Guide to expand your mind

Your brain is a muscle and needs exercise for better functioning. Yoga is the best form of exercise that improves brain function. Stress and anxiety can cause your brain to malfunction, and that is what yoga can help avert. Yoga regulates the vagus nerve that deals with your body’s mood and stress levels. It differs from other brain improving exercises in its ability to facilitate proper breathing patterns that help a great deal in calming your body and invigorating your mind.

1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana or the Lotus Pose is synonymous with the great fables associated with the lotus. Lotus is considered a symbol of purity, enlightenment, and detachment. Padmasana is a meditative pose that works best when done in the morning and not necessarily on an empty stomach. Hold this intermediate level Hatha Yoga pose for at least 1-5 minutes.Benefits: Padmasana relaxes the mind and calms the brain. It gives a good stretch to your ankles and knees, makes your hips more flexible, and improves your body posture. Padmasana awakens the chakras in your body and increases your awareness.

2. Vajrasana (Diamond Pose)
Vajrasana or the Diamond Pose is a kneeling exercise, usually accompanied by breathing exercises. Practicing the Vajrasana enables your body to become as strong as a diamond. Unlike other yoga asanas, Vajrasana must be practiced after a meal. Hold this beginner level Vinyasa Yoga pose for at least 5-10 minutes.Benefits: Vajrasana aids proper digestion and with regular practice, eliminates constipation. It fights stomach disorders and combats acidity. The pose helps your body relax and increases blood circulation. It also improves the flexibility of the lower body and tones your muscles.

3.Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose)

Ardha Matsyendrasana or the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose is named after the sage Matsyendranath. It is a half spinal twist with numerous variations. The pose is part of the 12 basic Hatha Yoga asanas. Practice this asana either early in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels or 4-6 hours after a meal in the evening. Hold this basic level Hatha Yoga pose for at least 30-60 seconds.Benefits: Ardha Matsyendrasana relieves stiffness in the back and improves digestion. This pose increases the supply of oxygen to the lungs and detoxifies the internal organs. It also purifies the blood and improves its circulation.

4.Paschtimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Paschimottanasana or the Seated Forward Bend is a classic Hatha Yoga pose that is very simple to do. This asana gives your body a good stretch and concentrates on the back. Practice the pose in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels. If not possible in the morning, do it in the evening after 4-6 hours from your last meal. During practice, hold this basic Hatha Yoga pose for 30-60 seconds.Benefits: Paschtimottanasana relieves mild depression and stress, gives your shoulders a good stretch, and activates your kidneys. The asana reduces headache and fatigue and cures insomnia and high blood pressure. It also increases the appetite and reduces obesity.

5.Halasana (Plow Pose)
Halasana or the Plow Pose uncovers the hidden capabilities of your body. The plow is a farming instrument used in many Asian countries that churns the soil in preparation for sowing seeds. The pose represents the shape of the plow and is an advanced yoga pose. Practice the pose in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening with a gap of 4-6 hours from your last meal. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds during practice.Benefits: Halasana regulates metabolism and normalizes the blood sugar levels. This pose releases the strain in the back and enhances your posture. It also reduces stress and calms the brain. It gives your shoulder a good stretch and works well on the thyroid gland.

6.Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)
Mayurasana or the Peacock Pose resembles a peacock when it walks around with its feathers down. It seems like a complicated pose to do, but with a little practice, it gets comfortable. It is best to practice this pose in the morning on an empty stomach as your body has the energy generated from digesting the meal of the previous night. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds during practice.Benefits: Mayurasana detoxifies the body and keeps fever at bay. It strengthens your abdominal area, energizes your kidneys, and fights diabetes. It makes your spine stronger and improves posture. The asana improves concentration and coordination between the mind and the body.

7.Sirsasana (Headstand)
Sirsasana or the Headstand is the king of all yoga poses. It requires complete inversion of your body and good upper body strength. Sirsasana needs a series of preparatory exercises over a period to do the asana. It is necessary that your stomach is empty and bowels clean to practice this asana. Try to hold the pose for at least 1-5 minutes.Benefits: Sirsasana instantly calms your body. It stimulates the pituitary gland, strengthens the lungs, improves digestion, and cures asthma. It makes the arms and legs stronger and tones the abdominal organs.

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