Yoga is an ancient practice that has been around for centuries, helping people to align with their innermost selves, connecting to stillness and peace within themselves. It has been adopted by many around the world as a way to peacefully cope with stress, restore balance and find joy in life. There are many poses in yoga, each offering its own unique benefits, and when practiced diligently and mindfully, the individual can experience a deep and lasting inner peace. The following yoga poses can be practiced to help energize the body, while other poses help relax the the mind and soul.
Bakasana (Crane Pose)
Bakasana, also known as the Crane Pose, is a great way to strengthen the arms and wrists. To begin the pose, start in a squat position on the floor. Place your hands on the ground in front of you and move your feet forward until the legs are straight and your hips are resting on your upper arms. Slowly lean forward and begin to walk your feet forward as you lift your feet off the ground and balance the weight of your body on your arms. When you find your balance, tilt your head back and gaze up towards the sky. To release from the pose, gently drop the feet to the ground and straighten the legs.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Utkatasana, also known as the Chair Pose, is a great way to energize the body and strengthen the legs. To begin the pose, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and ground the feet into the earth. Plant your palms together in pray pose at the heart center, drawing the elbows up and back, and drawing the shoulder blades down the back. As you inhale, begin to bend the knees, sending them back and towards each other as if sitting down on an invisible chair. Bring the pelvis forward as you exhale, deeply stretching the upper body. For an extra challenge, raise the arms overhead and press the fingertips together. To release from the pose, slowly come back up to straighten the legs.
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Ardha Chandrasana, or the Half Moon Pose, is an energizing asana that helps to balance the body and stretch the spine and hamstrings. To begin the pose, start in extended side angle pose with the right foot forward and the left leg stretched back behind you. Place the left palm on the left hip. As you inhale, draw your right arm up and over the ear, and look up towards the sky with the front of the body. As you exhale, extend the legs and lift and lengthen up through the spine, balancing the weight of your body on the right foot and the palm of the right hand. To release from the pose, gently lower the left palm back down to the hip and let the right arm rest at the side of the body. Repeat on the left side.
By practicing these poses mindfully, you will find yourself feeling energized, balanced and relaxed. Yoga is a wonderful way to move, stretch and restore the body, while allowing yourself to create peace and stillness within.