2. Standing Forward Bend / Uttanasana
- Stand straight with your feet close to each other and back straight. Keep your hands on your hips.
- Exhale, bend forward at your hips.
- Deepen the pose by stretching your spine so you can place your palms on the floor by the sides of your feet. Alternately, you can hold your lower legs from behind. Keep your knees straight.
- Pull your thigh muscles up.
- Hold the pose for one minute.
- Release the pose by straightening your body with inhalation.
- Tones the entire legs and reduces excess fat.
- Tones abdominal muscles and reduces excess fat in tummy and hips
- Promotes spine health
- Strengthens digestive system
- Boosts lung health
- Regulates blood pressure
- Cures headache
- Cures insomnia
- Relieves stress and depression
- Promotes calm
In case of difficulty reaching for the floor, bend your knees and perform the pose.
The pose is not recommended to those with chronic injury in the back, abdomen or hips.
3. Boat Pose / Navasana
- Sit down. Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground. Place your hands by the sides of your hips.
- Keeping the spine straight lean backwards slightly.
- Supporting your body with your hands, lift your feet off the floor and straighten your legs.
- Stretch your arms forward aligning them to your shoulders. Look straight. Breathe normally.
- Now you are balancing on your sit bones. You will resemble the shape of the alphabet ‘V’.
- Remain in the pose for 30 seconds. With practice increase the duration to one minute.
- To come out of the pose, place your legs and palms on the floor and straighten your body to a seated position.
- Reduces abdominal fat
- Stimulates function of abdominal organs
- Strengthens the core
- Relieves gas and constipation
- Boosts metabolism
- Relieves stress
If holding the pose is difficult, use a yoga strap to loop around your feet and hold the other end of the strap to support your legs. You can also place a block under your feet.
The pose is not recommended to those with insomnia or while experiencing headache or during menstrual cycle. Those with injury in the back or neck should perform the pose leaning against a wall.
4. Seated Forward Bend / Paschimottanasana
- Sit down with your legs stretched forward. Keep your toes pointed upwards and your back straight.
- With inhalation, lift your hands sideways and over your head.
- Exhale as you bend forward with your arms reaching for your feet.
- Hold your feet keeping your knees straight.
- Place your chest and head on your legs. Deepen the pose by stretching your spine.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
- Release the pose with exhalation as you release your feet and straighten your back.
- Tones your abdomen and reduces excess fat in your tummy.
- Stretches and tones the entire body.
- Relieves digestive disorders
- Stimulates function of liver, kidney and spleen
- Stimulates Root Chakra thereby promoting flow of energy to all chakras, known as the energy centers.
- Develops acceptance
If holding the feet is difficult, you can hold your legs where you can reach comfortably. You can also use a yoga strap to hold your legs.
Avoid practicing the pose in case of sciatic problems and slip disc conditions.
5. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose / Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Sit down with your legs stretched forward. Keep your back straight.
- Bend your left leg and draw your left foot over the right leg. Place the left foot on the floor on the outer side of the right hip.
- Slide your right leg on the floor towards your body. Draw the right heel in and place it near the left buttock.
- Turn the upper body to your left.
- Place your left hand on the floor behind your back. If your flexibility allows you can draw the left hand behind your back and hold the left ankle on the opposite side of your body.
- Turn your head to your left and look behind over your shoulder. Those with neck pain can look straight instead of turning back.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds initially. With practice, you can increase the duration to one minute.
- Release the pose by releasing your hands, straightening your body and stretching the legs straight.
- Repeat the same on the other side.