We’ve all heard the saying, “your body is a temple.” As with every temple, your body needs proper maintenance. What better maintenance is there for your body than yoga?
Yoga is said to be the ancient practice of connecting the mind and body through chakras. It generates inner peace with oneself, which then helps with anxiety and our mental health.
Yet, there are some misconceptions about yoga; you don’t have to be a fitness nut to benefit from it. This isn’t true at all! Yoga is for everyone willing to give it a try. Here are some beginner yoga poses and their benefits for your mind, body, and overall health.
The Adho Mukha Svanasana is also known as the downward-dog. The pose commands equal strength between the upper and lower body, allowing you to bend forward with your upper body strength, generating a boost of energy.
How to do it:
- Position yourself so that your hands and your knees are parallel to your shoulders and hips
- Greatly extend your hands and make sure your thumb and index finger are applying pressure to the mat
- Raise your posterior up and then back; make sure your hips are facing upwards
- The correct pose: facing your knees, your head should be between your arms, and your back must be flat
- Try to see if you can hold that pose for a minimum of five to a maximum of 10 breaths
Possibly one of the most conventional yoga poses, the plank, is said to be able to help strengthen the core muscles of the body, i.e., the chest, lower back, and abdomen. It helps train the body for more physically demanding balances and strengthens the spine muscles, improving your posture.
How to Do it
- Position yourself so that your hands and knees are parallel to your shoulders and hips
- Raise your knees up and elongate your legs. If done correctly, your body should resemble a straight line
- Ensure your palms are flat on the floor and your hands and shoulders are still parallel, shoulders directly above your wrists
- Keep calm and ensure that you do not experience any discomfort or back pain
- Try to hold the pose for a minimum of three to a maximum of five breaths
The triangle pose can help your body with strengthening your legs and inner thighs. It can also help generate more flexibility in the mid to lower areas, i.e., the groin, hamstrings, and hips, and can also relieve pain in the chest and shoulder muscles, as well as propagate balance. As the title says, your body should resemble a triangle.
When practicing this pose, make sure to be aware of the deep stretch within your groin and hips. If balance is a problem, focus on your breath. This is said to be one of the more balance-demanding poses. If you find yourself struggling, we recommend a block to aid in maintaining balance by placing it underneath your right hand during the pose.
How to Do it:
- Position yourself standing with your feet apart. Take a deep breath and raise your arms to make a “T” pose
- You can start on either your right or left foot: pivot your preferred foot so that it’s perpendicular to the other foot (about 90 degrees)
- Make sure the other toe is facing forward. Exhale, then lift your chest and bring your right hand down to the lowest point physically possible for you
- Straighten up your legs and press your feet into the floor.
- Ensure that your arms are still straightened out
Having good balance is an achievable goal, no matter what your body size or normal body stability. The tree pose is an excellent exercise that boosts our mental focus and awareness of our bodies. In addition, it aids us in using our core muscles to properly coordinate the upper and lower body.
How to Do It
- Position yourself into the “Mountain Pose” – standing straight up with your feet creating a triangle
- Position the foot you feel most comfortable starting with to the inner thigh of your opposite leg
- Press said foot into the thigh. If done successfully, the knee should be sticking out and facing down
- When you feel comfortably balanced, place your hands in a prayer pose, which can be either in front of your chest or above your head
- Clear your mind and meditate
- Try to old for a minimum of five to a maximum of 20 breaths, then rotate sides
Yoga can be a fun and engaging activity to manage stress, mental health, and many other physical and mental ailments. Try it out. You might just find a new favorite exercise routine.