Millions of people around the world swear by the benefits of yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise that combines stretching, breathwork, and meditation. There are many different types of yoga, and each one has its own set of benefits. Here are some of the best yoga asanas and their benefits.
What is Yoga Asana?
Yoga Asana is a physical and mental discipline that includes the practice of specific body postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama). The purpose of Yoga Asana is to bring about physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
The word “asana” comes from the Sanskrit root “as,” which means “to sit.” Asanas are therefore sometimes referred to as “yoga postures.”
How Many Asanas are There in Yoga?
There are a total of 84 asanas in yoga, but there is no need to learn or practice all of them. As a beginner, you can start with just a few basic asanas and gradually add more poses to your repertoire.
What Yoga Asanas are Best for the Entire Body?
Yoga Asanas, or yoga postures, are physical exercises that stretch, tone and strengthen the body. There are many different types of asanas, each with its own benefits, but these below are the best yoga asanas for the whole body:
- Boat Pose – Navasana
- Chair Pose – Utkatasana
- Bow Pose – Dhanurasana
Obviously, all the yoga asanas have immense benefits on your health but these were the overall best for all parts of the body.
What is the History of Yoga Asana?
The history of Yoga Asana is long and complex. The practice of yoga is thought to date back to at least the 5th century BCE, and there is evidence that Yoga Asanas were being practiced in India even earlier than that.
Over the centuries, Yoga Asana has been developed and refined by a number of different teachers and traditions. In the West, Yoga Asana is often associated with the work of Swami Vivekananda, who popularized the practice in the late 19th century in America.
Vivekananda’s work was instrumental in bringing Yoga Asana to the attention of Western audiences, and it remains one of the most influential texts on the subject.
The Benefits of Yoga Asana
There are many benefits to practicing Yoga Asana, including improved flexibility, strength, and balance. Asanas can also help to improve posture and alignment.
Mental benefits include increased concentration and focus, as well as a sense of calm and relaxation. Asanas can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Apart from that, spiritual benefits give a sense of connection with the divine and a deeper understanding of the self. Asanas can also help to promote self-awareness and enlightenment.
It’s worth noting that, according to the National Institutes of Health, practicing yoga a minimum of 5 days a week will bring all the benefits, even If you’re a beginner.
Tips for Beginners to Do Yoga Asana
If you are new to Yoga Asana, you can do a few things to make the most of your experience. First, be sure to find a comfortable place to practice. If you can, practice in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
Second, be sure to warm up before you begin practicing Yoga Asana. A simple warm-up routine of stretching and light cardio can help to prepare your body for the more challenging poses.
Moreover, it’s important to have a regular schedule. According to a recent report, only 6% of yogis practice 5 times per week while 31% 2 to 4 days a week. We suggest practicing 5 times a week, as mentioned previously.
Naturally, be sure to breathe deeply and focus on your breath since it is an important part of Yoga Asana and can help to improve your concentration and focus.
The 10 Best Yoga Asana Poses
There are many different Yoga Asanas, each with its own benefits. Some yoga asanas improve flexibility and strength, while others help to calm the mind and promote relaxation. Here are 10 of the best yoga asana poses:
Boat Pose – Naukasana
This Boat Pose is great for strengthening the core muscles and improving balance. This asana is excellent for toning the abdominal muscles, improving digestion, and massaging the internal organs. It also helps to relieve stress and tension. Apart from that, it’s great for those with hernia.
Lie down on your back holding your legs together and arms beside you. Take a deep breath in while raising your chest and feet off the floor and stretch your arms in the direction of your feet.
Your eyes, toes, and fingertips should be aligned, and you should feel the tightening in the abdominal muscles contract. Continue to breathe deeply as you hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Half Spinal Pose – Ardha matsyendrasan
This yoga asana is excellent for toning and strengthening the spine, neck, and shoulders. It also helps to improve digestion and stimulates the liver and kidneys.
Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right leg and place your foot flat on the floor next to your left knee. Then, take your left hand and place it on the floor behind you.
Now, twist your torso to the right, placing your right hand on the floor beside you. Hold this position for a few deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Both Leg Raise Pose – Dwi Pada Uttanasana
This pose is excellent for toning the abdominal muscles and helps if you have lower back pain. It also stretches the hamstrings, back, and shoulders.
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms pressed together. Bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight.
