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Where to Start with Yoga ... ?

Although I'm a certified Yoga teacher with nearly 15 years yoga experience and practice, I face the same challenges as everyone in getting on my mat!

We all know that Yoga is a great way to de-stress and rest the body, as well as building strength and flexibility to help improve physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.  The best thing about Yoga is that a little practice can go a long way, so I've put together these 6 foundational postures to get you started

Feel free to give them all a go and don't feel disheartened if some are more difficult than others...this is normal!  

Just remember that yoga isn't about your flexibility, it is a practice, and the more you practice the easier and more natural the postures will begin to feel...

The most important part of any yoga practice is the breath.  Try a position, take 5 deep inhales and exhales and move onto the next.... and remember ... childs pose (no.6) is always an option!  

Enjoy, and let me know how you get on ... !

 

1 Downward Facing Dog  adho mukha svanasana


‚ÄčSet Up - Fingers spread and hands flat on the mat, reach through the arms, lift hips up and back, heels draw down towards the floor

Benefits -  This posture increases flexibility in hamstrings, lengthens and strengthens back and spine, strengthens the arms and shoulders, and as a semi inversion it improves blood circulation, both energising and calming the body

Modifications - Bend the knees to help lift hips and straighten back and bring your hands into fists if your wrists ache

 

2 Low Lunge  anjaneyasana


Set Up - Feet hip width apart, sink hips forward, lift hip points and chest upwards

Benefits - This posture stretches out the front of the thighs and opens the hips, is a great side stretch with arms lifted and helps to build mental focus and balance

Modifications - You can place your hands on your waist or palms together at the chest, or try a cushion or padding under the back knee

 

3 Warrior 2  virabhadrasana 2


Set Up - Place your front heel in line with arch of back foot with your front knee stacked over front ankle, lift and straighten your arms to shoulder height

Benefits - This posture strengthens your legs and arms, opens your hips and chest and develops strength and stamina through the entire body - find your warrior!

Modifications - Place your arms at your waist or palms together at your chest, or straighten your front leg slightly to reduce the weight in the front leg

 

4 Cobra Pose  bhujangasana


Set Up  - Place your hands by your chest with your toes pressing into the mat, lift the chest, shoulders lift up and back, shoulder blades drawn down the back, elbows tucked into the body

Benefits - This posture opens up the front of the body and your hip flexors, it invigorates the heart and gently stimulates the body and strengthens your arms, shoulders and back

Modifications - Place your elbows directly under shoulders with arms in front and parallel, this posture is called Sphinx
 

5 Forward Fold  paschimottanasana


Set Up - With your legs active, push your heels away and point your toes up.  As you fold forward draw your belly towards your thighs, your chest towards your knees and your head towards feet... keep your shoulders relaxed and don't try and grab your toes!

Benefits - This posture stretches your spine, shoulders and hamstrings.  It also helps alleviate lower back pain, and soothes and calms the nervous system

Modifications - Try sitting on some cushions to help lift and tilt your pelvis forward, it feels good! Or try putting a belt or tie around your feet and hold

 

6 Childs Pose  balasana


Set Up - With either knees wide or together, draw your chest and head down towards the ground.  Reach your arms forward or around the body ~ yogis choice!

Benefits - this is a super sweet stretch through your upper and lower back and sacrum.  Its a restorative posture helping to soothe and calm the entire body and naturally stimulates the rest and relax part of the nervous system... childs pose every damn day is what I say!

Modifications - Try placing a cushion between heels and bottom, or cushions beneath chest/torso for greater support

 

As I mentioned, Yoga is much much more about the breathing than your flexibility, simply making the time to sit on your mat will be an amazing start, everything else will come after that .. Why not like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram

Namaste Yogis! Dominique