Namaste. September is National Yoga Awareness Month, as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Yoga Health Foundation, this means you can get a free week of yoga at more than 1,600 studios across the U.S.
If you have not yet tried yoga, this is the perfect way to start.
Before you go to your first class, try the 5 poses we selected from the 24 beginning yoga poses explained on Fitwirr. Each has its own benefits and can be performed at home, in the office, or whenever and wherever you feel like it. You may even be inspired to do yoga in the subway, as yogi Katri Aalto did in the Berlin U-Bahn (watch the video below!).
1. Downward Facing Dog
Even if you have never before stepped into a yoga studio, you have likely heard of this pose. Downward facing dog is a fundamental pose that is practiced several times in any yoga class. It is highly effective in stretching the whole body and releasing tension in the spine. It can be both relaxing and energizing.
2. Cobra Pose
Cobra pose stretches the torso and spine. It is especially beneficial if you spend a large portion of your day hunched over a computer. When doing this pose, inhale and exhale deeply. You should notice your torso gradually opening and your spine extending and elongating. The pose increases flexibility and strength in your arms, shoulders, back, and core.
3. Standing Forward Fold
Standing forward fold lengthens the spine, while also stretching the backs of the legs and back muscles. It has a host of benefits and is useful to practice several times a day. You can do it first thing in the morning to energize mind and body, after lunch to stimulate the digestion system, after sitting for a prolonged time to stimulate blood flow, and at the end of the day to give your back and legs a final stretch before crawling into bed.
4. Seated Forward Bend
Like standing forward fold, seated forward fold improves the flexibility of the back and hamstrings. When performing this pose, it is most beneficial to inhale as you lengthen with your hand above your head and exhale as you stretch with your fingertips reaching toward your toes. Only go as far you can while keeping your back straight. Overtime, you will be able to reach your toes.
5. Corpse Pose
The final pose in yoga is corpse pose, or savasana as it is called in Sanskrit. When doing yoga, always end your practice with this restorative pose. It helps relax and rejuvenate and allows the body time to let the beneficial aspects of yoga sink into every part of the body. It is also thought to fight headache, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
What is your favorite yoga pose? Tell us and SHARE this article on social media!