As a form of exercise, yoga has so many applications and benefits. We get ‘yoga’ from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ and there many translations and interpretations but commonly, it’s agreed that it means to bring together, to join, merge and unite. That’s exactly what yoga does, it brings together the physical, spiritual and mental sides of a person. When this happens, yoga can be used for anything from increasing strength and flexibility to soothing aching muscles, improving sleep to reducing stress and anxiety.
It’s those latter two benefits that we’re going to be focusing on today and it probably comes at just the right time, especially considering the incredibly trying times we all find ourselves in. For the following yoga poses we’re about to run through (or asanas to give them their proper name), they can either be done on their own or you could piece them together to create some sort of flow, it’s entirely up to you. One of the many beautiful things about yoga is that there aren’t any overbearing rules, just do what works for you.
A lot of people who are new to yoga can be dismissive of this pose and that’s understandable, at first glance, aren’t you just lying down? There are many established and well-respected yogis who would as far to say that is actually one of the most difficult yoga poses you can do. Corpse pose challenges you to achieve complete relaxation by quietening your thoughts and bringing the body to a place of stillness.
For an easy to follow demonstration check out this video:
This is a great pose if you’re looking to give the back, hips and thighs a gentle stretch. You can use child’s pose first thing in the morning, throughout the day and of course last thing at night. It’s just a great way of slowing things down and bringing the mind and body back to centre.
If you’re looking for some expert demonstration watch the video below:
Legs up the wall pose
Legs up the wall is a great pose for many reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t require you to be the most flexible person in the world and that can often be a worry or hurdle for yoga newcomers. Secondly, it’s a passive pose so once you’ve got yourself into position, that’s really all you need to do. Get yourself comfortable and enjoy a few precious moments of stillness.
As with the other poses, here’s a great demonstration if you’re unsure of the specifics:
We end our little list with another pose that’s ideal for stretching the back and legs, it’s particularly great if you’ve spent maybe a few too many hours hunched over a computer. As well as aiding relaxation and reducing stress, it’s also said that bridge pose can help can also help regulate metabolism.
If you’re interested in further expanding your own knowledge about yoga and perhaps you’ve even been inspired to become a teacher and help others, check out HFE’s selection of yoga instructor courses.
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