Yoga for stamina: 5 asanas to boost endurance during aerobics, anaerobic exercise | Health

From maintaining a healthy posture and increasing metabolism to decreasing fatigue, resting heart rate and stress levels, Yoga is packed with health benefits and is also effective in boosting stamina on physical, physiological and mental levels. Yoga can make one’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems more efficient by improving aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

Are you usually out of breath while completing daily tasks or workouts or during any aerobic / anaerobic activity? Here are 5 Yoga asanas to boost your stamina, improve your endurance and make you persevere longer or help sustain exercise for a prolonged period of time.

1. Naukasana / Navasana or boat pose

Naukasana / Navasana or boat pose (Twitter / yogatailor)

Method: Sit on the floor with your legs spread straight in front of you. Keeping your spine erect and hands resting beside your hips, bend your knees and lean back slightly. Now inhale and lift both legs up while extending your hands forward. Keep your toes at eye level and lengthen your spine. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 seconds and release the posture.

Benefits: Yoga’s Naukasana or boat pose not only beats stress but can also row you out of many issues that your body maybe undergoing. It helps strengthen the core and hip flexors, strengthens and improves flexibility in the hip joints and legs, stimulates abdominal organs and improves digestion while also improving the steadiness of the body.

Naukasana helps in regulating blood flow at sugar level and strengthens the abdominal muscles. It improves the health of all organs in the abdomen, especially the liver, pancreas and kidneys and also strengthens the muscles of the arms, thighs and shoulders.

2. Balasana or Child Pose

Balasana or Child's Pose or Child's Resting Pose of Yoga (Instagram / mindfulbyminna)
Balasana or Child’s Pose or Child’s Resting Pose of Yoga (Instagram / mindfulbyminna)

Method: Sit on your heels on the floor or a yoga mat and keep your knees either together or wide apart. Slowly, exhale and bend forward to touch the floor with your forehead or rest it on a block or two stacked fists while keeping your arms alongside your body and palms facing up.

Alternatively, you can keep your palms facing down on the mat by reaching out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat. Now, if your knees are together, gently press your chest on the thighs or press your chest between the thighs if the knees are apart.

Relax the shoulders, jaw and eyes and find a comfortable place for the forehead as there is an energy point at its center, in between the eyebrows, that supports a “rest and digest” response by stimulating the vagus nerve. Hold onto the pose for as long as you like and pull your navel towards your spine while inhaling and softening your body and arms while exhaling. Return to the sitting position on the heels slowly while inhaling and as if uncurling the spine.

Benefits: This beginner’s Yoga pose not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helping releasing the tension in the chest, back and shoulders but also helps if you have a bout of dizziness or fatigue during the day or during your workout. It can help relieve back pain as it is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs and ankles.

Precautions: This exercise is not recommended for pregnant women or those suffering from diarrhea or knee injury.

3. Setubhandhasana / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose

Setubhandhasana / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose (Twitter / RingworldGK)
Setubhandhasana / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose (Twitter / RingworldGK)

Method: Lie down on your back with legs straight on the floor, palms beside your thighs. Bend both your knees while keeping the legs and hips apart and bring the heels closer to the hips.

Inhale and lift your stomach and chest up by taking your hips off the floor. Give support to your lower back with your hands. Now straighten your legs with your toes pointing in the front. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and release.

Benefits: This variation is also known as the Bridge pose stretches the chest, neck and spine. It not only strengthens the back, buttock and hamstrings but also increases blood circulation, alleviates stress and calms the brain.

4. Ustrasana or camel pose

Ustrasana or camel pose (Grand Master Akshar)
Ustrasana or camel pose (Grand Master Akshar)

Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.

Bend your head and spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.

Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.

5. Padmasana or lotus pose

Padmasana or lotus pose of Yoga (Instagram / agora.yoga)
Padmasana or lotus pose of Yoga (Instagram / agora.yoga)

Method: Kneel know on the Yoga mat and keep your knees and feet together. Lean in the backward direction by pushing your hips in the forward direction.

Bend your head and spine as backward and farther as possible without straining. Rest your hands on your feet, relax your body and the muscles of your back, hold onto the position for a few seconds before releasing.

Benefits: From stretching and strengthening the shoulders and back to opening up the hips and stretching deep hip flexors, Ustrasana not only improves respiration by opening up the chest but also improves digestion and elimination by expanding the abdominal region. It loosens up the vertebrae, relieves lower back pain, improves posture and reduces fat on thighs.

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