To all you coffee lovers out there, 1st October is the international day of coffee and boy, do we love that cup of hot-steaming-sweet-smelling elixir in the morning!
But first, let's play, COFFEE or YOGA!
Read all the statements below and guess whether it applies to coffee or Yoga!
- Increases concentration and makes you more intelligent
- Can help you burn fat
- May lower your risk of diabetes
- Can help reduce depression
- Can increase your lifespan
- Can wake you up in the morning
All of the above apply to both Yoga and coffee. So, they have more in common than is obvious.
So how can Yoga become as relevant in our lives as a cup of coffee?
Here are 5 asanas you can do in the time it takes for you to brew a pot of coffee. (Place the kettle in the coffee maker and here we go!)
1. Downward facing Dog
How to do:
- Come on all fours, knees and palms on the mat, wrists, elbows, and shoulders in one line and hips over knees.
- Simultaneously raise the buttocks and lower the head between the arms.
- Knee and elbow should be straight. Press your heels down.
- Bring your head towards the knee.
- Maintain this pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Release into child’s pose and relax.
Benefit: improves the blood flow towards the head, wakes you up more effectively by supplying fresh blood to the brain.
Contraindication: Women in late-term pregnancy and anyone who has an arm or shoulder injury should avoid this pose.
2. Tree pose
How to do:
- Stand straight with your arms placed at the side of your body.
- Now, bend your right knee, lifting your right leg and placing it on the inner thigh of your left leg.
- Find your balance, keeping the left leg straight.
- Once you are comfortable in this position, raise your arms over your head into a namaste.
- Keep your spine straight and hold the posture for a few breaths.
- On the exhale release the position, coming into the initial position.
- Repeat the same process with the other leg.
Benefit: Improves focus and concentration. Helps in making the brain more alert.
Contraindication: People with knee or hip injuries or severe pain should avoid the pose. Also, anyone who has had recent surgery should avoid it.
How to do:
- Come on all fours, palms under the shoulder and knees under the hip.
- Drop your elbows on the mat keeping them forearm distance apart.
- Interlace your fingers creating some space to keep the head between your palms.
- Place the front part of your head on the mat between the palms.
- Pressing your forearms firmly on the mat and lifting your knees off the floor, start walking towards your head until the crown area of your head is on the floor and your spine is aligned with the neck.
- Inhale and exhale engaging your core lift one leg and bend the knee to press the thigh to the chest, lift the other leg the same way.
- Once you find your balance. Breathe steady and raise both legs to stretch your legs towards the ceiling.
- Gaze at one point and support your back of the head with palms for better balance.
Benefit: Improves blood flow towards the brain. Makes you more confident... like you can take on the world (Does this remind you of your coffee ? It's still heating up....)
Contraindication: People with vertigo, any severe heart issues or injuries should avoid this posture.
4. Warrior 3
How to do:
- Stand on your mat.
- Raise your arms up keeping your palms together in a praying position.
- Activate lower abdominal muscles.
- On an exhale, fold from the hips, lowering your upper body parallel to the floor
- The leg will be stretched back parallel to the floor.
- Now gazing at one point, come back to tadasana and do the same on the other side.
Benefit: Since it is a balancing asana, it gives your mind and body more stability and is a great asana for grounding yourself.
Contraindication: Anyone with a hip or lower back injury should avoid this pose.
How to do:
- Sit erect, with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Make sure that your toes are flexed towards you.
- Inhale and raise your arms over your head.
- Exhale and bend forward.
- Stretch out your arms, and let them reach the furthest they can but make sure that you don’t stretch too far.
- Then, place your head on your legs, and hold the pose.
- Inhale and come up back to the sitting position.
- Exhale and lower your arms.
Benefit: It is one of the best poses to increase concentration. It calms your mind and improves your memory. The yoga asana is good for your sympathetic nervous system.
Contraindications: Avoid this pose during pregnancy and if one has a severe back injury or lower back pain.
Annnndddd, take a look at your coffee pot, it should just be hot enough for you to enjoy a freshly brewed cuppa.
We'll be here till the weekend if we discuss what's better..Yoga or Coffee?
Is there a world where they can co-exist? Of course, there is!
Try the 5 asanas above and have a cup of coffee after this for the perfect start to the morning.
We'll see you latte!