Medical parts were written by Dr. Rai

“Don’t stress too much, stay calm!” –  Haven’t you heard this phrase? I got tired of listening to this from various sources be it a doctor or a well-wisher or sometimes even a friend. I could never decode how not to be stressed when something goes wrong or when you are running on tight deadlines and so on. The concept of “Stress” has been in the limelight and as a clinical psychologist, I can recommend you to try the corpse pose to calm your mind and body. Continue to read to find out why it is important to turn to your right side while coming out of this posture.

While most of the Yoga asanas are meant to bring in mental as well as physical relaxation, Shava-asana or the Corpse Pose can be called the best of the lot. When broken down in Sanskrit words it means Corpse Pose and is also referred to as Mrtaasana retaining the essence of staying still as dead and allowing the body and soul to relax. 

Relax, Release, and Let Go!

It is often believed that the Corpse Pose is the easiest and needs little to no effort in mastering it. I would like to break that misconception as I found it hard to practice and found that many Yoga practitioners also felt the same way when they initially started practicing it. Shavasana is usually referred to as a form of meditation that is done after Yoga, exercise, or right before sleep. In a particular study that was conducted in the year 2009, a comparison was drawn between the effect of Cyclic Meditation (cyclic alterations of stimulating and relaxing the body parts) and an equal duration of Shavasana. Both of these are relaxation techniques and were assessed to study the effect and impact on a state of anxiety and performance in memory tasks. The results suggested that movement as a part of Cyclic Meditation enables performance in attention and memory tasks more than an equal duration of time in the Corpse Pose. However, conducting this study on participants residing at the Yoga Centre is considered a major drawback.

Follow these steps to get in the right posture for Shavasana

  1. Wear something comfortable and warm. You might want to drink a cup of hot tea if you like, before that. You cannot relax if you are feeling cold. So, prep yourself to stay warm. Feel 
  2. Spread the mat and lie down on your back. Alternatively, you could even lie on your bed, but it is recommended to lie on a flat surface with a mat or a blanket. Stay disconnected from phones or any other external disturbances. Silence the gadgets and set an alarm with a mild tune to just track your time.
  3. Keep your legs straight and let the feet fall on either side. It is not necessary to hold them stiff with toes facing upwards.
  4. Place your arms alongside your torso, not too close and not too far with your palms facing upwards. Try not to clench your fist and as you might retain the tension in your hands and around your neck. Relax your shoulders and jaw muscles too. 
  5. Keep the face-centered in alignment to the body and don’t let it fall on either side. 
  6. Once you are properly aligned, release any effort or tension in the body. Consciously feel a sense of gratitude towards each body part and feel every inch of your body by maintaining a focus between your eyebrows – the third eye or the mind’s eye. Silently thank each part of your body for helping you function the way you wish to and for carrying all your tension. Trust me, it works!
  7. Stay relaxed with a natural breathing style in this pose for a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes, to begin with. Gradually you could extend to even a 20-minute window. 
  8. To release the pose, it is necessary to reawaken your body from stillness. With your eyes still closed try to wiggle your toes and fingers and stretch your legs and hands.
  9. While trying to get up and sit, it is always recommended to roll to your right side first and take support of your left hand to sit up. Rolling to your right side will reduce the pressure on the heart which is on the left side, leaving it open and free for the blood flow after Shavasana. Rub your palms and place them on your eyes and feel the warmth on your face. Now slowly open your eyes to a fresh state.

Modifications and Variations 

Though Shavasana appears like a short nap that one would take to relax the body, it is much more complicated when practiced. It demands you to stay consciously awake while being still and completely relaxed. After a small research, the common challenges faced in mastering this pose are detailed below.

A gush of thoughts!

It is easier to stay silent without talking than to silence your mind inside. A gush of thoughts has always been the biggest challenge for any individual who tries to practice any form of meditation. Especially the ones which are troublesome and uncomfortable. The moment you close your eyes to relax, your mind finds it restrictive and pops up different situations or questions and continues to work even harder. A 2010 study in which an iPhone app collected  responses from 2,250 adults worldwide revealed that almost half of  your thoughts have nothing to do with what’s going on at any given moment. The data also exhibited that people tended to be less happy when their thoughts did not bring with their actions.

The best way to handle this situation is to let your thoughts flow. Never try to restrict your ideas or feelings or thoughts running in your mind. The more you push yourself to avoid thinking the harder it gets, and you might even feel stressed instead of relaxing. Just like an ebbing river, the waves need to strike hard initially to find the calmness deep inside. Just go with the flow, it takes time but it will become better!

Physical Pain

Tuning our physical body to align with the calm state of the mind could be stressful if you have any prior concerns such as lower back pain, spondylitis, disc replacement surgery, etc. I found it hard to lie flat on my back due to lower back pain and was only focusing on the pain I was experiencing rather than achieving a relaxed state of mind. It is recommended to listen to your body and address pain if any while trying to perform the Corpse Pose. Try placing a pillow under your knees, to comfort your back and handle pain. If you are experiencing discomfort in the neck, slightly elevated with the help of a folded towel or a small cushion. Try to cover your eyes with an eye-pad if you find the light around you too harsh. Untie your hair, if you have a ponytail, and keep it open to avoid that prickly sense of a hair accessory while lying flat. 

Note that the smallest of physical discomfort could appear humongous while you try to relax. You might notice certain body parts will start itching, just breathe and repose. Everything is fine, this is your time.  

Sleepiness 

If you are totally relaxed physically and mentally, then you are halfway through mastering the challenging Corpse Pose. But here awaits the biggest challenge, you tend to doze off or start feeling sleepy. The Corpse Pose needs you to stay still and calm but remain consciously awake. Try to variate the breath by increasing and decreasing the pace and stay focused on that pattern to meditate and relax consciously. 

Benefits of Corpse Pose

Even during therapy sessions, I usually can perceive how difficult it is for my patients to calm down. This Asana can be a solution for a stressed mind. The Corpse Pose brings the body to homeostasis (a balanced state between the physiological and biochemical paths maintaining the stability between the physical and emotional levels). It is like rebooting your entire system and making it more productive and capable in this competent world. Let us understand some of the benefits of Corpse Pose.

  • Attaining a balance physically and mentally helps in the regular and harmonious functioning of body organs.
  • Regular practice of the Corpse Pose tends to improve the overall immunity of the body.
  • Helps to lower Blood Pressure.
  • Conscious breathing supports better functioning of the lungs.
  • Taking time to let the thoughts flow and to reflect thoughts on your inner self, help you to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
  • Helps you sustain your good mood as it releases the feel-good neurochemicals.
  • Physical alignment always aids in improving the posture over a period.

There are long-term mental health benefits too when you combine your exercise routine with the Corpse Pose as mindful meditation. In 2016, a study was conducted on people with clinical depression, and a massive improvement was noticed in their symptoms when they meditated for 30 minutes before using the treadmill twice a week for eight weeks.

It’s not easy to lie down, relax the breath, and silence the chatter in the mind. But disciplining the mind and body after a demanding activity builds resilience. Over time your results will get better, be patient, and don’t give up.

There’s a lot of hype around yoga pants. Women love wearing them. Men love seeing women in them, occasionally even like wearing them. Ever wondered what makes yoga pants so fascinating?

Due to the rise of the “athleisure” trend, more and more women are wearing yoga pants, not just for workout sessions but also for casual hangouts, for running errands, etc. The fact that it gets all the men ogling at them can be either an added plus or a minus, in case you don’t like to attract attention.

First created by the athletic wear and accessories company Lululemon Athletica in Vancouver, Canada, yoga pants were an instant hit. Initially, people only wore them for gym visits, health classes, and home workouts.

In the last two decades, they have grown more and more popular. You will find plenty of pop culture references to yoga pants, mostly about how much men love to see women wearing them.

Why Do Men Find Yoga Pants So Attractive?

Most straight men are obsessed with yoga pants. It is almost like the sight of women in yoga pants attracts them like a magnet, especially a voluptuous one! It is not rare to see a woman wearing yoga pants turning heads while walking down the street. So what makes pants so attractive to men? Why do guys like yoga pants so much

Apparently, it comes down to biology! Men and women are genetically designed in such a way that makes them unknowingly look for the right child-rearing partner.

For men, when they see women who seem to have the body that can facilitate childbirth successfully, they automatically feel pulled toward them. This is what might trigger the desire to “check out” or stare.

It is technically scientific since having a larger hip and narrower waist shows that a woman is hormonally balanced and a good choice for having children.

However, most men are completely clueless about the biological aspect of this yoga pant obsession. If you ask them, “Why do guys like yoga pants so much?” they will simply say that women in yoga pants are pleasing to the eyes.

Reasons for Men to Like Yoga Pants on Women

Why do guys like yoga pants so much? Asking any man that can get many different replies, varying from “looks good” to whole essays describing every feature they like about seeing women in yoga pants. Here are the top reasons why men like yoga pants on women.

All About the Butt

Men love the way a woman’s butt looks in snug yoga pants. Perhaps the best part of seeing women in yoga pants is how well it highlights their butt.

Yoga pants are very flattering on a woman’s butt. Even the flattest behind will get shaped and uplifted and shown at its best. The material fits tightly onto the flesh of a woman’s behind perfectly, almost like a second skin. It contours the hips and hugs them in such a way that displays the buttocks in the most attractive fashion.

Shows Off the Curves

Yoga pants have an amazing way to mold and shape the lower half of a woman’s body. They will display every curve, starting from the butt down the thighs and calf, all the way down to the ankle. If you have seen a woman move in yoga pants, you will get to see those muscles working! It makes every part look just right and gives the onlooker an alluring view.

Brewing Fantasies

People love a challenge. Yoga pants provide a thin layer of cover while highlighting the best aspects of the lower half of a woman’s body. Sometimes a pair of yoga pants can be made of flimsy material while being tight-fitting, almost like teasing that they can look but they can’t touch. That minimal layer of clothing presents a visual challenge, leaving very little to the imagination. However, this challenge makes it more exciting for men and gets their blood heated up. It fuels their fantasies and gives them something to think about.

An Active and Adventurous Persona

Seeing a woman in yoga pants jogging down the street or hiking up a hill can be an immediate turn-on for men. It shows that she is fit and put together and is not afraid of challenges.

A woman who takes the time out of her busy schedule to exercise outdoors or to visit the gym seems like someone who takes care of her health and is in control of her life. Most men like women who are assertive and know what they want. They want to envision themselves with someone who is adventurous and not afraid to chase their dreams.

Being active and adventurous shows that you are not afraid of challenges and are emotionally composed, which many men find attractive.

Confident and Comfortable in Your Fit

Most girls feel uncomfortable in skin-tight clothing, as it is natural to be critical of your own flaws. Snug clothing shows all parts of our body in their full glory, which can show both wanted and unwanted curves. If you feel awkward and uncomfortable, you will be anxious and self-conscious. This means that no matter how beautiful the outfit or how good you look in it, you won’t be able to pull it off. 

Confidence is sexy; everyone knows that. Pulling off an outfit that is clinging to your body, without feeling too aware of being on display is a talent. When you walk down the hall confidently in your sexy yoga pants with that assertive bounce to your every step, you will turn more heads than ever.

Do Men Like to Wear Them Too?

  • There was a time when people would make fun of men who wore form-fitting fitness outfits while exercising. Although traditionally men like wearing pants that are airy enough to keep things comfortable for them, that trend has shifted in the last two decades. Form-fitting clothing like skinny jeans, slim-fit trousers, and even yoga pants have become a fashion statement.
  • More guys are wearing clothes that show off their body. Men who are fit and feel confident showing off their muscular proportions like toned thighs and sculpted glutes love wearing yoga pants.
  • They might be tight, but the material is thin, soft, and comfortable. Men are now not only wearing them as athletic wear, but also as casual wear for running errands, attending classes, etc. And why shouldn’t they? If they feel confident about how they look in yoga pants, they should feel free to wear them.
  • In 2022, modern society is all about freedom of expression. Your clothing, hair, and accessories all tell your story. When a man has the confidence and guts to wear whatever they like, it shows that they too are fearless and adventurous. They are not insecure about their looks and persona, hence, they feel free to wear outfits that highlight the features they are proud of. If you are unsure, as a man, about what to wear for a yoga class, click here to read more.

Final Thoughts

If you stumbled upon this article because you wondered “Why do guys like yoga pants so much?” we hope you got your answer. Men are so fond of this article of clothing that they not only like women in yoga pants but also like wearing them! Yoga pants are not only comfortable to wear, they are also a symbol of athleisure fashion. So both genders can like wearing yoga pants and also enjoy seeing others in them.

Unlike other types of fitness practices, yoga is uber minimalistic. Most effective physical exercises require various equipment, but yoga is as simple as wellness practices can get. With one simple mat, you can do almost any yoga pose you want. This makes yoga easy and undemanding.

Finding the right mat can be tough. Not all mats have the right thickness, grip, or material that you would prefer. If you want to maximize the benefits of yoga and practice it often, you need a mat that satisfies all your yogic requirements.

The B MAT is the signature mat produced by the yoga accessories-focused Canadian company called B Yoga. This mat has become a favorite of many, with various b yoga mat reviews showing how users swear by its quality and effectiveness. Let’s take a closer look at the B MAT so that you can figure out whether it is the right yoga mat for you.

What Is a B MAT?

B Yoga was formed by Andrea Morris. Herself an avid yogi, Andrea came up with a unique product that has become the central product of her company. 

She realized that the kind of special rubber that was being used to create carpet pads had a special kind of texture that gave it intense grip. This material also happened to be both durable and environmentally friendly. 

Hence, the B MAT was formed, a top seller that has become a fan favorite. Even though you can find numerous versions of the product, both big and small, the original product is still quite popular. A few unique attributes are what gives the Bmat yoga mat its appeal.

