Today, yoga is one of the most popular forms of low-intensity exercise. When you think about the numerous benefits it boasts, it’s really no surprise! Whether you’re hoping to improve the appearance or function of your body, regular yoga practice can do the trick. If you’ve got a hectic schedule, you can choose to practice from the comfort of your own home. All you need to get started are some comfortable yoga clothes and a quiet space. In this article, we explore some of the yoga postures that can positively change your body.
The first posture in the sequence is Plank Pose. As well as being the best exercise to strengthen the core, it works the entire body. For best results, control your breathing throughout the asana.
To practice Plank Pose, begin on all fours. Tuck your toes under and lift your legs up off the floor. Slide your feet back until your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Finally, engage your abdominals and draw your shoulder blades down and back. You are in Plank Pose. Keep your abdominals engaged to hold the position for as long as possible.
Best practised straight after Plank Pose, Upward Plank is great for stretching the upper body. Additionally, it can be used to tone and strengthen the arms, legs, and core.
To practice Upward Plank, begin by sitting on the mat with your legs straight. From here, place your hands behind you and gently lift your hips off the floor. You are in Upward Plank. Keep your legs straight throughout whilst pressing your toes into the floor. Hold the position for around 1 minute, or as long as it feels comfortable to do so.
A key posture of many yoga classes, Warrior One is great for strengthening the core and lower body. Additionally, it can be used to stretch the hips and thighs.
To practice Warrior One, begin by standing tall on the mat. Take a big step forward with your right leg, whilst keeping your left leg straight. Next, bend your right leg and stretch your left leg out behind you, keeping your toes touching the mat. Finally, roll your shoulders back and lift arms above your head. You are in Warrior One. Hold the asana for 1 minute before switching sides.
Warrior Two is another important asana. Stretching the hips and inner thighs, the posture can tone your body when used regularly. Physically, the asana can improve digestion and relieve back pain.
To practice Warrior Two, stand tall on your mat. Take a big step forward with your right leg, keeping both legs straight. Next, turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in 45 degrees. Finally, bend your right knee and stretch your arms out to the sides. You are in Warrior Two. Hold the asana for 1 minute before repeating on the opposite side.
Seated Forward Bend stretches the back and hamstrings whilst opening the rest of the body. It also teaches you how to breathe in an uncomfortable position, relieves headaches and anxiety, and reduces fatigue.
To practice the asana, begin seated with your legs together and your hands by your sides. Lift your chest and lower your upper body towards your legs. Engage your abdominals and imagine your stomach moving toward your thighs. You are in Seated Forward Bend. If you can’t bend all the way, don’t panic! As long as you feel a stretch in your upper and lower back, the posture is doing its job.
Bridge Pose stretches the front of the body whilst strengthening the back. Additionally, it improves digestion and blood circulation, relieves stress, and opens the heart and lungs.
To practice the asana, lie down on your back and bend your knees. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, press firmly through your feet and lift your back and bottom off the mat. Open the chest by pressing your hands into the ground. You are in Bridge Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before lowering yourself back down to the mat.
A type of restorative asana, Child’s Pose is great for relieving stress and tension in the body. Additionally, the posture can be used to improve digestion and relieve gas and bloating.
To begin the pose, begin by kneeling on your mat. Next, sit back on your heels and lengthen the spine as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly walk your hands out in front of you until your chest is touching the mat. Finally, rest your forehead on the mat and place your arms by your sides. You are in Child’s Pose. Hold the pose for around 5 minutes or as long as the posture feels comfortable.
The final posture in the sequence is Boat Pose. This asana helps to relieve stress, improve digestion, and stimulate the thyroid, kidneys, and intestines. Additionally, it can be used to strengthen and tone the thighs and lower back.
To practice Boat Pose, take a seat on your mat with your legs out in front of you. With your fingertips pointing towards your feet, place your hands on the mat just behind your hips. Next, press your palms into the mat and straighten your arms. Keeping your back straight, start to lean back and raise your feet off the ground. Your legs should now be parallel to the floor. As you lift your chest, lengthen the front of your torso. Finally, stretch your arms forward until they are in line with your shoulders. You are in Boat Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Whether you’re hoping to change your body externally or internally, practice the sequence above to achieve your goal. If you’re hoping to practice independently, remember to pick up the right equipment before getting started. If possible, fill a space in your home with a yoga mat, cosy blankets, and a scented candle to set the mood. If you’re still struggling to focus, try using a mindfulness tool to help you concentrate.