Here are five yoga asanas that will give a complete workout:
1. Sarvangasana: Sarv means ‘all’ and anga means’ body parts.’ Sarvaang means the whole body. This one is an advanced yoga pose which strengthens the inner parts of the body and keeps them strong and healthy and is considered a complete asana.
► Calms the brain, helps relieve stress and mild depression.
► Stimulates the thyroid, prostate glands and abdominal organs.
► Improves digestion, reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia.
► Therapeutic for asthma, infertility and sinusitis.
2.Halasana: An extension of viparitakarani and sarvangasana, it is usually done after sarvangasana. In this asana, the body assumes the appearance of a plough. Lower the legs behind the head without bending the knees until the toes touch the seat. Hold the position from 30 seconds to a minute, but not more. It stretches the spine as no other exercise can, making it flexible, opening up the spinal discs and stretching most of the spinal muscles and ligaments. A very beneficial asana, if you suffer from back and neck stiffness or arthritis in these areas.
► Helps stiffness, obesity, muscular rheumatism, enlarged liver and spleen, constipation, indigestion, and arthritis.
► Stimulates abdominal organs and thyroid gland.
3. Shirshasana: Called the ‘king of asanas’ because of its overall effect on the whole body, this one is a head stand. Beginners should only try it with assistance.
► Increases blood circulation to the brain, helping in the improved functioning of intelligence and memory while increasing vitality and confidence.
► It stimulates four of the most important endocrine glands - the pituitary, the pineal, the thyroid and the parathyroid glands, and helps align the spine.
► It promotes hair growth by increasing circulation to the scalp and restores the position of vital organs by reversing gravity.
► Do not attempt the shirshasana if you have high or low blood pressure, atherosclerosis (blocked blood vessels) and a history of strokes.
► Consult an eye specialist for permission in case of any eye condition.
► Avoid if you are suffering from constipation or if you have an organically defective pituitary, pineal or thyroid gland.
4. Anulom-Vilom: Lightly depress one nostril and breathe in through the other. Close that one and release breath through the opposite one. Repeat starting by from the alternate nostrils. AnulomVilom benefits most internal body conditions and is useful in releasing stress and anxiety. It can be performed by people of all ages.
►Purifies the mind and body, and balances the body’s three dosas. (Imbalance in the three dosas leads to illness).
► Helps remove blockage in the arteries and maintains cholesterol levels.
► Effective in dealing with conditions like constipation, flatulence, diabetes and obesity. It is more effective if combined with a yogic diet that is purely vegetarian.
5. Kapalbati: Kapal means the skull and batti lamp in Sanskrit. Exhalation of carbon-dioxide while breathing purifi es the blood. Sit in either sukhasana or padmasana with hands in the chinh mudra (touch the index fi nger to the thumb) and breathe deeply. Exhale and contract your navel. Pump the abdominal muscles forcefully.
► Helps flush out toxins from the body, and brings a glow to the face and skin
(In arrangement with THE MAN)