7 Yoga Poses Everyone Should Do

7 Yoga Poses Everyone Should Do

Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise because of all the proven mental, physical, and sometimes spiritual benefits. It’s important to note that there are actually many different styles referred to as “Yoga”.

It shouldn’t take long to find a style that you connect with and works well for you. Some devotees have even made it a habit to practice several styles for variety and to maximize the amount of benefits they receive…

If you are a beginner, however, the important thing is to simply begin. 

With this in mind, practicing daily would be ideal.
However, we all know on most days our schedule is not ideal.

Things happen and most of us can’t get to a class or even our mat quite as often as we’d like. What we can do is make the best of our schedule by making each practice it’s best…

The following yoga poses are great options when you are short on time, and collectively comprise a practice of completeness, touching on all major areas of the body.

Yoga Pose 1: Childs Pose

1. Child's Pose

Child’s pose is a great way to calm the mind, body and spirit and also helps to reconnect the three. It is a great way to start a practice or do at any time you may feel stressed or anxious. It is especially useful for people who live with anxiety or panic disorders.

Child’s Pose is considered one of the beginner yoga poses, but is also commonly used as a resting pose during vigorous classes like power or vinyasa yoga.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Stretches thighs, ankles, hips, spine and shoulders
      • Stimulates internal organs like your kidneys, gallbladder, stomach, intestines, and pancreas
      • Strengthens knees
      • Relieves pain in the lower back and neck
      • Improves blood circulation
      • Slows down your heart rate and blood pressure

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Slows down your breathing
      • Slows down your thoughts
      • Calms the central nervous system
      • Improves concentration
      • Improves patience
      • Teaches breath control
      • Teaches you to slow down

 

How To:

1. Start by sitting on your heels and knees, with your toes pointing to the long sides of your mat. 

2. Bring your knees to the edges of your mat and start to walk your hands to the top of your mat.

3. Spread your fingers wide

4. Press your forehead down, press your palms down 

5. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, stretch your fingers even closer to the top

6. Start to take long, slow, deep breaths in and out of your nose, keeping your mouth closed the entire time

7. Stay here for as long as you need

 

Yoga Pose 2: Downward Facing Dog

2. Downward Facing Dog

Downward Facing Dog is another great option to start a practice or to use as an active resting pose. This pose has a bit of an inversion element to it and it helps shift your energy and perspective, both physically and mentally.

Downward Facing Dog has an effect on every muscle group in the body and is one of the most versatile and effective yoga poses.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Strengthens and stretches legs and arms, shoulders and back
      • Stretches your spine and neck
      • Tones your core, waist, arms and legs
      • Tones your shoulders and back, thighs and hamstrings
      • Improves blood circulation

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Increases concentration
      • Improves mood
      • Relieves stress

 

How To:

1. From child’s pose, lift your hips up and straighten your arms and legs, keeping a small bend in your elbows and knees, you should look like an inverted “v”

2. Let your head hang towards the mat

3. Ensure your hands are shoulder width apart and your feet are hips width distance apart

4. Lift your tailbone towards the ceiling

5. Press your heels down

6. Stay for 3-5 deep breaths, in and out of your nose

 

Yoga Pose 3: Rag Doll

3. Rag Doll

Ragdoll is another pose that is great for beginners and also has an inversion element to it. As another active resting pose, ragdoll offers many benefits to the mind and body. Ragdoll is a great pose for releasing tension and changing views on perspectives or situations.

Even better, yoga poses like this can easily be practiced anywhere, at any time for a nice, simple stretch.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Releases tension in your lower back
      • Stretches the spine and neck
      • Stretches calves
      • Stimulates internal organs
      • Aids in digestion
      • May help relieve sinus pressure

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Reduces stress and anxiety
      • Shifts perspective
      • Calms the mind
      • Can relieve insomnia
      • Can aid in depression

 

How To:

1. From downward facing dog, you can either walk your feet up to meet your hands or walk your hands back toward your feet

2. Fold from your waist and wrap your hand around your opposite elbow

3. Let your head fall between your arms

4. Keep a small bend in your knees to protect your joints

5. Press your heels down

6. You can stay still or sway side to side, in circles or front to back

7. Stay here for 3-5 breaths

Yoga Pose 4: Seated Forward Fold

4. Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold is a great pose for beginners and is among the yoga poses that are especially beneficial to practice every night before bed. It provides a deep stretch for the whole back side of your body.

