Welcome the winter season with these Yoga asanas that will help open up muscles, joints

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Welcome the winter season with these Yoga asanas that will help open up muscles, joints&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspiStock Images

New Delhi: There is strong evidence to prove that regular stretching and mobility training will give you the benefits of flexibility and even increase your range of motion. This holds especially true on cold winter mornings when even getting out of bed seems like a herculean task. However, yoga is a great practice to enhance the body in a natural and holistic manner. The techniques adopted in the Yoga practice -of movement, use of body weight and body muscle make it the ideal choice particularly for building lean muscle and flexibility. It is essential that you prepare for your practice gradually slowly easing into it. This is important to avoid getting injured during your workout.

This will prepare you for your practice, you can then follow these asanas for a fit, healthy and lean body. Exercise caution and set the pace as per your body’s capacity, this will keep you safe from practice-related injuries.

Yogic Warm-up

To begin this journey, you can start your practice with Sukshma Vyayam or subtle exercises. In the practice of yoga, the warm-up routine begins from the leg up. So start mobilizing your ankles to slowly warm up the joints, gentle rotation of hips, arms, wrists, head and neck come last. Walk around briskly, and stretch and loosen up your muscles. This will prepare your body for practice, and keep you safe from practice-related injuries. Before you attempt any back-bending postures, ensure that your body is sufficiently warmed up.

Ustrasana

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the Posture

  • Kneel on the yoga mat and place your hands on the hips.
  • Simultaneously, arch your back and slide your palms over your feet till the arms are straight.
  • Do not strain or flex your neck but keep it in a neutral position.
  • Stay in this posture for a couple of breaths.
  • Breathe out and slowly come back to the initial pose. Withdraw your hands and bring them back to your hips as you straighten up.

Dhanurasana

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the Posture

  • Begin by lying down on your stomach
  • Bend your knees and hold your ankles with your palms
  • Have a strong grip
  • Lift your legs and arms as high as you can 
  • Look up and hold the posture for a while.

Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the Posture

  • Begin with Dandasana
  • Ensure that your knees are slightly bent while your legs are stretched out forward
  • Extend your arms upward and keep your spine erect
  • Exhale and empty your stomach of air
  • With the exhale, bend forward at the hip and place your upper body on your lower body
  • Lower your arms and grip your big toes with your fingers
  • Try to touch your knees with your nose
  • Hold the posture for 10 seconds.

Chakrasana

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the posture

  • Lie down on your back
  • Fold your legs at your knees and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor
  • Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate  your arms at the shoulders and place your palms on the floor on either  side beside your head
  • Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs and lift your entire body up  to form an arch 
  • Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind.

Halasana 

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the posture 

  • Lie down on your back
  • Place your palms on the floor beside your body
  • Using your abdominal muscles, lift your legs up 90 degrees
  • Press your palms firmly onto the floor and allow your legs to fall back behind your head
  • Allow your middle and lower back to lift off the floor to enable your toes to touch the floor behind. Try to bring your chest as close to your chin as possible 
  • The palms can remain flat on the floor but one may bend the arms at the elbow and support the back with the palms as per their level of comfort.

Bhujangasana – Rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise with your chest 

Yoga asanas to open up muscles, joints in the cold weather

Formation of the posture 

  • Lie on your stomach 
  • Slowly raise your trunk and head with the support of the palms alone. The arms should be bent at the elbows 
  • Arch your neck slightly backwards and look up 
  • Make sure that your navel is pressed against the floor 
  • Put pressure on your toes by pressing them onto the floor. After that,  extend them out 
  • Hold the asana for a few seconds.

Flexibility is known to naturally decrease as you age with studies showing how some joint area show up to 50 per cent loss in flexibility. However, it’s never too late to start making changes that can support improving your flexibility. Beat the winter blues with a regular yoga routine for great health, increased immunity and maintain high levels of energy throughout the day.

Grand Master Akshar is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.





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