Why You Should Ease Into Yoga This Year

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Yoga is commonly described as a combination of meditation, breathing techniques and controlled poses.

But are you aware that Yoga has been defined as a spiritual and physical practice that has been in existence for thousands of years?

In recent years, both modern and natural health practitioners rely on Yoga to assist patients with relaxation, natural healing, and strengthening the body.

In fact, doctors at the Montifiore Medical Center in New York have been prescribing young cancer and ADHD patients with yoga as a form of therapy.

It was found that these patients had experienced significant relief in pain and anxiety when practicing these poses.

So why should you do it?

If you recall doing any form of stretching or breathing techniques at the end of a cardio class, then you may have already practiced Yoga.

Yoga is often used because of its breathing, stretching and relaxation components.

There are many forms of Yoga that range from beginners to advanced.  So, there is no need to feel anxious about learning some of these wondrous techniques and adding them as part of your daily routine.

Performing Yoga encourages so many health benefits.   It is good for the mind, body and spirit and can be done every day to bring you not only a sense of well being, but a stronger body and increased focus.

When practicing Yoga, you should have a Yoga mat  for proper support and comfort.

Child’s Pose – (Balasana)

  • Relaxes the mind and body
  • Stretches and lengthens the spine
  • Relaxes Muscle Tension

In a kneeling position, bring the feet together and sit back on your heels.  Stretch your body down towards the ground while reaching out with the arms.  You can also hold this position by bring the arms down by your side while pointing your fingers int he same directions as your toes. This pose should be down slowly as not to strain your muscles until you are comfortable.

Plank – (Kumbhakasana)

  • Assists with toning abdominal muscles
  • Strengthens the arms
  • Aids with stability and balance

High plank is done by lying flat on the floor face down with your hands underneath your shoulders and toes curled into the floor.  Lift up as if you are doing a push up and hold this position.

Downward Dog – (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  • Increased blood flow to the brain
  • Helps to strengthen bones
  • Lengthens the spine

Start this position with your hands and knees on the mat.  Make sure the hands are shoulder width apart while spreading your fingers.  Push the hips up towards the ceiling while keeping the keeping the tummy tucked for support.  The purpose of this pose is to stretch out the spine.  Bend the knees if necessary in order to complete this pose.

Upward Dog – (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  • Elongates the abdomen, chest and lungs
  • Helps improve posture
  • Firms the glutes

Lie flat on the ground with the palms of your hands underneath the elbow.   Make sure that the toes are pointed and legs are strong.  Slowly lift the body focusing on opening up the shoulder blades.  If you’re comfortable, you can extend the stretch even more by lifting and looking up towards the ceiling.

Warrior 1 Pose – (Virabhadrasana)

  • Improves balance and stability
  • Opens up the chest and lungs
  • Tones the arms, legs, shoulders and back

Stand with your legs open and then twist your right leg.  Lean forward so that the knee is over the ankle at a 90 degree angle.  Make sure that the hips are facing forward.  Now lift your arms up towards the sky to complete this pose.

The benefits of practicing Yoga seems to be endless.  Improved posture and calmness to the mind can also be attributed to practicing Yoga on a daily basis.

Try practicing some of these Yoga poses in the morning for increased vitality and focus throughout your day.

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