Specifications and Details

  • The original B Yoga product, Bmat Everyday, is a 4mm thick yoga mat. Most regular yoga mats have a thickness of around 3-6mm thickness, so Bmat Everyday falls into the standard category.
  • It has a superior grip and is anti-slip.
  • It has antimicrobial properties, which means that it kills or slows down the growth of microorganisms on the mat. This can be a necessity if you sweat a lot and use the mat frequently.
  • It is made from rubber and is eco-friendly. It comes in two different lengths, 71″ (180.34 cm) and 85″ (215.9 cm). It has a standard width of 26″ (66.04 com). You can use it for various floor exercises including yoga and Pilates.
  • You can find a few varieties of the product. For example, “b mat” Strong is thicker and is great for protecting your knee joints. It has a thickness of 6mm, so it gives better cushioning to your limbs. You can also find Bmat Traveler, which is only 2mm thin and easier to carry or Bmat Long, which has more length. There is also a children’s version called the Bmat Mini.

Benefits of a B MAT

There is a good reason why the BMAT Everyday is called one of the best yoga mats out there. There are a few benefits of the mat that makes it stand out. Here are a few that will help you evaluate whether a “b mat” is the right yoga mat for you.

Anti-slip

Even though yoga does not often make you sweat, some more difficult sessions can make you sweat rivers. If your yoga mat has poor grip, it can be potentially dangerous when your hands, feet, and the rest of your body gets sweaty.

There are many difficult postures that you have to do while practicing yoga, and slipping from those positions can end up in a hospital stay or worse. This is why owning a grippy yoga mat is a necessity if you sweat a lot, live in a humid and high-temperature environment, or are doing hot yoga.

What makes this Bmat Yoga mat special is its grip. It is non-slip and has a super grip that will ensure that you don’t slip no matter how slippery the mat might get due to sweating. So even on a hot and humid day, it will be safe to use BMAT every day.

Even with the B yoga mat vs lululemon mat debate, the majority of b yoga mat reviews cite that the B MAT has the better grip.

Eco-friendly

The Bmat yoga mat is made of 100 percent rubber. Natural rubber is highly eco-friendly, the production of this low impact on the environment. The rubber tree is sustainable and provides oxygen to the environment which helps it regulate carbon in the atmosphere.

The material for B MAT Everyday mostly consists of natural rubber with a small percentage of synthetic rubber added to it, but even that is recycled. 

All this makes it quite environmentally friendly, and this mix of both synthetic and natural rubber makes the mat more durable. The material is free of toxins, so you don’t have to worry about exposure when it comes in contact with your skin or when you sweat on it.

Easy to Maintain

B MAT Everyday is a biodegradable mat and will get worn out with poor maintenance, especially if you use it frequently. Using a more durable mat that is made of synthetic material like polyester will be bad for you and the environment, as it releases toxins.

Biodegradable products are eco-friendly. When you dispose of your B MAT, it will decompose quickly and without releasing toxic materials into the environment. Hence, you must maintain your B mat properly if you want to use it for a long time.

How to Care for Your B MAT

Wipe it down with water or with mild soapy water after use, especially if you sweat a lot during your sessions.

You can also use B Yoga’s signature mat cleaner called the Cleanser that was made for cleaning their Bmat yoga mat. This gentle cleanser was designed to clean the mats effectively without damaging them.

Make sure to deep clean your mat. Soak it in water until it is saturated with water. Then hang it up until the water runs off. Don’t dry it under direct sunlight. Let it dry in a place that is away from sunlight.

Should you have a Lululemon Yoga mat, click here to learn more about how to clean a lululemon yoga mat.

Lightweight

What makes yoga so accessible to people is how low maintenance it is, as the only thing you need is a mat. However, if you are going into a yoga class before or after work, having to carry around your mat for a long time can be a hassle.

A common problem with mats is that the non-toxic, natural rubber ones are generally quite heavy and difficult to carry around. 

B Mat is much lighter than regular rubber mats. Most reviews say that this grippy mat is quite light. Usually, when a mat is light, they tend to be thin and you end up hurting your knees. However, for a mat that is easy to carry around, it has superior cushioning that protects your knees. So for a lightweight mat that is only 4mm thick, it is a good, all-around product.

Customer Reviews

If you go through some of the b yoga mat reviews, you will see that most reviews talk about how much they love these mats. Many reviews cite BMAT Everyday as the best yoga mat they have ever used. B Yoga has an 81 percent five-star global rating on the e-commerce mega-site Amazon. Here are some pros and cons that the users have mentioned in their assessment.

Pros

  • Highly Grippy- Most users mention how grippy this mat is. Many said that B MAT Everyday is one of the grippiest mats they have ever used. This is why it is excellent for hot yoga. In these classes, people sweat a lot, and the mat gets very slippery. Due to its strong grip, the Bmat yoga mat is an excellent choice for these classes so that you don’t end up slipping.
  • Available in Pretty Colors- A surprising feature that users loved about B MAT Everyday was the beautiful color choices. Many reviews mentioned how much they love the color of their mat. In yoga and meditation, the outer environment matters too, and people prefer doing yoga somewhere they can truly relax. Lovely colors make the mat aesthetically pleasing, which enhances the ambiance.
  • Great for Yoga- From its superior grip to its quality cushioning, many b yoga mat reviews cite it as the best supportive accessory for yoga. Many avid users say that B MAT is a game-changer and makes it easier for users to do difficult yoga poses.
  • Value for Money- Although cheaper than other high-end mats, the B MAT yoga mat can seem expensive. However, most positive reviews have stated that it is “worth the money.”
  • Lighter than Other Quality Mats- The mat’s thickness and quality are what makes it so popular. However, most high-quality mats are heavy to carry.

Cons

  • Initial Smell- This mat is notorious for its strong smell when it is new. But most reviewers mentioned that if you air it out overnight or use it for a few days, the smell dissipates.
  • Prone to Wear and Tear- Some users said that the product can start to flake when used roughly or after a long time of use. This can be taken care of if the product is maintained properly.
  • Expensive- At 88 dollars, B MAT Everyday can be expensive. But, as consumer reviews showed, most users considered it a good value for the money.

Final Thoughts

Doing yoga should be natural, without much hassle, and the B MAT yoga mat gives you just that. For people who desire a greater grip on their yoga mat, this lightweight product is a bestseller. It is also considered a game-changer in the yoga scene for being super grippy and non-slip. If you maintain it well, it shall be your yoga companion for many days to come.

There is a misconception that stretching is only helpful for athletes or gymnasts who have a strict fitness plan. Anyone who wants to enjoy their body movements freely needs to think about flexibility. It’s like a domino effect—stretching regularly can help to achieve optimum mobility and independence, which visibly impacts your flexibility. When you combine these two, you achieve better balance. It’s as simple as that. 

Let’s look at it from another angle. If you want to walk up the stairs without any discomfort, then the balance is key. To protect your body’s mobility, simple stretches regularly can improve your stability immensely. In this article, we will be discussing how stretches can define your flexibility and balance. 

What Is Balance Stretching?

Stretches that help us improve balance are called balance stretching. For a detailed understanding, we have put together this article which explains what is meant by balance stretching

The most basic step to prepare your body before a workout is stretching. It is often underrated, but getting your body ready for rigorous muscle movements and cardio is equally important for a complete fitness routine. Hence, stretching is essential. Allocating 5-10 minutes into your workout schedule for stretching exercises will help you achieve better flexibility, reduce stiffness, and ultimately give your better results.

Having tightness in your muscles can lead to undue strain on the surrounding joints while doing basic movements like walking, climbing, bending over, etc. With age, our muscles tend to lose their elasticity and eventually start to contract. We must actively protect the length of our muscles through regular maintenance. To enjoy our bodies’ ability to move around with ease requires a regular practice of balance stretching.

Balance and Coordination

Balance means stability. Even to squat down to reach the TV remote under the couch, you require balance. If you face balance issues, you are likely to meet with falls and slips, which can lead to injuries. By controlling our body movements with balance, we are protecting it from sudden falls.

Balance exercises are great for improving equilibrium, enhancing reflexes for situations when you can quickly recover from falling over. Moreover, balance is a requirement for various fitness activities and sports.

To improve balance, you have to think about your body’s core strength. Improved core strength represents a good foundation of control and support. Core strength can be achieved with exercises like Pilates and tai chi, but yoga should be at the top of your list if you want enhanced core strength and balance.

Relatively older people are usually at risk of falling, slipping, and causing injuries from lack of balance. Hence, older people must practice balance training regularly for better muscle and joint mobility. 

We suggest practicing three to four days weekly to be able to move around without pain. Some examples of balance exercises for older people include sideways walking, backward walking, toe walking, heel walking, and standing from a sitting position.

Flexibility

Flexibility is directly related to stretching. The more you stretch, the better your flexibility. Having said that, some people are more flexible than others, so it’s best not to compare. Rather focus on your ability to achieve optimum mobility. Flexibility exercises are known to improve overall mobility, independence, reduce joints and muscle tightness, and eliminate possible risks of injury.

We highly recommend you incorporate flexibility to exercise at least three to four times weekly into your fitness program. You will come across posters at almost every gym class with visual images of stretches for all your muscle groups. If you have an instructor, they will also keep reminding you of the importance of stretching before getting into any high impact exercise. 

Warming up with stretches can improve your muscle flexibility exceptionally. This brings us to our next section—the importance of safe and effective stretches for balance and flexibility

The Relationship Between Yoga and Stretching

Most of us often assume that yoga and stretching are indistinguishable. Stretching and yoga poses cross each other’s paths due to their similarities in movements. Some people say yoga is a form of stretching, which is relatable. But in all honesty – they are alike visually with separate purposes fitness-wise. Let’s look at the rest of the article that will help you identify the differences and similarities between the two.

Similarities 

Let’s begin with the similarities between the two. Both focus on muscle tightness and flexibility. They both activate blood flow, engaging the entire body. Some of the stretching exercises and yoga poses might also have the same purpose. This brings to the end similarities between yoga and stretching. 

Differences

Let’s examine the differences between the two now. Yoga poses vs stretching exercises will help you determine the point of differences easily. 

Stretching

Stretching means activating your muscles and tissues by holding a position. Your goal should be to lengthen your muscle in the desired area. You are expected to apply light pressure on your muscles before it starts to feel uncomfortable. It helps to reduce the tightness and tension in your muscles. Often stretching is only a part of a workout routine, where you stretch to warm up before or finish your routine with a stretching session. 

Yoga

Yoga is a full-fledged work workout with a combination of many asanas. Some of these poses look very similar to stretching exercises – but only a few. Moreover, there are many types of yoga workouts like vinyasa, power yoga, ashtanga, yin yoga, hot yoga, etc. Each type of yoga has a certain goal with its shift of movements. Many times, you will notice that yoga demands holding poses in some routines. Then there is vinyasa which requires you to move from one pose to another rapidly. In other words, yoga can be as relaxing as you want it to be, but it also can get your heart racing. It all depends on your personal fitness goals. 

Your routine should be based on what you are trying to achieve from your practice. It can aim at purely stretching – due to recovering from an injury. It can also be based on enhancing your flexibility and body flow. Or the most common one – body balance and correct posture.

Safe and Effective Stretching

Stretching can go wrong if done incorrectly. It’s vital to do it properly to avoid injuries. It’s not only good for better flexibility, but it also stimulates your blood flow and relieves muscle tension, allowing your joints to maintain their wide range of motion. Therefore, you should start to consider a safe and effective stretching routine to combat this.

1. Fewer Injuries

If you can work on building strength and flexibility through regular stretching exercises, you will withstand more physical stress. In addition, you eliminate the likelihood of any muscle imbalances, which may be the cause of injuries. 

2. Less Pain

You’ll notice that your body’s overall health has improved drastically. Stretching regularly opens up your muscles, making them looser and less stiff. You will experience fewer muscle pulls, cramps, aches and pains. 

3. Improved Posture and Balance

Increased flexibility also means correcting posture. Preparing your body to flow and stretch improves body alignment. Moreover, you’ll notice your regular movements like sitting and standing have become easier. 

4. A Positive State of Mind

Stretching stimulates your blood circulation and eases range of motion which has a very positive impact on your state of mind. It brings about feelings of calm and relaxation. Stretching in between your regular daily routine helps to unwind and make you feel better physically and mentally. 

5. Greater Strength

Flexibility increases your core strength. Your muscles will store an adequate amount of tension to support your body movements. While you are working out, you will feel your body’s ability to support your exercises have increased, making you physically fit. 

Types of Stretches to Improve Balance 

As mentioned earlier, stretching is underrated. This is probably because it does not glorify its benefits as much as cardio, aerobics, HIIT, or any other form of exercise. Stretching can feel uncomfortable for many people. You are putting your body in a position that it is not used to; in fact, you are expecting your body to extend and lengthen. 

Sometimes people just want to skip it because they think it is not result-oriented. In other words, stretching is not helping you to lose weight or increase your stamina, etc. The truth is, it does! We have prepared a list of five safe and effective stretches to loosen your muscles, making them less restricted.  

Standing Calf Stretch 

It is common to have tight calves from sitting or standing for long hours. It can become painful for you to put your foot flat on the floor when you are squatting or lunging, or even doing regular movements. Your body is likely to feel unstable due to the tightness. Stretching your calves will work your knees and improve your posture and alignment too.

Instructions: Stand straight. Move one leg and bring it behind you. Gradually bend your front leg by placing your hands over your knees for additional support. You need to ensure your back heel is touching the ground. Your torso needs to be squared to the front of your shoulders, over your hips. For a deeper stretch, focus on walking your leg farther back behind you. Do the same for the other leg. You can use a wall as a support.