Lower your arms and place your palms on the floor next to your feet. If you can’t reach the floor, place your palms on your shins. Keeping your back straight, raise your left leg off the floor and bring it parallel to the floor. Hold for a breath, then lower your leg to the floor.
Place your hands on your hips and slowly come back to standing to release the pose. Repeat the pose 3 to 5 times. Now, repeat with your right leg.
Head to Toe – Paschimottanasana
This yoga pose is excellent for lengthening the spine and stretching the hamstrings. Start seated with your legs extended straight in front of you, keeping your spine tall and hips square. Inhale as you reach your arms up overhead.
Exhale as you fold forward from your hips, keeping your spine long. Grab hold of your shins, ankles, or feet with your hands. If you can’t reach your feet, place a strap around them and hold on to the strap.
Draw your belly button in towards your spine and continue to lengthen your spine as you fold forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then slowly return to a seated position.
Skull Cleansing Kriya – Kapalabhati
Kapalabhati is an excellent kriya for preventing colds and increasing respiratory capacity. It is also helpful for toning the abdominal muscles and improving digestion.
Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Take a deep breath in and exhale completely, contracting your abdominal muscles as you do so.
Inhale deeply and exhale quickly and forcefully, contracting your abdominal muscles with each exhalation. Continue this rapid breathing for about 30 breaths.
After that, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly, relaxing your abdominal muscles. Repeat this 2-3 times.
Bow Pose – Dhanurasana
Dhanurasana, or the Bow Pose, is a back-bending asana in yoga. It resembles the shape of a bow, hence its name. The Dhanurasana is considered both a restorative pose as well as an active pose, and can be performed with props to make it more accessible.
The benefits include reducing stress, boosting energy, improving posture, and even improving digestion.
Lie flat on your stomach, with your legs hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and hold your ankles.
Inhale when lifting your chest and head off the floor, simultaneously pulling your legs up and back. Keep your knees and feet together as you open up your chest. Hold for around 15 seconds, then release and return to starting position.
Chair Pose – Utkatasana
This asana is excellent for toning the thighs, calves, ankles, and core muscles. It also helps to improve balance and coordination.
Start in Mountain Pose and bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and your gaze forward, and Place your hands in a prayer position at your chest.
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and release, straighten your legs, and return to Mountain Pose.
Downward-Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog is one of the most well-known yoga asanas. The pose looks like an inverted V, and is often used as a starting position in many vinyasa flows.
Just like other yoga asanas, the Downward-Facing Dog is great for relieving lower back pain and reducing stress, as well as strengthening your leg muscles.
To get into the pose, start on your knees and hands on the floor, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under the hips. Slip your toes under, and lift your hips up and back, straightening your legs as much as you can. Keep your arms and legs straight, but be sure not to lock your elbows or knees.
Engage your core muscles and press evenly into the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. Allow your head to hang between your arms, and breathe deeply. Bend your knees and return on all fours to come out of the pose.
Triangle Pose – Trikonasana
Trikonasana is a standing yoga asana in which the body is arranged in a triangular shape. It is one of the basic asanas taught in most beginners’ classes and provides a good stretch for the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders.
To enter the pose, start by standing with your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees. Align your left heel with the arch of your right foot.
Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground, and then bend your right arm so that your hand comes to rest on your hip. As you inhale, reach your left arm up toward the sky.
Exhale and bend your torso to the right, bringing your left hand down to the ground next to your right foot (or on a block if you can’t reach it). Keep your shoulders parallel to the ground and your gaze over your right shoulder.
To exit the pose, inhale and press up to standing. Repeat on the other side.
Bound Ankle Pose – Baddha Konasana
This yoga asana is beneficial in stretching the inner thighs and knees. It also helps in reducing stress and fatigue. In addition, it can help with menstrual discomfort and digestive issues, which is definitely something to consider.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Hold your ankles with your hands. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together.
Then, gently pull your heels towards your pelvis and stay in this position for a few deep breaths. Release the pose and stretch your legs out in front of you.
The best yoga asanas offer a variety of benefits that can improve your overall well-being. We’ve listed some of the most popular poses and their associated advantages. So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your health, flexibility, and relaxation, consider adding some yoga into your weekly routine.
Remember, there are many different types of yoga and poses to choose from, so find what works best for you and your body. Comment here below if you have any questions or suggestions!