Off To A Good Start
Get over a beginner's block and make yoga a way of life.
Begin your day with this combination of kriyas, asanas, pranayama and cardiovascular exercises, perfect for beginners. Practise these poses with a trained yoga instructor to reap maximum benefits.
Stand straight with legs together and arms by your side. Slowly part your feet two to three feet wide. Raise your arms sideways to shoulder level with palms facing the floor. Then slowly bend forward with your left arm touching the big toe of the right leg, with right arm raised up. Do not bend your knees. Breathe normally and hold for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
2. Naukasana (or Navasana)
Lie on your back with feet together, palm resting on your thighs. Inhale and raise both legs, extend your arms and reach for your toes. Hold for some time while breathing normally and gently return to the starting position.
Lie on your stomach with feet and toes together, pointing outwards, arms by your side, palms facing upwards and forehead resting on the floor. Then bend your elbows and position your palms on the floor near your shoulders. Keeping your thumbs below your armpit, inhale and raise your chin taking the neck backwards to lift your body up to the naval. Hold for 10 seconds, while breathing normally and return to the starting position while exhaling.
4. Kapalabhati kriya
(Active exhalation) Sit cross-legged with palms resting on your knees. Exhale forcefully through your nose at the rate of two strokes a second. If you are a beginner, start with 25 strokes (two rounds) and do it slowly (one stroke a second). As you get comfortable over a period of time, increase it to 50 strokes (four rounds). Advanced practitioners can do 100 strokes (five rounds) at a stretch, but I would not recommend this for beginners.
5. Anulom-Vilom Pranayama
Sit straight, close your right nostril with the right thumb and inhale from the left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right index and middle fingers and exhale from the right nostril. Now do the reverse. Inhale from the right nostril, close your right nostril with your right thumb, then exhale from the left. This is one round of the anulom-vilom pranayama. This way, do three rounds.
Payal Gidwani Tiwari is a celebrity yoga consultant. She is also the author of the bestsellers From XL to XS: A Fitness Guru's Guide to Changing Your Body and Body Goddess: The Complete Guide on Yoga for Women.
Adapted From Prevention India. (c) April 2012 LIVING MEDIA INDIA LIMITED.