Yoga is all about relaxation and mediation. The typical yoga poses are intended to stretch and strengthening muscles and increase balance and flexibility. The main component of yoga is to form a series of postures and poses using all of your body while practicing your breathing. The exercise originated around 5,000 years ago in India and is now common place around the world. There are dozens of health benefits to Yoga, it’s a good introduction to physical activity and will increase strength, flexibility and balance. It’s even thought to help blood pressure levels and has proven effective in helping those with mental health problems like depression. We would recommend attending a class to help with your posture and poses if you’re a yoga beginner, but here are some stretches to begin with…
You might have done this a lot as a child under the guise of ‘Crabs Bend’; but as we grow up we lose our flexibility and not many adults can successfully hold a ‘bridge’ pose. This pose is stretches out your hip joints and strengthens your spine and actually stimulates your thyroid. It might take a while to build up to this pose;
- Lie on your back and place your feet on the floor, hip width apart.
- Press your heels into the floor, inhale and lift your hips up, rolling your spine off the floor.
- Lift your chest up by pushing back on your arms and shoulders.
This is actually a considerably easy pose and great for stretching out neck, back and hip pains or strains. It’s a very calming pose and great for meditation.
- Kneel on your yoga mat, bring your knees together and set your bum on your feet.
- Exhale and slowly bend over toward the mat so that your forehead touches the mat, stretching over your thighs.
- 3. Stretch your arms over your head along the mat and slightly lift your bum off your feet.
This pose is all about upper body strengthen but it also lengthens the spine and removes stress and pressure while stretching the hamstrings.
- Begin on your hands and knees, with hands directly below shoulders and knees directly below hips.
- Stretch your arms along the floor in front of you, shoulder width apart and relax your back.
- Distribute weight evenly on your hands, exhale as your lift your knees off the floor, gently straighten your legs but don’t lock your knees.
- Do not bring your feet closer to your body, lift through your pelvis away from the floor.
- Draw chest towards your thighs and make sure you keep your heels on the floor.
Fancy giving it a real go? Check out our yoga retreat in Croatia where you’ll get all the instruction and relaxation you need. Also, check out this website to help with form and for more stretches and poses (pictures sourced from here).