Bridal yoga for healthy skin and calm mind

Yoga is known to work wonders for the physical and mental health of a person. There are many asanas that target specific problems, and make the body better equipped to deal with issues.

Brides, today, seek calmer wedding preparations. They want to remain relaxed and enjoy the process, as opposed to fretting about the little things and not enjoying their own big moment. Bridal yoga, therefore, can be a tool with which they can help themselves.

Radhika Iyer Talati, the founder of Raa Foundation and Anahata Organics, a yogini, mountaineer and philanthropist, says it is a great idea for a bride to “adopt the practice of yoga to not only tone their body before the wedding, but also achieve a flawless glow on their skin”.

“All you need is a mat and the comfort of your home or a fitness studio. Spend an hour just four days a week and see guaranteed positive results. Needless to say, you must practise under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor to avoid mistakes and injury,” she says.

Read about the simple heart-opening poses, detoxing twists, and mind cleansing inversions, as suggested by Talati.

Adhomukha Svanasana/Downward Dog pose

Adhomukha Svanasana is an energetic and elegant pose for brides who experience fatigue. Practising this simple pose can restore energy and enhance blood circulation. It helps strengthen and balance the body, improves eyesight, increases hearing capacity and revitalises skin tone. Practise for five minutes every day to strengthen and tone the arms, abdominals, hips and thighs.

Begin on the floor on the tabletop — on your hands and knees. Place knees directly below hips and hands slightly forward. Spread palms and lift the body and knees away from the floor. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of the pelvis and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling.

Exhale and push the top of the thighs back and stretch the heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten the knees and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. Draw the shoulder blades down the back, then widen and continue to draw shoulders toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms.

Stay for two to three minutes and focus on your abdomen while breathing normally. Release the pose as you bend the knees to the floor on an exhalation. Rest in Child’s Pose and repeat.

Naukasana/Boat Pose

Known to help you wade through water just like a boat, this asana gives your core strength. Naukasana helps you connect within, making your body and mind stronger and more flexible. This asana can help lengthen your spine and strengthen your core making you look well toned and nourished.

Lie flat on your mat with feet together and arms on the sides. Now, keeping your arms straight and your fingers outstretched towards your toes, lift your chest and feet off the ground, stretching your arms towards your feet. Engage the stomach and contract the abdominal muscles breathing normally. Let the weight of your body rest entirely on the buttocks and make sure your eyes, finger and toes are all in one line. Once you are comfortable with balancing this asana, hold your breath and stay for a few seconds. Exhale slowly and bring the body back to the starting position and relax.

Virabhadrasana/Warrior Pose

This asana is a series with three parts, perfect to increase flexibility, tone arms and lengthen lower back. You can practise all three virabhadrasana postures to build stamina and improve blood circulation.

Warrior 1: Stand straight with your legs wide apart at a distance of at least 3-4 feet. Turn your right foot out by 90 degrees and left foot in by about 15 degrees. Make sure to align the heel of the right foot to the center of the left foot. Lift both arms sideways to shoulder height keeping them parallel to the ground. Breathing out, bend your right knee and make sure your knee does not overshoot the ankle.

Gently turn your head and look to your right side. Hold the posture and keep breathing as you go down. Now, repeat on the left side.

Warrior 2: Stand in the mountain pose and raise your arms parallel to the floor. Turn your right foot to the right and your left foot out to the left at 90 degrees. Turn your left thigh outward so the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle. Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle, so the shin is perpendicular to the floor, bend backwards slightly, bringing the left thigh parallel to the floor. Hold this position and repeat on the other side.

Warrior 3: Stand in mountain pose and step your left foot back into a high lunge position. Stretch your arms forward, parallel to the floor. Exhale and press the heel into the floor. Straighten the front leg and lift the back leg, balancing your body as you gaze at a point. Stay in this position for as long as you can, then repeat for the same length of time on the other side.

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