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring stretch has amazing benefits. It can help a lot to gain stability while walking or just standing. It boosts blood flow, making you more aware of your body movements and preventing falls and slips.

Instructions: You have to lie on your back for this one. Place one leg straight and extend on the ground. The other leg should be raised carefully toward the sky. Use both of your arms to grab behind the lifted leg and gently pull and stretch your hamstrings. If you want a deeper stretch, just flex your foot. Please note that if you feel any discomfort while doing this, you are allowed to bend the knee of the working leg. Keep your neck relaxed at all times. Repeat the same step for the other leg. 

Quad Stretch

The quad stretch helps immensely with knees and lower back movements. It engages hip and leg muscles, enhancing flexibility. It is also great for preventing knee and lower back injuries. If you ever feel you need additional support, hold on to a wall or a similar stable object while you are at it!

Instructions: This stretching exercise requires you to stand with your legs apart (hip-distance). Gradually, bend one knee up and try to kick your bottom with that foot. Stretch the arm on the same side around your back to hold and grab your foot. Try to hold for a few seconds and breathe. Repeat for the other side.

Hip Stretch

Stiff hips can cause lower back pain and restrict your range of motion. It’s important to open up these muscles for a stable pelvis, which can support movements like walking, sitting, etc.

Instructions: You have to place your knees on the ground, keeping your hips forward and spine straight and stretched. Focus on your core muscles. Place your hands over the knee of your front leg, placing the knee over the ankle. Hold the stretch for a few seconds. Repeat for the other side.  

Piriformis Stretch

This stretching exercise is a hip rotating exercise that activates the piriformis muscle. It is the deep internal hip rotator that is located on the exterior of the butt. If the hip rotation muscles are tight, it can cause sciatic nerve irritation, which can be painful. 

Instructions: You have to sit on the floor for this one. Keep your legs extended. Take the right leg and gently cross it over the other leg. Keep your right foot flat, touching the floor. Take your right hand and place it behind your body. Take your left hand and put it on your right quad. 

Keep pressing your right leg to the left side while you twist your body gently to the right. If the spinal rotation causes any discomfort, take it easy with the twisting and stretching. In this case, you can take your left hand to pull your right quad forward and to the left. 

Tips to Stretch Properly

We have made a list of tips for you to follow while you are incorporating stretching exercises. 

  1. Make sure your muscles are warm while you are stretching. It is a risk prevention tip. You can stretch after your workout, as your muscles will be relatively warmer from the workout. If you are stretching only, then try to walk it off first for a quick warm-up. 
  2. Stretch to release tension, not cause pain. Please note that stretching should not feel painful at any time. Static stretching is the safe option. In other words, gently stretch your muscles to the end of their range of motion. Hold the stretches for 20 to 30 seconds. If that’s too much for you, you can tone it down to 10 seconds according to your comfort. 
  3. Don’t bounce or jump while you are stretching. This can cause injuries and add to your muscle tightness. Follow smooth and flowy movements to release tension in tight areas.
  4. Refrain from holding your breath while stretching. Take deep breaths, but don’t hold it. Holding your breath can stop oxygen from reaching your muscles. Inhale consciously before starting the stretch and exhale while you are at it.
  5. Stretch regularly. If you want to move around with ease, you should remember to stretch regularly. The trick is to incorporate it into your daily routine. 

Conclusion

Improving your balance with stretching exercises can be challenging at first, but rewarding in the long run. You also need to consider that your balance will not be the same every day; it will vary. Observe your body movements and stretch accordingly. 

Try to notice the changes in your motion, if a certain part of your body feels tight or unstable. Enjoy the process of opening up your muscles with the help of regular stretching. You don’t have to stick to our list; you can get creative by incorporating other stretching exercises into your daily life. After a refreshing Yoga session, try to always finish it in the corpse pose, click here to learn more about it.

Did you know that many players have benefitted from adding Yoga into their fitness and training regimens? Soccer/football players need plenty of training, practice, and time on the field to build up their strength, precision, and stamina. Yoga, on the other hand, is an ancient practice that builds up health and promotes well-being in humans. So what can link these two very different physical activities?

Those who are avid practitioners claim that yoga has made them more flexible and helped them develop their strength. Some claim that it added years to their soccer careers! 

Even soccer legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have incorporated yoga into their training, vouching for its effectiveness. So can yoga for soccer players help you to score more goals? Let’s get into it.

How Does Yoga Help Soccer Players?

Yoga can help your health, fitness, and well-being in multiple ways. During yoga, you move from one pose to another, using slow movements and taking deep breaths. This not only warms up your body but also helps regulate blood flow throughout your veins and arteries.

When you hold a pose, it helps you build strength. Even though most people think that yoga is an easy and low-effort practice, it actually takes a lot of strength and flexibility to successfully move from one difficult posture to another. Holding difficult poses like the Bow Pose or the Wheel Pose takes a lot out of you. The more you practice holding a pose, the more endurance your body develops. It helps build both stamina and power.

Effectiveness

If you want to evaluate the effectiveness of yoga for soccer players, you must consider some real-life testimonies.

Ryan Giggs

One celebrated athlete who had a long-running career in soccer is Ryan Giggs. This Welsh player stayed with Manchester United throughout his career and played for 24 long years! While most players retire by the age of 35, this youthful athlete played soccer well into his 40s.

What was the magic behind his long-running career? Yes, it was yoga. Giggs himself has claimed time and time again that yoga is the secret behind his stamina, health, and energy. He admitted that yoga was tough to handle early on; however, he soon realized that yoga helped him become a more physically sound player.

Jermaine Jones

Another well-known player who reaped the benefit of adding yoga to their fitness regime is the American midfielder, Jermaine Jones. Just like most professional athletes, Jones also had a packed schedule of intensive physical training. So when his trainers proposed that he should do yoga, he was reluctant to try it, thinking it was too easy for his level of athleticism. 

Once he gave in to trying yoga, he realized it was a whole new world of physical challenges. Just like many others, he disliked the amount of strength it took to do yoga. However, later he not only understood the value of adding yoga to his training; he also realized it skyrocketed his capacity to stretch.

Effective stretching can be crucial for players to avoid dangerous injuries of body parts that are overworked during a match. Many injuries also occur when players make a thoughtless movement that immediately hurts a tight and/or inflexible muscle. If you enhance your flexibility, you reduce your chance of pulling, injuring, or even tearing a ligament or hamstring. 

Frequency

The key is to add yoga for soccer players to your fitness and strength routine effectively. If you play soccer professionally, consider finding a way to include yoga into your training routine. The key is to ease yourself into it without shocking your system too much. Easy steps are the way to go, slowly increasing the time and frequency of your practice.

The best part about yoga is that you don’t have to spend hours on it. It can serve as an extension of your warm-up sessions. Yoga is super simple and low-maintenance, as all you need is a mat. You can either choose to do it before you start training for the day or when you go home after a long day of work.

Stretching for soccer players can be vital for ensuring fitness. In the beginning, your body will be stretched in ways that you are probably not used to, which means that for a while, yoga will hurt. But even if it is an addition to your normal physical wear and tear, the benefits are worth the initial pain. You can do yoga every day or two to three times a week. It is entirely a matter of preference. The key is to stay consistent.

5 Poses for Soccer Players

There are many poses in yoga with different levels of difficulty depending on how demanding each pose is. There are some poses in yoga for athletes that utilize body parts that you need to stretch and strengthen to play soccer. Here are a few poses that you can try out:

Downward Facing Dog 

The downward-facing dog pose is a central yoga posture that is incorporated into most common yoga routines. For a pose that has a comparatively low difficulty level, it helps your body and well-being in many ways. The pose is like a stretch that involves your arms and legs. By slowly moving into the pose, you stretch out your hamstrings and calves, both of which are overworked during soccer. By stretching them regularly, you loosen them up and strengthen them so that they gain more endurance.

It also increases blood flow to your spine, brain, and nervous system and stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles, enhancing your overall well-being.

Steps

  • Take a deep breath and get on your hands and knees. Align your wrists and keep them underneath your shoulders. The knees should come close enough to stay underneath the hips without touching each other.
  • With your fingers outstretched and your hands placed firmly on the mat, exhale and push backward, lifting your buttocks. Your toes will curl automatically as you initiate the pose.
  • As you stretch out, it should look the way a dog tends to stretch, bringing its paws forward in almost an extended bowing posture.
  • Straighten and stretch out your back, with your tailbone raised high. Even if your legs are slightly bent, try to straighten them slowly. You will feel your entire body stretch, like an uneven triangle on the mat.

Warrior I Pose

Warrior I is one of the simpler poses in yoga, and it is all about maintaining balance. It is a stretch that involves arms and legs, helping people strengthen their core and develop deep balance.

This pose brings attention to your thighs in a rounded stretch that helps strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and even the groin. This pose also extends the calf muscles and ankles, making them stronger. It also stretches your upper body extensively, including your back, abdomen, shoulders, and arms.

Steps

  • Start by standing at the lower half of your yoga mat. Keep your feet slightly apart from each other.
  • Step one foot forward as far as you can comfortably reach when preparing for a lunge.
  • Keep your front foot aligned with your back feet and make sure your toe is pointing toward the top. Turn your back heel slightly (about 45°), and stretch into a lunge. Make sure your back leg is straight.
  • Take a deep breath as you lift your arms over your head, pushing your shoulders low. Your hands should be open with fingers jutting up. Lift your chin as you stretch, your head hanging backwards.
  • Stretch into the lunge as your arms reach upwards but keep your shoulder pressed down. Feel the gravity aiding you, pulling your shoulder down.
  • Hold the pose as long as possible, then move back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the process with the other leg. Try to keep the pose holding time equal for both legs, to keep things balanced. Do not overdo and strain your leg.

Half Front Splits Pose

Yoga for soccer players can include Ardha Hanumanasana, also known as the half front splits pose. Philosophically, this pose is about finding a balance between flexibility and stability. Yoga is all about finding the right balance in every aspect of your mind and body.

This pose utilizes vital parts of your hip-leg region, including your hips, glutes, hamstrings, calves, heel cords, etc. Players who play any physical sports that involve running have a certain tightness in their hamstrings. This pose helps stretch and loosen that tightness, relaxing them. It also stretches your back and the muscles that run over the spine. This pose particularly strengthens the hips and legs, helping your body stay stable in various stances.

As it stretches the spine and makes it go through the motions slowly, it activates the spinal nerves. This helps release stress and gives you more emotional control.

Steps

  • Start on the mat, kneeling near the end, facing the top. Bring one leg forward like in a lunge.
  • Make sure your back leg is stable. You will be putting some pressure on that knee, so remember to use a thick mat or add some cushioning under it.
  • Move from the lunge, straightening the front leg and pulling your toe toward your face.
  • Place your hands on the ground or balance on your fingers. Some people also use blocks. Activate your spine, keeping it long. Try not to slouch in the position, as it will be incorrect.
  • Come back to a lunge and repeat the process with the other leg.

Half Pigeon Pose

Soccer can be a high-tension sport. With a momentary mistake putting you behind in the game, you cannot risk a moment of unmindfulness. Legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has emphasized how meditation and other anxiety-managing practices can help you become a better footballer. 

Yoga for football players, like the pigeon pose, not only helps you physically but also releases mental stress. In Ayurveda, hips play a crucial part in mental peace, and the pigeon pose is great for moving and activating all the hip rotators and flexors. You get to stretch and strengthen your hips while helping your mental stability. While doing the pose, you also expand and stretch your inner thighs, helping loosen those muscles which are often tense due to playing soccer as well as training and practicing for it.

Steps

  • Get on your hands and knees with your palms pressed to the floor.
  • Move one knee between your hands; this will stretch the upper thigh muscles. You can pull your ankle closer to your hip to relieve the tension.
  • You can choose to stay on your palms or slowly move your arms down and support yourself with your elbow. You can also choose to spread your arms forward, reaching out in a lowered bow-like position.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose

Groin injuries are quite common in football games. Groin and inner thigh injuries happen when the area becomes taut and strained from being overworked.

When you do a Upavistha Konasana, you stretch out your legs wide. This makes your inner thigh muscles, joint and joint muscles, backbone, and erector spinae muscle stronger. It also stretches the muscles of your groin, helping it become more flexible and less prone to injury.

Experts suggest that you should do this pose early in the morning or three/four hours after a meal, as this pose actively affects your abdominal muscles and organs. If you do it at the right time, it will improve the health of your digestive system. If you are a female player, this yoga pose for football players can help regulate and strengthen your reproductive organs.

Steps

  • Sitting upright on the yoga mat, extend your legs open and wide.
  • Inhale slowly, looking up as you expand your chest and straighten your spine. Your chest should be lifted.
  • Feel the energy running from your core to the balls of your feet, pressing and strengthening them to keep your legs open.
  • Bring your hands between your legs, palms down. Exhale and walk your hands forward and expand your upper body outwards, stretching your spine. As you stretch out your body, take deep breaths, feeling the energy running through you.
  • Keep your legs wide and your upper body extended as you breathe. Try to dip in deeper every time you exhale.
  • Stay for as long as you can, then exhale for the last time. Inhale as you raise your body, walking your hands back as you lift. Once your spine is upright, slowly close your legs.

Yoga for Athletes

Adding yoga to training programs can not only help soccer players but also other athletes. Yoga puts you in an active flow, kickstarting your body. Blood is regulated steadily through the body, increasing blood flow in various organs from head to toe. This keeps your body parts healthy while stretching helps strengthen your bones and muscles.

