Yoga is an ancient practice that uses meditation, breathing exercises, and postures to improve strength, flexibility, and mental clarity. There are many different styles of yoga, but one of the most popular and accessible is Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is an umbrella term that is used to refer to all physical yoga styles, and can be particularly beneficial for complete beginners. It’s the perfect introduction for anyone who is looking to find out more about yoga and develop a home practice.
Mountain Pose may look deceptively simple, but it is actually one of the most important poses in Hatha Yoga. It is an opportunity to practice keeping your spine lengthened and your legs firmly grounded. Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart, reach your arms up over your head, and find a look of alertness and readiness in your facial expression. Spend a few moments in this pose and observe your posture to ensure it is aligned and strong.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is one of the most iconic poses in yoga. From a standing position, move into a forward fold, then walk your hands outwards. Engage your core and press your heels into the ground to tuck your tailbone under and form an inverted V with your body. Bring your shoulders back while keeping your neck long. Your spine should be lengthened and your gaze should be to your feet. your breathe should be deep and steady.
Tree Pose is a great way to practice your balance and mindfulness. Begin by standing on one foot – you can bolster your balance by bringing the sole of your nontraditional foot against your supporting ankle. Raise your arms over your head and bring your hands together, or rest one hand on your hip. Straighten and lengthen your spine, pull your shoulders up and back, and close your eyes if you like. Take five slow, deep breaths in this pose and then switch sides.
The Warrior pose is a staple in most Hatha Yoga classes. Starting from a standing position, take a big step forward and lower your hips so that your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your back knee is straight and your back toes are tucked under. Bring your arms over your head and ensure that your back is extended and your chest is open. Look forward, focusing on a point ahead of you, and hold the pose for five breaths.
Camel Pose is a great way to stretch the entire front of your body, particularly the abdomen and hip flexors. Begin by kneeling, then slowly sit back onto your heels. Place your hands on your lower back, and press your heels down for a better stretch. If you are feeling comfortable, reach your hands back and grip your feet. Take five deep breaths and then come out of the pose.