People all around the world are slowly and gradually indulging in Yoga. It is an ancient practice dating back thousands of years with its roots in India. Looking into the spiritual aspect of it, the term yoga means ‘union’ and ‘union with the divine.’ However, over the years as the world and people evolved, the spiritually of yoga got stripped away. Many people believe that yoga is practised by individuals with the capability to perform difficult asanas.
But trust us when we say that yoga is so much more than that. Yoga has the power to provide you with control of your mind and body. Yoga asanas allow you to build physical as well as mental strength. So, it’s not just the focus on any one aspect, it benefits your overall body health.
If you haven’t given yoga a try and think it won’t benefit you, then let us convince you otherwise. Listed below are the 10 best yoga asanas along with the mental as well as the physical benefits of yoga.
Benefits Of Yoga On Mental Health
Mental stress is on an all-time high with the work-life balance scale tipping off regularly. Eat-work-sleep-repeat is the mantra that we follow nowadays. Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are on the rise. Youngsters, too, face the problems and drawbacks of dealing with these mental health issues. It is recommended that before consulting therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists, you try some preventative measures and non-medical treatments. Yoga for a healthy body and mind is essential as it is one such non-medical practice that can help you calm your mind and reboot. It relieves stress and relaxes your mind, body and spirit. Let us have a look at the benefits of yoga on mental health.
- Calms The Mind: Yoga poses include complex postures and breathing exercises that calm your body and mind. This is the main reason doctors advise to choose some of the best yoga asanas for daily practice. Indulging in some of the best yoga asanas can help prevent anxiety attacks or panic attacks that are common occurrences in mental health problems.
- Enhances Focus: People suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are often suggested to indulge in yoga as it allows the mind to focus while relaxing the body. ADHD directly affects the attention retention capacity and focus, and indulging in some popular yoga asanas are beneficial for mental health and can help enhance focus.
- Elevates Your Mood: Physical exercises release healthy chemicals like endorphins and dopamine in the brain. These chemicals balance the mood and help to fight mental health issues like depression. Some of the best yoga asanas for daily practice that even therapists recommend for enhancing
- Builds Confidence: Self-esteem issues or lack of confidence is one of the major causes of depression. Practising some of the best yoga asanas daily can help centre your body and develop self-confidence slowly. The breathing techniques and exercises in yoga can help your mind get rid of self-doubt.
- Helps Develop Patience: Lack of patience is a common side effect of disorders like depression, anxiety and bipolar. This may lead to uncontrolled anger outbursts. The breathing activities involved in yoga, like Kapalbhati Pranayama, can help clear your mind and body. Including these best yoga asanas for daily practice can help you improve your patience level.
Best Yoga Asanas For Mental Health
Listed below are some of the popular yoga asanas that can help you deal with mental stress and keep your mental health in check
Known as the Crescent Moon Pose or The High Lunge, Anjaneyasana is one of the top yoga asanas. Practising this asana daily enhances the blood flow in your body and calms your mind. How to practice it-
- Lunge one leg forward while standing.
- Bend the front knee making sure your knee is in line with your ankle and stretch your back leg.
- Raise your arms upwards and join your palms.
- Breathe in deeply and breath out in an even flow.
Known as Lord Of The Dance Pose or Dancer Pose, is helpful for people fighting anxiety and depression. This is one of the top yoga asanas beneficial for balancing your mood. How to practice this popular yoga asana-
- Start with both legs planted on the ground.
- Bend one knee back using your arm and grip your ankle.
- Extend your free hand in front of you and balance.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Known as Handstand or Downward Facing Tree Pose, it is not for beginners. Achieving this best yoga asana can help you build confidence and improvement. How to accomplish this best yoga asana with daily practice-
- Bend forward to place your palms on the ground while standing with your ankles flat on the ground. Ensure that your back and knees are straight.
- Gently shift your weight onto your arms.
- Slowly, lift your one leg straight up above your hips.
- Then brace your weight and repeat the same for the second leg.
Known as Lotus Pose, this is one of the popular yoga asanas that help deepen meditation by calming your mind. It boosts your mood and safeguards from anxiety and depression. How to practice this top yoga asana-
- Gently lift your one ankle and place it on the opposite thigh while sitting cross-legged. Place it as close to your hip as possible and repeat the same with your other ankle.
- Place your palms on your knee with your back straight.
- Breathe evenly for 30 seconds.
Known as the Forward Bent Pose, it is an asana that is extremely therapeutic and enhances your immunity, relieves stress and relaxes your mind. How to practice the Forward Bent Pose-
- Bring your feet hip-distance apart while standing.
