|5 simple yoga poses anyone can do at home
In the second part of our introduction to basic yoga, expert teacher Salma Mian elucidates five easy poses that anyone can do at home. Start with 10-15 minutes and two poses, focusing on breathing correctly. Try not to worry too much about the timing. Stop whenever you are tired and remember to hydrate before, during and after each session. You can read the first part of the series here.
Exotically named poses can conjure up visions of skinny elastic-limbed fitness-freaks contorting their bodies into impossible shapes. However, this easy guide demonstrates that anyone can reap the benefits of yoga. The following poses are suitable for all ages and a wide range of fitness levels.
While you may not initially be able to hold the poses for long or even manage to fully complete each pose, continued practice will limber up your body. Take things at a pace that suits your body and do not try to do too many repetitions at first. Bear in mind that it is better to do a few repetitions correctly and with the right breathing technique.
Note: Remember that if you do not feel anything and it seems too easy, then you are in your comfort zone. You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone for true progress. Conversely if you feel pain in your neck or any other part of your body then you may be overstretching or performing the pose incorrectly. If this is the case the best course of action is to sign up for a few sessions with an experienced teacher who can show you where you are going wrong.
Starting any new exercise regime can be daunting but yoga can be beneficial on so many levels. Take this step towards mental, emotional and physical well-being and you may find yourself wondering why it took you so long to embrace yoga.
1. The Tree
Start standing at ease and bring one foot to rest on the opposite thigh. Bring your palms together in front of you and then move your palms overhead. If you have spondylitis, vertigo or a weak collarbone, keep your palms in front of you. Focus on eye level to help you maintain the pose. Hold for 2 -3 counts.
2. The Forward Fold
Start standing with your palms together in front of you. Bring your arms up and out and bend down reaching forward to touch your ankles or toes. Keep your knees soft and bring your forehead towards your knees. Hold for 2-3 counts. Avoid this pose with you have high or low blood pressure, vertigo, headaches, spondylitis or low blood sugar.
3. The Cat – variation for a weak back / weak spine
Start on your hands and knees on a yoga mat. Your knees should be two punches apart with your toes curling in, while your arms should be under your shoulders. Keep your chin out and a soft curve to your spine. Then curl your shoulders in, bring your head down and curve your back holding your navel to your spine. Hold for 2-3 counts. Do 3 repetitions.
4. The Cobra
From the Cat Pose, go down into the Cobra. Lie flat on the mat with your palms flat on the floor under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and tuck your elbows towards your body. Extend your arms, point your toes and push your upper body up from the floor. Your hips, thighs and feet should remain firmly pressed to the floor at all times. Keep your chest wide and your chin pointing slightly up. Hold for 2-3 counts and release as slowly as you can. Do three repetitions.
Kneel on a yoga mat and then sit back on your heels. Your knees should be slightly apart while your toes should touch each other and your heels should point outward. Bend forward to rest your chest on your knees and your forehead on the floor. Your spine should be rounded as you curl your shoulders in and bring your arms to rest palm upwards next to your feet. Concentrate on your breathing and detach yourself from your surroundings. If you find it difficult to rest your forehead on the floor you may rest it on two bunched fists.
This article of mine first appeared on beautifulyou.com.pk