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5 Yoga Asanas for Increasing Strength and Flexibility

Yoga is brings tremendous results to everyone who practices it daily. In this article, we are talking about five of the targeted yoga asanas, if you want to increase strength and flexibility of your body while balancing your mind at the same time.

Yoga is the science of mind, soul and body. It is the ancient way of keeping an alignment between energy chakras in the body as well as balancing the elements outside in as well as inside out. We need to be very alert and attentive to our health. You need to be fit both mentally and physically, and the best way to achieve this is by doing yoga. So here we are going to tell you about five yoga asanas for a healthy body and mind. 

1. Ustrasana

Ustrasana or Camel pose is a back-bending yoga posture known to open Anahata (Heart chakra). This yoga posture provides flexibility and strength to the body.

Photo Credit: Yoga asanas by Ruchi Jain

Do like this 

  • Kneel with the body straight and hips stacked over the knees.
  • Bring your hands up the side of your body until your thumbs touch your armpits. Pin your thumbs into your pits for support. 
  • Keep the position of your chest as you reach your hands behind one at a time to grip your heels. 
  • Carry your hips forward so that they stay over your knees.
  • Proceed your head to the back, opening your throat.
  • Release your body by bringing your chin toward your chest and hands to your hips. Support your lower back with your hands as you can slowly bring your body to the starting position.

Benefits

  • Reduces thigh fat
  • Improves posture
  • Strengthens and stretches the shoulder and back
  • Open up the hips 
  • Cures lower back pain
  • Improves respiration by opening the chest
  • Loosens up the vertebrae
  • Strengthens thighs and arms
  • Expands the abdominal region, improving digestion and elimination
  • Cures constipation
  • Enhances flexibility, particularly in the spine
  • Stimulates endocrine glands
  • Releases tension in the ovaries
  • Stretches the ankles, thighs, groin, abdomen, chest, and throat.

2. Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana or Compass pose is a challenging seated yoga posture helpful for shoulder opening that requires a lot of flexibility in the hamstrings, side body, and shoulders.

Photo Credit: Yoga asanas by Ruchi Jain

Do like this 

  • In the beginning, sit in a cross-legged position.
  • Bend the right knee and bring it close to your chest.
  • Stretch out the left leg in front of you.
  • Put your right arm in front of your right leg and bring your right hand under your right leg. Put your fingertips firmly on the ground or mat. With your left hand reach your right foot and lengthen your right leg as much as possible, simultaneously taking your left arm overhead and straightening that as well.
  • Maintain your gaze fixed on the left arm.
  • Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds and repeat it with the other side.

Benefits -

  • Stretching the hamstrings, shoulders, hips, groins, and the spinal column.
  • Nourishes the lower back and limbs.
  • Stretches the tissues of the lung.
  • Enhances muscle flexibility.
  • Stimulates digestion and cleans up the organs.
  • Makes the spine more elastic and flexible and promotes leg flexibility also.
  • Detoxifies the body, relieves constipation, and relieves stress.
  • Helps develop patience, stability, and sensitivity.

3. Bakasana

Bakasana or Crow pose is balancing asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga. This asana might look daunting at first but can be performed by using some crafty skills.

Do it like this 

  • Bend your knees slightly to bring your palms flat on the floor about shoulder's distance apart.
  • Plant your palms firmly on the mat about a foot in front of your feet. Spread your fingers wide and press into the top joint of each finger.
  • Bend your elbows straight back.
  • Come up onto the balls of your feet and open your knees so that they line up with your upper arms.
  • Place your knees on the backs of your upper arms.
  • Begin to bring your weight forward into your hands, lifting your head as you go.
  • Come up onto your tiptoes, then lift one foot and then the other off the floor.
  • Hold your feet toward your butt.
  • Focus on the feeling of the body lifting.
  • To come to the original pose, exhale and transfer your weight back until your feet come back to the floor.

Photo Credit: Yoga asanas by Ruchi Jain

Benefits

  • Tones the abdominal wall
  • Strengthens abdominal organs to aid in lower back pain and indigestion
  • Stretches and strengthens inner thighs
  • Opens the groin
  • Strengthens the wrists
  • Builds endurance and focus
  • Strengthens arms
  • Stretches and strengthens the back

4. Supta Vajrasana

Supta Vajrasana or Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose diverts sexual energy to the brain and makes the spine flexible.

Do it like this 

  • From Vajrasanaslowly begin to move the trunk backward.
  • Place the right elbow on the floor carefully followed by a forearm. Repeat the same with the left arm.
  • Slowly place the head on the ground. 
  • Rest the hands to the side of your feet. Balance the body in this position.
  • Close the eyes, take slow and deep breaths. Relax the whole body.
  • Retain the pose for a few seconds.
  • Take the support of the arms and elbows to come back in the starting position.
  • Relax the body in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).

Photo Credit: Yoga asanas by Ruchi Jain

Benefits

  • Makes the spine flexible and tones spinal nerves.
  • Relieve constipation 
  • Delivers a high amount of oxygen into the lungs preventing lung disorders.
  • Improves body posture.
  • Loosen up the legs
  • Divert sexual energy to the brain, therefore, helps to achieve spiritual gains.

5. Utthan Pristhasana

Utthan Pristhasana or the Lizard Pose provides a great looking toned body reducing the excess fat around the lower abdomen and the hips and makes the muscles around them tight.

Do it like this 

  • Start by doing Downward-Facing Dog.
  • Exhale as you step your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Your right knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and stacked above the ankle. Your toes should point out about 45 degrees.
  • Inhale as you bring your elbows to the floor with your forearms flat. Spread your palms out on the floor.
  • Exhale and press into your left heel to keep your left leg active. 
  • Stay for 5 deep, full breaths.
  • While relaxing exhale deeply and straighten your arms so your wrists are under your shoulders.
  • Inhale and step back to Downward Dog.
  • Repeat the steps starting with your left leg forward to ensure the pose is performed equally on both sides.

Photo Credit: Yoga asanas by Ruchi Jain

Benefits

  • Strength in your hips and hamstrings.
  • Improve your balance and flexibility.
  • Reduces stress, improves focus, enhances creativity, and helps in releasing emotion.

About The Author

Shubhangi Dwivedi

Shubhangi Dwivedi is a young journalist. She believes that communication is the most powerful tool to start a revolution. She is a writer, a poet, and a theater enthusiast. She .... Read More..

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