Are you looking for a relaxing, health-promoting exercise that has nothing to do with heavy lifting and running for miles on end?
Then meditation in motion (a.k.a. yoga) may be just the right thing for you!
Yoga Journal did a survey in 2012 and found that a whopping 20.4 million of U.S. adults practice yoga and 59.6 percent of those people find that the practice alone, when done on a weekly basis, drastically reduced their stress levels.
“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.”
-Donna Farhi, Yoga Teacher since 1982
Below, I’ve shared some of my favorite poses that are perfect for beginners/yogis in-training.
Oh, and before you begin, here are a few tips:
- Try to hold each yoga posture for about 30 seconds or 5 deep breaths.
- If you feel uncomfortable before the fifth breath, then don’t strain yourself. This is far from a competition!
- It’s preferable to use a thick yoga mat, so the ground isn’t too rough on your joints.
1 Half Moon
Balance on your right leg and your right hand with your left leg raised parallel to the floor. Extend your left arm straight up. This pose is especially beneficial for your brain and nervous system.
2 Gratitude Meditation
Put your hands together as if you are about to pray. Press your thumb tips gently on your forehead or by your heart. While doing this simple pose (either seated or standing), focus on everything that you are grateful for. Keep your eyes closed and visualize what you’re grateful for. Alternatively, you can keep your hands at your sides or do a mudra (a symbolic hand gesture) similar to the one in the photo above.
3 Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Bend your left knee while crossing your right foot over top. Use your right hand for support. Then bend your left elbow and place it beside your outer right thigh. Repeat this on the other side. Be sure to twist gently and not to strain yourself too much. This particular pose is beneficial for your digestion system by stimulating your digestive organs. It’s also great for relieving back pain and improving your posture.
4 Forearm Plank
This pose is like a pushup, but with your forearms. Place your elbows right under your shoulders and have your palms flat to the floor. Tuck your toes, so your body is in one line of energy from the crown all the way through the heels of your feet. This pose benefits your shoulders, your core muscles, and skeletal system.
5 Sphinx Pose
Gently lie on your stomach and place your elbows under your shoulders. Pull your chest forward as you press your shoulders down, keeping them together. This particular pose is great for boosting your confidence and is good for your back.
6 Warrior I
Step your right foot forward between your hands, then spin your left heel downward with your foot slightly angled outward. Press into your feet, and reach your arms up to the ceiling. To maintain balance, repeat this on your left side. Warrior I is a power pose. Anytime one raises their arms, they exude a state of confidence.
7 Tree Pose
This is the ultimate balance pose which fuels one’s confidence and courage. Be sure to focus on a point ahead of you and breathe evenly and deeply. You can rest your foot on the shin area or you don’t have to raise your arms. What you see in the photo is a more advanced pose. But either way, it’ll have the same effect on you. Do not place your foot on your knee.
8 Child’s Pose
This is a great resting pose that can be done between the other poses, or to end your session. Simply kneel down with your knees and feet together. Sink your hips back to your heels and lower your forehead and rest it on the ground. Stretch your arms out in front of you, and if that isn’t comfortable, keep your arms close to you or use them to rest your forehead. Child’s Pose ultimately nourishes your inner child and it has a very therapeutic effect when done often.
*YOGA FUN FACT: “Doga” is a type of yoga used to achieve harmony between yoga students and their pets. This practice first started in New York in 2002 by Suzi Teitelman.
==> Looking for another fun (yet easy) way to stay active? Check this post out: Rebounding Benefits: Top 10 Reasons to Jump like Nobody’s Watching.
Which yoga pose out of the ones above is your favorite? Or maybe there’s one you like to do that wasn’t included on the list?
*DISCLAIMER: Always consult a medical professional before applying the advice given throughout this website. While the articles on HMM are thoroughly researched, it is important to speak with your medical provider before starting a new exercise routine or introducing something new to your diet. We ourselves are NOT doctors, so the information we feature should not be used to replace any of your medications or lifestyle choices that have been recommended by your doctor. Read at your own risk and read our full disclaimer here.*