Your heart takes a beating each day. Cardiovascular train, like walking, biking and running, is an effective way to strengthen your heart muscle. But there’s extra to a healthy heart than sweat inducing cardio. Most individuals consider yoga as a tool for improving flexibility. It does that and so much more according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Analysis exhibits that yoga could even offer as much cardiovascular health benefit as conventional exercise by calming the nervous system, reducing stress and lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides, along with reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
1. Downward Facing Dog
Come to the floor on your hands and knees. Push with your hands and straighten your legs till you are in the shape of an inverted ‘V.’ Extend your pelvic bones up and heels down. Let your head hang freely and stretch your waist. Heels are off the floor but are actively trying to reach the floor.
Elongates the shoulders and stretches and strengthens the hands, wrists, low back, hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon.
2. Standing Forward Fold
Standing tall, fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders and extend the crown of the head toward the floor to create a long spine, straightening your legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground or grasp opposite elbows for a rag doll position.
Great for relieving headaches but also relieving tension in the shoulders and lower back.
3. Seated Twist
Sit tall on a blanket and cross your ankles. Inhale and lift your spine, and exhale as you take your left hand to your outer right knee. Place your right hand to the floor behind you for support. Inhale and lengthen; exhale and twist deeper. Switch sides and repeat the sequence.
Twists are great for twisting out the belly. The torso holds a lot of stress for most people.
4. Cat Pose
Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position with your knees directly below your hips and wrists, elbows and shoulders are perpendicular to the floor. Your head is a neutral position, looking at the floor. Exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, like a hissing cat. Inhale, coming back to neutral tabletop position.
This pose is great for releasing the kinks out of your back and shoulders.
5. Cow Pose
From tabletop position, inhale and lift your sit bones and chest toward the ceiling while your belly sinks to the floor. Lift your head to look forward.
Cow pose is the perfect complement to Cat Pose for low back and shoulder stretch.
6. Child’s Pose
Kneel on your mat with your knees hips-width apart and your big toes touching behind you. Take a deep breath in and, as you exhale, lay your torso over your thighs. Rest your arms beside your legs, with palms facing up, or try extending your arms out in front of you.
The perfect pose for resting and relaxing as you rest your forehead on the ground.
7. Legs Up the Wall pose
Sit close to a wall, lie back onto the ground, then scoot your bottom as close to the wall as possible and send your legs up. Rest with your arms by your sides.
Stay in this pose for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the blood to rush back to the heart rather than pool in your lower extremities.