From gymnasts to rugby players, yoga for athletes can help any player become better at their game. The key is to look for poses that help increase strength and flexibility in the parts of your body that are overworked while playing your sport. Remember that yoga also helps increase balance and stability, which can be crucial to avoid injuries. By staying stable and quick on your feet, you can prevent yourself from making mistakes that can lead to the loss of a game.

Final Thoughts

Yoga for football players can help achieve greater flexibility, balance, strength, and physical stability. Stretching for soccer players can be crucial, and as yoga stretches your body extensively, most athletes can reap the benefits of adding yoga to their training routine. Focus on poses that help you make the overused parts of your body stronger and more flexible.

Since yoga is simple and easy to do and continues, you can even do it every day. The most important part is staying consistent and maintaining a regular yoga practice so that it keeps your body active and healthy.

Neck and shoulder pain is a common complaint. Our day-to-day lifestyle is the prime source of constant discomfort that often leads to muscle strains in the back of our head, neck and shoulders—the trapezius muscle, commonly known as traps. It is made of three parts, almost like a gearwheel that is responsible for hauling our shoulders and bringing them back during scapular retraction. The main triggering factor of muscle strains is caused by hours of bad posture—one of the drawbacks of modern technology. People who spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer for their day jobs or have a tendency of using their phone in a hunched-down position end up suffering the most. Even minor habits like reading in bed or gritting your teeth can often lead to strained neck and shoulder muscles.

Enough with the problems already! Let’s talk about solutions that you can explore to get rid of your neck and shoulder spasms. So how can we improve our movement patterns to prevent bad postures? Easy—healing yoga, which is also known as restorative yoga for neck and shoulder pain. The key is to maintain ways to adjust our alignment that help us to release the tension that contributes to a long-term muscle spasm of the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain

To identify if you have forward head posture, try the following: stand with your back and heels against a wall. Your objective is to check whether the back of your head touches the wall naturally – if not, this is a sign for misalignment. Having said that, recently a WHO report stated that people suffering from neck pain – the best way to treat it is by self-care. That is where yoga plays a vital role in treating neck and shoulder pain. Yoga demands you to focus on your body movements, balances, breathing, body mechanics and emotions. 

Healing yoga is the practice of breathing techniques and meditation to build physical and mental strength. It incorporates processes that improve flexibility, activate stiff muscles, and gradually eliminate discomfort, both mentally and physically. Here are a few basics of restorative yoga for shoulder pain that can be followed to start your healing journey.

  1. Synchronize your breathing with your movements. The trick is to observe. Try to breathe consciously so that you feel the movement in your spine. This supports neuromuscular re-education that allows you to alter your bad movement patterns. Coordinate your breath to the movement. The breath should be a medium to help you create and feel the movement in your spine. This aids neuromuscular re-education, which enables you to transform dysfunctional movement patterns.
  1. Another really important factor is to ace your poses. It could be just as simple as following one single pose to help with your discomfort. Make sure to correct your posture. You have to enable yourself to understand what’s going on inside your body, particularly how it impacts your muscles. Focus on the quality of the poses, rather than the quantity because the poses will only give you results if you are doing them properly. 

Now it’s time for us to address the root cause of the pain you’re feeling. It will help you determine what needs to be done for pain relief.

What’s Causing the Pain?

The typical symptoms include mild tingling, shooting pain, stiffness, numbness, spasms, and soreness. Usually, continuous pain in the neck and shoulder can range from a number of factors, such as: 

Bad Posture

The most common one is poor posture. Maintaining proper posture is important if you are suffering from upper back pain. Any negligence can directly affect your traps, leading to serious discomfort from your neck and shoulders going down to your spine. The severity of the pain can increase over time if you are not actively taking precautions.

Forward head posture is also referred to as a misalignment around the back of your head, neck and shoulders. It can have a number of unfortunate effects throughout the body. The shortening of chest muscles keeps pressing on nerves and blood vessels in the arms, which can increase the risk of repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The elevation and forward movement of the scapula, along with your lower traepzium and supraspinatus weakening – it can compress the shoulder joint which can cause pain, inflammation in the rotator cuff. 

Not just, it can also compromise your lower back due to the curve in your spine. Moreover, rapid “slumping” detracts the lungs and your internal organs, also hampering your breathing, blood circulation and digestion.   

Bad Sleeping Position

An unusual sleeping position can leave you with a neck injury. If you have been doing it for a long time, you may even face difficulty turning your neck sideways. Bad sleeping positions like sleeping on your stomach or having too many pillows are also common causes of neck pain. It’s important to pay attention to the under-head pillow and the surface of the mattress you choose to lie down on because if your head and neck are not aligned with the rest of your body, you’ll end up regretting it later on. 

Muscle Strain

You may start to observe that your neck is hurting after staring at your phone, computer, or any other device for long hours. Another source of neck pain can be driving for extended hours. In other words, any posture that requires you to keep your head in a certain position for a long time will lead to muscle stiffness on your traps. In the long run, your muscles will start to weaken, causing neck stiffness. A stiff neck shrinks nerves around the area, which can be really painful during movements.

Stress or Anxiety

Stress or anxiety are key players for muscle tightening around your neck and shoulders. It’s become a common complaint in today’s world.

Office Shoulders

This is a very common problem for office goers. We tend to spend long hours in front of the computer with rounded shoulders. As a result, our shoulders become stiff and tight causing us pain. 

Past Injury

Injuries from accidents or sports can often cause severe pain in your upper body—also known as a brachial plexus injury. It can damage the brachial plexus, which are the nerves that connect your neck, shoulder, arms, and spine. 

Whiplash

Any traumatic incident can cause neck strain or sprain. Another word for it is whiplash. This happens when your neck muscles or ligaments are injured from an incident. This kind of impact can occur from car accidents, falling, or slipping while trying to lift something. There have been cases reported when riding a roller coaster or confronting a powerful force during a sports activity. One of the common postural issues is forward head posture, which is a misalignment between the head and the shoulder girdle. This means that the head extends in front of the shoulders and upper back. This can lead to severe pain and discomfort around your neck, upper back, shoulder and chest. 

Genetic Conditions

There are many genetic conditions related to vertebrae, joints, muscles, and some other parts of the neck that can cause neck pain. These particular conditions take place due to aging or other health issues. Here are some of the examples that can cause neck and shoulder pain due to genetic conditions. 

  1. Arthritis
  2. Inflamed nerves or joints
  3. Pinched nerves
  4. Degeneration of the cervical disc
  5. Cervical fractures

10 Poses for Relief

We have prepared a list of 10 poses that are effective for shoulder and neck pain, regardless of the cause. Trust us, if these restorative yoga poses are done properly, maintaining correct posture, it can work like a magical pain-reliever. 

Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

You have to sit comfortably with your back straight and your spine extended. Gradually work on deepening your breathing techniques by inhaling and lengthening your exhale. When inhaling, feel the movement in your chest while it expands. Try to observe how your navel draws in toward your spine. Take 12 deep breaths in an easy pose for optimum results.

Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana Parivrtti)

This position requires you to sit with your legs crossed and spine out. Carefully, bring your left hand toward your right knee, and put the right hand on the floor behind you. Your right arm will have to be rotated externally with fingers pointing out and away from your sacrum. While you breathe out, gently twist your body to the right while turning your head in the same direction. 

Stop here to inhale. During your next exhale, gradually turn your shoulders right while turning your head in the opposite direction. Again, stop and inhale. With each breath, carefully lean your head toward your left shoulder for a further stretch of your right neck. Take 12 breaths in this pose for each side.

Child’s pose (Balasana)

Another super effective yoga pose for neck pain is the child’s pose. It aids in relaxing your neck, upper back and spine. If you’re suffering from stress or anxiety, a child’s pose should be your go-to healing pose. It reduces any form of mental tension. You have to come to your hands and knees on the mat for this pose. Your knees should be spread wide, keeping the top of your feet on the mat and the big toes on each foot touching each other. 

Bring your belly down between your thighs and place your forehead on the floor, stretching your spine as much as possible. Find a comfortable position to relax your eyes, jaws, and shoulders. It’s important to sync your breathing with your body to ensure that the energy being released supports a “rest and digest” response. You can enjoy this position for 30 seconds to several minutes, depending on comfort. 

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

You have to stand on your knees for this pose. Gently take your left arm over your head and put the back of your right hand on your sacrum. When you exhale, bend over and forward, taking your left arm behind your back and carefully turning your head to the right. Rest the left side of your head on your mat. Your buttocks are supposed to be higher than your hips for the correct alignment. 

All of your body weight will be carried by your legs in this position. When you are inhaling, take your right arm wide and gently bring your head back to the center while you come back to standing on your knees. Now, repeat the same steps for the other side. You can do up to four rounds in total for each side.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Lie on your belly and gently turn your head to the left. Bring your hands to your sacrum and keep them crossed, palms facing up. While breathing in, use your upper back muscles to gradually lift your chest. You have to sweep your left wide at the same time by bending your elbow slightly. Place the edge of your left hand against your forehead while your head is straight and facing center. While breathing out, lower your chest and widen your left arm, returning your hand to your sacrum and turning your head to the right. You can do four rounds, but be sure to alternate sides every time. 

Ruddy Goose Pose (Cakravakasana)

The starting point for this pose requires you to begin on your hands and knees with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips above your knees. While breathing in, lift your chest from your belly, keeping your back flat and straight. Now bring the shoulder blades toward each other. While breathing out, carefully contract your belly and take your lower back without your chest falling over your belly. Bring your hips toward your heels while you bend your elbows. Gradually lower your chest toward your thighs and place your forehead on the mat. You can repeat this pose 6-8 times. 

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

You have to stand for this pose. Stand with your feet apart and your hands on your buttocks. While breathing out, slightly bend forward, sweeping your hands down the back of your legs. Bring your chest toward your thighs. Keep your chin tucked in. 

While you breathe in, let your chest take the lead as you lift it away from your belly by lifting your chin too. Bring your torso halfway up, keeping your hands alongside your knees. 

Squeeze your shoulder blades together. While breathing out, bend over, stretching your back and sliding your hands gradually back toward your heels. Keep your shoulder blades relaxed and your chin tucked in. When you return to your standing position, remember to focus on your deepened inhale. You can repeat this four times. 

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

Stand with your feet spread wider than your shoulders. Place your left foot outward at a 90-degree angle. While breathing in, stretch and extend your arms so that they are parallel with the floor. Breathe out and bend toward the left side, keeping your shoulders steady and in a straight line with your hips. Place your left hand below your left knee while turning your head toward your left foot. 

Keep your right arm pointed toward the sky. While breathing in, take your right arm over and toward your right ear, slightly turning your head toward your palm. While exhaling, bring your right arm back to the previous position while moving your head in the direction of your left foot. You can repeat this four times.

Leg-up-the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

This is a very calming and relaxing pose that you can do on the floor facing a wall. Place your upper body flat on the floor against a wall. Lie down on your side, then slowly roll onto your back and stretch your legs up the wall. Your feet should be wider apart than your hips, but this totally depends on your personal comfort. You can take a moment to adjust your position by scooting your tailbone toward the wall. It doesn’t have to touch.

Place your arms by your side, palms facing up, shoulders and arms relaxed. Lengthen your spine and settle into a pose before you start breathing. Once you have found a comfortable position, breathe in and out for at least 10 minutes. 

Two-Footed Pose (Dvipada Pitham)

For this pose, lie on your back with your arms extended along the floor by your sides, palms down. Gently bend your knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor (hip-width apart). While you breathe in, apply force to press down through your feet; chin tucked in, elevate your pelvis until you can feel that your neck is lying flat. Exhale, relaxing your spine vertebrae by vertebrae and carefully lowering your pelvis to return to the previous position. You can repeat this six times.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Lie down on your back with your arms by your sides, palms facing up. Your legs will be slightly apart from each other. Close your eyes and focus on the existence of your body. Just take full breaths for up to five minutes to relax. This is perhaps the most gentle yoga for neck and shoulder pain.

However, all the poses mentioned above have a treatment purpose, it’s important for you to follow a few tips:

  • Pay attention to your body and make changes to your routine accordingly, as you body changes from day to day. 
  • Focus on your breathing to support your body movement.
  • Don’t rush into a pose because you want to, take it easy and slow.
  • For beginners, it is highly advised that you join a class for guidance – online or offline, whatever suits your needs. 
  • In order to reduce neck pack, we suggest you to consider hatha, restorative or yin yoga. 
  • Don’t be hard on yourself to achieve certain poses – be gentle and enjoy the process and your journey.
  • You can start to practice 10 to 20 minutes everyday with basic relaxing poses. 

Consult with Chiropractor

If your neck pain has persisted for weeks or months, you should consider getting it checked out by a doctor. In addition, if you have sustained any injury, don’t wait it out; reach out to a doctor immediately for treatment. Your doctor will conduct a physical exam and run a health history. They may also suggest a few tests to identify the diagnosis. Treatments for neck pain usually include the following:

  1. Strong pain medications for instant relief
  2. Injectable medications like a corticosteroid applied directly to the area of the pain
  3. Muscle relaxants
  4. Physical therapy
  5. Surgery

Physiotherapy

This is one of the most successful and effective ways to treat chronic neck and shoulder pain. It addresses the cause of the pain and helps you manage the symptoms more effectively. Regular physical therapy enhances muscle flexibility, loosens tight muscles, and activates regular blood circulation. A chiropractor or physiotherapist can help with muscle strain recovery by simple physiotherapy exercises. 

Yoga Props for Better Results

Yoga in itself is a fantastic way to enhance your muscle flexibility. You can take it up a notch by using props that help you with deeper back, neck, and shoulder stretches. For example, for upper body injuries and discomfort, props like yoga belts, yoga wheels, or chirp wheels are often recommended by doctors to speed up the recovery process. The yoga wheel in particular has gained popularity among physiotherapists as they use it on their patients for back, neck, and shoulder pain relief.

