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6 Yoga Asanas To Try In 2020 For Mental Well-Being

Among the many practices, we must adopt in 2020 is the practice of mental well-being in our daily routine. Have you made resolutions to stick by for this year? Planned how you can modify your lifestyle in order to incorporate them into your routine? Many a time it is the gap between where we want to be and where we are that causes us distress. New year resolutions help us put our plans to action by giving us the chance at a fresh start.

Regular practice of yoga builds your self-esteem, makes you calmer and drives away stress. When we are physically fit, we also gain mental fitness. This is the strength that we need to tackle any obstacle or hurdles in our path.

Here are a few practices that you can include in your daily or weekly schedule for better all-round health.

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Jal Namaskar

The tattva of Jal or water is one that nurtures life. To show our gratitude to the life-giving water, we can offer the salutation of jal namaskar. The vinyasa is designed with a total of 28 counts containing asanas such as matsyendra asana, Halasana, Supta Vajrasana and Matsya asana. Practicing jal namaskar will help you identify and experience the water element within your body. This namaskar can be performed at any time of the day on an empty stomach.

How to do:

Asana 1: Padmasana - Lotus Pose

Asana 2: Dandasana - Staff Pose

Asana 3: Naukasana - Boat Pose

Asana 4: Dandasana - Staff Pose

Asana 5: Padmasana - Lotus Pose

Asana 6: Dandasana - Staff Pose

Asana 7: Halasana - Plough Pose

Asana 8: Adhomukha Swanasana - Downward-facing Dog Pose

Asana 9: Supta Vajrasana - Reclined Thunderbolt Posture

Asana 10: Matsyasana - Fish Pose

Asana 11 & 12: Ardha Matsyendrasana - Half Pose Dedicated to Sage Matsyendra

Asana 13: Padma Sirshasana - Lotus Headstand

Asana 14: Pindasana - Embryo Pose

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Prithvi Namaskar

Prithvi or earth is the tattva of strength, form, patience and vitality. The prithvi namaskar is a tribute to this divine tattva that we call our home. Through the practice of this namaskar, which is a vinyasa consisting of 27 counts, the body forges the capacity to imbibe the divine qualities of the earth tattva. This Namaskar can be performed at any time of the day on an empty stomach.

How to do:

Asana 1: Gupt Padmasana - Hidden Lotus Pose

Asana 2: Adavasana - Reversed Corpse Pose

Asana 3: Shalabhasana - Locust Pose

Asana 4: Urdhwa Mukha Swanasana - Upward-facing Dog Pose

Asana 5: Parvat asana - Mountain Pose

Asana 6: Dolasana - Pendulum Pose

Asana 7: Vajrasana - Thunderbolt Posture

Asana 8: Adhomukha Swanasana - Downward-facing Dog Pose

Asana 9: Marichyasana - Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi

Asana 10: Adhomukha Swanasana - Downward-facing Dog Pose

Asana 11: Marichyasana - Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi

Asana 12: Adhomukha Swanasana - Downward-facing Dog Pose

Asana 13: Dandasana - Staff Pose

Asana 14: Karnapeedasana - Ear Pressure Pose

Asana 15: Dandasana - Staff Pose

Asana 16: Pindasana - Embryo Pose

Asana 17: Vajrasana - Thunderbolt Posture

Asana 18: Mayurasana - Peacock Pose

Asana 19: Balasana - Child Pose

Asana 20: Bhoomi Naman Padmasana - Lotus Bowing to Earth Posture

Asana 21: Advasana - Reversed Corpse Pose

Asana 22: Parvatasana - Mountain Pose

Asana 23: Yajnasana - Offering Posture

Asana 24: Parvathasana - Mountain Pose

Asana 25: Yajnasana - Offering Pose

Asana 26: Parvathasana - Mountain Pose

Asana 27: Gupt Padmasana - Hidden Lotus Pose

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Murcha Pranayam

Benefits:

  • Prevents genetic diseases from occurring by altering the structure of the DNA
  • Provides the practitioner with a subtle sensation of euphoria.
  • Enhances the mental energy of the practitioner.
  • Cleanses the mind completely and the practitioner feels extreme joy and lightness, which can be equated with the feeling of floating

How to do:

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Bend your head forward and reach your chin towards your chest
  • Inhale through your nose and fill your lungs with air
  • Lift your head, take it behind and rest your head on your shoulders
  • Open your mouth without breathing out
  • Retain your breath for as long as possible
  • After you have held the breath for a while, close your mouth, bend your head forward, reach your chin towards your chest and breathe out

Duration: You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

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Ujjayi Pranayama

Benefits:

  • Acts as an effective treatment for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
  • Enhances your voice and helps you sing better
  • Cleanses your digestive organs
  • Helps you produce sound from a conch shell

How to do:

  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your left palm on your knee facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • Contract your throat and breathe in from your nose
  • As you inhale, you must make an audible sound
  • After you have slowly filled your lungs with air, make an ‘O' shape with your lips and exhale through it

Duration: You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

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Khand Pranayama

Benefits:

  • This powerful pranayama affects the functioning of different systems of the body and affords countless benefits. This pranayama will help you develop physically, mentally and emotionally.
  • Increases lungs capacity to take in oxygen
  • Builds stamina
  • Promotes excess fat loss
  • Improves skin health
  • Exclusively beneficial to sportsperson, such as athletes, basketball players, etc.
  • Increases lifespan
  • Reverses age by retaining youth
  • Useful for mountain climbers, athletes and runners
  • Improves stamina
  • Athletes can use this breathing technique to enhance their perseverance levels for an entire range of games and sporting activities.
  • This pranayama functions as a wonder drug for individuals with shortness of breath.
  • One can effect positive change and tranquillity by practising this pranayama in just three or four days.

How to do:

  • Sit down in Dandasana, keep your back straight and breathe for some time.
  • Fold your legs in Sukhasana and prepare your mind for the practice.
  • Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Vajrasana, Ardhapadmasan, Padmasana or Siddhasana) Ideal posture is Poorna Padmasana
  • Straighten your back and close your eyes
  • Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
  • As you inhale, divide your breath into two equal parts
  • Without retaining the breath in your lungs, exhale twice

Duration: You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for 1-2 minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.

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Sthiti Dhyan

This is a meditation technique to help calm your nerves, raise mindfulness and deflect any negative experiences.

How to do:

  • Stand or sit comfortably
  • Be mindful of the surroundings, noises, smells, colours etc.
  • Slowly turn to the right side to gaze and observe, then turn to the left and repeat
  • Use a journal to make a note of all your observations and the different sensations you felt
  • This will help increase your observation powers, make you more focussed and alert
  • Removes distractions

When we are unhappy with ourselves or any situation is when we tend to shun socialising. This leads to rising panic, frustration, and anxiety. By shying away from any interactions with friends, well-wishers and family, we may coop ourselves up. But this in fact will only serve to worsen the problem. To become who we want to be, or to better ourselves in any small way, we must take that first step towards growth and our own well-being.

Yoga is a discipline that can train both your mind and body. This helps in regulating your emotions for better overall well-being. Let this year mark the transition towards the journey where you prepare to be the best version of yourself.

Grand Master AksharAkshar Yoga
World Yoga Organisation, Honorary Doctor of Spirituality
Grand Master Akshar
Read more about: yoga wellness mental health
Story first published: Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 19:00 [IST]