April 23, 2024
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Yoga

5 beginner-friendly asanas to kickstart your yoga journey

Looking to start your yoga journey? These 5 yoga asanas will help you get started, courtesy celebrity yoga instructor Anshuka Parwani

As we enter 2024, many of us have enthusiastically begun our journey of trying to achieve our resolutions for the new year — whether it’s hitting the gym, eating healthy or learning a new language. But what if we told you there’s a way to achieve physical and mental well-being with just a mat and a little bit of stretching? If you’re looking for a blissful beginning to your fitness journey, yoga is your answer. Celebrity yoga and holistic wellness expert, Anshuka Parwani, took to Instagram to share 5 beginner-friendly asanas to get you started on your yoga journey.

Tadasana

Also known as Mountain Pose, Tadasana is the simplest yoga pose where you have to stand straight. Jiggyasa Gupta, nutrition and fitness coach in an interview said that this asana provides relief from sciatica pain, increases flexibility and balance, improves body posture, and strengthens the thigh, hip, and leg muscles.

Steps:

  1. Ensure your weight is evenly distributed on both feet with a slightly apart stance.
  2. Inhale deeply, lifting your arms above your head, and entwine your fingers with palms facing up.
  3. Exhale as you roll your shoulders back and down the spine, opening your chest and straightening your posture. Lift your shoulders towards your ears.
  4. Keep your tongue tension-free.
  5. Maintain a steady gaze with relaxed eyes.
  6. Relax and return to your normal standing position.

Vrikshasana

Derived from the Sanskrit words ‘vriksha’ meaning tree and ‘asana’ meaning pose, Vrikshasana is a grounding and centering posture that helps you align yourself and balance your energies. According to Gupta, nutrition and fitness coach, it aids in improving balance and stability in the legs. The asana is also a great practice for women during pregnancy as it eases pain and helps in smooth delivery.

Steps: 

  1. Start in Mountain Pose or Tadasana.
  2. Lift your right leg, finding balance on your left leg.
  3. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the inner left thigh, toes facing down.
  4. Join your palms in prayer position at chest level. If you’re an advanced practitioner, stretch your arms upward.
  5. Hold the pose, remembering to take periodic deep breaths.
  6. Separate your palms after lowering your arms to chest level.
  7. Return to a standing position by straightening your right leg.
  8. Repeat the sequence on the other side.

Bitilasana Marjaryasana

The name Marjary and Bitila come from the Sanskrit script, where ‘marjari’ means cat and ‘bitila’ means cow. As per Gupta, the asana helps stretch and strengthen the spine and neck muscles, massage and stimulate abdominal organs, and improves coordination.

Steps: 

  1. Start on all fours with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips.
  2. Inhale deeply, lengthening from hips to armpits, and extend your fingers while rooting down with your hands.
  3. Keep your arms straight, raise waist sides, and point your feet straight back.
  4. Exhale as you press your hands to the floor, rounding your spine towards the ceiling.
  5. Tilt your pelvis down, scoop your tailbone, and lower your head for a full spine stretch.
  6. Inhale, moving your spine in the opposite direction, creating a concavity. Lift your head and tilt your pelvis up.
  7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 5-10 breaths, maintaining a steady flow.
  8. Push back into Child’s Pose, relaxing for a few breaths.

Baddha Konasana

Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose is a seated asana in hatha yoga. Gupta noted that this pose helps relieve stiffness in the ankles, and knees and improves hip mobility. It also aids in releasing emotional tension.

Steps:

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you and spine erect.
  2. Bring the soles of your feet together, bending both your knees to the side.
  3. Place your feet in front of your pelvis, around a fist distance from your groin.
  4. Take deep breaths and press your thighs and knees down towards the floor, providing gentle pressure.
  5. In a slow and controlled motion, begin to flap both your legs from the hip like the wings of a butterfly for around 60 seconds.

Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana is a back-bending pose and a key element of the Surya Namaskar sequence. Its name, derived from Sanskrit, combines ‘bhujanga,’ meaning ‘cobra,’ and ‘asana,’ signifying ‘posture.’ The pose visually mirrors a cobra, with its hood gracefully raised. “It corrects body posture, increases spinal flexibility, and alignment as well as blood circulation and lung capacity,” Gupta explained.

Steps:

  1. Lie down flat on the floor on your stomach. Stretch your legs back with your toes on the floor.
  2. Spread your palms on the floor under your shoulders and bring the elbows close to the sides of your body.
  3. Press the tops of your feet and thighs into the floor.
  4. Inhale, pressing your palms into the floor, slowly straighten the arms.
  5. Lift the chest off the floor up to your navel. Keep your pelvis on the floor.
  6. Gently squeeze your buttocks while pushing your navel down.
  7. Broaden your shoulder blades, engaging them to lift the chest forward.
  8. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, inhaling and exhaling.
  9. Release back to the floor with an exhalation.

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