With the advent of the pandemic, all of us have come to realise the importance of health in our lives. The lockdown measures allowed us time to finally take care of our health, fitness and wellbeing. Yoga being one of the ancient practices of health and wellbeing is undoubtedly an excellent technique to inculcate into your at-home fitness routine. Aligning the body, mind and soul, the yoga asanas, breathing techniques and body movements help you attain strength and stamina at the same time.
Ms. Anjali Balan, Founder & CEO, Svech, shared with HerZindagi that "yoga block and yoga wheel are two of the best-chosen yoga accessories that yogis today use to elevate their practice and undertake the practice safely. Defining the body movements, and helping you stretch better these yoga accessories are lightweight, inexpensive, portable and a great way to practice and upgrade your exercise regime – even during the pandemic."
"A yoga block and wheel don’t just allow you to stretch and release muscular tension as per the yoga asanas but also make exercising fun, dynamic and more challenging," she added.
Here are some of the effective exercises suggested by her that can be done using yoga blocks and a yoga wheel.
Purvottanasana or upward plank pose stretches the pectoralis minor, pectoralis major, and anterior deltoids.
- Sit in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.
- Place your hand inches behind you with fingertips pointing towards the hips and roll out the shoulder blades.
- Point your toes and place a block in between your thighs to activate your inner thigh muscles.
- Now press into your palms and the ball of your feet and slowly lift your heart.
- Inhale as you lift your body and gaze up towards the sky.
- Hold the yoga block in place and balance the position.
- Lower your body as you exhale.
Trikonasana is a yoga pose to attain balance and stretch your side muscles. You can use a yoga block to stretch your muscles correctly while trying to attain the triangle pose perfectly.
- Stand in tadasana and raise your arms parallel to the floor with your shoulder blades wide.
- Turn your right foot outwards and left foot slightly inwards as you bend your body on the right side.
- Keep your left inner-thigh muscles activated.
- Now, hold on to a yoga block with your right hand to place it on the ground and feel the stretch on the left side body.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds and then release.
- Repeat on the other side.
For a tripod headstand, the upper body muscles need to be supported and strengthened.
- Get on your knees with palms placed flat on the ground.
- Bend your elbows and place the crown of your head on a yoga block placed on the ground.
- Make sure that your arms are at the right distance from the face to create chaturanga arms pose.
- Then, curl the toes under, start lifting the hips and come into a dolphin pose.
- Now slowly, start shifting your body weight to your arms and raising your legs in the air.
- Keeps the weight gentle on the neck by keeping your elbows tight.
- Slowly get back into the dolphin and then the child’s pose to calm down.
Yoga poses can sometimes be daunting for a new practitioner because of the body stretch it demands. A great way to open up your body without causing injuries or stressing the muscles too much is by using a yoga wheel. Using yoga blocks can help in elevating your muscles and attaining these stretches without causing too much stress.
Baddhakonasana or bound angle pose stretches your inner thighs and groin and is helpful for the flexibility of hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
- Sit in Staff pose.
- Now, bend your knees and join the soles of your feet.
- Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, lead with your heart and fold down over your legs.
- Place your hand on a yoga wheel placed in front of you to aid in pulling your chest or head close to your feet.
- Take a few breaths before releasing and rolling back up.
Paschimotasana or seated forward bend pose benefits the middle back, upper back, hamstrings, psoas, and quadriceps. There are multiple ways to use a yoga wheel in this pose.
- Place a yoga wheel against the wall.
- Sit in staff pose, place the soles of your feet against it and push it.
- As you exhale, come in a forward fold and hold the wheel you’re your hands.
- Keep your hips in the same place and extend your spine to stay in the pose for a few breaths before releasing and rolling back up.
Try these exercises and poses into your workout routine using yoga blocks and wheels. The blocks should be made of durable cork as that gives the right strength, agility and movements to provide you the right support for all forms of yoga asanas and stretches.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on yoga.