Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family

Are you too busy to take care of yourself? Embrace a holistic way of life with yoga, meditation and mindfulness. You will surely reap the benefits of good health.

By Grandmaster Akshar

Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family
Naukasana or boat pose

A majority of us are so caught up with the duties at work and home that we do not take care of ourselves and our health. And, health means both physical and emotional well-being.

How do we achieve that?

Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can be solutions for the most common problems, for everyone in the family. Mindfulness is essential for inner peace. There are various techniques and practices that can be used to attain inner peace. This, in turn, can be achieved through meditation.

Yoga can be practised by people of any age group, gender or ethnicity. It is a global dialect that everyone is embracing and is practised in the smallest of cities. Yoga consists of asanas, meditation styles, mudras and more, which are easy to learn and have a lot of benefits. Yoga can be done by anyone who wants to start seeing the goodness in themselves, and others around them. 

Yoga as a form of exercise gives you the freedom to choose what, where and how you want to practise the discipline. There are absolutely no restrictions or rules stating that it should be strictly done in a particular way. Anyone practising yoga can tell us that yoga starts showing its benefits right from the first day. After just one session of yoga, you will feel lighter, calmer and positive.

Here are some yoga poses that you can practise with your family: 

Naukasana – Boat Pose

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie down on your back
  • Lift your legs and upper body
  • Your legs and upper body should make 45° angles with the ground
  • Your body should form a V-shape
  • Keep your arms parallel to the ground and pointing forward
  • Tense your abdominal muscles
  • Straighten your knees and back
  • Hold the pose to the count of six

Benefits:

  • Stretches the spine
  • Strengthens the lower back, stomach and leg muscles
  • Improves digestion
  • Removes gastro-intestinal discomfort
  • Sharpens the sense of balance
  • Eliminates lethargy
  • Stimulates circulatory, nervous and hormonal systems

Words of Advice:

Try to increase the time you spend practising naukasana every day. You will see that your core strength increases to a great extent.

Halasana – Plough Pose

Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie on your back
  • Inhale and use your abdominal muscles to lift legs to 90 degrees
  • Press palms down and lift back away from the floor (you may take the support of your palms)
  • Take both the legs behind your head
  • Put your toes down on the floor

Benefits:

  • It clears constipation and stomach disorders.
  • Halasana helps reduce belly and body fat.
  • It exercises the inner organs like thyroid, kidney, spleen, and pancreas.
  • It normalises high blood pressure.
  • Helps in regular menstruation.
  • It improves memory power and is highly recommended for students.  
  • This helps in getting a toned body.
  • As more blood flows to the face, the face becomes radiant.  
  • It strengthens the spine.
  • It helps keep your backbone flexible and strong.

Words of advice:

Those having lumbago, neck pain, spondylitis and high blood pressure should not practise this yoga pose.

Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family

Formation of the posture:

  • Begin with dandasana.
  • Exhale and drop the legs down on the floor, slowly keep them together.
  • Lift your upper body.
  • Pull your stomach in.
  • Inhale and stretch your hands up, palms facing each other and keeping the elbows straight.
  • Stretch the spine upward, keep your head between your arms.
  • Keep your knees straight and press the thighs towards the floor.
  • Exhale and bend forward at the lower back.
  • Bring your hands down and hold your big toes with your fingers and thumbs.
  • Place your upper body on the lower body.
  • Touch your nose to your knees.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds.

Benefits:

  • It acts as a stress reliever.
  • Reduces fatty deposits in the abdomen.
  • Removes anxiety, anger, and irritability.
  • Calms the mind.
  • Stretches the spine and brings flexibility.
  • Good for constipation and digestive disorder.
  • Tones the abdominal-pelvic organs.
  • Balances the menstrual cycles.
  • This asana is recommended especially for women after delivery.

Words of advice

  • Pregnant women should not practise paschimottanasana.
  • Persons suffering from slip disc, sciatica or asthma should avoid paschimottanasana.
  • Those with ulcers should not do this yoga pose.

Santholanasana – Plank Pose

Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family

Formation of the posture:

  • Lie on the floor with your face down. The palms should be exactly in line with the shoulders. Lift your whole body up to form a plank pose.
  • Grip the floor with your toes and keep the knees straight.
  • It is important to keep your back straight with the wrists, elbows, and shoulders in a straight line.
  • Arms should be kept straight right below the shoulders.
  • Focus the gaze towards floor ensuring that it is a feet forward from the arms.
  • Hold the posture for one minute.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens thigh, arms, and shoulders.
  • Makes spine and abdominal muscles robust.
  • Improves balance in the nervous system.
  • Energises the entire body and instills a feeling of positivity.
  • Develops a sense of inner equilibrium and harmony.

Words of Advice:

Do not practise the full version of the pose if you have carpal tunnel syndrome — either practise the pose on your knees in half plank pose or on your forearms. Those with osteoporosis should also avoid plank pose.

Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose

Yoga For Everyone: Yoga Poses That You Can Practise With Your Family

Formation of the posture:

  • Begin by sitting with your legs stretched out forward.
  • Bend your knees and join the soles of your feet together.
  • Pull your feet closer to your groin.
  • Try and rest your knee on the ground.

Benefits:

  • It helps in stretching your inner thighs.
  • It loosens up the pelvic region.
  • Especially beneficial in urinary disorders.

Words of Advice:

People suffering from injuries to the knees and hips should not try this asana.

Tratak Meditation

Time: 5 minutes

When we talk about mindfulness, what we need to understand is that it is nothing but finding happiness in everything that we currently have. It is living in the present and cherishing every moment of your daily life. Mindfulness gives birth to contentment. The energy of mindfulness carries within it the energy of concentration. 

Tratak meditation is a very powerful and ancient practice that can help us achieve very significant spiritual progress. This is especially beneficial when dealing with addiction. This method works best in the early hours of the morning or late evenings.

Procedure:

  1. Light a candle in your meditation room or wherever you are comfortable.
  2. Sit in an upright position in a chair, or on the floor cross-legged, or in padmasana to ensure that the spine stays erect and that inner energy can flow easily through the subtle channels of the body.
  3. It is recommended that the flame is kept according to the height of the person practising the meditation. If the person is 5 feet 6 inches tall, the candle should be 5 feet 6 inches away from the face, and at eye level.
  4. Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Focus your eyes on the flame and keep your gaze without blinking for as long as you can. You may start to feel tears developing in the eyes, which is said to be beneficial.
  5. Keep your eyes focused. Gaze gently at the flame, not the candle. Let your vision stay with the flame.
  6. If thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them and let them go.

The author is the founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga. 

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