It’s time to roll out your yoga mat and explore the blend of physical and mental exercises that for thousands of years have caught yoga practitioners around the globe. The appeal of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yogi or yogini to reap the benefits. The building blocks of yoga are poses. These are good ones to learn as you build a regular yoga practice. These 10 poses are a complete yoga workout.
This calming pose is a good default pause position. You can use a child’s pose to rest and refocus before continuing to your subsequent pose. It gently tightens your lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles and loosens your spine, shoulders and neck.
Do it: When you want to get a nice soft stretch through your neck spine and hips.
Skip it: If you have knee injuries or ankle problems. Avoid also if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant.
Be mindful: Focus on loosening the muscles of the spine and lower back as you breathe.
Downward-facing dog increases the arms strength, shoulders and back while stretching the hamstrings, calves and arches of your feet. It can also help relieve back pain.
Do it: To help ease back discomfort.
Skip it: This pose is not recommended if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist problems, have high blood pressure or are in the late stages of pregnancy.
Be mindful: Concentrate on distributing the load evenly through your palms and raising your hips up and back, away from your shoulders.
A commonly seen exercise, plank helps build strength in the core, shoulders, arms and legs.
Do it: Plank pose is beneficial if you are looking to tone your abs and build strength in your upper body.
Skip it: Avoid plank pose if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. It can be hard on your wrists.
Be mindful: As you do a plank, imagine the back of your neck and spine stretching.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose
This push-up variation follows plank pose in a common yoga sequence known as the sun salutation. It is a good pose to learn if you want to eventually work on more difficult poses, such as arm stability or inversions.
Do it: Like plank, this pose strengthens arms and wrists and shapes the abdomen.
Skip it: If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, a shoulder injury or are pregnant.
Be mindful: Press your palms steadily into the floor and lift your shoulders away from the floor as you hold this posture.
This back-bending pose can help stimulate the back muscles, improve spinal flexibility and expands the chest, shoulders and abdomen.
Do it: This post is great for strengthening the back.
Skip it: If you have arthritis in your spine or neck, a low-back injury or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Be mindful: Try to keep your navel drawing up away from the ground as you hold this pose.
Beyond helping improve your balance, it can also increase your core, ankles, calves, thighs and spine strength.
Do it: Great for working on your stability and posture.
Skip it: You may want to skip this pose if you have low blood pressure or any medical conditions that impair your balance.
Be mindful: Focus on your breath in and out as you hold this pose.
Triangle, which is a part of various yoga series helps build muscle power in the legs and stretches the hips, spine, chest, shoulders, groins, hamstrings and calves. It can also help improve mobility in the hips and neck.
Do it: This pose is great for increasing strength and durability.
Skip it: Avoid this pose if you have a headache or low blood pressure.
Be mindful: Keep uplifting your raised arm toward the ceiling. It helps keep the pose buoyant.
Seated Half-Spinal Twist Pose
This twisting pose can improve the flexibility in your back while stretching the shoulders, hips and chest. It can also help reduce tension in the middle of your back.
Do it: To release tight muscles around the shoulders and upper and lower back.
Skip it: If you have a back injury.
Be mindful: Lift your torso with each inhale, and twist as you exhale.
This is a back-bending pose that stretches the muscles of the chest, back and neck. It also builds strength in the back and hamstring muscles.
Do it: If you sit most of the day, this pose will help you open your upper chest.
Skip it: Avoid this pose if you have a neck injury.
Be mindful: While holding this pose, try to keep your chest lifted and your sternum toward your chin.
Like life, yoga classes typically end with this pose. It allows for a moment of relaxation, but some people find it difficult to stay still in this pose. However, the more you try this pose, the easier it is to sink into a relaxing, meditative state.
Do it: Always!
Skip it: If you don’t want to have a moment’s peace.
Be mindful: Feel the weight of your body sinking into your mat one part at a time.