Yoga has many benefits for its users. Physically there are several disorders that can benefit from the cleansing practices of yoga. However, yoga is also aimed as uniting the mind, body and the spirit which helps to provide many other therapeutic benefits of yoga. Consider just a few areas where yoga has proven to be extremely helpful. The various positions used in yoga call upon various joints to be used that have hardly been exercised or even noticed. Working these joints during yoga exercise can help increase an individuals flexibility.
While working the joints if you find yoga poses difficult to practice due to muscle strain, trying out on bed yoga helps. Bed yoga positions are very good exercise for the tendons and ligaments. Even parts of the body you aren’t actively working on will benefit from the flexible yoga positions. Through yoga exercise you can help increase the lubrication of your joints, ligaments and tendons. During an individuals lifetime there are several organs of the body that don’t get external stimulation.
Bed Yoga is possibly the only form of exercise that helps massage all the internal glands and organs of the body through the various positions; that too relaxing on bed!
The various body parts receive some form of (almost) wholesome exercise from yoga which helps keep away diseases and help individuals to tell when their body is likely to be experiencing the onset of a disease or disorder.
Stretching during bed yoga exercise allows the muscles, joints and various organs of the body to be massaged which helps all part of the body receive their optimum blood supply. This increased supply of blood will help take the toxins out of a persons body and bring nourishment to all parts of the body. Benefits of this blood flow can include a slowed aging process, increased energy and a healthier mental outlook on life. Although bed yoga is not a strenuous exercise it offers an excellent way to tone the muscles. Any flaccid or weak muscles can be toned easily with bed yoga which can help to shed excess pounds and tighten the appearance of the skin which leads to a more youthful appearance. This proves that yoga has benefits both on the outside as well as the inside.
Bed yoga poses
Child pose (Balasana posture)
Technique to perform Balasana posture-
1. First, place a mat on the floor and kneel down. Your buttocks should be placed on the heels of your feet and your big toes should be touching each other. The knees should be apart by the distance equal to the width of your hips. Take a deep breath.
2. Now slowly exhale and bend forward. The front of your body should be resting on the thighs with your head on the ground. Put your arms on both of your sides. The skin of your forehead should be moving towards the nose while resting your head on the floor. This way provides the relaxation to the brain. Therefore, make sure that the skin of the forehead is not stretched towards your hairline. Stay in this position for up to 5 breaths. You can increase this period for as long as you fell necessary to get over the exhaustion of the previous posture.
3. Take a deep breath and slowly return to the kneeling position.
4. Exhale and straighten your legs in front of you.
Balasana posture is very beneficial for our body. The breathing exercise done in this posture expands our lungs and heart and strengthens them. This posture also lengthens the spinal cord by gliding the rib cage forward. This posture also helps in relieving the pain in neck or back. Balasana softens our internal organs. By putting our forehead on the floor we relax our senses and thus, our mind becomes calm and we feel de-stressed and energetic.
But we must take some precautions while performing this posture. You should not practice Child pose if you have some kind of knee injury. Also, don’t practice this posture without the supervision of a qualified teacher. Also, don’t practice it if you have diarrhea. Pregnant women must never perform this posture either.
While practicing Bal asana, make sure that your hips remain on your heels at all times. If the hips are elevated away from the heels, then you should press both of your hands on the ground. This trick will help you put your hips back on the heels.
Happy baby (Anand balasan pose)
1. Lie on your back. With an exhale, bend your knees into your belly.
2. Inhale, grip the outsides of your feet with your hands (if you have difficulty holding the feet directly with your hands, hold onto a belt looped over each sole.) Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits.
3. Position each ankle directly over the knee, so your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex through the heels. Gently push your feet up into your hands (or the belts) as you pull your hands down to create a resistance.
Reclining straddle yoga pose (Supta baddha konasana)
1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
2. Perform Baddha Konasana. Exhale and lower your back torso toward the floor, first leaning on your hands. Once you are leaning back on your forearms, use your hands to spread the back of your pelvis and release your lower back and upper buttocks through your tailbone. Bring your torso all the way to the floor, supporting your head and neck on a blanket roll or bolster if needed.
3. With your hands grip your topmost thighs and rotate your inner thighs externally, pressing your outer thighs away from the sides of your torso. Next slide your hands along your outer thighs from the hips toward the knees and widen your outer knees away from your hips. Then slide your hands down along your inner thighs, from the knees to the groins. Imagine that your inner groins are sinking into your pelvis. Push your hip points together, so that while the back pelvis widens, the front pelvis narrows. Lay your arms on the floor, angled at about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, palms up.
4. The natural tendency in this pose is to push the knees toward the floor in the belief that this will increase the stretch of the inner thighs and groins. But especially if your groins are tight, pushing the knees down will have just the opposite of the intended effect: The groins will harden, as will your belly and lower back. Instead, imagine that your knees are floating up toward the ceiling and continue settling your groins deep into your pelvis. As your groins drop toward the floor, so will your knees.
To start, stay in this pose for one minute. Gradually extend your stay anywhere from five to 10 minutes. To come out, use your hands to press your thighs together, then roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor, head trailing the torso.
Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
- Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
- Grab your feet tightly with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.
- Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Take a deep breath in. Breathing out, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.
- Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout.
- Fly higher and higher, as fast as you comfortably can. Slow down and then stop. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect.
- Press your elbows on the thighs or on the knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths, relaxing the muscles more and more.
- Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up.
- As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
One-legged Pigeon pose (Kapotasana)
1. Begin by getting into Marjariasana (Cat stretch).
2. Breathe out and bring your right knee forward to touch the right wrist.
3. Bending the knee, bring your ankle near the groin region. Now slide the right foot towards the left hand, till the toes touch the left wrist.
4. Slide the left leg back so that it touches the floor. Keeping the knee straight, ensure that the front of the foot is touching the ground, while the sole faces the ceiling.
5. Lower your right buttock to the floor and press your tailbone forward to lengthen your lower back.
6. You may strengthen the lower back further by pushing your fingertips firmly to the floor.
7. Take a few deep breaths in this position.
8. Taking support of your hands, slide your left knee forward while exhaling and get back into the Cat stretch.
9. Stay in Cat stretch and take a couple of deep breaths and repeat the process with the other leg.
Cobra pose (Bujangasana)
- Lie on your stomach with your toes flat on the floor and forehead resting on the ground.
- Keep your legs close together, with your feet and heels lightly touching each other.
- Place your hands (palms downwards) under your shoulders, keeping your elbows parallel and close to your torso.
- Taking a deep breath in, slowly lift your head, chest and abdomen while keeping your navel on the floor.
- Pull your torso back and off the floor with the support of your hands.
- Keep breathing with awareness, as you curve your spine vertebra by vertebra. If possible, straighten your arms by arching your back as much as possible; tilt your head back and look up.
- Ensure that your feet are still close together. Keep smiling and breathing. Smiling Cobras!
- Don’t overdo the stretch or overstrain yourself.
- Breathing out, gently bring your abdomen, chest and head back to the floor.