Yoga is a rapidly spreading practice that has far-surpassed the ‘trend’ mark, and is quickly becoming commonplace in most Western cultures. Yoga mats are among some of the most popular products in the alternative health marketplace, and local studios are popping up all over! Yoga can help restore your health, building your strength from the inside out. For those of you that are interested in yoga, or perhaps just started practicing; you may feel a little frustrated at first. Some of the poses may be too hard, some might not feel like you are getting any benefit, and you may be struggling to keep your motivation. These five yoga poses are some of the most fundamental poses, beneficial to beginners and experts alike, and are excellent ways to keep your energy flowing!
Svasana (Corpse Pose)
Many yoga newcomers find this post strangely simple, and often vastly overestimate the complexity found within it’s grasp. This post is meant to help your body find it’s neutral state, where not exertion is taking place, and you are able to focus on your inner self more completely. Typically, this post is done after a yoga practice, and is a sort of reflective meditation on your day. This pose is very easy to imitate for beginners, although it’s teachings will continue throughout your practice no matter how long you evolve yourself. You will learn to explore the things that hold you back from relaxation, better understand how to address them, and come into closer contact with your true center within this pose.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Down Dog)
Many of the poses found within the ancient practice of Yoga can find their inspiration from Mother Nature and the interactions of our surrounding environments. Long before you could watch 5 hours of funny cat videos on YouTube, our ancestors carefully studied the movements of animals for insights into many aspects of life. Many of the poses practice in yoga have clearly been evolved through this structure as well, and one of the most evident is Adho Mukha Shvanasana, also known to Westerners as Down Dog. For those out there that don’t have a dog in the house, this stretch is something that our Canine friends can be seen doing when they awake from a nap, or prepare for the next activity. Adho Mukha Shvanasana offers great strengthening of the upper and middle back, stretching of the hamstrings, and also a powreful shoulder strengthening ability. It is a truly a whole-body pose that is often forced and feared by newer Yogiis, but sought as refuge during moments of collecting oneself in more advanced practices.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose as many refer to it, is another pose that is easy enough for beginners to get into. Like the other poses on this list, Bhujangasana offers as much benefit for those seasoned Yogis as for the newly-initiated. This pose is done with a slight pull forward, as you arch your neck and head backwards. This pose is great for realignment, and strengthens your core and lower back muscles. To get the full benefit of this pose, you should be trying to ‘pull’ your pelvis forward, which will allow for a safe building of lower back strength.
Phalakasana (Forearm Plank)
Phalakasana, more commonly known as Forearm Plank is really a variation on the Plank pose. This pose offers a great transitional state where your body is at rest, although you core and arms are actively engaged. Forearm Plank offers not only abdominal strength to your body, but also works your triceps something fierce. This pose is often seen as a ‘resting’ pose after working through such sequences as Vinyasa, where high plank, low plank, and many other abdominal and shoulder exercises are involved.
Bitilasana (Cow Pose)
This pose is a table top pose, which is a term used to describe a series of yoga poses in which the flatness of the back is played with. Cow pose, involving an arching of your back, is the counterpart of Cat pose. This pose is a great way to loosen up you lower back, especially if you spend much of your daily routine sitting. While this is one of the best yoga poses for beginners, it’s ability to stimulate movement in the lower back offers benefit to all whom practice it. To get the most of this pose, focus on your flat back being the center of your movement, and ‘swing’ your back to and fro, arching and shrugging it (like a cat!). This is great to do at the beginning of your practice.