I feel like most people think they are not flexible enough, not fit enough, or just not ready to try yoga. The thing is, though, is that yoga can be done by everyone!
Here are two of my favorite yoga poses:
Strengthen your legs while releasing tension in your low and mid back. Open up your hips and chest to increase flexibility, relieve stress, and promote better breathing. Also aids in coordination and balance.
Step 1: Stand with your left foot forward, about 2 feet from your right. Aline your left heel with the arch of your right foot.
Step 2: Using a block (pictured) or a chair place your left hand beside your foot. Straighten both legs and rotate your upper body so that your right arm is reaching up. Align your arms with your gaze either up at the right hand or down at the left.
Step 3: Even out weight on both legs. Lift your chest. Take deep breaths. Relax your shoulders.
Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Lift your left arm over head and reach up and behind, keeping both legs straight. Take a deep breath.
This isn't an official yoga pose, but it feels so good to lengthen the torso and lift the head.
Revolved Triangle Pose:
Strengthen and stretch the low and mid back. Twisting exercises have also been shown to promote nerve health. Also aids in coordination and balance.
Step 1: Hinge forward from the hips and place your right hand on the brick (pictured) or chair to align wrist, elbow and shoulder.
Step 2: Gently rotate the torso to reach your left arm up to the ceiling. Align the left and right arm.
Step 3: Stand evenly into both feet. Gaze should be up at the left hand or down at the right. Keep the left leg as straight as possible.
Step 4: Holde for 3-5 breaths.
Repeat this with the right leg forward and the left leg behind.
- Make sure your muscles are warmed up before stretching. Post workout would be great, but even if you have just finished running errands or cleaning the house you will be warm enough.
- If you don't have a mat, no problem. You should be fine on regular flooring with bare feet.
- The stretch should make your muscles feel warm, not on fire. If there is a burning or painful pulling, back off and lessen the stretch.
- Don't get too caught up in trying to make these poses "perfect." It is your stretch, so just melt into it and breath.
- As always, make sure your doctor has said you are healthy enough for physical activity.
Opening the chest and stretching the back are great for physical health as well as for mental well-being. I think if everyone did these each day the world would be a happier place, don't you?
Will you be trying these poses?
What is your favorite yoga pose and why?
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