What are Yoga Exercises?
If you were playing a game of word association and heard the word "yoga, " what would be the first thing that popped into your head? A lot of people would say "pretzel" or "hard, " but yoga can actually be quite simple. If you got out of bed this morning and stretched your arms up over your head, you already did a yoga pose. Yoga introduces a mindfulness to stretching, so that you pay attention to your alignment and how the positions really feels in your body. A lot of basic yoga postures feel very familiar, even if it's been a few years since your last P.E. class. Here is a sequence of ten poses that look simple but will stretch and strengthen your major muscle groups.Raised Hands Pose - Urdhva Hastasana. Ben Goldstein
Inhale and bring your arms up and over your head. This is your basic morning stretch, but you are focusing on keeping the good alignment you established in mountain pose.
Stay grounded in the heels and keep your shoulders moving away from your ears at the same time that you reach up through your fingertips. Your gaze can come up to the hands, which can be shoulder's width apart or palms touching.Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. Ann Pizer
Exhale and fold over your legs into a forward bend. If the hamstrings feel a little tight at first, bend the knees so that you can release your spine. Let the head hang heavy. Slowly straighten the legs if you like but keep the head hanging. The feet can be touching or hip's distance apart, whichever feels better.Garland Pose - Malasana. Ann Pizer
Move your feet out to the edges of your mat and bend your knees, coming into a squat. The toes may turn out if necessary. If your heels do not reach the floor, take a rolled up blanket under them.
This is a position that is quite natural for children but we lose the knack for it as adults. It's great for the hips and to counteract the effects of too much sitting in chairs and riding in cars. It's also a very useful pose if you like to garden.Lunge Pose. Ben Goldstein
Straighten your legs and move your feet back under your hip before stepping your left leg to the back of your mat and bending your right knee for a deep lunge. Try to bring your bent knee directly over your ankle so your right thigh is parallel to the floor.