As the country reels under a severe Covid wave, nearly every family has had a brush with the debilitating virus, and many members are going through a slow recovery.
To help with the recovery via yoga, Delhi-based The Pink Lotus Academia, an online and offline tutorial platform focused on Indian classical artforms and yoga, suggests asanas that go a long way in building immunity, relaxing the body and mind, leading to faster healing post-Covid.
The ancient practice of yoga is known to offer scientifically proven solutions to many everyday problems both physical and mental. From increasing immunity to improving the function of vital organs of the body, from reducing stress to minimizing depression, yoga plays a major role if you choose the right asanas and practice them with awareness. These select asanas strengthen your body and mind, increase immunity, and take away fatigue.
This simple asana comes with many benefits for the body. It stretches the shoulders and chest, strengthens the back muscles and improves posture.
Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in the front. Keep the back straight, you may sit on a blanket or a cushion to keep the pelvis slightly raised. To ensure perfect alignment of the upper body, you can sit against a wall. The sacrum and the shoulder blades should touch the wall, but lower back and the back of the head must not.
Step 2: Sit on the front of the sitting bones so that the pubis and tailbone are equidistant from the floor. Firm the thighs, press them down against the floor, without hardening the belly, and flex your ankles and feet.
Step 3: Visualise your spine as the “staff” — the vertical core of your torso rooted in the ground, hold the pose for a minute or two.
Cat and Cow pose
This asana combines the Cat pose (Marjaryasana) and Cow pose (Bitilasana) to gently stretch the body and warm-up it up to relieve stress, and massage the spine and stomach organs.
Step 1: Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and knees under the hips. Look down at the mat.
Step 2: Move into Cow pose by inhaling and drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up toward the ceiling. Broaden your shoulder blades.
Step 3: Move into Cat pose by exhaling, and draw your belly to your spine and pull your back toward the ceiling, just like a cat stretches its back.
Step 4: Release the crown of your head toward the floor, don’t let the chin drop. Inhale, come back to Cow pose, then exhale as you return to Cat pose. Repeat 5-20 times.
This asana stretches the inner thighs, groin and knees, and improves flexibility, removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking.
Step 1: Sit with your spine erect and legs extended in the front. Bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. Let the soles of your feet touch each other.
Step 2: Hold your feet tightly with your hands, you could also place them under the feet for support. Try to bring the heels as close to the pelvis as possible. Take a deep breath in.
Step 3: Breathe out, and press the thighs and knees downward gently towards the floor.
Step 4: Start flapping both the thighs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Starting slowly, gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout. Flap as fast as you comfortably can. Slow down and then stop.
Step 5: Take a deep breath in, then exhale and bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect. Press your elbows on the thighs, pushing them towards the floor. Feel the stretch in the inner thighs. Breathe long and slow, relaxing the muscles. Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up. Exhale and gently release the posture.
By stretching your thigh, groin and back, this asana works as an antidote to the strain of sitting for long hours, and calms your mind. It also stretches outer hips and prepares you for seated postures and backbends.
Step 1: Start on all fours, bring your right knee forward towards your right wrist, so that your right ankle will be in front of your left hip. Slide your left leg back and point your toes and heel towards the ceiling.
Step 2: Draw your legs in towards each other. Inhale and come onto your fingertips, stretch your spine, pull the navel in and open your chest.
Step 3: Exhale and walk your hands forward and lower your upper body towards the floor. You can rest your forearms and forehead on the mat. Stay for a count of 5 breaths or more.
Step 4: Push back through the hands, lift your hips and move your leg back into all fours. Repeat on the other side.