WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is a mind and body practice - a combination of physical and mental exercises that for thousands of years have hooked yoga practitioners worldwide. Different styles of yoga combine physical bearing, breathing techniques, and meditation.
Regardless of your age, weight, and whether you’re a yogi or not, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body.
BUILDING BLOCKS OF YOGA
Poses are considered to be the building blocks of yoga. These poses provide the foundation for a strong and balanced yoga practice, and it's vital to establish a solid relationship with them.
Here are 5 yoga poses you need to know:
This calming pose is a good default pause position, a go-to pose whenever you need to rest for a moment during a yoga workout. It gently stretches your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles and relaxes your spine, shoulders and neck.
1. Kneel on your hands and knees, with your hands in front of your shoulders and your knees about hip width apart, or wider if that is more comfortable and your big toes touching.
2. As you exhale, lower your buttocks toward your heels as your torso rests on your thighs, or between your thighs, and your head rests on the floor or a block or cushion.
3. Rest your arms alongside the thighs, palms facing up.
4. Release the muscles around the spine and hips and take several slow breaths.
Downward-facing dog is one of the most common yoga poses. It strengthens the arms, shoulders and back while stretching the hamstrings, calves and arches of your feet. It can also help relieve back pain.
1. Start on your hands and knees, with your hands shoulder-distance apart and your knees under your hips, toes tucked.
2. Inhale, press evenly into your palms and raise your knees off the ground.
3. Lift your hips up and back, working to lengthen your spine.
4. Exhale as you begin to straighten your legs as much as possible, heels reaching toward the ground. If your legs are straight, lift the thigh muscles strongly up as you press into the ground with your feet.
5. Lift the shoulders away from the ears and flatten the shoulder blades on your back. Rotate your upper arms down towards the floor. Firm your outer hips in toward the center.
6. Keep inhaling and exhaling evenly as you hold the pose.
A commonly seen exercise, plank helps build strength in the core, shoulders, arms and legs.
1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog pose.
2. Inhale and shift forward until your body is in a straight line, shoulders stacked over your wrists and heels above the balls of the feet.
3. Exhale as you press down through your forearms and hands, gazing at the floor in front of you. Imagine the back of your neck and spine lengthening.
4. Keep breathing steadily as you hold the pose for as long as you can, engaging the core muscles by drawing your navel into the body and toward your spine. Keep your thighs lifted and your hips high, but don’t let your rear stick up too high.
This balancing pose is one of the most recognized poses in modern yoga. It improves your balance and can also strengthen your core, ankles, calves, thighs and spine.
1. Stand on your mat, with your feet together, or slightly apart, if that is more comfortable. Take a couple of breaths.
2. Slowly shift your weight to your right leg.
3. Raise your left leg and clasp your ankle to guide the sole of the left foot to the inner thigh of the right leg. Try to keep your hips level.
4. Press your foot against your thigh and your thigh against your foot. Lift up through your standing leg, core and chest.
5. Breathe regularly as you hold the pose for a few breaths. You can bring your palms together at your chest, or raise your arms above your head if you feel stable enough.
6. Lower your left leg and try the other side.
Though it may be easy to look at, it can be quite challenging to lie in corpse pose for an extended period of time. Yoga classes typically end with this pose as it allows a moment of relaxation.
1. Lie down on your back.
2. Straighten both legs along the floor; the feet can turn out slightly. If your lower back is uncomfortable, you can place a rolled-up blanket under your knees.
3. Your arms can rest a few inches from your body, with the backs of the hands on the floor. Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor.
4. Fully release your weight into the mat and let your muscles relax. Breathe normally.
The benefits of a regular yoga practice are extensive. A complete yoga workout can help keep your back and joints healthy, improve your general bearing, stretch and strengthen muscles and enhance your balance. Yoga aims towards "a healthy mind in a healthy body".
Maintain a balance between oneself and environment, practice the art of simplicity with Yoga!