10 Yoga Ways For a Robust Heart (Part II)
In our previous article, we shared a few warm ups, really useful breathing exercises and some Yoga poses to get the blood flowing and your heart pumping! Here we introduce a few more asanas, slightly more rigorous that will give you a good cardiac exercise along with mental relaxation. The smile on your face at the end of the routine is just a bonus!
Upward Facing Dog Or Urdhvamukha Shvanasana
Come into plank position or Dandasana. Here, both the palms are on the floor aligned with both the
shoulders, and both the toes on the floor. So your whole body is a single line. From your heels to the shoulders, it looks like a single alignment, approximately 30 degrees off the floor and
- Your eye gaze is on the mat on the floor and your palms are in line with your shoulders.
- When you breathe in and breathe out, bend your elbows, drop your body down and then
- Slowly as you breathe out, stretch your body slightly forward and lift up your upper body completely on your palms and on your ankles and look up. So your body makes a curve from the toes to top of your head, into an Upward Facing Dog and then
Downward Facing Dog Or Adhomukha Shvanasana
Slowly as you breathe out, very gently come down, the upper body goes down and then lift your hips up, lift your whole body on your palms and on your heels. Come into the downward facing dog position.
- Once again as you breathe in, go in upward facing dog and then as you breathe out, downward facing dog.
- When you exhale, squeeze your stomach in, take you mind towards the abdomen region and then go in downward facing dog. Repeat this cycle 5 times. Finally relax in child pose.
Sit comfortably with legs stretched out in front of the body, knees are straight and then let us get ready for the next pose.
Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
Slowly lie down on the stomach. In Bhujangasanas, take the mind towards the chest region.
- Both the hands and both the palms by the side of the shoulders.
- Slowly as you breathe in, lift your head up and chest up. Once your head and chest are lifted up, the stomach and rest of the body should be on the floor. Your ankles are on the floor and your elbows are close to your waist.
Twisted Cobra Pose or Tiryaka Bhujangasana
Staying in Bhujangasana, as you breathe in, twist your neck to the right side and look to the right heel.
- Slowly breathe in, come to the center and as you breathe out, twist your neck to the left side.
- Please note, we are twisting the neck along with the chest.
- As you breathe in, come to the center and look up and then repeat it on the right side.
- Twist the upper body right and left 3-5 times each side. Come to the center and then relax in Makar asana or Crocodile Pose.
Makarasana or Crocodile Pose
In Makarasana, keep both the hands by the sides.
- Entire forearms on the floor by the sides of the body, elbows bent,
- put the left ear on the floor and
- right knee on the floor should be folded. Stay there for 2-3 long deep breaths. Once you are done with that, change the sides.
- Then slowly roll your body on the right side and lie down on your back.
In order for you to have a strong heart, it is important to release the excessive Vata from the system. Here are a few asanas to address this.
Folds and Twists for a Sturdy Heart
Pawan Mukta Asana or Gas Release Pose
As you are lying on your back, breathing in, bend your knees.
- Hold them with your hands.
- Interlace your fingers around folded knees and
- as you breathe out lift your head up.
- Try to touch your knees to the chest and nose.
- Stay there for 3-4 deep breaths.
- Relax your head back and slowly relax your fingers and knees in that order.
Setu Bandhasana Or Bridge pose
For Bridge pose, bend both your knees and place the feet on the floor, very close to your hips.
- Catch your ankles by the sides of your body and then
- slowly as you breathe in, lift your stomach up, lift your hips up.
- Your neck is resting on the floor and your head is resting on the floor.
- Stay in this posture for 5-7 long deep breaths.
-Slowly as you breathe out, relax your hips down and relax your entire back and bring it down and then slowly stretch out both the legs.
Shoulder Stand Or Shalabh Sarwangasana
Lift both the legs in the air,
- Pick up the buttocks, with the support of your palms,
- Raise it from the middle of your spine, so the entire body is resting on the shoulder and the upper back.
- Stay there. So the neck is resting on the floor. The whole body is lifted up from upper back to the toes.
- Stay there for 5-7 breaths. Slowly as you breathe out, bend your knees, slowly come down, very slowly, relax, lower back first, then hips, and then slowly relax the entire legs on the floor. (CAUTION- THIS ASANA SHOULD BE DONE WITH UTMOST CARE AND UNDER EXPERT’S SUPERVISION)
Ardha Matsyendraasana Or Sitting Half Spinal Twist
For this asana,
- Bend the right knee,
- place the right foot next to the left hip,
- bend the left knee,
- place the left foot next to the right side of the right thigh,
- the left hand is on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
- Now, twist the waist, shoulders and neck in that order to the right and look over the right shoulder.
- Take a few deep breaths and feel the twist. Come back to the center and switch sides.
(With inputs from Jai Desai, a Sri Sri Yoga corporate trainer for over a decade)
Disclaimer: This article is only for informational purposes. It is strongly recommended that you learn and practice these Asanas under the guidance and supervision of a trained and certified Sri Sri Yoga faculty.
Twisted cobra pose http://www.yogaclassplan.com/
Upward facing dog http://www.lovemyyoga.com/
Downward facing dog www.holyyogashop.com
Cobra pose www.artofliving.org
Twisted cobra pose www.yogaclassplan.com
shoulder stand www.popsugar.com
bridge pose www.yoga.com
ardha mastyendrasana www.artofliving.org
Main Image Mayur Gala from Unsplash