Bottom Line

The best way to prevent any muscle strain, other than sudden accidents, is to maintain proper body posture. Practicing yoga and stretching your stiff areas is another way to stay away from any long-term pain. Having said that, if your pain continues to stay for more than a few weeks, you must consult with a doctor. Even before turning to restorative yoga for shoulders or any home remedies for pain relief, you should get your doctor’s approval just to be safe.

The slightest discomfort in your jaw can hamper your day-to-day life, interfering with basic movements such as talking, yawning, and even eating. In most cases, we tend to neglect it with the expectation that it will magically disappear someday. Such wishful thinking can often mislead you, making you suffer longer than necessary. 

The sooner you dig deep into the root cause of the problem, the faster the recovery. You need to discover what’s causing the pain as the reason might not be so apparent. You may have to take a spiritual route to identify the root causes and find out how you can treat your jaw pain using the power of yoga.

What Is the Meaning of Jaw Tension?

Any form of tension, stress, or anxiety can be the reason for a tight jaw. The degree of tension can arise from a situation, feeling overwhelmed or sad that can often lead to physical tension in your jaw. 

It’s not just limited to your jaws, either; it can also cause physical discomfort in other parts of your body, including your neck, ears, face, and shoulders. Of course, other reasons can be the source of tight jaws other than stress or anxiety. Let’s look at it from another angle: tension in jaw spiritual meaning. 

Let Your Jaw Speak—Signs and Symptoms

Tension in the jaw area can be linked back to how your feelings and emotions are being channeled out of your body. Simply put, they represent your mental and emotional state. For example, if you are constantly suppressing your feelings instead of expressing them, your emotional barriers can transform into physical tension in your jaw.

Experts suggest that feeling helpless in certain situations also brings about jaw tension. The symptoms of tight or stiff jaws can vary from person to person. Some feel constant pain, such as aches, tenderness, or throbbing. This is most apparent when you move your jaw for eating, laughing out loud, or even yawning. 

The tricky part is that the tightness in your jaw does not have a permanent spot; the location of the discomfort can vary. You can feel pain anywhere on your face—nose, mouth, ears, or one or both sides of your face, including your jaws. Moreover, other signs of tension in your jaw may include clicking sounds, limitations in opening your mouth, and locking of your jaw point.

Let’s help you connect the dots. Keep reading to identify the possible causes of your jaw pain and the measures you can take for pain relief.

How Does Jaw Tension Affect You?

This section will explain the relationship between stress and your jaws—almost like emotion stored in your jaws. Research has shown some rather interesting discoveries that we will be discussing in this article. Did you know that how you react after a negative experience plays a key role in tightening your jaw? Scientists revealed that your first reaction can tense the muscles and tissues around your jaws, eyes, and mouth. 

It has also been explained that negative experiences can lead to immediate shortening of neck, shoulder, and jaw muscles. Other experts have discussed that tension in the jaw is directly proportional to mental workload—very common for people who sit in front of a computer for extended hours due to their job requirements. It can lead to stiff neck, shoulders, knots, even wrinkles. 

The simplest way to explain this is that the psychological is initially physiological. The biological approach states that behavioral traits from thoughts and feelings work their way into physiological responses. The tension or stress decreases our blood flow, which builds up lactic acid, resulting in decreased oxygen levels. The toxic metabolites in our body accumulate, which then reduces lymphatic flow and eventually lowers immunity. 

Connection with Your Pelvic Floor

We have all encountered uncomfortable situations that made us stressed, anxious, and disappointed, and without even realizing it, we subconsciously clench our jaws. This has connections with and can affect the pelvic floor. Read on to learn the facts and dig deep into the root of your problem. 

Early Embryo Connection 

As mentioned, the connection between the jaw and pelvic starts during the embryonic stage. On the 15th day, called gastrulation, two depressions form on an embryo. One turns into the oropharyngeal membrane that creates the mouth, while the other is a cloacal membrane that builds the reproductive organs like urinary and digestive tracts. Both remain interconnected for life. 

Causes

The causes and severity of the tension in your jaw can vary. It can happen all of a sudden or develop gradually and last for a long time. Here is a list of common causes for jaw tightness. 

Stress or Anxiety

The first and most common cause is stress and anxiety. Tension in your muscles escalates throughout the entire body when you are dealing with a lot of mental stress. If you tend to clench your jaws, you are at high risk of suffering from tension in your jaw. 

TMJ Disorder

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that affects your jaw joints, very common among Americans. There are three basic categories of this particular disorder: 

  1. Joint issues around the cartilage or bone
  2. Muscle pain when you move your jaw
  3. Arthritis in your jaw joint

Tetanus

Tetanus is generally caused by bacterial infection from Clostridium tetani. It is also referred to as lockjaw because the tightness of the jaw muscles is the prime symptom. Other symptoms are fever, sweating, muscle spasms, difficulty in chewing, swallowing, headaches, seizures, and fluctuation of blood pressure and heart rate.

If not properly addressed, tetanus can lead to severe infections like pneumonia or blood clots. 

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition that is caused by grinding or clenching your jaws. It can happen during the day or while you sleep. People who have the tendency of teeth grinding often do it subconsciously. In addition to tight jaws, bruxism can also cause locked jaw, chipped, flattened or sensitive teeth, jaw pain, headaches, jaw dislocation, damaged cheekbones, etc. 

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects up to 80 percent of the muscles and joints of the body. People who have this condition suffer from tension in the jaw, and if it gets too serious, bone loss can also occur. 

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can rarely cause TMJ, but there is a slight chance of it deteriorating the jaw bone, cartilage, and tissues. If this happens, it can be extremely painful. When the padding between your bones wears down over time, it leads to osteoarthritis. Symptoms are similar to RA, but some additional ones are earache, jaw movements, and grinding in the joint. 

Treatments

The most effective way to prevent tension in your jaw is to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Some of the stress busters include yoga, conscious breathing exercises, meditation, and low-impact cardio exercises like walking, swimming, and dancing. Try to avoid activities that require excessive movements of your jaws. Eat soft, easily swallowable food. If these remedies don’t help reduce your discomfort, talk to a doctor. Let’s jump into solutions to address jaw tension chakras.

Yoga Poses for Relief

For most sufferers of TMJ, preventive measures with proper self-care can help immensely to alleviate the tightness and tenderness of the jaw. One of the most successful ways to overcome TMJ is to incorporate yoga practice into your daily routine. Yoga aims at reducing muscle tension by strengthening the tissues and restoring muscles. Proper yoga poses impose stretching of your facial muscles to increase mobility in the surrounding area. Let’s look at a few poses to try at home. 

Upper Trapezius Stretch

This stretch is designed to improve flexibility and release tension in your jaw. You have to be seated in a relaxed position, then gradually draw yourself upward to a straight pose. Breathe in, and while you exhale, move your right ear toward your right shoulder. Now put your right hand over your head and apply light pressure on your left ear. Gradually pull your head for a deeper stretch but only as long as it’s comfortable. Stay in this pose for 10 seconds before you let go. Repeat the steps for the left side.   

Cobra Pose

Lie face down on your stomach. Keep your arms folded by your sides, palms facing the ground beneath your shoulders. Apply light pressure on the floor to stretch your back and gently lift your head. If you want to challenge yourself a little more, you can lift your face slightly higher toward the sky. A cobra pose can be modified to cater to your needs, so if you are not too comfortable, feel free to modify it according to your flexibility.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-cow pose offers amazing benefits for your jaw, neck, shoulders and back. It requires you to stretch through your shoulders and back. Get into a tabletop position by placing your hands beneath your shoulders, knees placed below your hips. Breathe in and stretch your spine as much as you can, lowering your stomach. Bring your head forward to form a cow pose. While you exhale, bend and arch your back upward, taking your head towards the floor in a cat pose. Repeat a few times. 

Other Treatments

Other than yoga poses, you can also look into other at-home treatments like hot or cold compresses, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, muscle relaxers. Regular head and neck stretch also helps to loosen the stiffness in your jaw, neck, and shoulders. 

Relaxed Jaw Stretch

Jaw stretches if practiced regularly can do wonders for your jaw and neck problems. Start by pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth behind your upper front teeth without touching them. Then apply light pressure using your tongue. Gradually open your mouth as much as you can, then gently close it. If you feel any discomfort or excruciating pain, immediately stop. Repeat 10 times. 

Goldfish Exercise

Press the tongue against the roof of your mouth in the same manner as the relaxed jaw stretch. Use one of your index fingers and place it on the TMJ and the other one on your chin. Now lower the bottom jaw as much as possible. Gently close your mouth. Repeat this at least 10 times.

Resistant Mouth Opening

Hold the tip of your chin with your right hand. The thumb has to rest under the chin, and the index finger will be wrapped around the front. Gently push your right hand against your jaw. Slowly open your jaw as you continue to push against your chin. Stay in this position for a few seconds before you close your mouth.

Conclusion

The great news is that stress is most likely the culprit if you need to know how to release jaw tension. This means that if you become more aware and connect the dots, you can learn how to control the root cause. If you think about it, as long as you are responding more healthily, instead of simply reacting, you’re taking a preventive measure. 

Stress and any other forms of tension will keep visiting you at different stages of your life, so learning to deal with it without causing yourself any harm is the wisest route. You can learn to take things slow, continue to practice yoga regularly (look into kundalini jaw pain), incorporate breathing exercises, and meditate daily. They may seem like small steps for now, but in the long run, you’ll notice the changes in how your body responds.

Yoga has been around for hundreds of years, offering numerous benefits to our overall health. The major factor that makes practicing yoga super accessible is the fact that it doesn’t demand much—other than a yoga mat. This probably explains why more people are getting hooked on this hassle-free form of exercise. Yoga does not require equipment, a whole lot of space and preparation. The joy of it lies in its simple nature. The only mandatory item you need is a firm mat that can aid in your yoga practice. 

Yoga involves forming poses, and for that reason, it’s important to ensure that you are opting for a reliable mat. There are multiple mats available for you to purchase, and amongst the most popular is the Jade Yoga mat. In this article, we will be talking about how to clean Jade Yoga mat.

What Is a Jade Yoga Mat?

Jade Yoga mats have gained popularity for their eco-friendliness. They are available in various vibrant colors that offer good grip and comfort. They are sustainably made with natural rubber sourced from rubber trees. Jade mats are considered eco-friendly due to their manufacturing components. They do not contain PVC or any other synthetic rubber.

A Jade Yoga mat’s durability cannot be questioned, and the use of natural rubber makes it far superior to other mats. They are extremely grippy and comfortable. If you maintain the cleanliness of your mat, it will serve you for years. This brings us to the list of options for how to clean your Jade Yoga mat for better durability.

How Often Should You Clean Your Mat?

Look after your mat, and it will return the favor for sure! Firstly, let’s ask you, how many times a week do you practice? You should clean it the number of times you roll it out for practice. Simple! But by cleaning, we don’t mean scrubbing it every single time. There are different cleaning options for you to maintain the cleanliness of your mat. Basically, your Jade Yoga mat tends to attract and trap bacteria on the surface of it, so the more air you can pack in, the better. 

Let’s settle another thing—there’s no such thing as over-cleaning your Jade Yoga mat. How to clean your yoga mat and how many times depends a lot on the usage. You can choose to clean it as many times during the week as you wish—once every three days, two days, or daily. Some yoga mat owners make it a part of their routine to clean it before or after their practice. 

Your Jade Yoga mat will also call for a thorough deep cleaning once or twice a month, depending on the frequency of usage. Light cleaning or deep cleaning—both have simple procedures that you can follow at home.

Cleaning Your Jade Yoga Mat

Jade Yoga mats are open-cell, meaning they have a strong, absorbent quality in them. Their materials are porous and absorb liquid very well—almost like a sponge. They contract moisture but don’t pool it on the surface; rather, they absorb it. In other words, the moisture collected can often transform into a breeding ground for bacteria. This is one of the major reasons why you should clean your Jade Yoga mat regularly.

Light Cleaning

You definitely spent a lot of money on your jade yoga mat—they aren’t cheap. So you might as well regularly maintain it. To keep your mat in the best condition, wipe it with distilled water after your yoga practice. Microfiber towels are the best for wiping the surface of your mat. Make sure you clean both sides of your mat, top and bottom. 

There are ready-made cleaning solutions available that are made for Jade Yoga mats. If you can get your hands on one of those, all you need to do is spray and wipe it off. A great light cleaning solution. 

You can also make your own solution and store it in a spray bottle for everyday use. We have shared a few simple DIY cleaning solutions for your Jade Yoga mat below. Please scroll down to find your mix. 

Wipe your mat properly with a cloth or a damp sponge. Do not use anything harsh or abrasive. You can ruin the grip and texture of the surface. Another important note is to be careful about the amount of soap you use—too much can make your mat slippery. 

Cleaning Solutions

Let’s look at a few cleaning solutions that you can easily make at home. The best one is to get a designated yoga mat cleaning solution just to make your life easy. Remember to search with the right name of your mat if you are searching online. 

For instance, don’t look for how to clean manduka yoga mat, as you’ll end up damaging your Jade mat. The mats are made from different materials, so make sure you know the differences first. DIY solutions also serve the purpose. Whatever you choose, just make sure you follow the right steps. If you want to learn how to machine wash your Yoga mat, click here.

DIY Spray

The most common one is a mix of soap and water. For regular cleaning, this is the easiest option. Use mild liquid soap mixed with warm water. Spray it and use the cloth to wipe it from top to bottom. Simple and easy!

Another popular way to clean your Jade Yoga mat is to prepare a solution with water and vinegar. Take three portions of water and one portion of vinegar. Mix it in a spray bottle. Follow the same steps; spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth if you have one, otherwise, any soft cloth will do. 

