Yoga is a holistic practice. Quite often I am approached by people with very specific ailments looking for a cure. I am at pains to explain that yoga is a way of life. A number of studies recently have found a connection between yoga and dealing with depression. It is believed that yoga can reduce the impact of certain stress responses. This in turn helps reduce the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and eases respiration.
Today, I am going to introduce you to certain basic principles of yoga. If you suffer from depression, you are battling anxiety and other mental health conditions, ease your way into yoga, and you’ll feel the difference.
- Find yourself right in the centre of the mat with equal space on your right and left. Your feet are completely parallel to each other and slowly you spread out your toes open and wide.
- Now slowly when you breathe out you are going to let your feet off the mat bringing all the body weight towards the toes.
- Hold that position engaging the muscles below the knees.
- When you are ready send both the arms up high, reaching up with your fingertips, pointing towards the sky.
- Hold the position, breathe in and out, keep pushing your heels on the ground with every release of the breathe.
- Comfortably breathe in and out, arms down to come out of the position.
- Stand stable at the centre of the mat.
- Bring your right leg towards the inside of your left leg.
- You can start by keeping it close towards the perineum, if this tough, bring it further down towards your knee, to the shin, to the ankle, wherever it is comfortable to hold at the moment.
- Bring your hands closer towards the centre of your chest, pressing your palms together in such a way that your arms are in line with each other.
- Keep your eyes connected to a point slightly higher than your eye level so you know what’s around you.
- Hold the position for 6 to 7 breaths. And slowly when you breathe out, bring your foot down and relax.
- Begin right at the centre of the mat, point your right foot towards the border of the mat on the right hand side and then extent your left leg further out in a way that if you imagine a line from you right heel it will dissect your left foot in the centre.
- Once you have the right grip on the mat, bring your chest and tummy to face right in the front and form there slowly bring your arms above your shoulder level.
- Get the entire wingspan and turn your left palm up towards the ceiling.
- Looking towards your right hand side simply slide your body forward and reach as far as you can.
- Now lower your right hand down on to the inside of the right leg and simultaneously send your left arm higher.
- You can start with your right hand on the shin but eventually you will bring it on the inside of your shin.
- If your body allows you can continue to move your body further down towards the mat.
- When you breathe out you will slowly bring your left hand over the head, reach out with your fingers, keep your chest open, skies visible.
- Hold the position for 7-8 breaths and lift your left arm higher and bring yourself out of the position.
- Bring your right foot in, point the left foot out and repeat the same thing on the other side.
- You start with vajra asan where you have your legs bent forward in front of you and hips on top of your feet and chest on top of your hips.
- Begin with your hands down by your knees, and from there when you breathe out, start walking with your fingers till you have your elbows resting on the floor.
- You can place your hands directly under your forehead like this, or simply bring your arms down by the side of your body and bring your forehead down to the mat.
- As you hold yourself in this position, your eyes are gently closed, and you’ll only be listening to the sounds of inhalations and exhalations.
- This allows you to lower your heartbeat down, bring your heartbeat back to the normal and this calms the body down.
- Now bring your hands down by the side of your body, gently push on the mat and bring your body up.
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Cameraperson: Abhishek Ranjan and Sumit Badola
Producer: Vaishali Sood
(Zubin Atré has designed five structured series of asanas derived from his experience over the years and his understanding of anatomy and kinesthetics . His studio AtréYoga is based in Delhi.)