4 Yoga Poses You Should be Doing Daily
People turn to yoga as a way to improve physical strength, manage pain, meditate, relax and improve mental well-being. There are also about as many ways to do yoga as there are purposes, but here are four poses that you can work into your daily routine for a little mind-opening stretching and relaxation.
1. Downward Facing Dog
With its distinctive name and simplicity, downward facing dog is one of the best known poses, and for good purpose. It carries plenty of benefits. To come into this pose, place your hands shoulder-width distance on the ground and feet hip-width distance behind you, and raise your hips toward the ceiling, letting your head relax between your shoulders. You should form an upside-down V shape in this resting pose. Over time, downward dog may help stretch your leg muscles, strengthen your hands and wrists, improve your circulation and boost digestion.The pose has also been known to aid back pain, which is common for many Americans, as well help you wake up in the morning.
2. Half Moon
Many people become involved with yoga to improve their balance, and the half moon pose is a great place to get started. With your right foot planted firmly on the floor, tilt your body and extend your left leg behind you so they form an L shape, and rotate your hips and chest toward the side wall. Reach your right arm toward the ground and extend the other straight up to the sky. This pose is designed to help people with balance on a daily basis. Others also turn to it for relief from digestive distress, anxiety, stress or menstrual discomfort.
3. Mountain Pose
It's one of the most basic yoga poses and perfect for beginners, but if you've never done it before it looks just like standing. Although you do stand straight, mountain pose is actually much more complex and uses nearly every muscle group. Many people start by swaying before gaining control of each muscle group and falling into the pose, where they stand, consciously focusing on lengthening and widening the legs, hips and shoulders, which can become tense and bunched. This pose aims to help strengthen your muscles, relieve head pain, lower blood pressure and relieve insomnia.
4. Child's Pose
While kneeling, fold forward over your thighs and bring your hips back to touch your heels, reaching your hands forward on the ground. Feel your spine and torso lengthen while focusing on breathing getting into this pose, which helps with upper body tension and stress. It also is designed to aid steady breathing, strengthen ligaments and tendons, massage organs, improve circulation and alleviate neck pain.
Follow up your daily yoga routine with a nutrient-rich smoothie fresh from your personal blender.