What is Yoga? | 5 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Health and Flexibility

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an ancient practice with origins stretching back thousands of years in India. The yoga poses are designed to help achieve a more positive outlook on life and create a healthier mind and body.  These poses were also created to stretch your muscles making them more flexible, providing stability, balance and flexibility.

Yoga is also a mental workout with the focus on breathing, staying present and recognizing what you need to eliminate mentally and physically.   

This practice is for men and women of all ages and all fitness levels.   Every yoga practice can be tailored to your individual needs and whether you need to lose some extra pounds, stretch those tight muscles or release the stresses of modern life, yoga can enhance your exercise routine and give you the power, strength and determination to improve your overall health.

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Yoga Poses

A few Yoga poses practiced daily will help to regulate the breath and relax the body by gently releasing tension from the large muscle groups.

Yoga allows us to let our body rest and release any tension in the posture by gently stretching the muscles. By holding these postures, your body responds to the movement of energy by gently massaging your internal organs.

Might I suggest an Aromatherapy Diffuser to enhance your yoga practice. The aromatherapy essence created from a diffuser penetrates all yours senses making it a very soothing and relaxing environment.

Essential Oils Kit

Below are 5 Beginner Yoga Poses you can do in the comfort of your own home. As I always tell my students; “Do your best and forget the rest!”

Tree Pose

TREE POSE

Stand with your feet together and the arms down by your side. Find a focal point to hold your gaze. Slowly transfer the weight onto the left leg and bend the right knee. Slowly move your foot and ankle and try and place the sole of the foot against the inner left thigh. Remember.. Do your best and forget the rest.

Now join the palms together in prayer and maintain your gaze to create stability. Hold the position for as long as you can, then release. Lower the hands and foot and redistribute the weight evenly.

Triangle Pose

TRIANGLE POSE

Stand with the feet wide apart and keep the legs straight. Turn the right foot out 90 degrees and turn the left foot in slightly. Roll the right thigh outward, so the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle.

Reach the arms out to the sides; shoulder height. Bend from the hip and extend the torso directly over the right leg. Rest the right hand on the shin, or ankle. Stretch the left arm towards the ceiling. Stay in this pose for up to 1 minute.

Sometimes it helps to use a Yoga block to support the body during a yoga pose, especially if you are a beginner. Blocks also allow a deeper alignment and expression in any yoga pose.

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PRIVATE YOGA SESSIONS

I offer private, custom yoga instruction to individuals.  All yoga sessions can be done in person (if you live within driving distance) or we can do the lessons through video which is very effective.  I have been practicing and teaching yoga for over 12 years. 

Whether you are new to yoga or a seasoned pro, I will meet you where you are in your practice and work with you to achieve your goals. Private yoga lessons are a wonderful way to begin the exploration yoga as a new practitioner or deepen and expand your established practice.  One-on-one work is also beneficial to those who are crunched for time, need a little extra motivation.  Private lessons are an investment in YOU.  Click HERE to contact me!

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If you are looking for a safe non-toxic yoga mat, then try the  Thinksport Yoga Mat.  This was the first yoga mat I purchased when I began practicing yoga 14 years ago.  It’s 50% more thicker than basic mats which provides better support and comfort.

Cobra Pose

COBRA POSE

Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you. Place your hands under your shoulders and point your fingers toward the top of the mat. Try and hug your elbows into the sides of your body.

Slowly lift your chest and head. Extend your shoulders back and shine your heart. If you are a beginner or have neck pain then just keep your gaze forward and do not hyper extend your neck. Now straighten your arms as much as your body allows.

Hold the pose for at least 5-8 breaths. To release, exhale and slowly lower your chest and forehead to the mat.

Half Lotus

HALF LOTUS

Begin by sitting in a seated position and place your foot on the inside of your thigh. Bend the other leg and place the foot on top of the opposite thigh.

Rest the hands on the knees and make sure the head, neck and back remain straight. Close the eyes, relax the body and breathe.

Back Stretching Pose

Begin in a seated position and rest the hands on the thighs. Hinge forward from the hips, slowly lower your torso over the legs and slide the hands toward the toes.

Lengthen the torso to elongate the spine to keep the neck and head aligned. Keep taking slow deep breaths and hold the pose for as long as you can. (preferably 5-10 breaths) Then slowly raise the torso back to a seated position.

Can You Do Yoga?

Yes, you can!  One of the benefits of practicing yoga is the poses support and sustain you no matter how you come to the mat.  Whether your having a good day or bad day, physical or emotional issues, yoga can help you through your difficulties. When you approach yoga with care and self-compassion, you will see your practice grow and evolve with you.

Many people think they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but it’s a little bit like thinking you need to be able to play tennis in order to take tennis lessons. Come as you are and yoga will meet you at your level of awareness.  You will discover yoga is a powerful tool to self-transformation.

If you are in need of more peace and relaxation in your life… download my FREE meditation tape entitled “Your Journey To Inner Peace“. Enjoy!

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Love and Hugs, XO