Thursday, March 21, 2013

Best Yoga Poses for Beginners

Yoga has been practiced for very many years and research has shown that it has numerous health benefits both for the body and the mind. Studies indicate that yoga helps in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, besides relieving stress. 

Starting yoga is not difficult. There are some basic poses that a beginner in yoga can follow with wonderful results. After practicing them for a while, you will feel more flexible and relaxed. 

The Mountain Pose 
This is one of the best yoga poses for beginners. You start by standing tall with your feet put together. Relax your shoulders and distribute your weight evenly to your soles with your arms at the sides. Point the top of your head to the ceiling and stare at a fixed point in front of you. Try to stand straight and breathe naturally. This is the starting pose for a lot of yoga positions. 

The Downward Dog Pose 
This funny sounding pose is another good one for some beginners, but could be a little harder for others. Begin this pose on all fours with your hands placed right below the shoulders, hips and knees. Spread your hands forward with fingers spread wide and the palms pressed on the mat. Then curl the toes while pressing the hips toward the ceiling. This should make your body form an inverted V shape. The shoulders should not be pressed on the ears. Bend the knees slightly. Take at least three complete breaths on this pose. 

The Warrior Pose 
The warrior pose is also a good yoga pose for beginners. You start by standing with legs about four feet apart. The right foot should be turned out by about 90 degrees and the left foot turned in slightly. Then put your hands on your hips and relax your shoulders. With the palms facing down, extend your arms outward to the sides. After that, bend the right knee at an angle of 90 degrees while keeping it over the ankle. At this angle turn and look out over the right hand for about a minute. Then switch to the other side and repeat this again. 

The Bridge Pose 
Here is another wonderful yoga pose for a beginner which helps in stretching the chest and thighs. Start by lying on the floor with your knees bent directly over your heels. Then place your arms at the sides with palms facing down. Breathe out while pressing your feet on the floor and lifting the hips. With hands clasped under the lower back, press the arms down and raise the hips making your thighs to be parallel to the floor. Then bring your chest towards your chin and hold on to this position for 60 seconds. Release and relax. 

The Tree Pose 
As the name suggests, this pose starts while you are standing like a tree with arms at the sides. Then you shift your weight to the left leg and then put the sole of your right foot in your left thigh while ensuring that the hips are facing forward. When you get the right balance, put your hands to the front in a prayer-like position with the palms put together. Breathe in as you extend your arms above the shoulders. The palms should be separated but facing each other. Hold for a minute or two, then relax and do the other side. 

These yoga poses for beginners will allow you to have a good feel for yoga and prepare you for other exercises. It is the start of a healthier body and mind.