Yoga is an ancient practice that brings plenty of health benefits including greater flexibility, improved anxiety and depression symptoms, and reduced stress. Starting yoga can seem a little daunting, however, as there are so many postures and poses to learn. But never fear! With just a few basic poses, you’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of a mindful yoga practice.
This pose is the quintessential yoga pose. It teaches conscious body awareness, stillness, and presence. Mountain pose requires you to stand up straight and draw your shoulders back and down. Place your hands over your chest and notice your rib cage expanding on the inhale and contracting on the exhale.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward facing dog is a staple in any yoga practice. It stretches many body parts including the hamstrings, calves and spinal column. This pose also teaches body awareness, balance, and strength. To complete this pose, start on your hands and knees. Lift your hips and straighten your legs until your body is an inverted “V”. Focus on grounding your feet and hands in the ground and deep breathing.
Cobra pose is a great alternative to downward facing dog. This pose also helps to stretch and strengthen the spine. Begin by lying flat on your stomach and placing your hands under your shoulders. Push through your hands and straighten the spine until only your legs and abdomen are touching the floor. Focus on your breath and maintaining correct alignment in your spine.
Warrior I provides a great opportunity to cultivate strength, balance and focus. This pose not only strengthens the legs and legs, but helps to open the chest and shoulders. To complete this pose, step one foot back and lift your arms overhead. Draw your front knee towards a 90 degree angle and keep both legs straight and strong. Focus on your breath and feel strong, stable and energised.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
This gentle forward bend provides a great opportunity to stretch the entire body. Start by standing with your feet wide apart and toes pointed to the side. Place your hands on your hips and bring your palms together behind your back. Bend forward and try to touch the ground with your fingers. Focus on taking deep breaths and keeping your spine long and strong.
Camel pose is deeply invigorating and helpful for opening the chest and spine. To complete this pose, kneel on your knees with your feet hip-distance apart. Reach back one hand at a time and place them on the heels of your feet. Lift your chest and extend the spine, focusing on keeping the belly engaged and reaching up with the heart. Enjoy the sensations of opening your heart to the sky.