Top 10 Yoga Exercises To Boost Your Fitness Levels November 19, 2015

Being fat unambiguously raises a question on your fitness levels, but being skinny does not mean you are healthy and fit. Embracing yoga is one of the ways to charge up your fitness levels. Along with offering you a well-toned and healthy body, the asanas, Pranayamas, and bandhas, when performed according to the rules, can make you the proud owner of a fit body.

While many yoga exercises for fitness are tricky and tough, there are countless poses that can be performed with utmost ease, even if you are just a beginner. Here are ten such easy yoga asanas that you can practice for improving and stabilizing your fitness levels.

10 must-know yoga asanas for better fitness:

1. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose):


Tone your abdomen and strengthen your spine and back with this yoga pose.

  • Lie down in prone position on the floor.
  • Bring your hands above the head, with legs stretched out, heels touching each other.
  • Breathing normally, you have to bring the palms underneath the shoulders aligning the fingertips with shoulders.
  • Inhale and raise your head so that your eyes see the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for a period of 30 to 60 seconds, while breathing normally.
  • Exhale and slowly roll your chest, neck, and then forehead, stretching your hands above the head, to come back to the opening position.

Repeat thrice, with a 15-second relaxation period between each repetition.

2. Paschimottanasana:


Along with strengthening your back muscles and improving blood circulation in the back, this pose improves the functioning of the pancreas and kidneys, thus helping in eliminating the wastes. The pose is also advised for those who want to slim down.

  • Sit on the floor, legs stretched out straight, resting your hands on the thighs.
  • Keeping your back and knees straight, inhale deeply and raise your hands above your head.
  • Slowly try to hold your toes, by bending forward from your hips, without bending your knees.
  • Try to touch your knees with your head.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds while breathing normally.
  • Inhale deeply and bring the body back to normal position, hands above your head.
  • Exhale, place your palms on your thighs, and relax.

Repeat thrice, while relaxing for a period of 15 seconds between repetitions.

3. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose):


Strengthen your chest, ankles, arms, knees, and legs with this yoga pose. Along with opening up your groin, calves, and hamstrings, the pose enhances your physical and mental equilibrium. Those who are suffering from stress and anxiety should practice this to relax themselves.

  • Stand straight and slowly stretch your legs apart.
  • Inhale deeply, and raise your hand to the sides, parallel to the ground.
  • Exhale, and tend to your left until your left hand touches your left heel; make sure that your right hand is straight, pointing to the ceiling. Your gaze should be fixed on your right fingertips.
  • Breathing normally, you have to hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly regain the initial position.
  • Repeat the same process with your right side.

Repeat the pose 5 times on each side, with a relaxation period of 15 seconds.

4. Utkatasana (Chair Pose):


Also known as the fierce asana, this is beneficial to tone down your calves. However, do not practice the pose if you have a knee injury or arthritis. This pose is also beneficial to a better functioning heart, abdominal organs, and diaphragm.

  • Stand straight with back erect.
  • Spread out your legs in alignment with your shoulder width.
  • Stretch out your hands without bending the elbows to your front.
  • Slowly, bend your knees while pushing the pelvis down. It should resemble a person sitting on a chair.
  • Keep your spine erect while ensuring that your hands are parallel to the ground.
  • Breathe normally and hold the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Exhale slowly, relax your hands, and gently come back to the initial position.

Repeat 5 times. Once the repetitions are over, lie down in the prone position and relax completely.

5. Tadasana (Mountain pose):


Along with rendering a better posture, this pose is known to tone up your abdomen and buttocks. The asana offers relief from assorted aches and pains by enhancing the circulation of blood. The pose is also beneficial to boost your digestive power and eliminate the wastes.

  • Stand with your feet flat, heels slightly spread out and big toes in contact with each other. Keep the spine erect, with hands on either side of your body, palms facing your body.
  • Stretch your hands to the front and join the palms.
  • Inhaling deeply, stretch your spine. Raising your folded hands up above your head, stretch as much as you can.
  • Try lifting your ankle and standing on your toes, with eyes facing the ceiling. If you cannot stand on your toes, you can keep your feet flat on the ground while eyes face the ceiling.
  • Breathe normally and hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Inhale deeply and while exhaling, slowly relax and bring your feet back to the floor.

Repeat the pose 5 times, increasing the count gradually. Relax for 10 seconds before you attempt the next repetition.

6. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose):

Give your digestive power and blood circulation a boost with regular practice of this Thunderbolt Pose. This asana is also beneficial for toning up your thighs and preventing the onset of rheumatism.

  • Sit on your thighs with buttocks touching the heels, while your palms rest on your thighs.
  • Keep your head, neck, and back erect.
  • Hold the position for 2 to 3 minutes, inhaling and exhaling deeply.
  • To relax, breathe normally and slowly stretch your legs.