If you are wondering how to clean rubber yoga mat, then vinegar is the magical ingredient. Here’s why. Vinegar is a super effective ingredient as it helps to restore the material, rubber in this case. Natural rubber usually oxidizes and wears down over time, and vinegar revives it to its natural form.

Plant-based Spray

There are plant-based cleaning solutions specially made for eco-friendly mats and mats made from natural rubber. The ingredients are typically thyme, oregano, and eucalyptus oil. The plant-based spray is not only great for cleaning but leaves a nice, fresh odor on the mat. The antioxidant properties in the plant-based spray also extend your Jade Yoga mat warranty. 

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is required to get out the concealed dirt inside your mat. You can choose to deep clean your Jade Yoga mat once or twice a month. It honestly depends on how frequently you use your mat, and of course how much you sweat.

It’s ideal to deep clean your mat in a bathtub. Fill your tub with warm water and add a few drops of liquid soap, nothing that has harsh chemicals. Put your mat in the tub and soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Any oil, moisture, or deepened dirt will get released into the water. 

Take it out and drain the excess water dripping from it. Hanging it before wiping makes it easier to dry it. Before it’s completely dry, wipe it with a cloth to remove the remaining dirt on the surface. 

Top

For the top surface of your Jade Yoga mat, wipe it down with a damp cloth. Please refrain from rubbing it vigorously to prevent any damage on the top surface.

Bottom

Use the same steps for the bottom surface of your mat. Make sure you clean it thoroughly, as it collects all the dirt from the floor. 

Drying Instructions

Do not dry it under the sun. UV rays from the sunlight can be harmful to your mat, especially a Jade Yoga mat. It can permanently damage the surface. A trick that works well is to place towels on both sides of the mat and roll it up. This will soak up all the water.  

Dampen the surface of the mat before you dry it. Air should flow through the mat easily to ensure that the moisture inside the mat does not wear out. If you live in a humid climate, you can use an absorbent towel on your mat to speed up the drying process. 

Another option to dry it is to use a dryer. But for this you have to ensure that the temperature is no more than 10 degrees Celsius, otherwise, it can be damaging to your mat. 

Things to Consider Before Cleaning Your Mat

Bacteria are known to accumulate over time on your Jade Yoga mat. The positive side is that you can take precautions to combat it. Having said that, don’t neglect it; otherwise, it can start to take over and ruin your mat. If you notice any mold, mildew, or stains, it is a sign that bacteria are present in your mat. In such cases, it’s best to deep clean your Jade Yoga mat. 

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance means cleaning it regularly with a damp cloth. Perhaps once a week, use a cleaning solution before you wipe it off. This also extends the life span of your Jade Yoga mat, making it more durable. 

Hygiene

Any dirt on your body or the floor can easily stick to your mat. For example, one of the most common and hidden bacteria found are ringworms. You can have serious skin reactions from the microorganisms on your unclean yoga mat. In other words, your Jade Yoga mat is a dirt collector, so you must regularly maintain its cleanliness. 

Conclusion

On top of hygiene and cleanliness, a well-maintained yoga mat enhances your yoga experience. If you love your yoga sessions, you have to love your mat too! Not just for yoga, though: Jade Yoga mats have many options—for example a Jade Yoga harmony mat has several functions. So make sure you are cleaning your favorite Jade mat.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mishra

Have you ever tried to suppress your urge to look at someone practicing Yoga? It is so beautiful to see the body flowing into a series of poses as smoothly as possible, just like water taking the shape of a container. But it is not as easy as it appears. Years of practice lead to the right balance and perfection. Fear of embarrassment stops many people from joining a Yoga class. Practicing a few Yoga beginners poses helps you tune your body and build confidence. Our Orthopedic Doctor says numerous poses are beginner-friendly, safe, and easy to perform without injuring yourself. Continue to read to check out the recommended Yoga Beginner Poses.

Important Asanas For Beginners And Words Of Caution!

Yoga isn’t challenging to perform, but it is essential to do it the right way. Keep things simple when you start. Every morning when you get up and do some stretching, unknowingly, you are already doing half of it. Just pay attention to your alignment. Should it be painful performing them, stop immediately and get medical advice. Focus on how you should breathe while performing the asanas. Always check with your doctor before trying specific asanas to understand your medical condition. Don’t overdo it if it is getting painful, just stop and don’t blame yourself for not being flexible enough right now. “What does not kill you makes you stronger” is not an advisable approach when it comes to muscles and bones. Training the muscles makes them stronger, but overdoing it may cause muscle tear and inflammation of the tendons requiring a longer painful healing process and relaxation time, thereby as an end-effect detracking your motivation to learn the asanas. There will be a certain level of discomfort in certain Asanas, but it should be manageable with practice. The key to Yoga is to listen to your body!

The Yoga poses can broadly be classified into the following categories:

  1. Standing Poses – This category is preferably done at the beginning of the exercise to warm up the body and prepare for other poses. In Yoga forms like Vinyasa Flow, these standing poses are even grouped to form a sequence.
  2. Balancing Poses – Balance is the key to mastering Yoga and can be achieved only with regular practice. The balancing poses to improve the core strength of the body and help in focus and concentration. Try to lock your eyes on a fixed point, which is unmoving. It will be easier to keep your balance.
  3. Backbends – In our daily life, we hardly work on strengthening the back or practice backbends which impacts our health in the long run. It is important to practice gentle flexion and extension of the back for spinal health and longevity.
  4. Seated Poses – In contrast to the standing poses, the seated poses are preferably done at the end of an exercise session. This way, the body is sufficiently warmed up to flex without straining the hamstrings, hips, and spine. On a lighter note, it is even comfortable to sit and stretch after a tiring session of poses.
  5. Resting or Supine Poses – The important of all categories are the resting poses as they help your body relax and make the most of all the other poses. These poses also help soothe your mind and bring a calming effect on the body.

An assortment of the groups mentioned above, as recommended by our Orthopedic doctor for the newbie yogis, are listed here. Each of these poses helps relieve stress and stretch different muscle groups in the body. 

  1. Adho Mukha Svanasana, or Downward Facing Dog Pose – This forward bending pose helps stretch the hands, shoulders, hamstring, and calf. It lengthens the spine and strengthens the arms, legs, and back.

Do it: If you wish to ease your backache due to spinal stenosis, to increase blood circulation throughout the body.

Skip it: If you get dizzy very easily, suffer from severe hypertension.

  1. Tadasana or Mountain Pose – This is a standing pose and is also referred to as samasthiti. It is a modern Yoga pose that is not described in the medieval Hatha Yoga texts. It is a preparatory pose for all the other standing poses. It strengthens the knees, thighs, and ankles. It helps to correct your posture and brings more balance to the body. 

Do it: If you want to strengthen the muscles of your legs and thighs. 

Skip it: Reduce the duration if you have Hip / Knee Arthritis. Otherwise, there is no reason to skip it. 

  1. Virabhadrasana or Warrior II Pose – This is a standing pose and is the second in the set of three warrior pose variations. Regular practice of this asana enhances strength, stability, and concentration. This pose is named after Virabhadra – an incarnation of Lord Shiva and a warrior in Hindu mythology. It strengthens the legs and ankles while stretching the shoulders, chest, groins, lungs, and thorax.

Do it: If you wan to improve physical balance and concentration.

Skip it: If you have the risk of falling, Vertigo, Dizziness.

  1. Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana or Crescent Lunge – This is a standing pose and is one of the 12 poses in the sequence of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation. It is a part of Hatha Yoga and helps strengthen the legs and arms. It focuses on lengthening and stretching the spine. Experts say it is more important to keep your spine long than to worry about keeping it straight.

Do it: If you wish to strengthen the muscles of your legs and thighs. 

Skip it: Reduce the duration if you have Hip / Knee Arthritis. Otherwise, no reason to skip it. 

  1. Trikonasana or Triangle Pose – This is a standing pose that helps strengthen the knees, thighs, and ankles. It also helps in improving flexibility and opening the chest and shoulders. It is fun to do this asana and is even included in Yoga for Kids.

Do it: Stretch and strenghten the Hamstrings and Groin.

Skip it: If you have Back Conditions, twisting movement can worsen the Vertebral Disc Herniation. 

  1. Kumbhakasana or Plank Pose – This is a prone pose and is commonly used in the dynamic sequences of the upper body. This must-do pose improves your core strength and tones your abdomen muscles for a flat belly.

Do it: Improves focus and concentration.

Skip it: if you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis of the Wrist joint.

  1. Chaturanga Dandasana or Low Plank Pose – This is a prone pose and is also called the Four-Limbed Staff Pose. This is a preparatory pose for more challenging balancing poses. It strengthens the arms, wrists, abdominal, and spinal muscles. This pose could be slightly difficult for a beginner, yet it is doable.

Do it: Improves focus and concentration and strengthens the muscles of the arms and legs.

Skip it: If you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis of the wrist joint, and shoulder pain.

  1. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana or Upward Facing Dog Pose – This is a back-bending asana and is a part of the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation Sequence. It helps strengthen the vertebral column and stretches the thorax, shoulders, lungs, and abdomen.

Do it: If you want to increase flexibility in the back muscles.

Skip it: In cases of spinal canal stenosis.

  1. Vrksasana or Tree Pose – This is a standing pose and helps improve the overall body strength. It works on enhancing body balance. Do not strain to lift your leg up to your inner thigh if you find it difficult to balance or to experience any pain as a beginner. Take a lesser bend and try to improve with practice.

Do it: If you wish to increase your strength and balance in the legs, it will help you feel centered, steady, and grounded.

Skip it: In the case of Hip Joint Arthritis.

  1. Natarajasana or Dancer’s Pose – This is a blend of standing, balancing, and back bending asanas commonly used in modern Yoga. It strengthens the legs and ankles. It opens the chest and stretches the abdominal region. A slightly difficult asana for a beginner but can be achieved if you try after practicing the other standing poses for the right balance. 

Do it: If you wan to improve body balance and strengthen legs and ankles. 

Skip it: In the case of severe back pain, high blood pressure, hernia, or vertigo.

  1. Ardha Kapotasana or Half Pigeon Pose – This is a seated backbend pose that helps stretch the entire front body. It improves the posture, strengthens the spine, and stimulates the organs in the neck and abdomen. 

Do it: If you want more flexibility in the hips and legs.

Skip it: Should you suffer from any kind of knee or hip injury.

  1. Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Fold Pose – This is a seated pose that helps in stretching the back and hamstrings. If practiced regularly, you could even notice a calming effect on your mind and thoughts. Allow yourself a gentle bend in the knees to keep the pose simple and manageable, to begin with. Use a scarf or towel if you find it difficult to bend.

Do it: If you want to increase flexibility in the spine.

Skip it: In the case of Pregnancy, Slipped Disc, Asthma.

  1. Chakravakasana or Cat-Cow Stretch – This is a back-bending pose and works as a preparatory asana for a downward-facing dog pose. It targets the core body without extra stress on the wrists and shoulders. The pose’s gentle flexion and extension sequence help stretch the spine and strengthen the muscles around it. 

Do itIf you want to improve posture, balance, and strengthen the spine

Skip it: In the case of weak wrists, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, or if you are pregnant.

  1. Dandasana or Staff Pose – This is a seated pose and helps strengthen the back muscles. It improves your body posture and stretches the shoulders and chest. It helps restore flexibility in the body.

Do it: If you want to restore flexibility and improve posture.

Skip it: In the case of spinal injuries, neck injuries, or chronic back pain.

  1. Baddha Konasana or Cobbler’s Pose – This is a seated pose and is practiced in Hatha Yoga. It opens the hips and counteracts the effects of sitting for longer durations on the hip muscles. If you find it challenging to achieve this pose, use a soft pillow or blanket as support to elevate the hips caused due to stiffness in the hips or hamstrings. 

Do it: If you want to strengthen the back and improve flexibility in the inner thighs, groins, and knees.

Skip it: In the case of knee injuries or groin injuries.

  1. Balasana or Child’s Pose – This is a resting pose commonly used at the end of the Yoga practice or during breaks during work and classes. It stretches the back, thighs, hips, and ankles. It relaxes the nervous system. 

Do it: If you want to stretch your neck, spine, and hips.  

Skip it: In the case of knee injuries, ankle issues, high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant. 

  1. Setu bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose – This is an inverted back-bending pose and is practiced in Hatha Yoga and Modern Yoga. It strengthens the core body and improves the flexibility of the spine. And it stretches the vertebral column, neck, and shoulders. Bhujangasana is a follow-up pose for a perfect spinal stretch.

Do it: If you want to stretch your upper chest.

Skip it: In the case of neck injuries.

  1. Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose – This is a reclining back-bending pose and is a part of the Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation sequence. It strengthens the vertebral column and stretches the shoulder, thorax, lungs, and abdomen. It opens the chest and relieves stress and fatigue. 

Do it: In order to strengthen the spine.

Skip it: Should you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or lower back injury.

  1. Shavasana or Corpse Pose – This is a resting pose and the commonly underrated asana. Did you ever wonder why Yogis are so cool? Try this asana! It works at a different level. Looks simple yet has a significant impact on the body physically and mentally. Do check out the complete article on Shavasana here.

Do it: Always!

Skip it: If you don’t wish to have mental calmness. 

  1. Malasana or Garland Pose – This is a squatting pose commonly practiced in Hatha Yoga, Iyengar yoga, and even Modern Yoga exercises. It is a natural pose for children, but adults find it difficult. It is a great pose for the hips and counteracts the effect of too much sitting in the current day sedentary lifestyle. It stretches the back torso, stimulates the pelvic muscles, and strengthens the calf muscles. 

