Yoga is an ancient practice that is still widely used today with many people appreciating its physical and mental benefits. Everything from physical fitness to emotional wellbeing can be achieved through practicing yoga. For those wanting to delve deeper, there are many poses that can be used to reap the most of these benefits.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This pose is when you stand as tall as you can with your feet together. Your toes should be pressing into the floor slightly and your palms face your thighs. You will feel some stretching in your ankles, legs and torso as well as toning in your abdominal muscles. Physically, it stretches your hamstrings and gets your joints moving, whilst on a deeper level, it opens up your heart and lungs, preparing you for the other poses.
Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
This pose requires you to step one foot forward and bend the other knee. Your arms should reach up to the sky, shoulder width apart and your palms should be facing each other. To go deeper in the pose, keep your chest lifted and press firmly into your feet, keeping your spine straight. On a physical level, this pose adds to the stretching benefits whilst strengthening your thigh and leg muscles. On an emotional and mental level, it encourages courage and teaches discipline as you maintain your balance.
Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
This pose requires you to stand tall, feet together, before transferring your weight onto one foot and lifting the other foot up and placing it against your opposite inner thigh. Your arms should be held out in front, palms facing each other, or above your head, palms pressed together (depending on your level). For physical benefits, it stretches your hips and lower back, tones your abdominal muscles and improves your balance. On a mental level, it increases concentration and helps to calm the mind, releasing any trapped energy.
In a world of ever-increasing digitalisation, it is important to keep active in unique and rewarding ways. Yoga is a great place to start as you can make it as gentle or challenging as you like. Its array of poses are also heart opening and calming which can be beneficial for mind and body. Give it a go and find out for yourself!