You have probably already heard that yoga offers an endless array of incredible health benefits, and you might be familiar with some of them, even if you don’t practice yoga. However, it is also important to know about the many benefits each individual yoga pose (also known as a yoga asana) has to offer. In this post, you will discover the top seven yoga poses and the incredible benefits they provide for anyone who is striving to lead a healthy life.
1. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
If you take a yoga class, you will notice that the downward dog pose is commonly and repeatedly done throughout the duration of the practice. That is because this inverted yoga pose (which is done when your hands are stretched out in front of you with your head down and your legs are straight behind you, shaping your body into a V) touts many benefits, including improved blood flow, fresh oxygen to the brain, toned arms, properly stretched and flexible hamstrings, and a decompressed spine. Start getting into downward dog every morning for a clear mind and a surge of energy that will carry you through the rest of your day.
2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
In order to do the chair pose correctly, stand with your feet flat, extend your arms straight above your head, and bend your knees in order to help you push your backside into an invisible chair. Pull your bellybutton in toward your spine, and focus on keeping your back straight and elongated. Also, make sure that your knees are not going past your feet or knocking together; if you can see your toes in front of your knees, you know you are doing the pose right. Chair pose is an excellent pose for strengthening and toning the butt and legs, perfecting balance and focus, stretching your shoulders and chest, and stimulating your diaphragm, heart, and abdominal organs.
3. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Don’t underestimate the power of lying down and appreciating stillness. The corpse pose is one of the most relaxing yoga poses that doesn’t seem to demand much, yet it is one of the most important and should be done at the end of every yoga practice. This pose allows you to absorb everything you have done in your practice, flush your toxins, lower your blood pressure, and clear your mind before going on with your day. Do this pose for anywhere from two to five minutes at the end of every practice–or longer if you have the time. As a general rule of them, the longer you sit in savasana, the more benefits you will reap.
4. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
This slightly more advanced asana starts out with your belly down on your yoga mat. From there, reach your hands behind you so that you are able to grab your ankles. Once you have your ankles, lift your head, chest, and legs off the ground. Bow pose is excellent for anyone trying to lose some weight, reduce belly fat, and tone their stomach. It also helps the back become more flexible and acts as a quick stress reliever. If you are having digestion problems, do bow pose. For strength, bow pose benefits your spinal chord, ankles, chest, groin, thighs, and abdominal organs. Lastly, doing this pose will also improve how your pancreas, liver, and small and big intestines function. Include this posture in your daily yoga practice to reap the many long-term health benefits.
5. Headstand Pose (Sirsasana)
The headstone pose, one of the more advanced yoga poses, can be achieved with regular yoga practice. Do not attempt this pose without the assistance of a yoga instructor, so you don’t end up injuring yourself. This pose is done by standing on your head and supporting yourself with your hands or forearms. It is similar to a handstand, but easier and your arms are not extended out fully. The headstand pose provides relief for anyone suffering from insomnia, improves blood circulation, promotes better brain function and memory, perfects physical and mental balance, and helps people with spinal issues.
6. Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana)
While this pose is not as advanced as the headstand pose, it still demands a considerable amount of strength, balance, and flexibility, and should only be tried after adequate yoga practice. Start by lying on your back and lifting your legs and your backside into the air vertically. The goal is to make your legs, buttocks, back, and core as straight as possible as you balance the weight on your shoulders (without straining your neck). You can start by supporting your back with your hands and then working up to holding your hands out on the mat and balancing solely on your shoulders. This pose is excellent for better sleep, weight loss, digestion, blood circulation, and pancreas function.
7. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Start by lying flat on your stomach and slowly raising your upper body by pushing up with your hands. Over time, you will become more flexible with this pose and be able to open your chest outward to the front. The cobra pose works wonders for anyone who suffers from frequent headaches, poor blood circulation, and even liver disease. Additionally, this pose is beneficial for anyone with a sleeping disorder, constipation and digestion problems, or spinal issues. Lastly, the cobra pose will help promote proper function of the gallbladder, pancreas, liver, and kidneys.
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