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5 Essential Yoga Poses will keep you fit and healthy

These five essential yoga poses can provide a well rounded and fulfilling yoga practice. They can even lower anxiety and stress, fight fatig...

These five essential yoga poses can provide a well rounded and fulfilling yoga practice. They can even lower anxiety and stress, fight fatigue and provide a sense of peace against the ever changing challenges of life.

The typical American yoga class is primarily asana, or the postures of yoga. When you master these few poses you will have a good grasp of the key components of balance, standing poses, inversions and forward bends.

5 Yoga Poses

Learning these five yoga poses will provide you with a good foundation for a lifetime of practice.

Yoga Poses - Mastering the Basics

Yoga asanas, or poses, are perfomed slowly with particular concentration on fluid movement and purposeful breathing. Breathing is at the heart of yoga. It helps bring heat to the body to allow for a deeper stretch.

There are standing poses, balancing poses, seated poses, twisting poses, inverted poses, restorative poses and more, each with its own benefits.

1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Facing Dog is a basic yoga pose that offers many benefits. It requires both strength and flexibility as you press you hips back and up to lengthen your spine while spreading your shoulder blades away from the spine to create space in your upper back.

Downward Facing Dog should help you feel alert yet relaxed. Holding this pose will leave you feeling energized. It serves to balance the body, lengthen the spine, strengthen your arms and shoulders and tone your legs.
Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

2. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward Facing Dog is a demanding pose for many as it may cause discomfort in the lower back. The challenge is not to create a deep backbend but to create a slight curve along the entire length of your spine.

This pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, abdominal muscles and lower back. When you hold the pose, you may notice it is your stomach and leg muscles that are working the hardest.
Upward Facing Dog

3. Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior II Pose is a standard practice in most yoga clases and includes three variations designated as Warrior I, Warrior II and Warrior III. The focus here is on Warrior II which is a posture of a strong warrior with your weight balanced equally between both legs.

Standing poses such as Warrior II are very efficient. It is a pose that builds strength and endurance and can be sustained indefinitely when done correctly. In the beginning you may find yourself quivering uncontrollably as your muscles do all the work. Over time, you will learn to shift some of the support to your bones to allow the muscles to relax slightly.
Warrior Pose II

4. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose is one of the first balance postures learned because it teaches you to find your center and stay focused. Tree Pose is designed to make us strong and strengthen our willpower so that we are motivated to work toward our goals even with obstables in the way. When you extend your energy you can feel your balancing poses come to life.

Tree Pose has many benefits. It strengthens your legs, opens your thighs and hips, teaches patience, balance and focus. Learning a balance posture has a lot more to do with your state of mind than with your physical ability. When your mind wanders or if you are stressed, you are likely to fall out of the pose quickly. As you learn how to steady your mind with Tree Pose you will then know how to stay balanced. 
Tree Pose

5. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Triangle pose is a combination of three distinct elements: stability, evenness and expansion. These three attributes form the three sides of the triangle. This pose is designed to create strength and stability in the legs while creating a sense of open space in the chest area. Achieiving the physical state of balance between the legs, torso and arms helps achieve the same balance with the mind.

The benefits of Triangle Pose are chest expansion, strenghening of the legs, and an opening of the hips.
Triangle Pose

Bonus Tip - Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana can provide relief from the hectic schedules of every day life. This restorative pose encourages you to turn inward which provides a healthy release from feelings of stress, anxiety and tension. 

Savasana should be a part of your yoga practice. It lets the body cool down internally and promotes whole body awareness. The benefits of Corpse Pose are the development of focus, mindfulness regarding breathing, easing tense muscles and offering a soothing balance in contrast to your daily activities.

What's your favorite yoga pose? Share it below.

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Day Night Health Book: 5 Essential Yoga Poses will keep you fit and healthy
5 Essential Yoga Poses will keep you fit and healthy
Day Night Health Book
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