Practicing yoga has an effect on the mind, body, and soul. Those who practice yoga praise it because of the many holistic benefits it affords, and it can be especially useful to women who want to feel healthier, stronger, and leaner.
If you’re always feeling cramped, stiff, or unhealthy from 'text neck' problems or sitting behind your desk too long, give these 5 yoga poses a try to instantly make you feel better and healthier.
Start With a Balance Exercise
This is a simple exercise, but depending on your sense of balance, can be difficult. Simply raise one bent knee close to your torso and hold it in place. Balancing yoga poses and exercises like this one strengthen the lower body as well as the core muscles.
It’s suggested to focus on an object in front of you as you attempt to hold the pose as long as possible. The pose becomes more challenging if you close one or both eyes.
1. The Camel
Get on your knees, tip your head up, and lean your shoulders back. Reach your hands back to touch the soles of your feet while arching and stretching your back. This is a great exercise for strengthening the spine and thighs.
It’s useful for women who spend a lot of time sitting down at home or on the job. However, don’t overdo it. If you can’t arch your back enough to touch the souls of your feet, just go as far as reasonable comfort allows.
2. Seated Twist of Half Lord of the Fishes
Sit on the floor or on your yoga mat in a crossed-legged position. Then bring one leg up and over as you plant your foot on the ground. Hold your leg in place by grabbing the kneecap with the hand of the opposite arm and placing your other arm behind your back.
Slowly rotate your spine to look over your shoulder (the side of the hand behind the back). Focus on twisting the spine as well as lengthening it. Hold the pose for five breaths and then switch sides. The pose supports good blood circulation and aids the body in removing toxins.
3. Downward Dog
This pose helps release tension and tightness in the hamstrings, calves, and the back. Remember to refrain from doing any poses that feel uncomfortable or painful.
Yoga is a lifestyle, not an exercise or fitness fad. Start slow as you gradually gain better muscle tone, balance, and flexibility. Don’t expect to be able to do the same poses as those who have been practicing for months or years.
4. Side Opener
Stand with feet together and shoulders aligned with the hips. Reach your arms out and up as you inhale. Grab a wrist with your opposite hand and pull your arm up with your hand. Allow the torso to arch over to one side.
Stay in this position for a few breaths and then change sides. This is great for those who have been crammed in a car, plane, or office chair for a long period of time.
5. Hero Pose
Place your folded knees under your hips as you press the top of your feet down on the ground. Open your calves out to the sides and try to sit your hips down to the ground.
If you cannot put your butt down to the ground, place a yoga block or cushion under your sit bones. Hold the pose for up to 10 breaths. This pose works great for athletes or runners who have problems with shin splints.
How about you? What's your go-to yoga pose that instantly makes you feel better?