spine but still give you plenty of other benefits that go far beyond a healthy back.
3 daily postures for a healthy life
Paschimottanasana – Sitting forward bend
This asana is also known as the “forever young” asana as it keeps the spine flexible and provides a full stretch of the posterior of the body. While the belly touches the thighs it massages and stimulates the abdominal area. By that the digestive system is also affected which leads to the increase of the digestive fire and thus reduces body fat. This asana is especially recommended to patients suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia as it regulates the pancreas which is in control of blood sugar levels.
To come into the pose keep the legs stretched out straight in front of you, the feet together, toes are flexed. With an inhale stretch your arms up over your head, keep your spine straight. Exhaling you slowly bend forward and down from the hips, reaching for the toes with your hands. Make sure you keep the back as straight as possible and the neck in line with your spine. If possible you can hold your toes with your hands, otherwise hold on to your ankles or shins and bring the chest as close to the thighs as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds. With every outbreath relax deeper into the position. Hold the position only in a way that feels comfortable for your own body. With the next inhale stretch the arms out in front of you and come back up into the sitting position, arms over the head. Repeat 3 times.
As a counter stretch you might want to go into the inclined plane or table pose to release the tension in the spine.
Bhujangasana – Cobra pose
This is a powerful asana to awaken the kundalini energy. Especially after practicing the forward bend the Cobra pose gives you a wonderful backward bend for your spine to maintain a good balance. It is a powerful posture to relieve any lower back pains as well as a hunchback. This asana opens the chest and strengthens the spine, thus making it a perfect release from desk work. Women can benefit from it even more as the abdomen is kept on the ground and by that the uterus and ovaries are toned. It helps to relieve menstrual pain. By opening the chest this asana also works on the respiratory system and is effective in combating asthma.
Lie on your belly, making a pillow with your hands, the head turned to one side and the big toes are touching slightly while the heels are dropping to the sides. Rest in this position for a moment before you come into the Cobra pose. For that, bring your feet together and your forehead on the floor. Place your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders. The elbows are slightly lifted off the ground and close to your body. With the inhalation raise first the forehead, then the upper body, look up to the ceiling. Keep the abdomen on the ground while rolling the body up and back. Make sure not to put too much pressure on your hands and to keep the shoulders away from the ears. The elbows remain bend and close to the body. Hold the posture for 10-20 seconds, take a deep inhale and with the exhalation slowly roll your upper body down and at last rest the forehead on the floor. Repeat 3 times.
ArdhaMatsyendrasana – Half spinal twist
This asana is effective in keeping up the elasticity of the spine by rotating each vertebra to both sides. Through these movements the blood supply in that area is increased which also increases the heart rate and stimulates the sweat glands. This gives your body a cleanse! Your respiratory system gets affected as well and the pace of your breath is taking up. As your belly is touching your thighs the abdominal area gets massaged. Especially your large intestine is stimulated and releases toxins, this gives relieve from digestive problems like constipation. ArdhaMatsyendrasana works on your mind as well by bringing you peace and is consequently a very beneficial posture for nervous disorders.
Start from the child’s pose sitting on your heels with the forehead on the ground and the hands on the side of your body, palms facing up. Then sit up on your heels and drop the hips to right side on the floor. Bring your left foot over your right knee on the floor. Make sure your hips are both touching the ground. Then place your left hand on the floor behind your back, putting almost no pressure on it. Inhale and raise your right arm up, exhale bring in down over the left side of the left knee. Reach around to catch hold of your left ankle and turn your heads towards the left side. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release and repeat the same on the other side.
According to Swami Chidananda“real health comes due to a regular practice of Hatha Yoga” as Hatha yogic exercises have a special connection to the three gunas in the human physical and mental system. He goes even so far to say that “it has the unfailing effect of no other psycho-physical system in the world” as it gradually “eliminates Tamas from the human system […] giving you control over the Rajas and increasing the Sattva. There is no means of increasing Sattva and eliminating Tamas as effective as Hatha Yoga”.