Do it: If you want to improve balance, focus, and regulate sexual energy.

Skip it: In the case of knee injuries, ankle injuries, or if you are pregnant.

  1. Ardha Uttanasana or Half Forward Bend Pose – This is a standing pose that strengthens the back. It is a spine lengthening posture that improves flexibility. It works as a preparatory pose for challenging poses where you can’t touch your toes. It stimulates abdominal organs and helps improve digestion.

Do it: to strengthen the spine, hip, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.

Skip it: In case of hamstring and lower back injuries, weak joints, or if you are pregnant.

  1. Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose – This is a seated twist pose practiced in Hatha Yoga. It stretches the shoulder, neck, spine, and hip. It stimulates the abdominal muscles, liver, and kidneys. 

Do it: In order to strengthen, stretch, and rejuvenate the back and spine.

Skip it: In the case of spinal injuries and heart, abdominal or brain surgeries.

  1. Urdhva Hastasana or Raised Hands Pose – This is a standing pose and can be considered a basic morning stretch. While performing this asana, focus on the alignment established in mountain pose. It stretches the shoulder and navel. It stimulates the heart chakra.

Do it: If you want to stretch and tone, improve digestion and relieve anxiety.

Skip it: In the case of neck or shoulder injuries, back pain, or asthma.

  1. Supta Matsyendrasana or Supine Spinal Twist Pose – This is a twisted supine pose that improves spinal mobility. It stretches the glutes, chest, spine, shoulders, thighs, obliques, and neck. It helps ease the back and neck tension. It stimulates the detoxification process of the internal organs of the body.

Do it: If you want to improve spinal mobility and aid digestion.

Skip it: In the case of the knee, hip, or back injuries.

  1. Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby Pose – This is a resting pose commonly practiced in stretching exercises in Yoga and Pilates. It helps improve flexibility and mobility in the body. It stretches the inner thighs, spine, groin, and hamstrings.

Do it: If you want to relieve lower back pain and alleviate stress and fatigue.

Skip it: In the case of neck or back injury, or if you are pregnant.

Interesting Tips for Yoga Beginner Poses

  • Be honest with yourself. Yoga might not be the form of exercise you are seeking. Give it a try! If you like it, make sure to do it as often as you feel comfortable. Yoga will show its fruits after some time. The consistent practice of the poses will help you improve in an overall perspective, both physically and emotionally, enabling you to excel on all fronts of life. 
  • As a beginner, you might find it challenging to decide which type of Yoga you would like to adopt as there are quite a few variations like Iyengar Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa, and much more. We wouldn’t recommend you start with Hot Yoga because, as a beginner, your body isn’t ready for the postures. Imagine dealing with the heat, and you might feel dizzy too. Hatha Yoga is slower than other forms, especially compared to vinyasa flow. So, as a starter, your body can get used to the movements comfortably with Hatha Yoga. Although there are also slower Vinyasa Yoga classes, it depends on the teacher you choose. 
  • It is quite challenging and often intimidating to lose balance while trying the asanas. Remember, there is nothing wrong, and nobody is born a master of Yoga. The secret to balance lies in your eyes. Try to focus on an unmoving point straight at a distance or on the floor, as it will help you attain the necessary balance for your practice.
  • Always go for a free trial class before you sign up for it. You might end up losing money and not enjoy it at all.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your body because almost no one is happy in his body. Go ahead and pick up some form-fitting clothes which make you twist and bend in any pose. We would recommend wearing tight-fitting clothes because wearing loose or baggy clothes, the teacher might not be able to correct you if you are not doing it right. Nonetheless, don’t squeeze in extremely tight clothes that make you feel uncomfortable even before starting your practice.
  • You will sweat while doing Yoga. Remember to carry water with you.
  • You might fart due to the bending and stretching. Let’s hope no one notices it was you. If it was too loud, apologize and continue. 
  • Keep breathing normally. It might sound weird as you ask, “How did you think I would forget to breathe?” But it’s from personal experience, that we might tend to slow down the pace of breathing or even hold our breath more often.
  • Make sure your Yoga pants are non-see-through to avoid peek-a-boos. Check out these Yoga Pants, we are sure you would enjoy your workout sessions in them!

Conclusion

After you become comfortable with Yoga, we are sure you will enjoy it and make it a part of your daily routine. Don’t have irrational expectations from yourself. You are doing it for the first time. It is okay if you can’t do specific postures, believe you will over time. And remember, every Master was a beginner once, who hasn’t given up!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Verma and Dr. Ram Raj

With many Ayurvedic medicines gaining limelight in the western world, Ashwagandha leads the league. 

Ashwagandha is a traditional medicinal herb, often categorized as an adaptogen, meaning it can help your body resist physical and mental stress. 

There are numerous benefits of Ashwagandha can provide to your brain and body. In fact, many people think Ashwagandha to be the one-stop herb for many health problems. 

For instance, it can help treat various illnesses, including insomnia, aging, anxiety, and many others. 

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, also known as ‘Withania Somnifera,’ winter cherry, or Indian Ginseng, is an Ayurvedic herb with potent medicinal qualities. The term Ashwagandha combines two words: “ashwa,” meaning horse, and gandha meaning “odor.”

In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is considered very important due to its various benefits. It is widely available across all seasons in the Middle East, India, and Africa. 

In India, the roots and berries of this Ayurvedic plant were popular centuries ago and have been used since then for medicinal purposes. However, it has become popular in the United States and Europe in recent times.

Numerous research and studies have been conducted and are still being undertaken on Ashwagandha, and thus lies a future possibility of using it in addition to regular treatment.

Ancient History of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha’s history can be traced back to roughly 6000 BC when it has its first mentioned in Rig Veda. The benefits and usage of Ashwagandha are frequently mentioned and well recorded in Vedas. In Sanskrit, the word ‘Ashwagandha’ means ‘the smell of a horse’ as the root of this plant smells like a horse. 

Ayurvedic scholar Charaka in 100 BCE, talks about how consuming Ashwagandha makes one youthful, strong, and disease-free. As per ancient Vedic texts, Ashwagandha is deeply attributed to the longevity of life. Modern science recognizes the therapeutic effects of Ashwagandha and classifies the herb as an adaptogen, and it also has rejuvenating properties. 

Benefits of Ashwagandha

To understand the benefits of Ashwagandha, one has to know about phytochemicals and their positive role in human bodies. Phytochemicals are chemicals inherent in a plant that protect itself from existing threats. Plants also need biological immune responses, and they also undergo biological changes not to let themselves get eaten by insects. 

The best thing about Ashwagandha is that it has so many phytochemicals that can help the human body and its biochemical processes. Some phytochemicals help a plant grow as fast as possible and not get eaten. When intervening with the biochemical processes of the human body, these phytochemicals produce fantastic health benefits. 

Here are the Top Benefits of Ashwagandha that are supported by science itself:

  1. It helps in decreasing stress and anxiety

As we already mentioned, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, and it has the ability to reduce anxiety and stress in people. Many human studies were done to study the effects of Ashwagandha on the human mind. In a study done in 2019, researchers found that taking a daily dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of Ashwagandha extracts for eight weeks significantly reduced people’s stress levels and anxiety compared with a placebo group. It also marked a significant decrease in stress hormones like cortisol. 

Now the question comes- Can Ashwagandha cure your stress?

Stress is part and parcel of human life, and we cannot run away from it. But there are medications available that can help us find an easy way to treat it, such as serotonin and botanical pills. However, such options often make the patient dependent on them, and it’s not easy to get off those medications. One needs to be disciplined, eat healthily, and sleep on time to fight off stress naturally. Unfortunately, many people are unwilling to put in the extra work due to work, children, and other responsibilities.

Ashwagandha is well known for its stress-relieving properties. Several studies have demonstrated Ashwagandha’s capacity to considerably reduce individuals’ stress and anxiety levels. Not only does it help in the reduction of stress levels in humans, but it also helps in improving sleep cycles. A study has shown that Ashwagandha can help enhance the quality of sleep. Human subjects who were given 300 mg of Ashwagandha extract twice daily for 10-weeks showed significant improvement in improving both sleep quality and sleep cycle and reducing anxiety levels.

  1. Can Help in Controlling Blood Sugar and Excess Fat

Some clinical studies have found that Ashwagandha could be very effective in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats from the food which is carried in the blood. There is a strong possibility that Ashwagandha might contribute to the regular treatment of Diabetes.

In another study, Ashwagandha has proved its mettle. In a test tube study, it was found that Ashwagandha was associated with increased insulin sensitivity in cells. People with schizophrenia had decreased blood sugar levels after taking Ashwagandha. 

study has shown that Ashwagandha is significantly beneficial in reducing stress levels and body weight management when taken at 300 mg twice daily for 8-weeks.

  1. May Increase Muscle Strength and Stamina

Multiple studies have been conducted on the topic, and it has been found that Ashwagandha does have an impact on increasing muscle mass and strength.  

Some researchers have provided observations regarding the increase in muscle strength for people who take Ashwagandha. A study showed reduced body fat percentage and cholesterol levels and increased muscle strength in males when given for 30 days.

Another study demonstrated that when males were given Ashwagandha daily for eight weeks and resistance training, it increased their muscle strength and raised testosterone levels.

  1. It might increase testosterone and boost fertility in men

Ashwagandha can improve sperm count in men. Studies have pointed towards Ashwagandha ensuring proper production of male hormones that can help their partners become pregnant. The testosterone boost also leads to increased muscle mass in men.

study was done on 75 infertile men wherein their sperm count, and motility increased drastically after taking Ashwagandha. Along with increased testosterone levels, men also saw an increase in antioxidants in their blood and a decrease in stress levels.

  1. It could help in increasing memory

There is evidence in various studies that consumption of Ashwagandha leads to an increase in cognitive skills. People’s memory power increases, and also they can perform better cognitive skills. Based on that study, candidates who took the short psychomotor tests showed increased response time and better concentration skills while writing the tests after consuming Ashwagandha for a week.

  1. It May Help in reducing inflammation

A study has shown that Ashwagandha can also help reduce inflammation in the human body. It also reduces the c-reactive protein( a protein made by the human liver, which is a marker of inflammation).

In a controlled trial study, it was found that the group which took Ashwagandha saw a 36% decrease in C-reactive protein, and it was significantly less when compared to the placebo group, which saw a decrease of just 6%.

  1. It might possess anti-cancer properties

Animal and test-tube studies have concluded that Ashwagandha contains a compound called Withaferin that may help fight certain cancers. One such study indicates that Ashwagandha includes several compounds that may effectively prevent and treat cancer. 

Based on another study, Withaferin is first believed to increase the development of reactive oxygen species or ROS in the cancer cells, which further disrupts their functioning. And additionally, cancer cells may become less resistant to apoptosis as a result of this.

Many animal studies also suggest that Ashwagandha may help prevent and treat various cancers, including lungcolon, and ovarian cancer. 

  1. May Promote Healthy Heart

Some studies have shown that Ashwagandha can boost heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and controlling high blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Also, by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Ashwagandha may help lessen the risk of heart disease.

These effects may also contribute to preventing obesity and high blood pressure, thus protecting heart diseases.

How can Ashwagandha be used as a medicine?

As far as scientific studies are concerned, every part of Ashwagandha seems to have medicinal benefits. The most common use of Ashwagandha is using it in powdered form or churna, and Ashwagandha churna is also used as a paste by combining water, ghee, milk, and honey. 

There are several benefits of using the Ashwagandha powder. On top of that, some benefits include improvements in diseases such as leucoderma (a condition that causes loss of skin color in blotches), constipation, insomnia, rheumatism, nervous breakdown, and goitre (swelling on the neck due to enlargement of thyroid glands), etc.

Ashwagandha shrubs are equally beneficial. The leaves of Ashwagandha can taste bitter, but it’s rich in iron. It is extremely useful for a person suffering from health issues like iron deficiency and anemia.

Similarly, ashwagandha seeds help in the preparation of tonics like the Ashwagandharishta. It helps improve mental health problems like anxiety, hysteria, memory loss, etc. The seeds, when taken, also help in deworming.

As far as the potency of Ashwagandha as a medicine is concerned, it will be far more beneficial when we take it as a supplement. Supplements are stronger in comparison to herbs that are used for cooking. It is advised not to take Ashwagandha and other medicines if, by any chance, it interferes or can create health problems. 

How does Ashwagandha benefit the skin?

Ashwagandha is an amazing plant for the well-being of your skin. It makes your skin glow and youthful. Ashwagandha possesses antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and these are important in preventing new impurities from forming and helping treat existing blemishes. Furthermore, regular usage of Ashwagandha helps boost the production of collagen, which fights all signs of aging like wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, and blemishes. 

Ashwagandha contains compounds like withanolides (naturally occurring steroids) that may help clean all the impurities deep-seated in the skin. It can also help in managing several skin infections. Also, Ashwagandha helps in boosting some beneficial compounds like the DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate). This compound helps in generating youthful skin. 

Benefits of Ashwagandha for men

Ashwagandha is shown to be a testosterone booster medicine, and it has been traditionally regarded as a magical herb for men. Based on one study, Ashwagandha has been shown to improve sperm quality in infertile males by rebalancing their reproductive hormone levels. 

Other benefits include increasing muscle mass in males and improving sperm count in men suffering from stress.

How does Ashwagandha benefit women?

Stress plays a crucial role in managing sensitive reproductive hormones in women that directly affect their fertility, libido, and menstruation cycle. Ashwagandha is proven to have a host of benefits for women, and its role in reducing stress is directly linked to the support and enhancement of women’s reproductive health. 

Ashwagandha can help reduce cortisol, strengthen the Adrenal glands ( small triangular-shaped glands producing hormones), and promote the production of blood. As a result of healthy blood flow and hormone balance, good libido, menstrual cycle, and fertility can all be improved.

