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August 21, 2017 by Sarah Biel
For thousands of years, people have been practicing yoga as a way to improve both mentally and physically. Contrary to what many believe about yoga, you do not have to be an expert, go to expensive yoga studios, or invest in pricey equipment or clothing.
Yoga can be done anywhere by anyone. If you are interested or curious about improving your everyday health, below are the immense benefits yoga has to offer along with five poses that anybody in any situation can perform.
The Benefits of Yoga
No matter what your body’s age, size, or type is, setting aside 10 minutes and doing the five yoga poses below everyday will have tremendous benefits to your everyday health. One of the major benefits of doing yoga is improved emotional health. Practicing yoga either with others or just by yourself in a calm and soothing environment can help treat sleeplessness, depression, schizophrenia, and many other psychiatric disorders.
Another major benefit is increased flexibility. So often, the body’s muscles and joints become sore and knotted because of inactivity. Doing a little yoga every day and help stretch your muscles and build them up slowly so you have more strength and flexibility which will lead to less stiffness and soreness.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
A very traditional and common yoga pose, downward facing dog is also a complete body workout. This one move can help strengthen your spine, shoulders, arms, legs, and core. It also inverts your body, reversing your blood flow and helping your circulation.
To do this pose, start out on your hands and knees. Keep your hands flat on the ground directly underneath your shoulders and your hips directly above your knees. Next, curl your toes and lift your hips up into the air. Keep your back, spine, neck, and head flat and in a straight line.
A plank pose is just the very beginning of a push-up, but without any of the moving up and down. It is a fantastic way to strengthen your core and midsection while also helping build stability in the shoulders, arms, wrists, and legs.
To get to this pose, start on all fours, curl your toes under and move your legs straight back one at a time. Like in the image shown, your legs, spine, neck, and head should form a straight, flat line. To work out your core muscles, contract your midsection and engage your leg muscles. If this is too challenging at first, you can modify it to make it easier by dropping down to your knees, still keeping that straight line from your knees to your head.
Everybody at one point in their lives is going to experience back stiffness and pain. Cat-cow is actually two poses put together into one sequence. It helps loosen your upper and lower back, hips, neck, and abdomen.
For this pose, start on all fours and slowly arch your back, lower your belly, lift your head, and bring up your hips. Then, slowly start to roll your spine back, raise your belly, and bring your head between your arms. Keep alternating these two poses back and forth, going slowly and smoothly between transitions.
Standing Forward Fold
A standing forward fold is a great pose for those who have to sit for extended periods during the day. It helps stretch out your spine, hamstrings, knees, glutes, and quadriceps. It can also be very calming to your nervous system.
Doing this pose is fairly simple. Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Slowly start folding over at your hips and not your back and go forward as much as you feel comfortable. Slightly bend your knees and let your hands and head dangle, or, if you want a little deeper stretch, straighten your legs and hold your lower legs with your arms to get a little deeper stretch.
While it may look easy, corpse pose is one of the most difficult yoga poses to master. This pose is to relax your entire body and more importantly, your mind. During corpse pose, your mind should focus solely on reflecting on your yoga practice for the day and what you want your intentions for the rest of your day to be. You should leave all negative or busy thoughts behind and just focus on being calm.
To do corpse pose, lay flat on your back, extending your arms and legs out from your body. Close your eyes and open your palms up. Loosen all the muscles in your body and try to let go of any negative feelings or emotions. This pose may be difficult at first, but once you master it, there is no better position in the world to end a yoga session.
No matter what body type you have, how in shape you are, or how much time you have, a little yoga is just one of many things you can do every day to have a happier and healthier life. Try to find some time every day to do at least the above five poses and you will notice a dramatic improvement in both your physical and mental health.
About the author:
Sarah Biel is a popular well recognized health and lifestyle expert. Sarah is well qualified in her field and is passionate about the well being, and mental state of her clients. Sarah works at Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat and Spa which offers life changing treatments based on ancient healing practices.