Fall In Love With These 3 Yoga Positions

your yoga practice Dec 24, 2017

For thousands of years yoga has provided endless mental and physical benefits to its practitioners.

Encouraging involvement in your own healing, yoga has the potential to be a transformative and insightful journey for its followers.

With nearly 37 million people in the US attending yoga classes, its growth shows no sign of slowing down. Up from 20 million in 2012, interest has nearly doubled in just a few short years; equating to about one in ten Americans attending yoga classes.

Fall in love with these three yoga positions and reap the undeniable rewards of this ancient modality.

Posture #1 Corpse Pose

Its Sanskrit name, Shavasana (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh), comes from two words. The first, shava (meaning corpse), and the second, asana (meaning pose).

Corpse Pose, oftentimes referred to as Final Relaxation Pose, is one of complete stillness and tranquility. And while it looks easy enough, it’s anything but easy to many yoga devotees.

The art of relaxation is harder than it appears and you may struggle with lying motionless on your back. If you find it hard to stay for this final part of your yoga class chances are you probably need it more than anyone else.

Benefits of Shavasana

  • Quiets and calms your mind. It allows you to take a break from movement and thought. How often do you actually do and think nothing? The average person thinks about 50,000 thoughts every day; your mind constantly wanders and entertains itself with unnecessary observations. Your challenge is to enter into the quiet that is buried deep beneath those thoughts.
  • Balances your body systems. We are all under some level of constant stress and our bodies are continually in the ‘fight or flight’ mode. When you come into this posture you are trying to find a place of tranquility; you are suppressing anxiety, stress, and all the heavy hitters to your parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Connecting with your breath. While breathing seems like a natural and automatic bodily function, it’s something many people take for granted. You may tend to be a shallow breather and hold your breath dozens of times a day without being aware of it. The effortlessness of Corpse Pose allows you to fill the body with a fresh supply of oxygen and rid the body of wasteful carbon dioxide.

Posture #2 Downward Facing Dog

It’s Sanskrit name, Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-Nahs-anna) comes from four words. The first, adho (meaning down), the second, mukha (meaning face), the third, svana (meaning dog), the fourth, asana (meaning pose).

Downward Facing Dog Pose is one of the most widely known postures and offers the yoga enthusiast an all-embracing stretch. Because a lot is happening all at once, diligence in this posture is necessary to enjoy its restorative qualities.

Once you begin to build strength and flexibility, you will be better able to maintain proper form. Soon you will find it to be both powerful and relaxing at the same time.

Benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • Strengthens and opens the chest. If you sit in a chair most of the day hunched over a computer, you probably have chest muscles that are overly tight and not all that strong. This posture helps stretch the chest muscles and develop much needed strength. Expanding and building the chest muscles helps reduce pain and pressure on the shoulders and upper back.
  • Builds strong bones. Many yoga postures are weight bearing exercises and a gentle way to build bone density. Vital for preventing or helping to manage osteoporosis, it’s a low-impact way to apply pressure to the shoulders, engage the rotator cuff and lift your arms overhead, a movement we don’t do often enough every day.
  • Boosts circulation. Downward Facing Dog is great for the circulatory system. Because it places the hips above the heart and the heart above the head it helps facilitate blood flow to the brain and to the legs. This increased blood flow aids in flushing toxins, removing waste and other unwanted materials from the body by activating the lymphatic system.

Posture #3 Child’s Pose

It’s Sanskrit name, Balasana (bah-LAHS-anna) comes from two words. The first, bala (meaning child), the second, asana (meaning pose).

Child’s Pose is so named as it is attributed to the fetal position and the fundamental reflections of life in the womb. It is often used to rest the body between challenging posture sequences.

This is designed to be a nourishing and nurturing pose and can be practiced with modifications to suit the needs of the yogi.  As the front body releases into the thighs it becomes slightly compressed; this restriction allows you the opportunity to breathe deeply and fully into the back of the torso widening and lengthening the spine.

Benefits of Balasana

  • Recommended for improved digestion. If you’re suffering from a bloated stomach and gas Child’s Pose can be especially helpful. With your knees close together and your belly resting on your thighs you can manually massage your internal organs. By taking long, slow, deep breaths you press your abdomen into your legs you are manually massaging your intestinal tract.
  • Passively stretches muscles with gravity and your body weight. It gently relaxes the front of your body while it softly and calmly opens the hips, thighs, ankles and back of the torso. With each inhalation, you are expanding the body for a deep stretch and with each exhalation immersing your body into peace and pleasure.
  • Release, relax, surrender. Calm your mind, slow down your breath and restore yourself to a place of tranquility and safety. Practicing this pose when you wake can help you transition into your day—practicing before you go to sleep can help you let go of what has transpired. Use it to create serenity on and off the mat.

Words fail to express the complete worth of yoga, it has to be experienced.

If you have a regular yoga practice this is not news to you. But if you have never tried yoga, please do. While you’re likely to find that your time on the mat is transformational, it’s really what happens off the mat that will be a life changer.

Fall in love with these three yoga positions and find your mind, body, and spirit revitalized.

I am a master yoga instructor and wellness coach. If you have questions about incorporating a yoga practice into your life, let's chat. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and receive a preview of my health and fitness book Eat Like You Give A Damn FREE! Follow me on Facebook for daily inspirations at Fit You Wellness Solutions.

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Emphasizing the concept of mind, body, and spirit, my blog guides you to walk the walk. It offers you tips on weight loss, healthy eating, practicing mindfulness, and incorporating yoga and exercise into your already busy lifestyle.