Staying physically active has never been so important, as it has now — during pre and post vaccination stages. Yoga asanas, when done in routine practice, can work as boosters, which help you build immunity and also in developing antibodies after the vaccine. You must listen to your body calls, as each body type is unique, some may signal fatigue, fever, a local muscle ache or a mild pain at the injection site. You can modify the intensity of your below practices based on how your body responds to the vaccine.
Santolanasana / Plank Pose
Planks are a great way to channelize energies as you need to align your entire body in one straight line from head to toe. It uses your arm strength and impacts directly on your abdomen area. Align your wrists to your shoulders and use your strength to push the floor away. Engage your legs by raising your knees up and off the floor, as you stay onto your toes. Make sure you don’t allow your spine to arch towards your mat.
Try holding your plank, starting from five counts and build it up to 20 counts or more. Long hold ensures a healthy gut, slimmer abs and a shaped waistline.
Exhale and hold your breath. When you hold for longer, inhale while looking up and exhale when looking down on your mat.
Keep your body and back straight in this posture.
Wrists need to be strong for this posture.
Allow the asana to work for you, take pause – hold the asana for longer duration.
Prapadasana / Tip-toe Squat Pose
When you squat down and shift your body weight to your toes, you are now grounding down your energies and stabilizing yourself. Practice of this asana incredibly strengthens your sense of balance and calm. It utilizes the complete range of motion in your entire lower body from pelvis to knees to your ankles, keeps your legs supple and strong both.
Rest your arms in extended position, placed on your knees. Breathe gently – both inhale and exhale. Create a good balance here.
Practitioners with knee issues, need to avoid this posture.
Keep your back straight, create a good balance and hold the posture – just be there.
Try to pull your heels up and off the ground, full body pressure on your toes..
Parvatasana / Mountain Pose
Parvatasana posture truly strengthens your overall body. You keep your buttocks raised up towards the sky. You are on your toes behind and your palms in front – your head is in between the two arms. It also tones your spinal nerves and also increases blood flow to the brain. Exhale when you look down at your naval, inhale when you look forwards ahead, in between your palms.
This is a very easy asana, but its regular practice will help you regulate your blood flow.
Lift your heels off the ground, stay on your toes. Little bit of efforts are required to balance yourself on your palms and toes.
Make sure your hands and knees are not bent.
Breathe nicely, relax, pause, no hurry – let the asana work for you.
Vajrasana / Thunderbolt Pose
Vajrasana fires up your gut. This asana is one such unique practice which doesn’t bind you to any practice rules of time, place and circumstances.
Vajrasana can be practiced at any time of the day, even immediately after meals. It works straight on your stomach and when your stomach works fine, body immunity will naturally build itself too.
Make sure you keep your back spine straight, feel the pressure on your calf muscles.
Your palms will gently rest on your knees.
Adapt this asana slowly, breathe gently with inhale and exhale both. Try to practice this asana for a minimum of thirty seconds, gradually take it up to a minute’s hold or even more, depending on your capacity.
Dandasana / Staff Pose
We all know how important our back spine is – the vertical core or “staff”. This posture is as effective as its ease to practice. What you can do is spend sometime here to get your alignments correct. Practicing by the wall support will give you a clear indication of your how straight your back spine is. Keep your knees straight and toes flexed in. Keep your shoulders square, place your hands sideways on the mat or hold Pranamasana.
Staff pose strengthens your back spine muscles.
Improve your posture.
It lengthens your torso (all the way down till your sitting bones).
The above asanas can be performed as a practice flow in the same sequence as listed above, to reap deeper benefits. There are no side effects to these practices, they will only keep you fit, improve your overall blood flow and channelize your nervous system for a healthier body and mind. Its intensity should be analyzed by the practitioner themselves, based on individual body callouts.
(The author is a spiritual yogic master. Founder, chairman and course director of Akshar Yoga, and president of the World Yoga Organisation)