We are writing this not only for those who are new to the world of yoga, but also for those who have been practicing it for a long time. Having a stiff body, being a beginner or age – whatever your reason for not doing yoga poses, we have solutions for you.
But before we start, we want to share something with you. Usually, people think that simple yoga poses are not going to bring great results. That’s why, without a second thought, they jump to the most difficult ones. Because of this, they end up in trouble. From spinal injuries to spasms, one thing or another makes yoga practice even more difficult.
So today we are going to break that myth for you together with yoga expert Samiksha Shetty so you can enjoy yoga, khul ke!
Simple Yoga Variations That Are Better Than Complicated Yoga Asanas
Complicated Version 1, Sirsasana (Headstand)
Whenever you press your neck in a yoga asana, such as during Headstand, Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) / Halasana / Urdhva Padmasana, is an act of compression that can lead to problems with the cervical vertebrae.
A simple alternative to Sirsasana is the Downward-Facing Dog and Dolphin Pose.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of this one. It strengthens your arms and shoulders, stretches your spine, calves and hamstrings, and energizes your entire body,” Samiksha Shetty told Health Shots.
Start on the floor, putting your hands and knees down. Straighten your legs by lifting your knees off the floor and pushing your heels down as far as you can. Extend your spine away from the floor using your palms.
Stay here for 5 to 9 breaths.
To get into Dolphin Pose, hold the dog face down, then slowly drop your forearms to the floor and hold.
Complicated Version 2, Chakrasana/Ushtrasana
Asanas like Chakrasana (Wheel Pose) or Ushtrasana (Camel Pose) require a deep extension of the spine backwards. But the thing with these two yoga poses is that many of you cannot do them because of some or other reasons. The good thing is, there are a number of other yoga poses you can do to get similar or, in fact, better results than these two. Check out the pose list below:
Start by lying on the mat on your back. She bend her legs from the knees and place her feet hip-width apart. Inhale lift your hips to the ceiling pushing your feet. Exhale slowly with control and drop your hips back to the floor. Repeat this movement 10 times.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
“Lie on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your abdomen using your hands. Bend your legs from the knee, keeping your knee hip-width apart. Extend your hands behind you and grab your ankles from the outside. The right hand holds the right ankle and the left hand holds the left ankle. Inhale and lift your head, chest and legs off the floor, balancing on your belly button rather than your pelvis. Pull your ankles away from you towards the ceiling and exhale downwards,” says Samiksha Shetty.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
This is a supreme pose for meditation. But let’s not get too excited and physically push ourselves into that pose. First, get good external hip rotation.
fire log pose
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your shins stacked with your right leg on top. Use your hand to place your right heel over your left knee. Keeping your hips in line with the front of the room, bend your hips and walk slowly with your hands slightly forward, extending your spine. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Malasana (garland pose)
Inhale deeply and as you exhale begin to slowly bend your knees, lowering your hips towards the floor. When your hips are a few inches off the floor, use your arms to open your thighs. Simultaneously, squeeze your thighs inward to feel a lift in your hips. Keep your torso upright and your chest lifted. Relax your shoulders. Keep your entire body engaged and hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Variation – In this pose, if your heel lifts off the floor, place a rolled-up towel, yoga mat, or block under your heels.
Baddhakonasana (Badda-Bound and Kona-Angle / Butterfly Pose)
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and your spine straight. Now, bring the soles of your feet together, bending your knees to the side. Place your feet in front of your pelvis, at a wrist distance from your groin. Now, take a deep breath and press your thighs and knees towards the floor, applying light pressure. In a slow, controlled motion, start flapping both hip legs like the wings of a butterfly for about 60 seconds, then release. Once you get into the position with your feet pressed together. Hold your feet with your hands and open your feet like a book towards the ceiling. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, lean forward bringing your chin or forehead toward the mat. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then on the next inhalation, come back. Just remember to balance your arms with this technique – All arm balance asanas require strong and stable wrists, shoulders and core.
Also Read: Malaika Arora Swears By These 3 Yoga Asanas For Toned Legs
Plank pose and side plank
Start on the floor, placing your knees and palms on the mat. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. From here, extend your feet back one at a time. For more stability, spread your feet more than hip-distance apart and bring them closer together for a greater challenge. Keep a straight line from head to heels. Now, tighten your abs, quads, glutes and hold. Variations: Practice high and side planks on the hands and low and side planks on the forearms.
Hanumansana (Monkey Pose)
This asana is also known as splits, meaning splitting the legs. It gives an extreme stretch to the thigh, groin and hamstring muscles and puts a lot of load on the hip flexors. If done correctly, this can be a powerful energizer.
Wow! You had so many options that you had, and you didn’t even know it. Well now you do and you should make the most of it.