To the non-practicing layman, yoga poses might seem elementary, but each pose, has a proper approach and purpose. Some can even have more than one purpose. Are you familiar with these beginners’ yoga poses?
If you are a yoga beginner or if you are considering taking up yoga as part of a healthful living regimen, here are a few poses with instructions for the yoga novice.
Chair pose – utkata
The chair pose in yoga internally stimulates the heart and diaphragm. It also physically works the muscles in your arms and legs.
- Begin by standing in mountain pose. Raise your arms positioned perpendicularly to the floor as you inhale. While keeping your arms parallel to each other, you may join your palms, or simply face them inward.
- Exhale while bending your knees to position your thighs as parallel to the floor as you can physically achieve. Your knees will extend over your feet, torso leaning forward to form a right angle over your thighs. Press your thigh bones toward the knees while keeping your inner thighs parallel.
- While firming your shoulder blades, press your tailbone downward to the floor and into your pubis.
- Maintain for 30 seconds. Then, straighten your knees while inhaling, lifting through your arms. Exhale and release your arms back to your side into mountain pose.
Downward-facing dog pose – adho mukha svanasana
Downward-facing dog is probably the most well-known yoga pose – if not by sight, by its name. The purpose of this pose is for an ultimate full-body stretch.
- Begin on your hands and knees, setting your knees below your hips with your hands slightly extended beyond your shoulders. Spread your palms with your index fingers parallel to each other. Turn your toes under.
- As you exhale, lift your knees from the floor. Keep the knees bent and heels lifted from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone by pressing it toward your pubis. Lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling, drawing your inner legs up into your groins from your inner ankles.
- While exhaling, push your thighs back and stretch your heels onto the floor. Straighten your knees without locking them. Roll your upper thighs inward while firming the outer thighs.
- Press the bases of your index fingers into the floor while keeping the outer arms firm. Lift your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of your shoulders. With firm shoulder blades, begin to widen them and press them toward your tailbone. Maintain your head positioned between your upper arms without allowing it to hang.
- Remain in downward-facing dog at least one minute to a maximum of three minutes. Bend your knees back to the floor while exhaling and rest in child’s pose.
Child’s pose – balasana
Child’s pose, also highly recognized, is one of rest, and is useful between demanding yoga poses.
- Begin by kneeling on the floor. With your big toes touching, sit onto your heels, and separate your knees to the width of your hips.
- While exhaling, rest your torso down between your thighs. Expand your sacrum and narrow your hip points in toward your navel. Lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck while lengthening your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis.
- Lay your hands, palms up, on the floor beside your torso, and release your shoulders toward the floor.
- You can maintain child’s pose at rest, from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. To come out of child’s pose, lengthen the front of your torso. Then lift from the tailbone while exhaling, as it presses toward the pelvis.
Also read: Could the fountain of youth be found in a Charlotte yoga or meditation class?
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