Simple Yoga Poses to Do At Home

Yoga exercises and poses are a daily workout you can do at home. You get many benefits from yoga exercise. It helps you grow as a person. It teaches you how to live with awareness, while it strengthens you in both body and mind. It strengthens your back, relieves pain, helps you lose weight and calms you.

Here you will learn 6 easy yoga poses to do at home. We discuss how to do yoga, the benefits of yoga exercise, the types of yoga poses, and optional equipment to help you do yoga at home.

The practice of yoga exercises and poses is a learning process at home or in class. You will come to a better understanding of your own strengths, limitations and needs. Whether you repeat a specific sequence of exercises, or just muddle through a few of your favorite easy poses, you're still doing yoga. Explore the poses you enjoy. Tune in to how your breath feels. Notice where your mind goes and the sensations that each pose invites. Advance at your own pace. For an easy beginner's workout, the suggested poses are not complicated and are held for very short periods of time. When you are ready to advance, find a nearby yoga class and a teacher that you like.

6 Easy Yoga Poses You Can Do at Home

In all the yoga exercises, you are encouraged to pay attention to your breathing during the exercise. Hold each pose for a brief time, from 10 to 30 seconds.

Mountain pose is a simple standing posture in which you open your chest and lengthen your body.

In Tree Pose you stand on one foot, resting the other foot against your thigh. This pose develops balance and pelvic strength. Newbies who need support can hold onto a chair or touch the wall for balance.

If you've touched your toes, you are familiar with standing forward bends. If your hands don't reach the floor, you can rest your hands on the yoga block. With practice over time, you'll become flexible enough to rest your hands flat on the floor.

Downward Facing Dog Pose starts with a standing forward bend. Then you walk your feet back, so that the body forms an inverted letter "V". For support, a beginner can rest the forehead on a block.

As a beginner, you can try other yoga poses at home like Triangle Pose, Extended Side Angle Pose, Cobra Pose, Bound Angle Pose, Seated Forward Bend and a Seated Twist Pose.

At the end of your yoga exercises, Corpse Pose quiets and relaxes the body and mind. Lie relaxed on the floor, while you stretch and then relax your arms and legs without lifting them. Then spend 10 minutes lying at the floor with your eyes closed and your breath calm.

An Easy Program of Yoga Exercises

The exercise program we in the West call yoga is actually known as Hatha Yoga. Modern Hatha Yoga focuses primarily on an exercise plan of yoga poses, which are called asanas. The basic yoga poses are easy enough to do at home. Yoga starts with centering poses, which are gentle stretches that bring awareness and quiet to your senses. Next are standing poses to release tension, increase circulation, expand the lungs, and help you breathe more deeply. Yoga poses include forward bends to cool the body and bring quiet to the nervous system. The final restorative yoga poses are so relaxing that you may fall asleep.

Traditional Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques, poses and practices through recorded history. Yoga is not a religion, but an approach to integrate mind, body and spirit and achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe.

The Benefits of Yoga Exercise

You'll be surprised at the benefits of regular yoga exercise at home. You will notice improvements in your health, strength, flexibility and general quality of life. Many scientific studies confirm the remarkable benefits of yoga. Yoga improves the flexibility of your spine and decreases pain in people suffering from chronic back pain. People who practice yoga have higher levels of antioxidants in their blood to fight free radical damage. When your busy schedule, daily stresses and low spirits upset you and take you down, yoga exercise is a way to nurture yourself.

Yoga Breath Exercise

Yoga teachers often refer to "your practice," which means your individual experience with yoga as it develops over time. The amazing thing about yoga is that your exercise practice is always evolving and changing, so it never gets boring. The core of yoga is discipline and exertion. It is a process of working through the exercises with patience. Along with each pose you are encouraged to focus your mind on the breath. Breathe deep into the belly to pull the air deep into the lungs and then lower into the abdomen. Be conscious as your body fills up with air and then releases it slowly. If at any point you lose track of your breathing, don't be discouraged. Just notice it and bring your attention back to the breath.

How Yoga Exercise Poses Work

A yoga practice is a balanced sequence of exercises or poses to move your body and spine through its full range of motion, stretching and challenging the entire body. The yoga exercises include standing, forward bends, backbends, balancing, hip openers, twists, inversions and restoratives.

Standing postures ground your energy, strengthen the legs, improve balance and digestion, build bone density and mobilize the joints. Forward bends sooth the nervous system, release the tension in your back and promote sound sleep. Balancing postures improve your balance, build bone density, focus the mind and strengthen the joints. Backbends open the chest, keep the spine supple and energize body and mind. Hip openers promote pelvic health and reduce sciatic pain. Twists loosen the spine and tone and cleanse the internal organs. Inversions, when the head is lower than the feet, relax the internal organs, improve circulation, ease the heart, center the mind, and improve concentration. Restorative poses allow the mind and body to relax and reduce stress and tension.

Yoga will reward you for the time you spend exercising. Don't expect too much of yourself, and don't get discouraged. If any pose is unpleasant or painful, don't push beyond your personal comfort level. Yoga is not a competitive sport. There is no grading system, no judge or final exam. Do what you can do without forcing your body. The challenge of yoga is to grow and improve over time. Even the experts tell us they are still learning.

Yoga Clothing and Equipment for Home Exercise

For your comfort during yoga exercise, wear clothing that is stretchy or loose fitting. Practice barefoot. A yoga mat is recommended to keep you grounded and help with your footing. Set aside a bit of space where you can practice regularly. If you feel anxious or jumpy you can use music to relax.

Other than the recommended yoga mat, there is no equipment that you need, but you might benefit from the suggested optional equipment to help you achieve the poses. When you start your yoga practice, your joints are tight and you are not especially flexible. Here are a few pieces of equipment to help you move into the positions. The suggested equipment includes a block to support your hand when you can't quite reach the floor. A belt will help raise your legs and support them when you aren't strong enough to bring them them all the way into a position. Use a bolster or pillow to sit on or to support your body while you learn how to do seated forward bends. A folded blanket will cushion you while sitting or lying.

If you are a newbie to yoga exercise, an instructional DVD like Yoga for Beginners with Patricia Walden will start you off right. Yoga for Beginners with Barbara Benagh or A.M. P.M. Yoga with Rodney Yee will guide you gently into the poses. You can watch and learn at home on your own schedule, as I did. The magazine Yoga Journal introduces you to the yoga community and provides helpful ideas and encouragement. Yoga exercise equipment and instructional DVDs are available from many online sources, including Amazon.

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