Yoga poses are fitness exercises that have a proven track record of success in bringing about wellness of body, mind and soul. This is achieved by performing simple poses each day that strengthen and tone the muscles, promote deep concentration and enhance deep reflection. These exercises involve mindful stretching of different body parts through standing poses, forward bends, inversions and backward bends. During the exercise session, one pays attention to the body alignment. In addition, one should become aware of varying sensations in the body, brought about by each pose. The poses are not only simple but economical too as one does not need to go to the gym to practice them. Here are some poses that you can practice daily, in the comfort of your house:
This yoga pose is a forward bend that tones the muscles of the lower limbs, relaxes the muscles around the hip joint and aligns the spinal cord. This is a good example of a standing forward bend, performed while standing. In order to effectively achieve this pose, exhale deeply and fold your legs over into a forward bend. Bend the knees to ease pressure on the spine, should you feel some tightness in the hamstring. Keep the head hanging and gradually straighten the legs. As a beginner, you may feel uncomfortable a few minutes into this posture. However, with regular practice you should be able to hold on to this pose for an extended period of time.
This is also known as camel pose, performed to bring about great body alignment. It is possible to maintain this pose for a prolong period of time as the lower back is adequately supported and the neck is placed in a comfortable position. Stand on your exercise mat and bend your knees with your feet slightly apart. Wrap up your hands around the hips and lower down the tailbone. Lift your lower abdomen to ease the pressure from the pelvis region. Elevate your chest while keeping your hands on the hips and move your shoulders back. Breathe deeply 8-10 times with your hands on the hips.
Malasana is a squat, commonly known as garland pose. It is performed by releasing the lower back and opening up the hips. In order to achieve the desirable squat posture, move your feet outwards with your knees bent. Turn your toes outwards if need be. Note that if your feet fail to touch the floor, you may feel uncomfortable and get tired instead of relaxing. In this case, roll up a blanket and place your feet on it for support. If your job entails sitting or driving for long hours, it is advisable to practice this pose regularly as it releases the tension around the hip area.
This is an extended triangle pose that plays a great role in releasing tension present in the lower back region. Also, it strengthens the spine bringing deep relaxation to the entire body and mind. This pose is performed while standing hence highly recommended after many hours of sitting in the office. Create equal length in the trunk of your body, by placing the hands on the ground. However, this may put unnecessary pressure on the lower body if one is a yoga novice. In this case, the pose can be achieved by placing the hands on a block away from the exercise mat or slightly below the knees.
Dandasana is also known as staff pose, performed while seated. Stretch-out the legs in front of you and ensure that the feet are flexed hence providing extra support. Place the shoulders over the hips, to keep the spine straight and long. Engage the arms by either keeping them straight or slightly bending them.
Another name for this great yoga posture is mountain pose, normally performed while standing. To achieve this position, root the heels firmly on the exercise mat and push the shoulders directly above the hips. Consciously breathe deeply and slowly slide the shoulder blades down the back, allowing the crown of the head to rise. If you feel some discomfort along the spine, relax, take a deep breath and repeat the process to acquire the posture.
This arms raised pose is an effective morning stretch that involves body alignment and breathing. To achieve the posture, breathe in deeply while slowly rising your hands up above your head. When lifting the hands, ensure that the heels are firmly placed on the ground. Once your arms are over your head, move your shoulders off the ears while consciously moving your finger tips as if you are reaching for something up there. To ease tension from the neck, tilt the head slightly backwards to gaze at your hands.