The Exercise Guide – 6 Easy Yoga Poses, You Must Try Now!
This exercise guide includes six easy-to-perform yoga exercises (poses), which are carefully aligned to ensure that you are given all necessary tools to reap the physical benefits of Yoga without being overwhelmed by a large number of exercises. This exercise guide will briefly and effectively explain the following points:
List of target muscles or muscle groups of each activity.
Provide specific examples of physical benefits.
Explain proper execution of activities using concise language and high-quality visual aids.
Include modifications and variations for people who cannot perform the exercise as described.
1. MOUNTAIN POSE
Basic standing pose. This is a great yoga pose to start your workout to get your body accustomed to the proper posture required in every yoga practice.
Target Area: Full body.
Practical Benefits: Improve posture, release shoulder tension, properly engage the core, and increase body awareness.
Stand with big toes touching and heels an inch apart.
Slightly bend the knees to prevent locking out and engage the thigh muscles. Relax the glutes.
Reach the tailbone down to the ground, tilting the pelvis slightly upward to take the arch out of the lower back and engage the abdominal muscles.
Lift your chest, draw the ribs in towards one another, and relax the shoulders.
Actively reach hands down toward the ground with palms facing forward.
Hold the pose for 30 - 60 seconds.
Tip: Form a straight line from your pubic bone to shoulders to properly engage your core.
2. CAT & COW STRETCH
This is a perfect dynamic stretching pose that you should try before every Yoga practice or even between your working hours to give that Spine good blood circulation.
Target Area: Spine.
Practical Benefits: Relieving back pain, improving spine mobility, preparing the Spine for physical activity.
Start in a tabletop position, knees and hands on the ground with feet untucked, knees under hips, and hands under shoulders.
Inhale and arch the back, pulling the chest forward while reaching the butt upward.
Exhale and round the back, bringing the butt and head towards one another under the body, pressing into the hands to press the back upwards and separate the shoulder blades.
Repeat 5 - 10 times.
Make this movement as slow and consistent as possible.
Deepen your breath. Your length should match the time it takes you to move from cat (rounded back) to cow (arched back).
Limit the arch if you have lower back pain.
3. BIRD DOG STRETCH
Target Areas: Spine and Core.
Practical Benefits: Warming the core and legs muscles while working on balance improves the ability of the core muscles to contract, increasing the ability of the legs to lift off the ground in vertical jumps.
Get in a tabletop position with your toes untucked, knees under hips, and hands under shoulders.
Inhale, extend the (left) arm forward and (right) leg back so that there is a straight line from back heel to extended fingertips.
Exhale as you squeeze the elbow of the outstretched arm to the knee of the extended leg under the chest, rounding the back.
Repeat 3-6 times.
Breath out as much as possible.
Move at a plodding, steady, and controlled pace.
Keep your belly button tucked inside to arch out of your lower back.
4. CHAIR POSE
Target Areas: Hamstrings, Quads, and Core.
Practical Benefits: Build your lower body endurance and core stability by improving the depth and weight involved in your squats.
Start with feet hip-width apart, and middle toes lined up with the heels.
Sit with your hips down low in a squat position, ensuring that the core is engaged and the back is flat.
Shift the weight in the heels, knees to the back.
Extend your arms straight out, parallel to the ground, with shoulders relaxed.
Hold for 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Tip: Maintain a straight line with your torso to not puff your chest out. You must keep your ribs drawn in towards one another so your core stays super-engaged and your chest does not distance your lower body.
5. FORWARD FOLD POSE
Target Areas: Lower back and Spine.
Practical Benefits: Reduces the tightness in your lower back and also improves flexibility around your lower back muscles. It's especially effective for people who perform the following: walking, running or exercises that focus on the lower back, like dead-lift.
Feet together or hip-width distant.
Bend your knees as much you can to rest your chest on your thighs.
Head and neck relaxed, gaze focused backward or up at the belly button.
Hold this pose for 5 sec - 1 min.
Tips: Standing in the forward fold is focused on the lengthening of your Spine.
6. HALF LIFT
Target Areas: Hamstrings, Spine, and Core.
Practical Benefits: Warm up the hamstrings, reduce the risk of injury from sudden movements, and reset the Spine.
Feet together, back flat, and (option 1) hands are pressing into shins or (option 2, for more flexible individuals) fingertips on the ground.
Pull chest forward while pressing abdomen toward the ground.
Keep your neck in line with the back; parallel to the ground.
Hold for 5 - 15 seconds. It is usually employed as a transition.
Tip: Generously bend your knees to flatten your back. Use a mirror in front of you to figure out what it feels and looks like to have a flat back.