10 Yoga Poses to Stay Healthy & Motivated
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.” ― Sharon Gannon
Most of us look at yoga as a way to increase mobility and to stretch. However, yoga can also be a challenging full-body workout too. If you want to stay healthy and motivated, you have got to challenge yourself time and again. Up the meter and try out new poses, asanas and breathing techniques, and allow yourself to stretch the imaginations of a yoga lifestyle. Here are ten poses that are part of the functional yoga postures. They increase athletic performance and challenge you on various levels- core stability, cardio stamina, and more.
The main aim of this sequence is to help you stay tight and fluid as you traverse from one pose to another. When you make your way from the push-ups and core work, your main aim should be on maintaining the best alignments for yourself, while throwing a challenge to the strength you have. The sequence should be first performed on the right-hand side of the body, all the way through. Then you should shift on the left-hand side of the body, all the way through, and repeat the sequence on both sides again.
Once you have completed the sequence of yoga poses, you will have increased your core, arm and leg strength. More than that and you will have stretched your shoulders and hamstrings. You would see that there is more movement in your spine as well. Your balance would also increase. Finally, there would be a better mind and body coordination too.
1. Cat and Cow Yoga Pose
This is a pose which is perfect to help you restore energy in your body, and this pose works directly in affecting your spine. Start by planting your hands and knees on the ground, going on all fours like an animal. Make sure that your shoulders are aligned with your wrists, and your knees with your hips. As you lift your head and buttocks, while you lower your stomach, inhale. Now exhale as you slowly lower your head. At this time you should also get your spine curved and your tail bone should be lowered. As you do this pose, it is important to breathe and focus on each breath.
2. The plank Yoga Pose
This pose is great to acquire strength. To start doing it, you must lie down first on a yoga mat, and deeply press your hands on the mat. Your hands should be under the shoulders, and make sure your toes touch the mat too. Emulate a push, lift the whole body from the ground, balanced on your hands and align your hands to the shoulders and the toes. Now your body should look like one longboard. Hold the pose for around thirty seconds or more.
3. The spinal twist
To begin with, sit down with staff pose on a mat. Now bend the right knee and place your foot on the left outer thigh; it should touch the floor. Now rotate your body to the right, and place the right hand on the floor behind your tail bone. Take your left arm and wrap it around the right leg. Hold onto the pose for thirty seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
4. The downward-facing dog
With this pose, think of making the position as a triangle with the body, and the floor is the base. Bring both feet close together and stick the buttocks up in the air. This forms the highest part of the triangle. Now get your shoulders and your hands aligned. This is a stretch that does wonders for the spine as well as the shoulder muscles.
5. The crescent lunge
To do this pose, you must first form a ninety-degree angle with the help of the right knee. Now stretch the left leg back behind you. While doing that, reach out your arms towards the ceiling. Hold on to this pose for thirty seconds, and then repeat on the other side. This pose helps promote more strength and also tones the lower body.
6. The Cobbler’s Yoga Pose
This is another favourite pose that most yoga blogs would speak about. To do this pose, you must sit on the floor and place your legs as though they are wings of a butterfly. Let your feet touch one another and allow your hands to be on the toes. Both the knees should be bent. Now slowly lean forward as much as you can, and hold this pose for around thirty seconds. Repeat on the other side.
7. The Warrior II Yoga Pose
This is a pose that has a lunge, however, it has your arms that are stretched outwards- in the front and at the back. It forms a T with the upper body, and this pose is known to address flexibility and balance in the body.
8. The Reclining Goddess Yoga Pose
To do this pose, you must lie on the floor first, and then go ahead and bring both your feet together. Now bend both your knees and form a wide diamond shape with the help of your legs. It would be nice if you could place a pillow under the knees and under the lower back to have more support. When you are lying down in the position formed, it would be nice to have your arms rest beside your hips.
9. The Low Lunge Pose
Very similar to the Warrior II pose, the low lunge pose is a favourite amongst yoga instructors. Here, instead of forming the T shape with the help of your upper body, you stretch both your hands up, and over your head, you go towards the ceiling. Now one of the legs should be on the floor from your knee downwards, and the other should be bent, which forms half a cube shape. This is a pose which helps stretch the back and the inner and outer thighs as well.
10. The Bridge Pose
This is a pose which is most loved by many yogic experts. With this pose, you align your hips and your spine, and you also manage to address the balance and strength in your body. To do this pose, you must first lie down on a mat on the floor and have both the knees bent. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground. Now have your hands at your side and press them gently into the mat below. Raise your hips upwards and create a diagonal line with the help of your body, upper thighs and the stomach.
To manage stress and tension in life, yoga is the way to go. When you stretch and use a foam roller, it will improve the health of your fascia where there tightness and tension are stored.
When you do yoga in the morning, you exercise your mind and your body together. Deep breaths are taken in and out regulate every part of the body and every system too. Your nervous system also gets to be balanced and levelled as well, and this allows you to function to your optimal level as well.
In a nutshell…
Morning yoga poses for health helps in resetting all the systems in your body; it helps stimulate blood flow and increases circulation in the body. Even muscles that are strained or tired would be recovered. And you get to eliminate toxins out of the body through this yoga lifestyle.
Check out our blog on why hot yoga is so great!