“Yoga has the power to instill calm and positivity in one’s being, the weather made it even more conducive,” wrote Shilpa Shetty Kundra recently, while sharing some glimpses from her yoga practice.
Starting her day at 7 in the morning on a positive note, is her way of tackling even the worst of things in the day. She advises on taking some time off the hustle-bustle and connecting to nature, the surroundings and one’s inner self.
While working on the lower body by practicing asanas like Utkatasana (chair pose), and Ek Pada Utkatasana (one-legged chair pose)- the yoga aficionado expressed why she particularly liked the flow. “Not only do they strengthen and tone the lower body, but also improve balance and focus, while strengthening the lower back. This gives me a beautiful start to my day,” she added.
Read on to find out what the asanas do and how you can perform them.
Chair pose or the Utkatasana
‘Utkat’ in Sanskrit means ‘fierce’ and it is definitely going to give you a fierce lower body burn.
Benefits of chair pose:
- Excellently tones up the leg muscles.
- Strengthens the hip flexors, ankles, back and calves.
- Opens up the shoulders and chest.
- Reduces symptoms of flat feet
- Energises the heart, abdominal organs and diaphragm.
- Balances the body and brings determination.
How can you do it?
- Start with your feet being slightly apart.
- Bend the knees and push your pelvis down, mimicking to sit on a chair.
- Keep your hands parallel to the ground. Alternatively, you can keep them like in Tadasana.
- Try to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
- Gradually, sink deeper
- Hold for 30 seconds. Inhale to come back to the initial position. Exhale and release your arms to the side.
One-Legged Chair Pose or Ek Pada Utkatasana
It is a variation of the chair pose, wherein you balance your body posture by being on one leg.
Benefits of One-Legged Chair Pose:
- Improves balance and core strength
- Strengthens the legs and opens the hips
- Stretches your glutes and outer hips
- Aids in clearing your mind
With regular practice, you will be able to hold the pose for a period of at least 30 secs or more.
How can you do it?
- In the chair pose, ensure that your thighs are low and the weight is in your heels. (Take deep breaths)
- Fold your hands in the front and take the right foot off the floor.
- Cross it over, just above the left-leg knee.
- Hold this position for 4-5 breaths and return to Tadasana, gradually bringing your arms to the side. Repeat on the other side.
Over to you
A change in mindset can only happen by a strong will of leading a better, healthy and fit lifestyle. Bollywood has been very inspirational when it comes to following a strict workout regimen. And Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s yoga practices are just what we need when it comes to hitting the mat early in the morning.