Full Guide on Yoga for Beginners
Yoga is a very flexible form of exercise that can be tailored to almost any workout goal. It can be as intense or gentle as you want, and it can be used to exercise almost any muscle in the body. By stretching your muscles in your body, you can strengthen your body and ease your mind. In many ways, it is quite similar to pilates.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga offers a ton of benefits. These include:
- Increased flexibility: (Link to flexibility yoga session) As you progress with your yoga exercises you will notice a gradual improvement in your flexibility. Not only will your joints loosen up, but your muscles will develop additional elasticity. Consequently, you will be able to assume more daring and dynamic poses as your muscles adapt to the stress exerted upon them.
- Improved posture: many people are forced to hunch over in their daily lives which wrecks their posture and back. Through yoga, this damage caused by slouching can be reversed. Poor posture is one of the main causes of back pain. (Link to lower back pain blog) Returning flexibility to your spine will allow you to recover and alleviate this pain.
- Improves bone strength: A number of the consequences of yoga are beneficial for bone growth and bone density. When our bones are pressured by additional weight, they respond by adding additional mass to cope with the weight. Many yoga exercises require lifting your body weight and therefore applying suitable pressure for bone development. Additionally, yoga exercises lower the amount of cortisol that our body produces. By reducing cortisol, the bones are more able to retain calcium.
- Stand on all fours on a mat. Make sure your hands are directly under your armpits.
- Move your hand forward a few inches and spread your fingers apart.
- Curl your toes and slowly move your hips toward the ceiling until your body forms an upside-down “V” shape.
- Spread your feet out until they are hip wide apart and slightly bend your knees.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Spread your legs out about 3 feet apart and hold your arms out straight to form a “T” pose.
- Point your left foot forward and turn your right foot to point right.
- Bend your body over your right leg, keep your right hand touching your right leg.
- While keeping your arms straight rest your hand below your knee (as far as you can comfortably stretch) and point your left hand towards the ceiling.
- Look up at the ceiling and hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Return to neutral position and then repeat the steps for the other side of your body.
- Lie down on the floor on your stomach, place the palms of your hands under your armpits.
- Lower your hips and tighten your glutes and pelvic floor.
- Move your shoulders down away from your head.
- Push down on your hands and raise your chest up. Keep your hips on the floor.
- Return to the neutral position and repeat until you’ve done it 5-10 times.
- Stand on a mat with your arms to your sides and feet planted together.
- Place your right foot forward a few feet, keeping your left foot in the same spot and your arms to your side pointing to the floor.
- While keeping your back leg straight and your toes touching the mat, bend your front knee until you can plant the palms of your hands on the floor.
- Once your palms are on the floor and your body is a straight line hold this pose for 5-10 seconds.
- Return to the neutral position and repeat with the other side of your body.
Leg to wall pose
- Lie down on your back on a mat near the floor.
- Turn your body around so that your legs are touching the wall.
- Lift your legs up to rest your heels on the wall.
- The taller you are the further away you should be from the wall.
- Keep your back flat on the ground and your legs straight.
- Hold this position for 5-10 minutes.
- Stand on a mat with your legs spread about 3 feet apart. One leg should be in front of the other.
- Have your leading foot face forward and back foot face to your side.
- Relax your shoulders and straighten your arms. Stretch your arms out to the side to form a “T” shape. Have the palms of your hands face the floor.
- Bend your front knee at a 90-degree angle so that your knee is positioned above your ankle.
- Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
- Repeat this for the other side of the body and continue until each side has been done 5 times.