Right now, as we are trying to overcome life’s challenges, it is important to let the energy or “prana” flow efficiently through the body.
‘Prana’ is the vital life force that helps to optimize both voluntary and involuntary functions in our body and at the same time to increase our general well-being. And yoga helps the flow to purify the body and mind through chakras or energy centers. The Sanskrit word “yoga” means union and can be defined in such a way that the mind and body are brought into the present moment through the breath. On International Yoga Day on June 21st, you may be interested in learning some beginner-friendly and powerful yoga poses for flexibility that will help reduce anxiety and improve conscious body movement.
These eight invigorating yoga poses will help you combine your breath with exercise and guide you back into calming waters when the going gets tough.
Yoga Poses for Flexibility:
Anjaneyasana or crescent moon / deep lunge
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In the lunge-back pose, Anjaneyasana stretches the muscles of the hips, thighs, and quadriceps while opening the chest, shoulders, and torso. This pose is designed to keep you fresh and energetic throughout the day and to improve overall balance. If you are a beginner make sure to sit back slowly and try to hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds before letting go.
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior 1
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Warrior 1 is a strength building and basic yoga pose that helps develop a strong core, strengthen leg muscles, and prepare for advanced postures like Warrior Pose 2 and Warrior Pose 3 lower and upper body. This will help you stretch and tone the muscles of your chest, shoulder, abdomen, and back.
Bhujangasana or Cobra
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The Cobra pose provides the much-needed stretch for the upper body to give the energy boost and increase mobility. The pose opens up the chest cavity and shoulders while increasing flexibility in the arms and groin as you move forward. This pose is great for relieving stress and opening your heart chakra.
Vrikshasana or tree pose
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The standing tree pose is one of the simplest yoga asanas to improve stability and the flow of energy throughout the body. The pose increases awareness while working on the core to coordinate the upper and lower body. If your body needs balance and stability, this pose should be tried out. Make sure to practice one side at a time.
Balasana or children’s pose
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The children’s pose is easy to perform and uses rhythmic breathing and movement to help supply your entire body with oxygen. This pose gently warms the spine and prepares you for advanced yoga postures. The restful pose helps in stretching your front torso including your shoulders, neck, spine and gently relieves stress, fatigue, back pain and neck pain.
Seated Garudasana or Eagle Pose
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Seated Eagle Pose is a great way to straighten your legs and hips, strengthen your core, and correct your posture. It’s great to relieve stress in the neck or head muscles, especially by sitting in front of the equipment for long periods of time. This beginner-friendly yoga pose can also be performed while standing. Hold your breath for a few seconds before releasing the pose.
Dandayamana Bharmanasana or balancing table posture
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Balancing Table Pose combines rhythmic movements with stretches to gently improve balance on each side of the body. This beginner-friendly yoga pose helps build core muscles, improves memory and focus, relieves fatigue, elongates the spine, and improves mindfulness. Make sure to flow gently between poses on each side.
Trikonasana or triangle pose
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Trikonasana or Triangle Pose helps open the chest cavity and opens the throat and heart chakras. It is one of the best yoga poses for flexibility to improve physical and mental balance while strengthening upper and lower body muscles such as legs, knees, chest, shoulders, arms, spine, calves, and hamstrings. The pose helps relieve stress, menopause symptoms, neck pain, sciatica, and anxiety. Be sure to keep your eyes open to keep your balance throughout the pose.
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This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok.