Yoga is an exercise that benefits both the body and mind. Incorporating this ancient practice into a daily routine can increase strength and flexibility, as well as reduce stress levels.
Many beginner-friendly styles of yoga exist, including chair yoga, which provides seated postures that are accessible to people with limited mobility. These poses help beginners build the necessary strength and confidence to take on more challenging postures.
Mountain Pose, also known as Tadasana, is a foundational standing posture that can help beginners to become grounded and centered. It builds stability and strength in the legs, core, and back to improve posture and balance. It is also a great pose to practice mindful breathing while staying in.
Begin by distributing your weight evenly across both feet. Your feet should be hip-width apart or the bases of the big toes touching, whichever is easier for you to balance in. Rock from side to side and back to front a few times to find your center.
For a more challenging version of the pose, stand with your back against a wall. Only the back of your buttocks, heels, and shoulders should touch the wall.
Urdhva Hastasana (OOrd-vaa h
Start with mountain pose, placing your big toe mounds touching with a sliver of space between the heels. On an inhale, extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
This pose opens the side of your body, strengthens the spine and shoulders and stretches the chest and belly muscles, improving digestion. It also improves respiratory health and relieves anxiety and fatigue. The stretch in the front ribcage also helps to relieve asthma.
Pyramid Pose, also known as Parsvottanasana, is a deep standing stretch that strengthens the legs and stretches the back. It improves the practitioner’s balance and posture, and also increases their ability to breathe deeply. This pose also helps to strengthen the core and improves digestion.
Often beginners struggle to maintain the integrity of this posture because they fail to keep the hips square and their back flat. This can overstretch the back and limit the benefit of the stretch.
To avoid this mistake, stand with your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart and place blocks under each hand if needed to decrease the intensity of the forward fold. This allows the hands to rest on the floor rather than behind the back, which can be easier for beginner’s to perform.
One of the most basic yet effective lower-body exercises, lunges are done by both weight-lifters for strength training and yogis as part of their yoga routines. Whether you’re performing front, reverse or other variations, these moves help strengthen and tone the quads, glutes, adductor muscles (side glute), calves, and hamstrings.
Start with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core. Take a large step backward with your left foot, then lower your body until your back knee hovers just above the floor and your front knee is over your ankle.
You can do lunges without holding weights to make them easier on your knees, or use a medicine ball for added challenge. Holding the medicine ball forces you to work your core and upper body as well, which improves balance, coordination and ability to resist forces in different planes of motion – important skills for all sports and daily life.
Savasana, or Corpse Pose, is the final pose of a yoga session. It might seem boring or a waste of time, especially after a physically intense class or a long day at work, but it’s important to stay in this pose for the full 10 minutes or more that your instructor asks you to do so.
It’s a restorative posture that relaxes the body and mind. It’s the perfect way to conclude a class. It’s also an amazing posture for those who have back injuries or are pregnant. To make it more comfortable, try putting two yoga blocks in the shape of a “T” on the floor and placing a bolster on top of them for support of the chest, shoulders, and head.
The benefits of corpse pose are numerous and include the release of endorphins, which boost mood. This is an essential pose for all yogis to incorporate into their routines.