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Simple Yoga poses for all age & beginners- Understanding the bio- mechanics of each with Physical Therapy.

June 17, 2018

Hello there,

 

I know I owe a little explanation for my absence here but like any other university kid I was busy with my final year although I was regular on my social media there is one thing I have really not given attention to, which is my health. I am realizing this after my exams now because during and a while before my exams I was doing stress eating with zero level of  physical activity thankfully I had no sedentary lifestyle. When I look back to that time I understand how I overlooked my health by giving excuses and I know that is the case with most of us ( if not, you are an inspiration. Keep up cheers!! ). 

 

Thus, I figured out a way and thought why not to share this with y'all, moreover it would contribute my participation with a great start to ' International Yoga Day' 2018 .

 

Before beginning, I decree that I am not a certified yoga practitioner and whatever I am sharing here is solely based on my knowledge and experience which I have come across in my bachelor of physiotherapy studies. I do not say this adamantly that one has to practice this only but do a little research and consult your family doctor or therapists if you have any comorbidties or systemic illness or existing overuse disease and figure out best for your body. I have tried my best to connect physical therapy and yoga though both are a separate domains but by understanding basics of yoga poses which lie in the bio mechanics can lead one to understand yoga poses better.

 

Here I shall be writing about ' Simple Yoga Poses'  which can be done by beginners of any age.

 

1. Proper relaxation 

   

Fore mostly, I will be learning how to relax my body completely. This is very essential because one has to identify the tension present in the body and know how to 'let go' that tension. This will help me to gain both mental and physical peace. Along side it will also help to prevent bad thoughts to creep in that destroy the attention of the mind.

The most commonly used technique is ' Jacobson's progressive relaxation technique' of course there are other ways too like ' Laura Mitchell relaxation technique' but here I am  going to specifically talk about the former one.

 

Jacobson’s relaxation technique is a type of therapy that focuses on tightening and relaxing specific muscle groups in sequence.The technique involves tightening one muscle group while keeping the rest of the body relaxed, and then releasing the tension.By concentrating on specific areas and tensing and then relaxing them, this makes body and physical sensations more aware.

 

 A session of 10-15 minutes is enough and next I shall find a place that is warm, quiet and free from disturbances. If possible dim the lights and switch off my phones. I shall lie comfortable on the floor, on the bed or in a chair. Snuggle down and settle my body so that it feels limp.

 

 

Now below are the instructions to follow, you can memorize them or ask someone to read out in soft gentle manner.

 

Gently pull your toes up towards your knees – just a little – hold briefly – and let go. (Recognise the difference).

Press your heels into the floor – hold – and let go.

Pull your knees together – hold briefly – now let them drift apart a little. (Be aware of the new position).

Squeeze your buttocks together – hold – now let go.

Gently pull in your tummy muscles towards your spine – hold briefly – now let go. (Feel the difference).

Shoulders – gently pull them up towards your ears, just enough to recognise the tension – hold briefly – now let go. (Recognise the new position).

Gently press your elbows and upper arms to the sides of your body – hold for a moment – now let go.

Hands – gently clench – hold – and let go.

Push your head forward slightly – hold briefly – now let your head go back to a balanced position. (Feel the difference).

Grit your teeth together – hold briefly – now let your jaw sag slightly. (Feel the difference). Lips – press together – now let go until hardly touching.

Purse your lips – now let go and feel the difference.

Press your tongue briefly to the roof of your mouth – hold – and let it drop loosely. (Feel the new position).

Eyes – screw them up a little – hold – and let go.

Forehead – frown a little – hold – now let go.

 

I will make sure to practice breathing out while holding and breathing in while relaxing.

 

Now spending a few moments enjoying the feel of release, then releasing a little more with each next.,I will expand my awareness and become aware of my breathing with contact between my body and the floor, bed or chair. When I feel I am ready I shall open my eyes followed by a gradual stretch.

 

 

 Video courtesy You tube channel עמותת נטל נפגעי טראומה על רקע לאומי

 

 

2. Conscious Breathing

 

I remember this Sanskrit proverb "For breath is life,if you breathe well, you will live long on earth" . Thus,it is very important to practice a and adopt a correct breathing and adapt it to what so ever activity you do. Research says mindful breathing technique not only reduces development of early fatigue but  it also aids in relaxation and relieving anxiety which slows respiration rate and heart rate. 

 

For this I will start practicing 'Diaphragmatic breathing', it is a slow deep breathing technique also known as abdominal or belly breathing. This technique encourages use of diaphragm which is a main inspiratory muscle and prohibit the use of other accessory muscles for the same. It will trigger relaxation response in myself reducing stress by preventing early fatigue.The best part is that this is available to everyone including myself regardless of injury, age, range of motion, or physical strength.

 

I have attached a video below which demonstrates ' diaphragmatic breathing' .

 

 Video courtesy You tube channel- Jivan Sharma

 

3Cat & Camel position.

 

I know they may not look as customary practice but they do more than what you may even think!

To achieve the same, I shall go on to quadruped or 4 foot position by bending my legs at hips and knees and supporting my whole body weight on both hands and knees.Next I shall arch my back towards downward direction like a cat  followed by hunching my back up like a camel.

 

This position is essential to practice as yoga because it relives stresses on spine as the spine is suspended in horizontal position. 

