The tree pose – Vriksasana
- The tree pose, also known as vriksasana, is a pose done by yoga enthusiasts as a part of their routine.This particular pose aims for the yogi to mimic or replicate the steady and graceful stance of trees. Contrary to other yoga poses, this tree pose makes the yogi obliged to keep his or her eyes opened, in order to maintain body balance.
Like in almost all yoga poses, the tree pose also has its benefits like:
- Strengthens the ankles
- Increases the range of motion in the hips
- Increases concentration
- Improves poise and posture
- Tones the muscles of the back, neck and chest
- Deepens the thorax, and
- Improves balance.
In order for us to fully understand and replicate this wonderfully graceful pose, here we are listing the complete steps to achieving the tree pose.
- Stand tall and straight with both of your arms on the sides of your body.
- Bend your right knee upwards and place your right foot up high onto your left thigh. (The sole of your right foot should be firmly and flatly placed nearest the uppermost part of the thigh.)
- Make sure that your left leg is firmly straightened. You may now begin to find your balance.
- Once you are well balanced, inhale deeply, and then slowly and gracefully raise your arms over your head from the sides, and then bring your palms together in a ‘Namaste’ mudra position (folded hands position).
- Look straight ahead of you (preferably towards a distant object). Remember that a steady gaze helps to maintain a steady balance.
- Make sure that your spine is straight.
- You should stretch your entire body taut, like an elastic band, and keep taking in long deep breaths.
- With each exhalation, slowly relax and lower your right leg and both your arms until you return to the starting position. (Always remember to smile!)
- You may now begin to repeat this pose using your other leg.
As with all yoga poses, the tree pose has its particular benefit, like helping to improve and relieve some cases of sciatica. Also, there are some contraindications for this pose, as this may prove to cause more harm and injury than not.
Special precautions should be taken by the following people:
- People suffering from insomnia or migraine
- People who have extremely low or high blood pressure
Here we also list some general precautions when attempting this particular pose:
- Holding this pose for more than the recommended period can impose risks for people with low or high blood pressure.
- The lifted foot’s sole should be placed above or below the standing knee, but never directly on the side of it.
- Never make the mistake of leaning on one side, pushing one hip outwards, and bending or rotating the supporting knee outwards.
As a general precaution: It is always best to consult with your healthcare provider or medical doctor before beginning to attempt this.
Stand straight with your feet together. Now, raise one leg and place the sole of your foot on the inside of your thigh, with your knee bent towards the side. As you inhale, extend your arms upwards, keeping your hands together and fingertips pointing towards the ceiling. Keep your body straight in this position, while breathing normally for a couple of minutes. Switch your legs and repeat the asana. This pose will help you reduce belly and thigh fat in a matter of weeks.
Dolphin Plank Pose
The Plank Pose is also titled as the dolphin pose. This pose of yoga has proved itself in the improvement of the balance of your arm. It has reputed itself as the integrated core in strengthening of the muscles of arms and legs. This yoga pose of plank shape helps in toning of the body structure.
How to perform the plank pose?
- Following steps should be performed for making your body in a plank pose
- Get down on the ground by pressurizing the arms and knees of your body.
- Bring the elbows of body exactly down to the ground by keeping the palms in a firm position.
- Now keep on raising your hip bone towards the ceiling of your room.
- For having the plank pose your legs should be straight and your arms should be in form of rest on the floor.
- Put your head in between your elbows by making a rest position on the floor.
- Your body should like a shape of triangle.
- Remain in this posture for about thirty to sixty seconds.
- At the end exhale and make your knees to touch the floor.
Benefits of plank pose
Following are the benefits of this pose
- The plank pose brings relaxation to your body and makes the mind calm
- It reduces the stress factor
- It gives a good posture and strength to your body muscles, shoulders and legs.
- It gradually tones up your muscles
- This plank pose gives strength to abdomen and arms of body.
Advices for the plank pose
Following precautionary measure should be taken while performing the plank pose
- A person should not exercise this sort of yoga pose if he is suffering from any shoulder and injury of hips.
- It should be performed under guidance.
Lie down in a position akin to doing push-ups. Hold your body firm and straight and keep it a few inches above the floor. As you exhale, lower your body slowly and lift one leg, such that it is parallel to the body. Hold this position for a couple of minutes and then switch legs. While this pose strengthens your core, you will also begin losing fat from your arms, legs and belly.
The Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
Paripurna Navasana is also named as the full boat pose. This type of yoga pose makes its actions in finding stability, balance and keeps up the erection of your body. This pose of exercise makes the body calm and helps in maintaining its alignment. It regulates the body mind and emotions.
