In this fast-moving world, anything that gives you the opportunity to slow down and take in the beauty around you is worth exploring. The practice of yoga offers just that. Though original practitioners of this thousands-of-years-old spiritual discipline may not have had the continual rings of their cell phones or the continually updating social media to escape, they knew one thing: Yoga made them feel good.
It turns out yoga does much more than just calm and relax; it has proven medical benefits. From increasing muscle strength and tone to improving circulatory health, regular yoga practice can leave you looking and feeling better. If you wish to reap these health rewards, don’t be scared away by the seeming complexity of this practice. Start small with simple and easy-to-perform yoga poses.
Regardless of how uncoordinated or inflexible you may currently be, you can successfully perform mountain pose, which is the easiest of all yoga poses. To get into mountain pose, stand up straight with your feet together. Relax your shoulders. While taking a deep, cleansing breath bring your hands up into the air.
Keep your arms straight and position your hands so your palms face inward. Extend your arms as far as you can, reaching your fingertips to the sky. And that’s it. You’re in mountain pose, you yoga master, you!
Feeling powerless? Then master this dominant and power-rich yoga pose. Start this pose by standing with your legs three to four feet apart. Position your right foot so it’s turned approximately 90 degrees. Turn our left foot in a bit to help maintain your balance. Put your hands on your hips and relax your shoulders.
When you feel adequately relaxed, put your arms out straight, palms down, so they are parallel to the ground. Lean forward, bending your right knee only at a 90-degree angle and turn your neck so you are looking toward your right hand. Hold this pose for one minute before releasing.
Repeat the pose, switching to your left side, to truly unleash your power and properly work all of your muscles.
Though this one does require a bit of balance, it works your core beautifully, making it well worth the effort. Begin your transition into tree pose by standing with your legs shoulder-length apart. Let your arms rest at your sides.
Move all of your weight over to your left foot and lift your right foot up, bending the leg at the knee. Place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Take a few seconds to get yourself balanced.
Once you feel comfortable, place your hands in front of you, palms together, as if you are praying. In yoga, this is called, unsurprisingly, prayer position. Inhale and, when you do, straighten your arms and lift your hands to the sky. Maintain this position for 30 seconds. After you finish, repeat on the other side of your body.
This yoga pose is arguably the best known, thanks to its giggle-inducing name. To begin this pose, get onto your hands and knees. Take a second to perfect your all-fours position, adjusting yourself so your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly below your hips.
Now that you have that part right, start to walk your hands forward. With your fingers splayed and your palms pressed against the mat, move forward until your hands arms are stretched straight above your head and you are at approximately a 45-degree angle with your mat.
Finish your positioning by lifting your hips toward the celling and rocking back onto your feet. Your palms and the soles of your feet should be flat against the mat. If you’ve done it properly, you should be forming an upside-down V. Maintain this pose and breath in and out three to four times before moving back to your initial all-fours position.