Contrary to some opinions, there’s more to Yoga than just twisting your body into a pretzel. You don’t have to sweat in acrobatic positions to benefit from the practice. So don’t be intimated by those skinny vegans in their tight, rainbow leggings striking a perfect split. You, too, can enjoy and benefit from Yoga — even if you’re a complete beginner. And I’m about to tell you HOW.

The Collaboration

As said, there’s more to Yoga than just a physical workout. It is a harmonious connection of the mind, spirit and body. And so, the three primary elements of Yoga include: poses (asanas), meditation and the appropriate breathing technique. The collaboration between these three elements will take you on a relaxing and spiritual journey of peace, self-discovery and deep insights. Therefore, if you walk into a Yoga class that is exclusively about Yoga poses… think again. Your Yoga instructor should place emphasis on breathing, meditation and human energy. If not… it’s time to turn into a cobra and sneak out of there! Find a Yoga instructor who is willing to give you the holistic lessons — embracing your mind, body and spirit. You should be taught how to control your breathing, what is meditation about and how to gradually adopt certain poses for improved health.

Because, when it comes to mind and body relaxation, Yoga is THE tool. Want to test it yourself? Give these 10 poses a try:

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child's Pose

Child’s Pose is one of the most admired Yoga poses, helping to relax the body and calm your mind; subsequently reducing stress and releasing any tension in your body. It’s also excellent for improving your lymphatic and nervous system. If you currently suffer from anxiety, back pain, stress, high blood pressure and neck pain, child’s pose serves as the ideal solution.

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing Forward Bend Pose

Standing Forward Bend pose is also popular when it comes to calming your mind and body. It also relieves anxiety, insomnia, and headaches. This particular Yoga pose is one of the essential components of the Sun Salutation. It rejuvenates your entire body, improving the kidney and liver functions while also aiding digestion, infertility, asthma and high blood pressure. It is a transitional pose, but when practiced alone, it helps to relieve stress, mild depression and fatigue.

Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall Pose

The Viparita Karani is considered a restorative pose, which helps to relax your mind and body, by reducing stress and easing mild depression, insomnia and anxiety. Additionally, it improves blood circulation, relieves menstrual cramps, back pain and soothes tired feet. Many people use it to slow down the aging process.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining Goddess Pose

The Reclining Bound Angle Yoga pose is one of the most relaxing of all. Your body, spirit and mind stay in a relaxed state, encouraging other parts of the body to heal. Use it also to lower your blood pressure.

Downward Facing Dog Pose (Ardho Mukha Svanasana)

downward dog_1

Downward Facing Dog is one of the Yoga poses included in the Sun Salutation traditional sequence. It is one of the most outstanding Yoga poses on its own, stretching the entire body. It rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit, fighting tiredness and relieving mild depression. It also improves the digestive and immune systems as well as blood flow throughout the body. (Side note: If you are one of those people who stiffen up your shoulders when stressed, this pose will help you.)

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose

The Bridge Pose offers a gentle stretching of your legs and back, easing tension and stress. With this pose, you can reduce your back pain, anxiety, headaches and insomnia. It tends to be a challenge for many people since they are not accustomed to remaining still. This is one of the Yoga poses that encourages your body to remain in a restful state, even afterwards.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose is very empowering and helps actively de-stressing your body. It improves concentration and brings balance to the body, relieving tension from your shoulders, hips and upper back. To keep balance in this pose, you’ll have to focus.

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Cat Pose

With the Cat Pose, you can sooth your entire body, alleviating stress as you gently massage your spine and free it from the tension. For better results, focus on deep breathing while arching the back.

Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Puppy Pose

The Puppy Pose is a variant of the Child’s Pose. It opens up the heart, bringing stillness and calmness. If you have a tendency to slouch your shoulders when stressed, this is the perfect pose to fix that.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose

Finally… The Corpse asana relieves the muscles from stress and offers complete relaxation after practice.  It calms the mind, reduces anxiety, improves sleep and alleviates depression. This will subsequently lower your blood pressure and fight fatigue. You’ll find Savasana at the end of majority of the flows… and for many that’s the favourite moment of the whole session. Corpse Pose puts the body in a state of deep rest, slowing your breathing, lowering your blood pressure and calming your nervous system. Pure bliss!

Last But Not Least

Please remember that these Yoga poses (and Yoga in general) will only help you, if they are done correctly and on regular basis. Consistent, mindful practice is the key to healing and improvement.

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