Yoga 101: 5 Yoga Poses for Beginners
Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe. The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques, but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification, alignment and enlightenment.
Though you may find yoga’s ultimate aim to be a bit lofty, its essence is practical and scientific as it emphasizes direct experience and observable results. It is not a religion, but a practice of personal inquiry and exploration.
Working hard is great for our careers and all, but it can have a severe impact on our health if we don't find ways to balance self-care and our crazy schedules. Taking a few minutes to stretch every day can massively improve our health and even skyrocket our productivity.
If your Alo Yoga gear has yet to enter a yoga studio and you're looking to try some poses at home, here are 5 of the best yoga poses for beginners. Learn these and you'll feel less intimidated to take that yoga class you've been considering.
1. Child’s pose
Great for stretching the hips, quads, and back.
To do this pose, sit on the mat with your knees stretched a bit. Then lay your torso on the mat, resting on your heels. Lastly, stretch your hands ahead of your body and put your palms on the floor. Hold this position for about a minute.
2. Warrior II
The Warrior II pose stretches the hips, inner thighs, and chest. It also strengthens quadriceps, abdomen, and shoulders.
Spread your feet about 4 feet apart from a standing position. Point your right foot forward and bend your left foot to the side. After that raise your arms to shoulder height and stretch them outwards, palms facing the floor. Lastly, draw your abdomen in. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths, then switch the feet and repeat.
3. High Plank Pose
This one is great for strengthening your arms, back, shoulders, core, and quadriceps.
To perform this, simply get into a push-up position. Straighten your back and of your head so that your body forms a straight line from the back of your head to your heels. Hold this position for about a minute.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose
One of the most recognized yoga poses in the West, Downward-Facing Dog is a standing pose and mild inversion that builds strength while stretching the whole body. It's named after the way dogs naturally stretch their entire bodies!
Downward-Facing Dog energizes and rejuvenates the entire body. It deeply stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and spine while building strength in your arms, shoulders, and legs.
5. Boat Pose
The Boat pose strengthens the core, psoas muscle, and quadriceps.
What you want to do is sit with your knees bent. Then, you lean back a bit in order to balance on your sit bones. After that raise your legs and stretch your arms towards your knees. Keep your chest high and strengthen your legs. Hold this position for 10 breaths and repeat it 5 times.
Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It's been around for more than 5,000 years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. And there you have it!