Malaika Arora’s trainer shares Yoga asanas for athletes

As the country marks the National Sports Day on Monday (August 29), Sarvesh Shashi, Yoga trainer to several Bollywood celebrities, including beauty diva Malaika Arora, shares a few Yoga-related insights highly beneficial to athletes.

“Athletes who are wondering if yoga is really for you. Here's the answer. The five Yoga asanas that are a must-do for you – Cat-Cow Pose, Utkatasana, Tadasana, Ananda Balasana, and Anulom Vilom,” Sarvesh wrote on Twitter.

Cat-Cow posture (Chakravakasana)

It involves moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched one (extension).  Start on your hands and knees, maintaining a body position such that your wrists are underneath your shoulders and the knees below the hip. Keep the spine as straight as possible, and the neck long. Tilt your pelvis so that your tailbone sticks up. Let this movement ripple from your tailbone up your spine. Draw your navel in and take your gaze gently up toward the ceiling; all these without cranking your neck and keeping your spine erect.

Tip your pelvis forward, tucking your tailbone. Let the ripples again move up to your spine. Your spine will naturally be round. Draw your navel toward your spine and drop your head. Repeat the stretch on each inhale and exhale, matching the movement of your own breath. Repeat five to 10 times.

Utkatasana (Chair pose)

Stand erect with your feet slightly apart. Stretch your hands to the front with palms facing downwards. Do not bend your elbows. Bend the knees and nuzzle your pelvis down as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Sink deeper into the ‘chair’ by gradually going down, but ensure your knees don’t go beyond your toes. Finally, sit down in a cross-legged position.

Tadasana (Mountain pose)

Stand with your feet slightly apart, giving equal weight. While inhaling, raise your arms above your head, and interlock your fingers with palms facing upwards. Raise your shoulders up towards the ears. On exhale, roll your shoulders back and down your spine, opening your chest and straightening your posture. Relax all muscles in your face and your eyes. Return to the normal position and relax.

Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby pose)

Lie on your back. While exhaling, bend your knees into your belly. Upon inhaling, hold the outsides of your feet with your hands. Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, then bring them up toward your armpits. Position each angle directly over the knee. Gently push your feet up into your hands as you pull your hands down to create resistance.

Anulom Vilom

The specific pranayama involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, then holding the other nostril closed while exhaling. The process is then reversed and repeated.

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