Six Yoga Poses For Everyone
The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a professional to reap the benefits. No matter your age or fitness level yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body. Don’t be intimidated by the complicated poses. Yoga is for everyone.
The building blocks of yoga are the poses. So here are 6 great poses to learn as you build a regular yoga practice.
These 6 poses are a complete yoga workout. Move slowly through each pose, remembering to breathe as you move. Pause after any pose you find challenging, especially if you are short of breath, and start again when your breathing returns to normal. The idea is to hold each pose for a few, slow breaths before moving on to the next one.
This calming pose is a good default pause position. You can use the child’s pose to rest and refocus before continuing to your next pose. Stretching your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles and relaxing your spine, shoulders and neck.
Do it: When you want to get a nice gentle stretch.
Skip it: If you have knee injuries, also avoid it if you are pregnant.
Modify: You can rest your head on a cushion or block. You can place a rolled towel under your ankles if they are uncomfortable.
Be mindful: Focus on relaxing the muscles of the spine and lower back as you breathe.
Downward-facing dog strengthens the arms, shoulders and back whilst stretching the hamstrings, calves and arches of your feet.
Do it: To help relieve back pain.
Skip it: This pose is not recommended if you have wrist problems, or are in the late stages of pregnancy.
Modify: You can do the pose with your elbows on the ground, which takes the weight off your wrists. You can also use blocks under your hands, which may feel more comfortable.
Be mindful: Focus on distributing the weight evenly through your palms and lifting your hips up and back, away from your shoulders.
A commonly seen exercise outside of yoga, planks help build strength in the core, shoulders, arms and legs.
Do it: Plank pose is good if you are looking to tone your abs and build strength in your upper body.
Skip it: Avoid plank pose if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be hard on your wrists. You might also skip it or modify it if you have low back pain.
Modify: You can modify it by placing your knees on the floor.
Be mindful: As you do a plank, imagine the back of your neck and spine lengthening.
This back-bending pose can help strengthen the back muscles, increase spinal flexibility and stretches the chest, shoulders and abdomen.
Do it: This post is great for strengthening the back.
Skip it: If you have a lower-back or neck injury
Modify: Lift up a few inches, and don’t try to straighten your arms.
Be mindful: Try to keep your navel drawing up away from the floor as you hold this pose.
Beyond helping improve your balance, it can also strengthen your core, ankles, calves, thighs and spine.
Do it: Great for working on your balance and posture.
Skip it: You may want to skip this pose if you have any medical conditions that affect your balance.
Modify: Place one of your hands on a wall for support.
Be mindful: Focus on your breath in and out as you hold this pose.
This is a back-bending pose that stretches the muscles of the chest, back and neck. It also builds strength in the back and hamstring muscles.
Do it: If you sit most of the day, this pose will help you open your upper chest.
Skip it: Avoid this pose if you have a neck injury.
Modify: Place a block between your thighs to help keep the legs and feet in proper alignment. Or you can place a block under your pelvis if your lower back is bothering you.
Be mindful: While holding this pose, try to keep your chest lifted and your sternum toward your chin.
See you on the mat.