June 23, 2017 | Categories: Fitness & Sports
If you’ve been afraid to try yoga because you think you can’t do it, let go of that thought. There are poses you can start with right away that will benefit your body and mind. They will help build strength, balance, and flexibility. Try these beginner- friendly poses from Alicia Cheung, an instructor at YogaWorks. As always, check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
Strengthens spine and improves posture
Stand tall on mat or towel with feet together and weight evenly distributed on both feet. Let arms hang down at sides, pull belly in, and breathe steadily. With heels planted, lift toes upward. Lower toes and place them on floor one at a time, then stand tall on feet again.
Stretches hips and improves balance
From Mountain Pose, shift weight to left foot, and bend right knee. With right hand, clasp right ankle and bring toward left leg. Rest right sole against left inner thigh or calf, if easier. Keep right knee pointed to right side. Bring hands together in front of chest. Hold for five breaths, then switch legs.
Stretches and strengthens core
1. Kneel on all fours with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips.
2. Exhale, and round spine up toward ceiling and gently curl head down. Inhale, and reverse the motion.
3. Lift chest and tailbone up toward ceiling, and let belly sink down toward floor so that back is gently arched. Lift head to look straight ahead. Do this rounding and arching sequence 10 to 20 times.
Calms nervous system
Lie on back with hands about six inches away from body and palms up toward ceiling. If you feel discomfort, place a rolled-up towel under your head or knees. Close eyes, and breathe naturally. Let whole body relax. Stay this way for 5 minutes, then come out of pose gently. Roll to right side, press hands against floor, and lift torso to sit up.
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