It improves mobility of spine, improves proprioceptive sensations and advances the shift of weight bearing from arms to legs. Overall, this helps to gently stimulate blood and lymphatic flow that  warms and mobilize joints. Moreover it dissolve muscular and mental tension, moving rigidity away.

 

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

4. Tadasana aka Mountain pose

 

Apart of all mat exercises, it is necessary that I don't overlook the rest. Hence it is essential to practice a good posture and maintain it so as to prevent straining my  joints which by repetitive micro trauma can lead to early wear and tear of protective structures around the joints. Along side my posture also influences by breathing pattern and digestion. I have a 'Sway back posture' and it has developed a lot of inconvenience in my routine activities.inconvenience

 

Hence, tadasana encourages me to notice, and correct, my faulty postural habits. This helps me to build new posture habits by kinesthetic awareness  that I can carry off the mat and into my daily life. 

 

Click here to know how to perform Tadasana

 

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana aka Downward Facing Dog

 

It is a hatha yoga chiefly for a good reason to create harmony between the upper and lower body, opening the chest while lengthening the backs of the legs. This asana can be modified too. 

 

Click here to know how to perform Adho Mukha Svanasana

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

 

6. Leg Up the Wall pose  aka inversion yoga

 

This whole time gravity pulls down the blood to the legs leading to pooling of flow at lower part of the body. Moreover our lower body veins needs to develop enough force against that of gravity to pump back this flow to the heart.  Hence, inclusion the easiest form  of inversion yoga that is 'Viparita Karani'  is  necessary. By practicing this it will change relationship of gravity in regard to my upper body and lower body, thus shifting blood and lymphatic fluid from the legs  toward the heart and head. It will also help taking my weight off the feet, ankles and knees, giving these weight bearing joints some relief.  Be cautious to perform this if you are hypertensive or had any recent head injury or eye operation. 

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

7. Vrksasana aka tree pose or Garudasana aka eagle pose

 

A good balance develops with the sum coordination of vision, vestibular apparatus (hearing system) and adequate proprioceptive response from our muscles and joints. When our eyes are open vision adds to beneficiary but when closed all of us tend to develop some instability with rest two systems contributing to more input. 

In my case standing with eyes or open or close I do have a little more than normal sway probably because not so serious and non progressing eye defect.

So, these yogas becomes must for me to practice and for others too as to develop highest possible level of stability and boosts stability to prevent frequency of fall as we age.

They expand body awareness and mental focus while developing use of core muscles functionally to coordinate the upper and lower body. Balance assists a feeling of resilience—mentally and emotionally as well as physically

 

And because we practice one side of the body at a time, we also get the chance to notice small discrepancies between the right and left sides of the body.

 

Click here to know how to perform Vrksasana.

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

 

8. . Vasisthasana aka side plank

 

While standing balance helps to maintain strength and stability of lower body, side planks helps to achieve the same for upper body thus making it necessary to include in my yoga routine. It activates the dynamic system of shoulder joint the rotator cuff (small muscles that correctly position the head of the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket), tones the often neglected muscles of the side waist and outer hip, and forces us to recruit core, chest, back, and leg muscles to retain our balance.

 

Click here to know how to perform Vasisthasana.

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

9. Bhujangasana aka cobra pose and Salabhasana

 

Certainly over the time we all tend to slouch falling our head and shoulders forwards and rounding our upper back which limits breath capacity and organ function, depressing our energy, and creating uneven wear and tear on the joints of the neck, back, and shoulders.

 

As I perform Bhujangasana or Salabhasana, it would create a counter to the faulty pattern from developing by strengthening the muscles of the posterior shoulder, spine, buttocks, and legs. This will indirectly keep up my energy levels.

 

Click here to know how to perform Bhujangasana

 

Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

10.Supine twist

 

A gentle twist is the yoga equivalent to adopt good postural habits. So by doing supine twist I will be releasing patterns of myofascial tension around the torso encouraging the intervertebral disks between the bones of the spine to plump up by imbibing fluid from surrounding tissues. Twists can also stimulate circulation to our abdominal organs, which is beneficial to my digestion and thereby our vitality. Be cautious if you already have low back pain.

 

 

 

 Image courtesy Yoga Journal

 

REFERECES

 

*Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques-Book by Carolyn Kisner and Lynn Allen Colby

* The Principles of Exercise Therapy-Book by Mary Dena Gardiner

* Yoga journal

* Healthline

 

 

 

This post is part of the blog train for World Yoga Day called “On track to good health”. Thanks, Mayura of diaryofaninsanewriter who is a national Award winner in Digital Marketing & PR, I express my gratitude for introducing me.

I would like to hand over the baton to Monisha to continue our journey to good health. A mass media graduate from Wilson College. Her love for fashion and lifestyle lead to the creation of her own blog in November 2017. She believes in associating with brands that can add value in growing digital space and write blogs containing freshly curated content for the modern reader. Visit her blog to know more- Monisha Mehta

 

 

This blog train is hosted by Momsmethods and Blogsikka and Sponsored by MOJOCO Coconut Water. Mojoco brings 100% Natural and Affordable Coconut Water right to your doorstep. Mojoco Nariyal Pani is good for health and can boost your energy. It is a cholesterol free, low-calorie energy drink, enriched with essential electrolytes.  The next time you are thirsty, ditch those unhealthy drinks and go for the goodness of Mojoco Coconut Water, Nature’s Energy Drink!

 

 

 

THANK YOU...!!

 

With love,

The Style Forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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