5 Simple Yoga Postures for Health Benefits

By: Allie McLane, 200 hour RYT yoga teacher-in-training 

1. Ragdoll pose:

For this pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips, fold forward and allow your torso and head to hang heavy. Bend your knees a lot. Grab opposite elbows and option to swing side to side. 

Benefits of this pose: spinal decompression, oxygenates your central nervous system, opens the back of your body.

2. Child's pose:

To get into this posture, open your knees to the width of your mat, bring your big toes to touch, sink your hips towards your heels, reach your arms forward and rest your forehead on the mat.

Benefits of this pose: 
Neutralizing, slows heart rate, creates full body rest and stretches the back and shoulders.
3. Supine twist pose:

Begin laying on your back. Bring both knees into your chest and then release your left leg long to the ground. Hug your right knee into your right armpit and then twist it across your body. Ensure that both of your shoulders remain in contact with the ground. Gaze directly up or to the left. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits of this pose: 
Releases residual tension in the body and creates a tunicate effect with your internal organs (the twist lessens blood flow and the release allows fresh oxygenated blood to rush to your internal organs).
4. Camel pose

Stand on your knees hip-width distance apart, press your hips forward and stack your hips directly over your knees, bring your palms to your lower back like you are sliding them into denim pockets. Gaze up then back. If you can see where the wall meets the floor, you can grab for your heels. To get out, take your time and use your core to rise all the way up.

Benefits of this posture:

Stretches hip flexors, opens the vulnerable front part of your body. It's common to feel very emotional after doing this posture because it opens up a major energy center of your body which allows for a release of built up emotions, so be sure to ground yourself afterwards by bringing your knees to touch and sitting on your heels. Place your palms on your thighs to ground your energy. 

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