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Getting into yoga: The 5 poses that will help balance your mind and body

November 04, 2019 0 Comments

Getting into yoga: The 5 poses that will help balance your mind and body

Being in a Yoga class for the first time can seem a bit daunting. Your teacher is calling out random pose names, you don’t know which way to turn and your focus is so set on trying to keep up you’re not allowing yourself to reap all the benefits and wind down.

So how about starting simple at home? We picked our top 5 poses that you can do just about anywhere in your home. To get the most out of each pose, we recommend you holding each one for 5 long inhales and exhales, but if you’re enjoying the pose please feel free to hold it for longer and let yourself sink into it more with every breath.

We just want you to note before we start our list that it’s very important to listen to your body. It’s good to feel a stretch but if you are in pain please adjust accordingly, as you could do more harm than good.

1. Mountain Pose

This is a simple standing pose and will be your base for most poses that start with you standing up.

For this pose stand with your feet together and make sure you feel all your toes grounded. Try to keep your spine neutral and tighten your abdominals. Lift your chest and keep your shoulders down and pushed back so you feel your shoulder blades coming together. Lastly, keep your hands by your sides and make sure your palms are facing your body.

Some of the benefits of Mountain Pose include Improved posture, strength in thighs knees and ankles and can relieve sciatica.

2. Cat/Cow Pose (Bidalasana)

For this pose, you should be on all fours in a tabletop position with your wrists directly under your shoulder and your knees directly under your hips. Your hands shoulder-width apart with your palms pressed into the mat. Try to maintain the crease of your elbows facing each other for the whole duration of this pose to make sure you don’t hyperextend your joints.

As you inhale look forward or further up if it feels comfortable, reaching your tailbone towards the ceiling and arch your back again as much as is comfortable.

As you exhale, tuck your chin to your chest and arc your back.

Repeat this for as long as you need.

Some of the benefits of Cat/Cow Pose include: Helping with menstrual cramps, back pain, and sciatica. It increases flexibility and releases tension in the neck, shoulders and spine.

3. Downward Facing Dog Pose

For this pose, you will be on all fours again, but this time your knees will be lifted off the mat.

To get into this pose start in a tabletop position with your palms a little wider than shoulder-width this time and knees under your hips again. Then lift your hips towards the ceiling and back towards your heels.

If you are unable to keep your legs straight, please feel free to keep them bent. Try to keep your back shoulders straight and not to arch your back too much. Hold this position, for 5 breathes, and repeat

Some of the benefits of Downward Facing Dog include: Energizes the body, can help calm the brain and relieve stress, whilst strengthening arms and legs.

4. Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)

Start this pose from our Mountain Pose. Slowly roll down vertebrate by vertebrate with your knees slightly bent and neck and head relaxed. Let your arms hang and slowly start to straighten your legs if you can and let your hands sink further towards the floor with every breath.

When you come back up, go very slowly vertebrate by vertebrate again with your head being the last body part to come up.

Some of the benefits of Standing Forward Bend Pose include: Calming the mind and soothing the nerves, relieves tension from the spine, neck and back and can stimulate the kidneys, liver and spleen.

5. Child’s Pose

This is a great pose for any practitioner of yoga.

This pose begins on all fours again, but bring your knees and feet together, and slowly sit back on to your heels. Stretch your arms forward and rest your forehead on the mat. Release your body and take as much time as you need here, whilst letting your body sink into further relaxation with every breath.

Some of the benefits of Childs Pose include: Great for indigestion, Elongates the lower back, which is great for anyone that spends long periods of the day sitting down and it reduces stress and fatigue.