Always wanted to try out yoga but you can’t even touch your toes? Here are some simple poses for beginners to get you started.
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1. Mountain Pose
This pose may seem very simple, but it’s actually a template for all the other yoga positions. Start by standing with your feet together, weight evenly distributed, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides and with your eyes closed.
Take a deep breath and raise your hand over your head, with your palms facing each other and arms straight. Reach up with your fingertips, hold for three breathes and then bring your arms back down.
2. Downward Facing Dog
This position helps to strengthen your legs and arms as well as stretch your thighs, shoulders, hands and feet. Start by getting on all fours with your hands (under your shoulders) and knees (under your hips) should width apart. Walk your hands forward and spread out your fingers as wide as possible, while pressing on your palms.
Curl your toes under and carefully press your hips up towards the celling so that your body makes an inverted V. Hold the pose for three full breathes. Make it a bit challenging by keeping your heels on the floor or by alternating pressing down on your heels.
3. Warrior II Pose
The Warrior Pose helps to improve your hips flexibility, strengthen your quadriceps and strengthen your ankles and legs. Start by standing with your feet wide apart, 3 or 4 feet. Turn your right foot 90 degrees outwards and your left foot slightly inwards.
Bring your hands to your hips, while keeping your shoulders down, and extend your arms to your sides with your palms down. Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping your knee over your foot without letting it go past your toes. Then turn your head so that you’re looking over your right hand. Hold the pose for three breathe, or for 1 minute, and then switch legs.
4. Child Pose
This resting pose is very relaxing as it helps to relieve neck and back pain as well as stretch out your ankles, thighs and hips. Start by placing your knees and the tops of your feet on the floor, placing them together.
Sit on your heels then roll your torso forward, placing your forehead on the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you and lower your chest to your knees as much as possible. Hold that position for a few minutes, doing deep breathes, before returning up right and repeating.
5. Tree Pose
This pose helps to improve your balance and strengthens your spine, calves, thighs and ankles. Start out by shifting your weight to your left leg, keeping your hips facing forward. Then bring the sole of your right foot to the inside of your left thigh, shin or ankle. Once you’ve found your balance bring your hands forward into a prayer position with your palms together.
Hold the position for 1 minute and then repeat with the other leg. If you find this difficult, place hand on a wall to help you keep balanced. Make it more challenging by reaching up with your arms as if you were in a mountain pose.
As you can see yoga isn’t only for the flexible, so why not try out these moves the next time you’re feeling tired and stressed.