In the recent times, yoga has become one of the best modes of workout for people throughout the world. While yoga can help burn fat, it is not primarily used for losing weight, since the fat burning properties of yoga are quite limited and slow. So, why is yoga such a big deal then? One of the biggest silent killers in the recent times is stress. Stress can lead to some of the worst types of diseases and can, in fact, affect all the organs in your body. From ulcers to kidney damage, stress is one of the deadliest types of silent killers that we end up ignoring on a daily basis.
Effects of stress
To help you get an idea about the true effects of stress on modern society, it was found in a recent research that average high school students in today’s day and age have more anxiety than mental patients in the 1970’s. From studies to social media criticism and body image related issues, stress can stem from multiple sources and we don’t really do that much about it. With most students getting lesser and lesser sleep, stress can take years off your lives. Yoga is one of the best ways to get rid of stress from your mind and heal your body from the effects of stress.
How can yoga help?
The inhalation and exhalation practices that are very common in yoga poses allows a huge influx of oxygen into your lungs, thus making your blood oxygen content higher, which allows the body to relax. Moreover, yoga is always combined with meditation that can help you to calm your mind and can improve your sleep levels and even possibly cure milder forms of insomnia. Moreover, the stretches that are a part of yoga poses can help you to get rid of a lot of the pains and aches that come from stress and can help to keep your body vitalized and rejuvenated. When combined with a good diet and adequate sleep, yoga can help you to live a better quality of life by making you more capable of dealing with the stress of modern life.
With over hundreds of yoga poses to choose from, the Tree pose, or Vrksasana can be one of the best poses that can help you to improve balance, aids in stretching of some of the major muscle groups in the body as well as can help you to correct some common problems like flat feet and sciatica.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to do the Vrksasana.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart, your back straight and your arms on your sides with fingers pointed, or the Tadasana. From this neutral pose, gently shift your weight on the left foot, while keeping it firmly placed on the floor and bend the right knee. Now slowly reach down using your right hand and take a hold of your right ankle.
- Bring your right foot up and place the sole of your right foot against the side of your inner left thigh and if possible, you can press the right heel to reach the inner sides of your left groin with your toes pointing downwards to the floor. The centre of gravity of your pelvis should be straight over the left foot.
- Now rest your hand on the top rim of your pelvis, making sure that your pelvis is in the neutral position and the top rim is parallel to the floor.
- Now, try to lengthen your tailbone towards the floor and firmly press the sole of your right foot against your left thigh and counter it with resistance from the outer part of the left leg. Now, on to the hands.
- Press your hands together in the Anjali Mudra, or in a Namaste, with your palms touching each other, and stretch them to be centred directly above your head. The body should be balanced by aligning your centre of gravity in a straight line.
- Now fix your gaze onto any point roughly 4-5 feet away from you.
- Hold this position for anywhere between 30 seconds to a full minute, then step back into Tadasana while exhaling deeply and then repeat with the legs reversed.
This is a level 1 yoga pose, which means that it is not really that difficult to do and doesn’t really take too much effort to perfect. While the regime is quite easy to do and does not really take a lot of twists and turns that can lead to you getting a sprained muscle or any type of an injury, there are a few cautionary measures you should take before attempting it. Avoid this pose if you have headache or low blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, do not raise your arms overhead.
If you feel imbalanced during this pose, there are a couple of steps that you can use. The first step is to do a number of deep inhalation and exhalations to improve your concentration. If you are trying it for the first time, you can use a wall to support your back to prevent any type of unsteadiness. If you find your leg slipping from your thigh, just place a piece of folded sticky mat can be a quick fix. If you wish to take it to the next level, you can try doing it with your eyes closed for added improvement in concentration.
- Vrksasana can help you to strengthen the spine and in the process, improve your balance and aids in improving your poise.
- It helps in improving nerve and muscle co-ordination.
- It can help to tone your leg muscles and can strengthen the tendons and the ligaments in your leg.
- It can make your knees stronger and loosen up your hip joints.
- This pose can also help to strengthen your shoulder, eyes and inner ears.
- It is extremely effective in providing relief from sciatica and flat feet.
- This can help to build patience, making you flexible and sturdy at the same time.
- It can help you to deepen the thorax
- It can help to boost your concentration and sharpen your mental faculties and therefore, is recommended for students.
With a huge array of benefits, the vriksasana is one of the easier yoga poses that you can try as a beginner. So, if your stress levels are high and you want to lead a longer and happier life, this yoga pose is a must for you, as it can help to significantly improve your posture, your concentration levels, as well as treat any pain in your legs.