7. Ardha Chakrasana (Standing Backward Bend): 

Strengthen your front upper torso while toning your shoulder and arm muscles with this backward bend. While this is quite easy to do, people who are suffering from back pain should exercise with caution.

  • Stand with the feet flat on the ground while the arms are kept aligned with your body.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly bring your hands above your heads, closing your arms in a Namaste.
  • Exhale and slowly, without jerking, bend backwards as much as possible. Keep your knees straight while your arms are stretched backward with the elbows kept straight. Gaze towards the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for at least 30 seconds, up to a maximum of 90 seconds.
  • Inhaling slowly, bring your body back to the initial position.
  • Exhale and relax.

Relax for a period of 15 seconds before repeating the pose. Repeat 3 to 5 times to reap the benefits.

8. Marjariasana (Cat Pose):


Stretch yourself and breathe like a cat. Along with improving the spine flexibility, the pose strengthens your shoulders and wrists. This asana is helpful for improving the blood circulation levels. Do practice this asana regularly for a well-toned abdomen.

  • Kneel on the floor, with knees under your hips and palms under the shoulders. Keep your head straight.
  • Inhaling deeply, lift your chin while pushing your head backwards slightly. Your navel should be pushed downwards while raising the tailbone.
  • Hold your buttocks firmly, so that you could experience the tingle.
  • Breathing deeply, you have to hold the pose for about 30 to 90 seconds.
  • Exhale completely, bring your chin to the chest while relaxing your buttocks and arching the back to the maximum possible extent.
  • Hold this pose for about 15 seconds and then gradually return to the initial position.

This pose should be repeated as many times as possible, with a relaxation period of 15 seconds, to reap the maximum benefits.

9. Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Pose):


This pose works exclusively on your lower abdominal region, hips, and thighs. Along with rendering a toned lower body, this pose is known to be one of the most sought after postpartum weight loss poses. The pose is also known to enhance the functioning of the liver, lungs, heart, intestines, and pancreas. Women, after delivery, can indulge in this pose to alleviate the back pain and to augment their digestive power.

  • Lie down in supine position with knees and feet kept together. Breathe normally.
  • Exhaling slowly, arch the back while tilting your head backward to touch the floor.
  • Keep the arms on either side of the body, palms facing your body. Breathe normally.
  • Stretch as much as possible and inhaling deeply, lift both of your legs to make a 45-degree angle with the ground.
  • Hold the pose for a period of 30 to 60 counts.
  • Now, slowly bring the legs up to make a 90-degree angle with the floor. Continue to hold, breathing normally, for 30 counts.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly bring your legs back to initial position – the supine position.

Make sure to rest for a period of 15 seconds to 30 seconds before trying your hand at a repetition.  You can practice five rounds of this pose.

10.  Savasana (Corpse Pose):


This is the ultimate form of relaxation and is a must for bringing your body to the normal state after performing all the yoga poses. This pose allows you to enjoy a meditative rest period, thus offering a chance for the damaged cells and tissues to be rectified. It is also known to bring down the blood pressure levels to normal. Savasana is known to relieve your body and mind from stress and thus, helps you to release the strain – physically and mentally.

  • Lie down in supine position with legs kept together, heels touching each other.
  • Keep your hands on either side of the body. Palms can either face the body or face upward.
  • Close your eyes and stretch your body to the most comfortable level.
  • Keep your neck turned according to your level of comfort. If you are comfortable keeping your head straight, then you may do so.
  • Breathe slowly and allow your body to relax completely. Feel each breath you take and the air that fills in your body.
  • Maintain the position for a minimum of 120 seconds to experience the energy surge.

This yoga pose is ideal to wrap up a yoga session, especially if you have indulged in a heavy, fast-paced one, such as Power Yoga.

There is yet another relaxation pose that you can practice as an alternative to Savasana. It is known as Makarasana or the Crocodile pose. This yoga exercise helps to strengthen your legs, hips, calf muscles, and buttocks. It is a powerful, yet simple pose that offers overall body stretch. Makarasana is also known to offer relief from assorted digestive problems, including constipation and flatulence.

  • Lie down in prone position.
  • Legs should be kept at a distance of 1 to 1.5 feet apart from each other.
  • Fold your arms and bring it slowly beneath your chin.
  • Keep your head on your hands.
  • Slowly tilt your head to left or right, depending on your level of comfort.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Slowly and deeply inhale and exhale.
  • Hold the pose until your breath becomes normal.
  • Slowly open your eyes and bring your hands to either side of the body, while breathing normally.

Some people enjoy a naturally fit body, while some do not. Nevertheless, yoga exercises now offer you an opportunity to transform your body to meet your desires.

It is always advisable to learn each of the yoga poses mentioned above, especially if you are a beginner. Remember a fit body is the embodiment of health. Combine the exercises mentioned above with a balanced, nutritious diet, which will definitely speed up your journey towards fitness.

What are you waiting for? Start indulging in yoga today to embrace a whole new level of fitness, physically and mentally.

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