As the nation is reeling under the rampant devastation caused by the second-wave of coronavirus, patients are witnessing a slow yet gradual recovery from the deadly disease. Alongside oral medication and other immunity-boosting techniques, the ancient practice of Yoga is known to offer scientifically-proven solutions to a wide range of physical and mental ailments.
From improving the functioning of vital organs in your body to reducing stress and anxiety, Yoga can play a major role in your path to recovery, provided the right set of asanas are chosen and practiced with awareness. Founder of The Pink Lotus Academia, Kaavita Das shares four important asanas that can go a long way in helping you build immunity, strengthen your mind and body, and heal quicker post Covid-19.
1) The Staff Pose
This particular asana offers a plethora of benefits to your mind and body—it stretches the shoulders and chest, strengthens your back muscles, and improves posture as well.
Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs extended out front, while keeping your back straight. You may sit on a blanket or a cushion to keep the pelvis slightly raised. To ensure perfect alignment of the upper body, consider sitting against a wall. The sacrum and shoulder blades should touch the wall, while the lower back and the back of the head must not.
Step 2: Make sure that you sit on the front of the sitting bones, so that the pubis and tailbone are equidistant from the floor. Firm the thighs and press them down against the floor without hardening your belly, and flex your ankles and feet.
Step 3: Visualise your spine as the 'staff'—the vertical core of your torso, rooted in the ground. Hold the pose for a minute or two.
2) The Cat and Cow Pose
This asana combines the cat pose (Marjaryasana) and cow pose (Bitilasana) to gently stretch your body and warm-up it up to relieve stress, and to massage the spine and stomach organs.
Step 1: Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and knees under the hips. Look down at the mat.
Step 2: Move into the 'cow pose' by inhaling and dropping your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and gaze up towards the ceiling. Broaden your shoulder blades.
Step 3: Move into the 'cat pose' by exhaling and drawing your belly towards your spine. Pull your back towards the ceiling, just like a cat stretches its back.
Step 4: Release the crown of your head towards the floor and don't let the chin drop. Inhale, and come back to the cow pose. Then, exhale as you return to the cat pose. Repeat this asana 5-20 times.
3) The Butterfly Pose
This asana stretches your inner thighs, groin and knees, and improves flexibility. It also helps get rid of fatigue due to long hours of standing or walking.
Step 1: Sit upright with your spine erect and legs extended out to the front. Bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. Let the soles of your feet touch each other.
Step 2: Hold your feet tightly with your hands. Try to bring the heels as close to the pelvis as possible.Take a deep breath in.
Step 3: Breathe out, and gently press your thighs and knees downward towards the floor.
Step 4: Start flapping your thighs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Begin slowly and gradually pick up the speed, while breathing normally. Flap as fast as possible, then slow down and stop.
Step 5: Take a deep breath in, then exhale and bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect. Press your elbows on the thighs, pushing them towards the floor. Feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Breathe long and slow, relaxing your muscles. Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up. Exhale and gently release the posture.
4) The Pigeon Pose
By stretching your thigh, groin and back, the Pigeon pose works as an antidote for the strain caused due to sitting for long hours. Besides, it stretches your outer hips and prepares you for seated postures and back-bends, along with calming the mind.
Step 1: Start on all fours, bringing your right knee towards your right wrist, so that your right ankle will be in front of your left hip. Slide your left leg back and point your heel and toes towards the ceiling.
Step 2: Draw your legs towards each other. Inhale and come onto your fingertips, stretch your spine, pull the navel in, and open your chest.
Step 3: Exhale and walk your hands forward, and lower your upper body towards the floor. You can rest your forearms and forehead on the mat. Stay for a count of 5 breaths or more.
Step 4: Push back through the hands, lift your hips and move your leg back onto all fours. Repeat on the other side.