This post is authored by Sheena Patel – founder of wellness boutique Savsani. Sheena has taught classes in positive psychology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, yogic principals at Harvard Business School and stress management at Massachusetts General Hospital. Savsani offers comprehensive wellness programs for individual and corporate clients.
What’s your resolution this year?
Often times, people start off the New Year hoping for drastic change, yet feel stressed in trying to accomplish their goals. However, by picking simple, good habits you’ll have the courage to move forward and succeed.
On average it takes about three weeks to fully incorporate good habits into your existing routine – so 21 days is the magic number. If you do not practice yoga already, starting with one simple asana (body posture) every day can bring a happier and healthier you! Below are recommended asanas for each workday to get you started. Believing in yourself while moving through each posture, breathing deeply and allowing to connect with yourself for a few minutes each morning is sure to give you a boost every day.
Monday – Janu Sirsasana (known as the “head to knee forward bend”)
To practice this pose, start in a relaxed seated position with legs extended. Pull your right foot on the inner left thigh. Reach forward with both of your hands – bringing your head towards your knee. Hold for about 30 seconds then move to the opposite side, repeating this posture twice on each side.
This posture helps to clam you, stretches the back sides (back of the back, back of the Legs), massages the kidneys and livers, improves digestion and lowers high blood pressure.
Tuesday – Trikonasana (known as the “triangle pose”)
To practice this pose, stand straight, with your feet wider than the width of your shoulder blades. Stretch to the left, raising your right hand and drawing your left hand towards your knee – further towards your ankle. Hold for about 30 seconds then move to the opposite side, repeating this posture three times on each side.
This posture helps you stretch the thighs, knees and ankles, improves digestion and has a calming effect.
Wednesday – Bhujangasana (known as the “cobra” pose)
To practice this pose, lie on your front side and relax your entire body. Place your left palm underneath your shoulder-blades, and raise your head up. Then, pushing against the floor with your other palm, slowly raise your torso higher off the ground, pushing as high as you feel comfortable with. Hold for about 10 seconds, repeating this posture three times. NOTE: the image is an advanced variation.
This posture helps to strengthen the spine, chest and lungs, improves digestion and helps relive anxiety.
Thursday – Tadasana (known as the “mountain” pose)
To practice this pose, place your feet slightly apart so that your toes are parallel. Rock back and forth until you feel that your weight is balanced evenly on the feet. Let the rest of your body relax and your eyes soften to a glare in front of you. Hold for 60 seconds in a steady position. NOTE: this image is a variation with an added prayer position.
This posture helps to improve posture, reduce flat feet and strengthens the abdomen and buttocks.
Friday – Ardha Matsyendrasana (known as the “half spinal twist”)
To practice this pose, extend your legs in front of you. Bend the right leg and place your right foot on the left side of your left knee. Draw your left elbow on the right side of your right knee and twist towards the right placing your right palm on the floor behind you. Hold is for about 20 seconds then move to the other side, repeating this posture twice on each side. NOTE: this image is an advanced variation.
This posture helps to strengthen the shoulders, hips and back, gives a stretch to the full spine and helps to relieve backache and fatigue.
Disclaimer: As with any physical activity, please consult with your primary care physician before practicing.
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