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International Yoga Day: 5 Yoga Poses Poker Players MUST Try Poker
Amarylisa Gonsalves
Posted on 21 Jun, 2022
By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 21 Jun, 2022
By Amarylisa Gonsalves
On 21 Jun, 2022

International Yoga Day: 5 Yoga Poses Poker Players MUST Try

Everyone is aware of the physical toll of a 9-5 desk job. After all, sitting all day, ain’t fun. But why isn’t anyone talking about poker players grinding for long hours which puts a good part of their physical well-being at risk? Be it online or on the live felts, grinding does require a player to sit still for long hours at a stretch. (Yes, sit ‘still’ because who wants to give hints via body language in a live set-up).

Sitting for hours on end can lead to stiffness in the hips, legs and joints. Not to forget the discomfort in the neck, shoulder and back pain. While these problems may not really bother you in the short run, paying attention to them is essential to maintaining your physical health in the long run. 

If the physical strains aren’t enough, a poker player goes through a lot of stress, anxiety and emotions often run high, while grinding and towards the end of a game. To combat these issues, it is crucial to have physical activities in your daily routine to be in good form.

21st June is celebrated globally as International Yoga Day! Certified yoga instructor and founder of Boston-based Health Yoga Life, Vyda Bielkus, rightly said, “Yoga allows us to tap into the space between our thoughts, into our quiet mind and our awareness. That’s what helps us gain perspective that stress is a choice – I can react with ease or I can react with stress and anxiety. Yoga helps us create some distance from our reactions.” Bielkus further adds that yoga postures/asanas can target areas of tension and thus, be an effective remedy to several sitting-related ailments.

ALSO READ: Mindful Mondays: Here’s how Poker players can get fit at home edition

So to celebrate International Yoga Day, we thought why not, list down five yoga asanas which poker players can easily practice to keep their physical and mental well-being on the right track. 

5 Yoga Poses For Poker Players:

1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar is a way of expressing gratitude to the sun, hence it is advised to do it in the morning on an empty stomach. It consists of 12 powerful poses that act as a great cardiovascular workout for holistic well-being. It is one of the most well-known and effective yoga practices due to its all-in one approach. 



How to do it:

  1. Pranamasana (prayer pose): Stand straight, keeping your feet together. Relax your shoulders and straighten your spine. Fold your hands in a prayer position as you bring them close to your chest. 
  2. Hasta Uttanasana (raised arms pose): Breathe in and lift your arms up and slowly bend backwards. 
  3. Hastapadasana (standing forward bend): Breathe out and bend forward from the waist. Slowly bring your hands down to touch the floor. 
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (equestrian pose): Breathe in and push your right leg back, stretching it as much as possible. Touch the right knee on the floor as you press your chest against your left thigh and look up.
  5. Dandasana (Stick pose): Breathing in, slowly take your left leg back such that the whole body is aligned to form a straight line.
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara (salute with eight parts or points): Slowly touch your knees down to the floor as you exhale. Slightly lift your hips and rest your chest and chin on the floor. Two hands, two feet, two knees, the chest and chin (eight parts of the body) should touch the floor.
  7. Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Slowly slide your chest upwards, with your lower body touching the ground and your waist arched backwards. Look up at the ceiling as you do so.
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog pose): Lift the hips up to bring the body into an inverted ‘V’ pose, as you face inwards.
  9. Repeat steps 4, 3, 2, and 1 in that order to complete the Surya Namaskar cycle.

2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)

The Adho Mukha Svanasana or the downward-facing dog pose is one of the most effective asanas as it stretches as well as strengthens several body parts at the same time. While you practice it for a few seconds during Surya Namaskar, you can practice this pose for a longer time for additional benefits. It is said that if you want to do just one yoga pose to ease your body after a long strenuous day, it has to be Adho Mukha Svanasana. 


Adho Mukha Svanasana

How to do it:

  1. Get into a table kind of pose with your four limbs (your arms and knees).
  2. Keep your toes firm and exhale as you gently lift your knees off the floor. Make sure to keep your elbows and knees straight.
  3. Stretch your arms forward and keep your upper body tilted towards the front.
  4. Slowly lift your hips to make an inverted V-shape with your body.
  5. Press your arms against the floor, while keeping your inner arms touching your ears and stretching your neck.
  6. Face inwards and gaze at your navel.
  7. Stay in the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your knees and body coming back to the starting position.

3. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana is one of the best yoga asanas for the back and the spine. It also helps tighten the chest muscles. Although it might look easy from the outside, internally it puts the muscles at work to make them active, and strong. Considered as the foundation or base of many yoga poses, on a physical level, Tadasana, improves the posture, and strengthens your thighs, knees, and ankles. It also firms the abdomen and buttocks. 



How to do it:

  1. Stand straight with your back stiff and feet hips-width apart.
  2. Stretch your arms ahead with palms facing forward and thumbs interlocked.
  3. Slowly bend backwards as much as you can and breathe deeply.
  4. Hold the pose for sometime before you come back to the starting position. 

4. Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat and Cow pose)

Cat-cow poses are effective to relieve headaches and at the same time open up the back and stretch the spine. It is a breath-synchronized pose that benefits the body and mind by helping improve focus, coordination and mental stability. It also benefits blood circulation in the vertebrae of the spine. 



How to do it:

  1. Place your palms and knees on the floor in a table position, keeping your spine in a straight line. 
  2. Inhale and curve up your spine to form a semi-circle to get into the cat pose.
  3. Exhale and arch your back inwards lifting your chest forward to get into the cow pose. 

5. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Balasana is a resting pose that helps the body relax, while gently stretching various parts of your body. It’s a good opportunity to pause and focus on your breathing, thus relaxing yourself.



How to do it:

  1. Sit down with your legs folded beneath you. Toes should touch the floor and knees should be spread apart. 
  2. Lean forward and touch your chest against your thighs, touching your forehead to the floor before you. 
  3. You can extend the arms in front of you or rest them by your sides.
  4. Breathe gently and deeply staying in the pose for as long as wish.

While these asanas require a dedicated routine, there are some asanas you can do while you are seated. Shoulder rolls, open chest stretch, neck stretch, chair twist, reverse prayer pose, and twisted arms are some basic exercises you can practice while seated at your chair.

You can start with any asana of your choice although Surya Namaskar is widely recommended for beginners. As much as you love to grind all day all night, taking care of your mind, body and soul is equally important and necessary. So stay happy, healthy, and stress-free. Happy International Yoga Day!

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