As we try to overcome life’s challenges, especially at this time, it is important to keep the energy or “prana” flowing efficiently through the body. “Prana” is the life force that helps to optimize the voluntary and involuntary functions of our body while increasing our general well-being. And yoga helps the flow to purify your body and mind through chakra or energy centers. The Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ means union and can be defined as bringing mind and body together in the present moment through the use of the breath. As International Yoga Day approaches, learn powerful, beginner-friendly yoga poses (asanas) to reduce anxiety and improve conscious body movement.
These eight invigorating yoga poses will help you connect your breath to movement and guide you to calming waters when the going gets tough.
Anjaneyasana or crescent moon pose
In the backward pose, Anjaneyasana stretches the muscles of the hips, thighs and quadriceps while opening the chest, shoulders and torso. This pose is believed to keep you fresh and energized throughout the day and improve overall balance. If you’re a beginner, be sure to gradually pull back and start by trying to hold this pose for 20-30 seconds before you begin to release it.
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior Pose 1
Warrior 1 is a strength-building and core yoga pose that helps build a strong core, strengthen leg muscles, and prepare for advanced postures such as Warrior Pose 2 and Warrior Pose 3. It is a great pose for test your body flexibility and stretch your lower as well as upper body. This will help you stretch and tone the muscles in your chest, shoulders, abdomen, and back.
Bhujangasana or cobra pose
cobra pose provides a much-needed stretch to the upper body to give an energy boost and increase mobility. The pose opens up the chest cavity and shoulders while increasing flexibility in the arms and groin as you step forward. This pose is great for releasing stress and opening your heart chakra.
Vrikshasana or tree pose
Standing Tree Pose is one of the simplest yoga asanas for improving stability and energy flow throughout the body. The pose stimulates awareness while working on the core to coordinate the upper and lower body. If your body needs balance and stability, you should try this pose. Be sure to practice one side at a time.
Balasana or child’s pose
child’s posture is easy to do and helps oxygenate your entire body using rhythmic breathing and movement. This pose gently warms up the spine and prepares you for advanced yoga postures. The Restful Pose helps stretch your front torso including shoulders, neck, spine and gently relieves stress, fatigue, back pain and neck pain.
Sitting Garudasana or Eagle Pose
Seated Eagle Pose is a great way to stretch your legs and hips, strengthen your core and correct your posture. It is great for relieving stress in your neck or head muscles, especially after long hours of sitting in front of gadgets. This beginner-friendly yoga pose can also be done standing up. Be sure to hold your breath for a few seconds before releasing the pose.
Dandayamana Bharmanasana or balancing table pose
Pose of the balance table combines rhythmic movements with stretches to gently improve balance on each side of the body. This beginner-friendly yoga pose helps build core muscles, improve memory and concentration, relieve fatigue, lengthen the spine, and improve mindfulness. Be sure to flow smoothly between poses on each side.
Trikonasana or triangle pose
Trikonasana or Triangular posture helps open the chest cavity and opens the throat as well as the heart chakras. This is a great pose for improving physical and mental balance while strengthening upper and lower body muscles such as legs, knees, chest, shoulders, arms, spine, calves and the hamstrings. The pose helps relieve stress, menopausal symptoms, neck pain, sciatica, and anxiety. Make sure to keep your eyes open to stay balanced throughout the pose.
(Featured image and hero: Надя Кисільова/Unsplash)