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When the first rays of sun slowly trickle into your bedroom through the heavy curtains, and you are yet to grab your mobile to check for messages, find a moment for yourself and get on to the mat. Kicking off the day in the right way is vital for you to chase your never ending to-do-list of the day. And, the best exercise that can be recommended is yoga.
The best way to beat a stressful day is to start off with a relaxed state of mind. Yoga will help you do just that. The already high levels of cortisol present in the body during mornings will come down. Those moments of peace can make you aware of your thoughts, clear up your mind and make you a calm and grounded person.
Yoga has the power to stimulate and rejuvenate. If you get off the bed tired, it will help you to feel alive and awaken the body's systems. The backbends and twists are practices to build energy.
Just as we tend to stretch after a period of rest, yoga can do wonders after long hours of sleep. It can eliminate aches of joints and muscles and ward off stiffness that are caused by hours of non-movement.
The mood lift is the best part of it all. Just as a bout of fresh air can lift our spirits, so can yoga postures. With blood circulation getting a boost with these body movements, there is a gush of energy and the white blood cells also get into active mode.
The exercise can increase our productivity and heighten our alertness. Focussing becomes easier. The body's metabolism gets a lift and the digestive system gets far more efficient. If you have a desk job for the rest of the day, the exercise can be a perfect start.
It's also about the "me-time" - you give yourself some time before you plunge into the noisy world.
They can be accommodated in your daily routine easily without you getting worried of the time factor. Here are some quick yoga postures that can help you before you plunge into the chaos of the day.
Step by step:
Step 1: Come on the fours to form a table-like figure. Your back should be the table top and hands and feet form the legs of the table. Look straight.
Step 2: Inhale. Raise your chin and tilt the head backwards. Compress the buttocks.
Step 3: Hold the cat pose while taking deep breaths.
Step 4: When you exhale, do the opposites. Drop your chin, arch your back up and relax your buttocks. This is the cow pose.
Step 5: Return to the table form after a few seconds.
Step 6: Repeat 5-6 times.
The cat stretch pose, as it is called, will loosen the tightness of your body. It relieves the tension in the neck and spine created by your sleeping posture. The warm up can improve blood circulation, relax the mind and improve digestion. Nothing can be better for a morning warm up.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Step by step:
Step 1: Come on fours to form a table. Your back becomes the table top. The hands and feet resemble the legs of the table.
Step 2: When you breathe out, straighten knees and elbow to form a V shape. Hands and feet are apart and parallel to each other.
Step 3: Take long breaths. Look towards navel. Press your hands into the ground. Widen through the shoulder blades.
Step 4: Remain in the posture for 60 seconds.
Step 5: Exhale. Bend knees to return to the table posture.
The posture replicates a dog bending forward and thus receives its name. It can energise and rejuvenate a person. It helps tone muscles and strengthen hands and feet. It has the ability to soothe a person's mind and increase the blood circulation to brain cells.
Step by step:
Step 1: Sit on your heels.
Step 2: Bend forward and lower your forehead to the ground.
Step 3: Keep the hands on the floor alongside your body, palms facing up.
Step 4: Press your chest on the thighs.
Step 5: Return to original posture uncurling slowly.
The pose, that literally translates to child pose, is deeply relaxing for the back. It lengthens and stretches the spine. It can calm down the nervous system and encourages steady breathing.
Step by step:
Step 1: Stand erect. Keep your legs apart. The distance between them can be 3-4 feet.
Step 2: Turn your right foot outwards (around 90 degrees) and left foot around 15 degrees. Weight of the body should be equally balanced on both the feet.
Step 3: Inhale and exhale. While exhaling, bring your right hand towards the floor and leave the left hand in the air. Both the arms should be in a straight line.
Step 4: Rest your right hand on the ankle or floor, whichever is comfortable. Turn your head to the left and gaze at the left palm.
Step 5: Stretch maximum. Your body should be bent sideways, not forward or backward. Keep breathing deeply.
Step 6: To return to the position, inhale and come up. Bring your arms to the side and straighten your feet.
Step 7: Repeat it with the other side.
Just as the name suggests, triangle is the shape that your body takes during the posture. It can strengthen legs and knees, and is recommended for backache and anxiety. It provides stamina and balance and can help you as you chase the day.
Step by step:
Step 1: Sit with your legs stretched in front of you. Keep the spine erect and feet together.
Step 2: Bend the left leg and place its heal beside the right hip.
Step 3: Take the right leg over the left knee.
Step 4: Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
Step 5: Look over the right shoulder by twisting the waist, shoulders and neck.
Step 6: Breathe deeply.
Step 7: While breathing out, release the right hand, waist, chest and neck, in that order. Sit straight and relax.
Step 8: Repeat on the other side.
Ardha Matsyendrasana can open up the chest and improve the capacity of the lungs. It increases the elasticity of the spine and improves the blood flow to vital organs.