Yoga is not inherently physical exercise. Not many people realize that they have already started yoga. You can even do yoga in your mind if you want. This makes it very accessible to all bodies. Regardless of your size or build, let’s be clear: yoga is 100% for you! Let’s go…
Yoga is a practice that comes in many forms and goes beyond the physical practice of yoga poses and asanas. Yoga isn’t about tucking your feet behind your head or having a place to wear a tight-fitted outfit. The goal of yoga is to connect the mind, breath, body, and spirit to establish a relationship with the true (higher) self. The purpose of yoga is to reconnect you with your deepest part. It’s about rediscovering who you are and taking it out into the world to serve others. And this act of being alone with a calm mind in our body has a positive impact on our health and well-being.
So why do we associate yoga with exercise?
Well, these days, yoga is often reduced to exercise, a slot at the gym, or a quick sweaty workout.
Yoga is an eight-limb practice that includes meditation, breathing exercises, mindset techniques, ethics, and principles. Asana (the physical practice we often associate with yoga) is just one of these eight limbs and must be practiced in balance and alignment with the other limbs. When practiced together, eight limbs of yoga act like
keys, unlocking layers and allowing one to penetrate the hidden depths of mind, body, and spirit.
Funnily enough, it is deep exploration, understanding, shedding, and reconstruction of the inner world that allows us to truly enjoy the simplest details of the outer world.But for many, the asanas are the gateway to the other limbs. It has a great appeal because of its physical nature, but when you start practicing the asanas, you will find yourself wanting to know more about the spiritual tools that yoga has to offer.
If you are just starting yoga, or a close friend or family member is starting yoga then asanas are a good way to start. You can also refer to our self-help book:” Find Your Balance” or refer to our previous articles on yoga for a jump start.
Some yoga poses that you could do anywhere-
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Stand with your feet shoulder opened wide and stretch your arms forward. Hold your arms out at your sides, about 12 inches from your hips. As you pose, roll your shoulders back and tilt your chin slightly up. Inhale deeply as you stretch your arms out as if someone is gently pulling your fingertips. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths or until he feels comfortable.
Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
Start in Mountain Pose. Extend your arms overhead and straighten your body from your toes to your fingertips. Tilt your head up, hands down, and reach for the sky.Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths or until he feels comfortable.
Greeting Seal (Anjali Mudra)
This pose can be initiated while sitting or standing. Raise your arms overhead and bring your palms together down to the center of your chest. Let your shoulder roll backward and take deep breaths. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths or until you feel comfortable.
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Begin with Mountain Pose. Place hands at the sides and bring the right arm back while raising the left arm overhead. Try reaching behind your back and grasping the fingertips of each hand. If you can’t reach it with your fingertips, try grabbing a strap, belt, or towel. With your hands folded, roll your shoulders back and take a deep breath in this pose. Change hands after a few breaths.
Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
Yoga Knees with hands on his mat or soft surface (such as a rug). Place your hands shoulder-width apart, your knees hip-width apart, and the soles of your feet facing up. Start this pose with your back straight like a table. Slowly bend your spine into Cat Pose as you hang your head toward the floor. After taking a few breaths, you can try:
Return to a neutral straight line and rest. Lower your navel to the floor and gaze up toward the ceiling to come into Cow Pose (Bitilasana).
Child Pose (Balasana)
Begin in Cat Pose on the floor. Using your hands as anchors, push your hips back so your stomach rests on top of your legs. Keeping your head on the floor, take a deep breath and stretch your hands as far as you can reach them. Hold this pose for 5 deep breaths or until he feels comfortable.