Yoga Poses: A Guide

Updated: Mar 27


Tree Pose


Tree Pose helps develop a good sense of balance. Practicing balancing poses in Tree Pose will help you gain both physical and mental steadiness, as well as poise.


Benefits:


  • Stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders.

  • Improves your sense of balance and coordination.

  • Has a positive impact on the grace and ease with which you approach all circumstances

  • Regular practice will improve your focus and your ability to concentrate in all areas of your life.


How To:


Watch this step-by-step video for a clear understanding


Modifications & Variations


  • You can place a chair next to the standing-leg side of your body and rest your hand on the back of the chair for extra support.

  • If you are very unsteady, try practicing the pose with your back against a wall for extra support.

  • Rest the toes of your raised foot on the floor if you need extra assistance balancing.

  • If you are unable to bring your foot to your thigh, rest your foot alongside your calf muscle or the ankle of your standing leg, instead.

  • For a greater challenge when your arms are overhead, close your eyes. Practice balancing without using the outside world for reference


Child's Pose


Child's Pose is a common beginner's yoga pose. It is often used as a resting position in between more difficult poses during a yoga practice.


Benefits:


  • Regular practice of Child's Pose teaches conscious exploration of the breath.

  • When performed with the head and torso supported, it can also help relieve back and neck pain.

  • Gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.

  • Helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue.


How To:


Watch this step-by-step video for a clear understanding


Modifications & Variations


  • Child's Pose is an excellent stretch for the back but can be difficult for people with knee issues. This standing variation provides the same passive relief while avoiding any knee flexion

  • If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a thickly folded blanket between your back thighs and calves.

  • Adding a bolster under the forehead can provide relief from headaches, as well as relieve tension in the neck and upper back.


Savasana


Savasana, or the Corpse Pose, looks like a nap at the end of your yoga practice. It’s a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed.


Benefits:


  • Shavasana relaxes your whole body.

  • Releases stress, fatigue, depression and tension.

  • Improves concentration.

  • Calms the mind and improves mental health.

  • Excellent asana for stimulating blood circulation.


How To:


Watch this step-by-step video for a clear understanding


Modifications & Variations


  • If one is finding the breath fast and hard, calm the breath by doing alternate nostril breathing for about 12 rounds with each nostril.

  • Cover the eyes, with a black cloth to avoid light and focus better.

  • If the neck hurts, use a blanket or a cushion below the neck and the head for extra support.

  • To give a better support for the back, use a bolster below the knees or raise the knees by placing the blanket.

  • If the back feels uncomfortable, one could use a blanket for more support to raise the spine away from the floor.


Downward Dog


Downward Facing Dog is one of the most recognizable poses of western style yoga. It is an essential pose to learn for your practice, and is especially important to learn correctly.


Benefits:


  • Strengthens the Arms and Shoulders

  • Stretches the Spine and Strengthens the Back

  • Brings Blood Flow to the Brain

  • Lengthens the Hamstrings and Calves

  • Tones the Core and Waist


How To:


Watch this step-by-step video for a clear understanding


Modifications & Variations


  • If your wrists hurt: put a rolled up mat underneath the heels of your hand.

  • Bend your knees as much as you need to: if you find that your hamstrings and calves are tight, bending your knees can help alleviate some of that strain.

  • Use a rolled up mat underneath your heels: this provides your heels more support if they are too lifted and can also help you stretch more.

  • You can use blocks underneath your hands: bringing blocks underneath your hands will help support your wrists.


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