Here's your daily dose of yoga

Here's a daily capsule for better metabolism, higher energy and stronger you, with fitness consultant, Sheeba Nair's one yoga asana for every day of the week

By: Sheeba Nair

People of all shapes, sizes and ages can do yoga and adapt it to suit their individual tastes and needs. Yoga works on both the mind and body. It makes the body stronger, leaner and flexible, while destressing the mind and making it more balanced, calm and focused. Here, we explore few yoga asanas that can be done every day, which take very little time and give back amazing benefits.
Also remember that it’s essential to make sure that your bowels and stomach are empty before you perform these asanas. Give a gap of a few hours between your last meal and the exercise. The best practice would be to fix a time every day, so that it becomes a part of your daily rituals. Stay consistent and you might be taken by surprise at how effective and beneficial yoga can be!
Monday- Energize and Boost Confidence
Asana: Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Why is it good:

It’s an energizing asana and helps in reducing the symptoms in people suffering from asthma and sciatica. It works on strengthening the back and hips, while improving the metabolism which aids in fat loss.
What it does for your body:
•    Strengthens the spine and improves its flexibility.
•    Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
•    Stimulates lower abdominal organs and hence is good for digestive and reproductive system.

Tuesday - Stretch and Rejuvenate
Asana: Downward facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Why is it good:
It’s an inversion asana which improves the blood flow to the brain and stretches almost all the posterior muscles of the body, which results in release of endorphins, helping relax the body and mind. It’s therapeutic for people suffering from anxiety, fatigue, headache, back pain and reduces menstrual discomfort.
What it does for your body:
•    Stretches the shoulders, back, hips, hamstrings, calves and arches of feet.
•    Strengthens and tones the arms and legs
•    Stimulates the abdominal organs hence is good for digestive and reproductive system.
•    Stimulates the brain and improves focus, mood and energy levels.

Wednesday - Improve Poise and Focus
Asana: Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

Why is it good:
It’s a balancing asana which improves the proprioception enhancing agility and mind focus, leading to lesser injuries. It strengthens the legs and core muscles resulting in a better posture and poise. Its therapeutic for people suffering from back pain, sciatica, and lack of focus.
What it does for your body:
•    Strengthens the muscles and ligaments of spine and legs including the knee, ankles and feet.
•    Stretches the shoulders, chest, groin and inner thighs.
•    Challenges stability which improves the body balance and enhances concentration.

Thursday - Strengthen and Tone
Asana: Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Why is it good:

It’s a back-bending asana which works on strengthening the back and abdomen muscles. A perfect antidote to the sedentary deskbound culture, this asana is very beneficial to improve sloughing posture, neck or back pain and therapeutic for women suffering from asthma, menstrual and thyroid issues.
What it does for your body:
•    Stretches the shoulders, chest, abdomen and front of the legs.
•    Strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdomen, spine and hips.
•    Improves blood circulation and stimulates the abdominal organs, lungs and thyroid gland.
Friday - Fire up metabolism
 Asana: Half Spinal Twist Pose/Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Why is it good:
It’s a seated spinal twist asana, which focuses on improving the mobility of the spine and stimulates all the organs in the abdomen. It reduces the stiffness in neck and back, restores the mobility related to slip discs. Its therapeutic for respiratory issues, diabetes, sluggish metabolism, constipation, reproductive issues and urinary infections.
What it does for your body:
•    It provides excellent compression and extension to the nerves and muscles of spine, leading to healthier spine and lesser back issues.
•    It stretches and tones the shoulders, chest, abdomen, and legs.
•    It stimulates the abdominal organs, increasing the digestive juices like bile, leading to better digestion.
•    It stimulates the pancreas, which helps in diabetes.
•    It increases the circulation of blood, purifies the blood, and detoxifies the internal organs.
•    Improves the functions of organs in the pelvic area.

Weekend - Destress and unwind
Asana: Child Pose (Balasana) and Cat Cow Pose (Marjaryasana -Bitilasana)

Why are they good:

These asanas improve flexibility and provide gentle massage to the spine and abdomen. They are therapeutic for people suffering from back pain, thyroid and menstrual issues. They help to destress the body and mind and help in get better sleep.
What they do for your body:
•    They stretch the neck, shoulders and spine.  
•    They lengthen the spine and improve circulation to the discs between the vertebrae, which in turn relieves stress from the back and calms the mind.
•    They stimulate the thyroid, organs of the abdomen and pelvic area.

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