- Bend your knees by sitting on the floor.
- Make your feet in a flat position and put your legs together.
- Now make your hands slide a bit at back of your fingers and hips by making them to point towards feet.
- Now bent your elbows by putting them away from your body.
- Do net let your back to get a round shape.
- Sit straight with erection.
- Drawing the blades of shoulder will lift you and will open up your chest.
- Now slowly lengthen up your legs by your heels
- Make an angle of degrees 45 by completely straightening of thighs.
- Next step is to keep on stretching your arms in a forward direction along with your legs in a direction which faces your palms in upward direction.
- Relax your shoulders by opening up the chest.
- Hold up this posture for one minute and then release your body and exhale.
Benefits of the full boat pose
- This yoga pose tones up the muscles
- It improves the balance of body and helps in digestion
- It stimulates the kidneys and intestines
- Helps in relief of stress
Advice for this pose
Do not try the full boat pose if you are suffering from hip and leg injury.
Sit on the ground with your legs kept straight and torso at 90 degrees. Now, inhale slowly and raise both your legs together, while leaning backward. You will feel your entire body weight being supported on your buttocks, with pressure being felt in your abs and thighs. Remember to keep your legs together and stretched out. Hold this position for a couple of minutes before relaxing. Repeat the exercise about 3 to 5 times.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Yoga is known worldwide for being extremely relaxing both mentally and physically. However at time some of the exercises in yoga can be quite strenuous and hard but the rewards they give you at the end bring wonders to your mind and soul.
A similar form of exercise is Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) which although might be a little tough initially but later when you see drastic results you definitely feel all the effort worth it.
He Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) works by toning your abdomen, improving and fixing your blood circulation and which is an effective way of reducing your stress and fatigue.
Furthermore this exercise will open up your shoulders and the back while giving them immense strength along with opening up your chest.
- According to famous yoga therapists Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) is the best and the ideal exercise for people with asthma and other respiratory problems.
If you find this exercise worthwhile here is the proper way of doing it. You have to start off by lying on the floor on your belly with your toes flattened and your forehead lying on the floor.
Here you have to make sure that your legs are placed closely together while your feet should be in slight contact with each other.
Now you have to breathe in while slowly lifting your abdomen, chest and head while ensuring that your elbows are parallel and near to the torso. Now you have to move the torso away using your hands’ support.
Here it is to be made sure that an equal amount of pressure is exerted on both your palms otherwise you will lose balance and results will not be as good as expected.
Meanwhile keep inhaling and exhaling and release tension from your shoulders. Now while breathing in and out you have to lower down your abdomen back to the floor.
Lie on the ground in a position similar to that of doing push-ups. Now, curve your torso upwards while keeping your feet firmly together, such that your position resembles that of a hooded cobra. Stretch yourself as far as you can and hold the position for a couple of minutes. Relax and repeat the asana. The pose will help strengthen your spine and get rid of excess belly fat.
Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
Badha = Bound or Restrained, Kona = Angle, Asana = Pose or Posture
This pose is pronounced as BAH-dah-cone-AHS-ana
The posture is named Badhakonasana because of the way it is carried out – both the feet tucked close to the groin, clasped tightly with the hands as though tied or bound together in a particular angle. It is also popularly known as the Butterfly Pose because of the movement of the legs during the posture, giving the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings. The posture is also sometimes known as the Cobbler Pose as it resembles the sitting position of a cobbler at work.
How to do Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
- Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
- Grab your feet tightly with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.
- Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Take a deep breath in. Breathing out, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.
- Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout.
- Fly higher and higher, as fast as you comfortably can. Slow down and then stop. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect.
- Press your elbows on the thighs or on the knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths, relaxing the muscles more and more.
- Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up.
- As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
Benefits of the Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
- A good stretch for the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region
- Helps in intestine and bowel movement
- Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking
- Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms
- Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy
Contraindications of the Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
If you are suffering from groin or knee injury, make sure you keep a blanket under the outer thighs for support. Do not perform this pose without blanket support. Also, sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have any lower-back disorders, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect. Avoid rounding up the spine by bending forward.
Sit with your spine erect and your legs stretched out. Now, bend both your knees inwards, such that the soles of your feet touch each other. With the help of your hands, draw your feet as close to your pelvis as possible and then move your thighs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. This asana will help you get rid of thigh as well as belly fat.
These are only a few of the numerous ways in which yoga helps lose weight. Make sure to include these in your everyday exercise regime and you will soon notice yourself getting rid of unwanted fat from your body.