Yoga is all about stretching your body in different forms and meditation. When you see a book on yoga, all the pictures given are of yoga gurus stretching their hands, legs, backs, upside down pictures and what not. Don’t they look out of reach? But you know what guys; it’s not as tough as it looks. With regular and committed practice, who knows you may even start yoga sessions at your home. So don’t worry, we are going to teach you some yoga exercises for you to begin with.
So if you have made up your mind to begin practicing yoga for a good health, what’s better than start some good stretching exercises? If you choose stretching exercises as you basic yoga routine in the beginning, it helps to increase your flexibility, tones your muscles and also prepare your body for more strenuous and advanced yoga workouts.
Some stretching exercises for beginners:
1. Tadasana (Mountain pose):
This asana is easy to do and very beneficial. It increases body suppleness, strengthens your spine, legs and arms. This asana is also believed to help in height gain. If practiced right form childhood, it is extremely beneficial.
[ Read: How to Increase Height by Yoga ]
- Stand straight with your feet together and spine straight with hands by your side palms facing the thighs.
- Now clasp both your palms with your fingers and as you inhale deeply, lengthen your spine while taking your hands and stretching them above your head. Your palms should be facing the ceiling.
- Lift up your heels and now balance yourself by standing on your toes.
- Standing on your toes, stretch your entire body as much as possible.
- After you have stretched yourself, return back to stand on your feet bringing your hands down. Exhale.
2. Tree pose:
A beginner pose, this yoga posture is helpful in strengthening your calf muscles and your entire legs. It also improves your balance.
- Stand with your spine straight holding your hands together in a Namaste stretched over your head.
- Your feet should be kept together.
- Once you have positioned yourself, now lift your right leg bent at the knees and place the sole of your right feet on the inner thigh of your left leg. The knees of your right leg should be outwards.
- Close your eyes and stay in this posture for 30 seconds.
- Breathe normally.
- Repeat with your left leg also.
3. Janu Shirsasana:
A seated yoga posture, it strengthens your overall body by stretching the shoulders, arms, legs and hamstrings. It also stimulates the kidneys and liver and also improves your digestive system. This head to knee stretch also is beneficial if you have high blood pressure.
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Now fold your left leg at the knee and bring the left foot closer to the innermost part of your right thigh.
- With the right hand extended forward, hold your right foot.
- Inhale deeply and extend your spine.
- Exhale and bend forward to touch your forehead to the knee.
- Stay for 15 seconds.
- Repeat with the other leg too.
In this asana with each inhale, you extend your spine and with exhalation, you bend further forward. However if you are facing difficulty in stretching with legs straight, you may even bend your knees slightly to get into posture.
4. Cow and cat pose:
This two poses are done together in continuity.
- Sit on the floor with your knees.
- Bring both your hands in front of you supporting yourself on your palms facing the ground.
- Keep your back flat like a table top.
- Look towards the floor such that your neck is aligned to your spine.
- With a deep inhalation, lift your buttocks towards the ceiling and look up. Let your belly drop.
- Now again exhale and return back to the table top position.
- From here directly you can plunge into the cat pose.
- For this, lift your back towards the back towards the ceiling and pull your abdomen in.
- Tuck your head between your arms.
Both these poses are beneficial for your spine and can also cure back and neck pain.
[ Read: Cat Pose Benefits ]
5. Trikonasana (Triangle pose):
- Stand with your legs about 3 feet apart.
- Now raise both your hands keeping it at a straight line with your shoulders.
- Bending towards the right side, touch the toes of your right leg with the fingers of your right hand. Alternatively some yoga schools may also teach you to touch the toes of your right leg with your left hand fingers.
- Raise the left hand towards the ceiling and look up towards your left hand.
- Hold position for a minute.
- Repeat the same with the left side too.
6. Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved triangle pose):
This inverted triangle or revolved triangle pose strengthens your back and improves body balance.
- Stand with both legs stretched out on both sides.
- Now lift up both your hands keeping them linear with your shoulders.
- Turn your torso towards the right and touch the right foot with your left hand. The right hand should be upwards and the fingers pointing outwards. Look towards the fingertips.
- Stay for 30 seconds.
- Release and put your arms in a straight line with your shoulders.
- Now repeat with the other side too.
7. Adhomukha savasana:
Also known as the downward facing dog pose in English, Adhomukha savasana is a good asana for beginners. Easier to perform, this asana increases blood flow to your face and neck that gives your skin a lovely glowing look. As this is an inverted asana done against gravity, it boosts your mental confidence and reduces stress and anxiety.
- Stand on the floor with all four limbs and knees. Your legs should be positioned directly underneath your hips and your arms underneath your shoulders.
- Your palms should be facing the ground and get a proper grip by spreading out your fingers well.
- With a deep inhalation, sink your stomach in.
- Supporting yourself with both palms and toes, lift your knees off the floor.
- As your knees come off the floor, automatically your tailbone starts rising up to the ceiling.
- Stretch your spine and legs as much as possible such that your tailbone is pointing upwards and your body now assumes the shape of an inverted V.
Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
8. Side stretch:
Very simple to do and one of the basics of yoga routine, this exercise is believed to increase height and also help you get rid of love handles.
- Stand straight keeping your feet grounded at a 2 feet distance from one another.
- Keep your spine aligned with your neck.
- Place both hands on your waist with the four fingers facing forward and the thumb backwards.
- After you are in position, now start bending to the right side as much as you can. Hold for 5 seconds and then bend to the left side again.
- Repeat 15 times.
These above basic stretching exercises are great for your overall physical development. These exercises stretch and strengthen your muscles, gives you power of enduring and give your body a lot of might. The best part of these exercises is that even your kids can practice these. Kick start your day with these simple exercises and within a few days your body will be ready to adapt to advanced forms of workouts.
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