2015 study published in Biomed research found that 60 women who had difficulty having an orgasm and being aroused took 600 mg of Ashwagandha. They took doses for eight weeks, and at the end of 8 weeks, they were experiencing arousal and experienced improvement in their sexual function. Moreover, no adverse effects were found.

During menopause, a woman’s body goes through many changes, including hormonal imbalances accompanied by mood swings, anxiety, depression, and even hot flashes. In combination with other herbs, Ashwagandha is shown to treat many of these issues effectively. Also, it is believed to work on the endocrine system while reducing the symptoms of mood disorders and anxiety.

How does Ashwagandha benefit Children?

As men and women, Ashwagandha is quite beneficial for children and adolescentsStudies, as yet conducted on rats, have shown that it may help create a stronger immune system by increasing WBC (white blood cells) and platelet count in their bodies. Also, it may boost brain functioning and improve memory and information retention capacity. Studies also suggest that It may aid in producing antibodies, which improves the body’s response to a health threat. 

Potential side effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a well-tolerated herb and possibly safe if used in light to medium dosages. The positives of this plant are also trustworthy and promising. However, there have not been sufficient long-term studies to investigate its potential side effects if taken in large doses over the long term.

The review of 69 studies published in June 2020 in Journey of Ethnopharmacology suggests that Ashwagandha can have mild side effects like digestion distress, drowsiness, etc. No serious adverse effects were observed.

Since it comes from a non-toxic plant, it is safe to use if you take it in moderation or after consulting with your doctor. Also, it is strongly advised that intake of Ashwagandha should be halted when used with other medications, especially supplements, sedatives and digestive pills, etc.

If you face any side effects, you should immediately seek medical assistance.

Are they any limitations with the use of Ashwagandha?

The most obvious limitations of not taking Ashwagandha are special conditions like pregnancy, allergy, surgery, sensitive thyroid, etc. If you are in a special condition, it is strongly advised to consult your doctor or a physician before taking Ashwagandha. 

What are the ashwagandha benefits when consumed with milk?

In Ayurveda, it is recommended to consume Ashwagandha with milk. As per Charaka Samhita, milk is a sweet substance for the human body, and it has a sweet post-digestive effect and is also sweet. Moreover, in Ayurveda, milk is considered the best carrier substance (Anupam) to transport herbs and formulas into deeper channels or tissues. Since milk can travel through the blood, bone plasma, and even reproductive tissues, it is highly advantageous to consume Ashwagandha with milk.

Also, both Ashwagandha and milk could be great rejuvenators, as they are nourishing and help in boosting strength.

How can vegans take Ashwagandha?

Vegans can either use soymilk or lukewarm water, mix the Ashwagandha in its powdered form (churna), and consume it to enjoy its benefits. Some people also mix a bit of Ashwagandha powder in their food. 

FAQS About Ashwagandha

Is Ashwagandha a toxic plant?

No, it is a non-toxic plant and hence, safe to take.

When should one not take Ashwagandha?

Pregnant women, People with an upcoming surgery, sensitive thyroid, and also those with stomach infections or stomach ulcers should not take Ashwagandha as it may irritate their gastrointestinal tract. 

When is the best time to take Ashwagandha?

Most people take Ashwagandha in a capsule or powder form that can be taken any time of the day.

How long does it take for Ashwagandha to start working?

When combined with a healthy lifestyle, Ashwagandha can positively impact the body in as little as two weeks. 

Is it safe to consume Ashwagandha daily?

Although Ashwagandha is generally safe, some people should not take it unless their healthcare physician has permitted them.

What is the best way to consume Ashwagandha?

It is preferable to take Ashwagandha powder (churna) combined with warm milk before going to bed. Ashwagandha powder mixed with milk is said to soothe the nervous system, particularly after a long and tiring day.

Is Ashwagandha legal?

People can purchase Ashwagandha as a supplement in the USA. 

Conclusion

Ashwagandha is indeed a fantastic herb, and it has a host of health benefits. The application of the studies in Ashwagandha, however small, shows promising results.  

Ashwagandha supplementation may be a simple and effective method to improve your health and quality of life. While numerous studies back up the advantages of Ashwagandha, this well-known stress reliever may also cause you some unpleasant side effects depending on your body and the dosage you take. Hence it is highly recommended to take. Hence it is highly recommended to take Ashwagandha only after consulting with your doctor or physician or do your due research before adding this magnificent herb to your daily routine. 

If you are reading this article, we would like to believe that you are not a beginner in the world of fitness. You probably have been practicing some form of exercise, may even have a solid fitness routine. Or maybe not! 

Honestly – you could also be just exploring your options to choose before beginning your fitness journey. Either way, you’re on the right page if you’re weighing out your options for a hybrid workout routine that includes yoga. 

So, the ultimate question is – can you combine yoga with other forms of exercise? The answer is a big and definite YES. Whether you opt solely for yoga, or mix and match it, the health advantage of yoga remains outstanding. 

However, the benefits of adding yoga to your existing routine can be counterproductive. It depends on whether you schedule your yoga before or after workout. If you don’t incorporate it properly, you may not get the desired results. Here’s a detailed explanation to help you determine what’s best for you. 

Is it Common to Incorporate Yoga into your Regular Workout Routine?

Pairing yoga with your regular workout is like icing on the cake. In other words, there are enormous benefits of integrating yoga into your regular fitness regime. Yoga practiced separately has a wide range of benefits, but including it in your current exercise routine elevates the overall performance of your physical and mental health. 

If you want to go down this path, you should seek the most efficient ways to do it. Let’s look at the before or after workout benefits that can give you a clear picture to cater to your personal needs.

Yoga Before or After workout? There is no Simple Answer!

The simple answer to whether you practice before or after workouts depends on your fitness goal. There is no standard rule for this. Although, doing it after cooling down is a popular choice. It adds to your workout schedule. Here’s the reason. 

The muscles and tissues of your body are usually worn out post-workout. This is particularly applicable for high-impact fitness regimes, like HIIT, strength training, weight lifting, intense cardio sessions, etc. It’s not ideal to pair it with high-impact yoga that involves deep stretches and muscle activation poses, as it can damage your body tissues. 

Incorporating a high-impact workout with a low-impact yoga session will give you the best results. Similarly, if your workout routine consists of a 10-minute run and some basic squats or push-ups, perhaps you could squeeze in a high-impact yoga routine like Ashtanga or Vinyasa. 

The simple answer is, your body has its limitations, therefore, whether you do it a pre-or-post workout, completely depends on your body type, workout routine, and your fitness goals. 

Yoga Pre Workout

You might feel the need to immerse yourself in a downward dog pose before beginning your workout. This is especially favorable for people who want to flex their hamstrings before running a few miles on the treadmill. Your reason could be as simple as warming up your body for the storm. Basically, your yoga can also be cherry-picked to suit your personal preference. Let’s look at all the benefits of yoga before a workout.

Benefits

Pre-workout yoga has its share of benefits. A couple of back-to-back sun salutations or a low-impact vinyasa would be excellent for getting the most out of it. Both of these yogas will get your heart rate pumped and muscles activated, which is a great way to prepare your body for intense workout routines. On the contrary, Savasana that are mainly for relaxation will do the opposite. So, choose your yoga poses wisely if you are committed to practicing yoga before workout.

Eases You into Your Workout

In reality, going to the gym is not always convenient. So, if your clock’s ticking ahead, it’s best to prep your body with a 10-15 minutes yoga routine before hitting it hard. For example, you could ease into a cardio session on the same mat, afterward. 

The beauty of yoga is that it gives you a cue to listen to your body. You should always pay attention to your breathing, and body flow before jumping into anything aggressive.

It is always the hardest to roll out your mat. Once you step into a few basic poses, your body will automatically start to respond positively. You’ll notice that this tiny little trick works every single time, even on days when you dread exercising.

Warms Up Your Body for Workout

Recent research does not approve static stretching before workouts, particularly for people who are into strength training or weight lifting. The theory behind this is stretching your muscles can lower your body’s ability to contract during intensive training. So, if you are wondering whether you should do yoga before or after weight lifting – the answer is no for before, and yes for after.

Having said that, if you are only committed to some dynamic stretches as a prepping tool, then you are on track for optimum results. Slow and gentle body movements through low-impact poses, without holding them for too long is a fantastic way to go about it. It will get your blood flowing for the right reasons. 

Connects You to Your Body

The ultimate upside of yoga lies in its potential to strengthen your physical and mental health simultaneously. It can enhance your mind and body’s connection. Your muscles, bones, and tissues will be engaged as you move through some basic poses. 

It creates body awareness and elevates mobility. Yoga also makes you feel super positive and empowered. If you are feeling good mentally, your physical ability to work out later multiples, leading to better results. 

Yoga Post Workout

Yoga after workout does the job of a muscle relaxer. Imagine hopping into a massager after a workout, wouldn’t it feel lovely? The basis of practicing yoga post-workout is that your body needs downtime or recovery. When you stop your workout and move on to your regular activities of the day, you are not allowing enough recovery time for those over-worked muscles of your body. 

You need to let them cool down, both physically and mentally afterward. It is often suggested that finishing your active workout regime with a yoga routine is a better option than starting with yoga. Here’s why.

Benefits

The benefits of yoga after a workout is quite impressive. Some studies have reported that stretching does not have too many upsides to it if done before work-out. For example, if you do static stretching during your yoga session, it will lead to temporary loss of muscle strength. This will in fact cause your muscles to weaken if you hold a static stretch for over 45 seconds. Therefore we firmly believe that yoga post workout has more benefits. We have handpicked the best ones for you. Keep reading!

Enhanced Muscle Recovery

The debate between pre-and-post workout stretches around static stretches remains. Although if your purpose is to eliminate the soreness and stiffness of your muscles after a workout, then stretching before is not a great idea. Stretching works like a recovery tool if done after a workout. It helps immensely with muscle soreness. 

Yoga itself is known to ease muscle stiffness. So whether your muscles are tight from a regular workout or intense weight lifting – yoga specifically helps to eliminate that feeling of discomfort. But yes, you cannot expect results by performing a single session, regular practice post-workout will help you eliminate the soreness. 

So how does it work? The beauty of stretching increases your blood flow in a manner that brings nutrients and oxygen to repair your muscles. 

Slows Your Heartbeat

If you are sweating out from a good workout – you need to cool it down. Your heart’s pumped, releasing cortisol from the great exercise session. We usually run to the shower without allowing our bodies to get back to normal, which isn’t the healthiest thing to do. It can cause your body to feel lower levels of oxygen, leading to dizziness. So, even if you run short of time, allow yourself at least 5 minutes of yoga post-workout to balance it.

Rather, stretch your muscles a little with some yoga poses as a part of your cool-down practice. Your body needs that smooth transition of slowing down to a resting rate.

Reduces Cortisol And Blood Sugar Levels

Yoga focuses significantly on bringing your mind, body and soul together. There are forms of yoga that meet your meditation and relaxation needs. Trust us, try going into a fetal position, you’ll notice the difference in your body. Your mind and breathing will be in complete sync.

Any active workout has the tendency to increase the cortisol levels in our body, which means the following:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Suppress your immune system
  • Results in muscle weakness and wasting
  • Raise blood sugar levels

Yoga is a great way to control and tackle all these health issues. It has the power to reduce your stress levels, leading to controlled blood pressure. Practicing yoga post-workout is often compared to a reward – almost seen as a kind gesture where you are allowing your body to feel peaceful, relaxed and calm.

Not just in terms of mental fitness. When you have completed your high-impact workout – your cortisol level increases. It gets triggered due to the high levels of hormones. As a result, it can weaken your immune system, increase your blood pressure, even increase the risk of diabetes. 

One more benefit of practicing it is that it reduces the concentration of sugar in your blood. This balances the effect of vigorous, short workouts that can often increase the levels of blood sugar. If you regularly practice yoga, your body is likely to become more sensitive to insulin, which means that more sugar will be distributed to your muscles from your blood. In addition, yoga can help you manage your blood sugar levels in the long run. Thankfully, yoga can balance it all, if only you can squeeze in a practice session post your workout. 

Your Body Is More Pliable After Exercise

Yoga is the ultimate promoter of flexibility. People who love yoga, swear by its ability to improve muscle flexibility. It is also known as prevention from injuries during aggressive workouts. Fitness enthusiasts suggest that the prime time for static stretching is when your muscles are already activated – right after a workout. The results are visible in terms of flexibility. 

What’s Right for you?

As mentioned earlier, whether you choose it as a pre-or post-workout activity, depends on your personal fitness needs and goals. Yoga is preferred as a pre-workout tool for people who find it difficult to start exercising. And if you are used to a high-intensity workout session, yoga is an excellent option to cool down. 

You are the best judge, as it solely depends on what suits you best. The overall benefits of yoga will always be there if you commit yourself to a schedule that you can regularly follow. 

Remember, this is your journey, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Yoga before or after running, for example, is subjective. If you are not feeling pumped to start your run, you can use yoga as a warm-up. On the flip side, if you are ready to smash out a good cardio session, you can do yoga afterward to cool down. 

Be open and listen to your body. Some days, rolling out the mat will feel like moving a mountain, and some days you won’t be able to get enough of it. Either way – do what you like.

Conclusion

We hope this article has been helpful for you to understand the benefits of doing yoga before or after a workout. We have laid out the effectiveness of both scenarios to guide you in achieving your fitness goals. Some studies revealed that yoga before workout is not as effective as yoga post workout. Static stretching leads to temporary loss of muscle strength, which may hamper your workout sessions. Instead, if you pair it post workout, you may get better results in terms of muscle repairment. But again, take the time to let your body lead the way. Namaste!

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