Fifth International Yoga Day is finally here, and we’re sure, your yoga mats and workout costumes are already out. Yoga is an ancient practice that embraces physical, mental and spiritual disciplines to transform the human body and mind. In fact, it is the science that is designed to cultivate health and happiness by developing a greater sense of awareness and higher consciousness. Nowadays, yoga has gained tremendous popularity as a system of physical exercise and is actively practiced by children, fitness enthusiasts and even elderly. World Yoga Day celebrations are held on 21st June ofevery year in 180 countries across the globe. This year’s theme is ‘Climate action’ and ‘Yoga for heart’. The Hon’ble PM of India, Shri. Narendra Modi is expected to attend the main event on International Yoga Day in Ranchi. On the basis of this year’s theme, we are here with a list of 5 best yoga asanas for a healthy heart. Read on!
Veerbhadrasan – Veerbhadrasan is also known as the warrior pose because it was primarily practiced by the warrior in ancient times. This super-easy yoga pose keeps blood pressure in check and forms an ideal workout for heart patients. Besides, it energizes the body and wards off stress.
- Stand upright and keep one leg in lunge-like position. Ensure that your knee forms an angle of 90 degrees.
- Now, stretch another leg back so that it forms an angle at 60 degrees. Also, both the legs should be at least 3 or 4 meters apart from each other.
- Next, extend both your arms high above your head. The palms should face one another.
- If your right foot is stretched forward, rotate your torso towards the right and hold the position for a few minutes and vice-versa.
- You can repeat the process at least 5-6 times.
Setu Bandhasana or The Bridge Pose: Setu bandhasana or the bridge pose is another effective pose that is believed to benefit your heart. The pose derived its name as it resembles an architectural bridge. This pose is excellent for heart patients as it improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and stretches heart muscles.
- Lie on your back on the floor and bring your arms closer to the body. The palms should rest on the floor.
- Bend your knees. Keep in mind that both the feet should be hip-width apart.
- Now, take a deep breath and lift your back. Also, raise your pelvic area so that your thighs lie parallel to the floor. Try to touch your chin to your chest.
- Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat the process 3-4 times.
Bhujang Asana or The Cobra Pose: Bhujanga is a Sanskrit word for ‘cobra’. This easy to do pose benefits your heart by stretching the chest muscles and improving the flow of blood in your arteries. Besides, this exercise calms your mind and helps prevent stress, anxiety and depression as well.
- Lie down on your stomach on the ground. Bring your arms closer to your chest.
- Join your feet together.
- Rest your chin on the ground. Now, take a deep breath and raise your upper body.
- Make sure that your feet are constantly in touch with the ground.
- Hold the position for 30-40 seconds. Repeat the process 2-3 times.
Trikonasana: Trikonasana or the triangular pose is named aptly as your body takes a triangular position in this exercise. It is extremely easy to perform and relaxes your mind. Besides, this pose stretches chest muscles and boosts digestive health as well.
- Stand straight with your feet apart. Now, twist your right foot at 90 degrees, and keep the left foot inwards. Take a deep breath.
- Now, bend your body to the right and touch the right foot with your hand. Exhale slowly while bending your body.
- Raise your left arm upright and see up. Stretch your body as much as you can. Hold the position for a few minutes and return to the normal position.
Surya Namaskar- Surya Namaskar or the sun salutation holds immense importance in the Vedic culture. For centuries, we have bowed sun for expressing gratitude towards the biggest source of life on the planet. This pose not only holds religious importance; it has the potential to improve heart functions as well. It comprises a series of 12 yoga poses that activates all energy chakras in your body.
Posture 1- Stand straight and bring your feet closer.Inhale and bring the palms together and join them to form a prayer position. Keep them close to your heart.
Posture 2- Take a deep breath. Keeping your palms in the prayer position, raise your arms above your head. Try to keep them straight; a little bend, however, is alright. Now, pull your spine to make a curve.
Posture 3- Stand straight and take a deep breath. Exhale slowly as you bend your knees to come into a squat position. Now, rest your hands on the floor, besides your feet.
Posture 4- Inhale slowly and outstretch your right leg in the backward direction. Rest the right knee and toe of the foot on the ground. Ensure that the left foot and hands rest firmly on the ground. Let your hip weight drop down and breathe normally.
Posture 5– Inhale and move the left leg in the back direction, resting your body weight on toes and arms. Keep your arms straight. Now, kneel down to remove the strain from your legs and arms.
Posture 6- Take a deep breath and bend towards the ground in a kneeling position. Move the hips back slightly. Slide your body forward. Thereafter, rest your chest and chin on the floor. Raise your hips a little.
Posture 7- Lie on your stomach and rest your palms on the ground, closer to your body. Now, lift your upper body while putting the weight on your arms and look up at the sky.
Posture 8- Lie down on your stomach. Now, lift your hips and tail bone to bring your body into an inverted ‘V’ position. Exhale slowly while performing this asana.
Posture 9- Again breathe in and stretch the left leg in the backward direction. Make sure that the toe stays in contact with the ground. Now, bring the right foot forward and place it in between both the arms. Rest your palms on the ground. Press your buttocks and look up.
Posture 10- Breathe out and stand upright. Now, bend your body down and place your palms on the ground.
Posture 11- Stand straight, take a deep breath and roll the spine up. Raise your hands straight above the head and bend your body in the backward direction to form a curve.
Posture 12- Stand straight and take a deep breath. Now, raise your arms above your head and twist your palms so that they face the sky. Now bring the palms closer and join both the palms. Thereafter, lift the heels and rest your body on the toes of both your feet. Hold this position for a few seconds and come back to the normal position.
This completes a cycle of Surya Namaskar. You can repeat the process 2-3 times to reap the best benefits.
Climate Action and Heart Health:
Environmental conditions and cardiovascular health are deeply interwoven. Wildly fluctuating temperatures, elevated levels of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the environment can take a toll on your overall health. A survey report by The Lancet (international medical journal) revealed that air pollution is the third major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in India, the other two being poor nutrition and high blood pressure. The climate change is not only affecting the heart health in elderly but increasing the rate of heart-related disorders in the newborn as well. All thanks to excessive deforestation, setting up of new industries and plants, urbanization, excessive use of fossil fuels and many others. The need of the hour is to bring little attention to the environment and making serious efforts to compensate for all the damage we have done to the environment in the past few decades. This International Yoga day, open your heart and pledge to plant at least 5 trees in your locality. Now, grab your workout gears and indulge yourself in some easy yoga exercises. We heartily wish you a healthy life. Happy International Yoga Day!