- Slowly bend your body above the torso downwards without bending your knees.
- Make sure that your knees are straight.
- You can allow your hands to hang down and rest your palms on the ground or just hold your feet to the ankles.
Benefits Of Yoga On Physical Health
Most of us today have a 9 to 5 sit-at-desk job. Our physical activities are to a minimum, as a result of which, the physical problems are on the rise. From a very young age nowadays, people experience joint pain, muscle pain, neck pain and spondylitis. All these problems are due to limited physical activity. The solution to keeping all the physical problems at the curb is yoga. Yoga provides the human body with a plethora of benefits. Let us have a look at the importance of yoga for a healthy body and mind
- Improves Flexibility: Yoga for full body flexibility is very essential. It is one of the first and obvious benefits of yoga. You’ll notice your muscles loosening with time, and eventually, the hardest of yoga poses will become possible when you choose some of the best yoga asanas for daily practice
- Enhances Muscle Strength: Yoga asanas for body fitness enhance your muscle strength. They also protect the human body from conditions like arthritis and back pain. When you achieve muscle strength with yoga, it is perfectly balanced with flexibility unlike gyming, where you achieve one at the cost of another.
- Enhances Bone Health: Weight-bearing exercises strengthen bones and help keep osteoporosis at bay. Many yoga poses require you to carry your own weight. Some best yoga asanas like downward dog yoga asana or upward-facing dog yoga asana help strengthen your arm bones.
- Provides Inner Strength: Yoga is the greatest source of strength your body needs. The discipline that fuels yoga practice is Tapas i.e., body heat. It is developed over time and is enhanced with regular yoga practice. The inner heat you develop with yoga can be extended to the rest of your life to overcome inertia and change dysfunctional habits. With time, you will notice that without much of an effort you can sleep better, eat healthily, exercise better and even leave harmful habits.
- Protects The Spine: Spinal disks are the shock absorbers between the vertebrae that crave movements. It is their one and only supply of nutrients. If you practice some best yoga asanas daily with backbends, forward bends and twists, you can help keep your spinal disks in great condition.
Best Yoga Asanas For Physical Health
Listed here are some of the top yoga asanas that can help keep your body in good shape.
Known as the Thunderbolt Pose, this popular yoga asana is great for your knees, leg muscles and ankle joints. It also helps boost your digestive system. How to practice one of the best yoga asanas Vajrasana-
- Sit with your spine straight and bring your legs under your body, with your knees bent.
- Make sure your toes touch each other and your ankles are bent inwards.
- Sit in this asana for a few minutes after dinner or before bed.
Kapalbhati Asan oxygenates your body, revitalizes your mind and eliminates all the stale oxygen out of your body. Kapalbhati in Sanskrit means ‘shining skull’ and this asana is believed to provide a beautiful yoga glow as well. How to indulge in this top yoga asana-
- Sit in a comfortable meditation position. Make sure that your head and spine are straight. Rest your hands on your knees in a chin or Jnana Mudra.
- With a forceful contraction of the abdominal muscles, exhale through both the nostrils. Allow the abdominal muscles to relax and inhale spontaneously.
- Rhythmically continue the asana.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Known as the Downward Dog Yoga Asana, it is one of the most popular yoga asanas. It is an asana of yoga for stretching your full body. It is a great asana for blood circulation, toning the arms, legs and tummy. How to practice the Downward Dog Yoga Asana-
- Come up on your palms and feet and push your hips in the air.
- Make sure that your body is in the shape of an inverted ‘V.’
- Keep in mind to keep your legs and arms straight and body balanced.
- Breath steadily while holding the Downward Dog Yoga Asana for a minute.
Known as the Cobra Pose, it is one of the best yoga asanas. This asana improves the flexibility of your back and tones your abdomen, neck and shoulders. It also aids in better blood circulation and helps you get rid of fatigue and stress. How to practice the Bhujangasana Pose-
- Lie flat on your stomach on the floor.
- Place your hands with your palm facing down under your shoulders.
- Push yourself up and look towards the sky.
Known as Child’s Pose, it is one of the popular yoga asanas that deeply relaxes and rejuvenates your mind and body. This asana is beneficial for the legs, the back and the neck. How to practice Balasana-
- Begin in Vajrasana, bring your head down on the floor in front of you.
- Keep your arms on your sides. Your head, neck and shoulders should be relaxed.
- You can add a twist by bringing your left arm out in front of you and your right arm underneath your head and to the left.
- Turn your head to the left to rest your forehead on the ground.
- Hold the position, breathing and relaxing.