This is another very active resting pose or a great way to get deeper into your muscles during practice.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Stretches hamstrings
      • Stretches the spine and neck
      • Improves digestion
      • May help lower blood pressure
      • Can help relieve mild headaches 
      • Stimulates kidneys, liver, ovaries and uterus

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Helps with anxiety and depression
      • Reduces stress and tension
      • Calms the nervous system
      • Promotes looking inward

 

How To:

1. Sit on your mat with your legs straight in front of you

2. Flex your toes towards your face

3. As you inhale, life your hand up towards the ceiling, stretching your spine

4. When you exhale, fold forward, reaching towards your toes

5. Stay here for 3-5 breaths and with each exhale, reach closer towards your toes

 

Yoga Pose 5: Supta Baddha Konasana

5. Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana is a fundamentally restorative yoga pose. It helps to reconnect the mind and body…

It is another great pose for people who suffer anxiety and panic attacks, and some have even claimed it can instantly relive symptoms.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Stimulates organs like the ovaries and prostate, kidneys, liver, large and small intestine and pancreas
      • Improves blood flow and circulation
      • Lowers heart rate
      • Stretches groin and thighs
      • Opens hips
      • Can help menstrual cramps
      • Relieves tension in the lower back
      • May reduce the number of headaches and migraines
      • Promotes better posture

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Relieves anxiety
      • May help depression
      • Relaxes the mind and body
      • Calms the central nervous system
      • Teaches you to slow down
      • Improves concentration
      • Improves patience

 

How To:

1. Lay flat on your back and bring your heels together

2. Let your knees fall towards the long edges of your mat

3. Place one hand over your heart and the other on your belly

4. Press your shoulders into the ground

5. Press your lower back down

6. You can use blocks under your knees for extra support

7. Stay here and breathe deeply for as long as you need

 

Yoga Pose 6: Inversions

6. Inversions

There are many benefits to simply getting upside down and reversing the blood flow for a little bit. This doesn’t have to be a headstand or handstand; inversions can also include legs up the wall pose, shoulder stand and waterfall.

Legs up the wall pose is a great start, and is something everyone can do, so long as you are in a room with a clear wall – when ready, you can also progress to a free-standing version, as shown here.

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Can help relieve swelling in the feet and ankles
      • Stretches back of legs
      • Improves blood flow and circulation
      • Can help reduce menstrual pain
      • Can help relieve lower back pain
      • Relieves neck and shoulder pressure

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Calms the mind and body
      • Can help insomnia
      • Slows your heart rate down
      • Can help relieve some depression symptoms

 

How To:

1. Back the short edge of your mat up to a wall and lay flat on your back

2. Straighten your legs and rest them up on the wall

3. Press your heels high and flex your toes towards your face

4. Press your shoulders down

5. Stay here for as long as you want

 

Yoga Pose 7: Shavasana

7. Shavasana

Also known as final resting pose, this is best placed at the end of a rigorous practice. It provides whole body relaxation both mentally and physically…

 

Physical Benefits:

      • Slows down breath and heart rate
      • Improves blood flow
      • Provides rest and relaxation for your muscles
      • Can help reduce menstrual pain
      • Relieves tension in the back and shoulders
      • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system

 

Mental Benefits:

      • Relieves stress and anxiety
      • Calms the central nervous system
      • Can help relieve headaches and migraines
      • Improves memory and concentration

 

How To:

1. Lay flat on your back

2. Close your eyes

3. Let your arms and legs fall towards the edges of your mat

4. Let your palms face up

5. Let your breathing slow down

6. Let the ground support you

7. Stay here as long as you need to

 

If Yoga is a practice you’re looking to start, or you are perhaps returning to the practice after some time away, these 7 yoga poses can make a great beginning or a new beginning…
Once again, a beginning is all you need.

Even in your regular life, taking just 5 minutes a day to practice some of these poses will offer relief from a variety of common ailments and offer numerous benefits for your health and wellness. They are great to practice on your own and will have you nicely prepared for the next time you actually can make it to the Studio!

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