Yoga is a popular practice these days when it comes to achieving greater flexibility and peace of mind. Since ancient times, yoga has been recognised as a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices that create union between the body and mind.
Consisting of a set of exercise poses combined with breathing techniques, yoga has the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body.
How Does Yoga Benefit The Body and Mind?
Yoga focuses on the breath and in placing your attention here, you can begin to move your body in accordance with its flow. Each exercise pose when held for an extended period of time, can stimulate different energy centers (otherwise known as chakras) in the body. This encourages healthy energy flow and allows you to let go of stress, anxiety and tension and as a result, become more present to each moment.
No matter what your age or level of experience with yoga, it’s possible to reap the physical and mental benefits by making it a part of your daily routine. You don’t have to stand on your head or be an expert at the Wheel to reap yoga’s benefits. You simply have to show up a little every day and be self-disciplined in practicing the poses that can help you the most, even if it’s just for ten minutes daily…
Simple Yoga Poses For Peace Of Mind
Here are some simple yoga poses that you can practice to achieve peace and a deeper sense of mindfulness…
1. Child’s Pose – Bālāsana
This kneeling pose allows you to rest on the floor with your torso down between your thighs. Release the front of your shoulders towards the floor. Your arms should lay loosely beside your ankles. You can stay here anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The Child Pose is recommended when you need a gentle stretch through your neck and hips.
2. Cobra Pose – Bhujangasana
This gentle stretch of the back is perfect for strengthening back muscles, increasing spinal flexbility and stretching the chest, shoulders and abdomen areas. Laying flat on your belly, your hands should be placed under your shoulders with the elbows close to the torso.
The navel should be drawn up close to the mat. Inhaling as you press your feet and legs into the mat, release the tailbone downwards towards your pubis.
Begin to straighten the arms to lift your head and chest forward, away from the floor. Inhale as you widen the chest, holding for another breath or two. On the exhale, lower the head, neck and chest onto the floor.
3. Tree Pose – Vrksasana
This simple yoga pose can help you to stay grounded while helping you to build better balance. Taking a standing position, feel both of your feet rooted to the ground.
Distribute your weight evenly between your feet. Begin to shift your weight into your right foot, lifting your left foot off the floor. Ensure that you keep your right leg straight and that you don’t lock the knee.
Bend your left knee, bringing the sole of your left foot high onto your inner right thigh. By pressing the foot into the thigh, ensure that your thigh is placed onto your foot with equal pressure. This helps to keep both hips squared towards the front so it doesn’t move, ensuring you keep your balance.
Focus your gaze ahead of you on something that’s not moving, so you can maintain your balance. Take 5-10 deep breaths in this pose before lowering your foot to the floor and then repeating on the other side.
4. Downward Facing Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana
Getting into a plank position with both hands in front of you on the floor, shift your weight so that your torso and bottom half of the body are facing upwards, while your legs and feet remain firmly on the floor behind you. Gently hold this position for 30 seconds for a few breaths, or around 1-3 minutes.
5. Forward Fold Bend – Uttanasana
Release tension from the calves and hamstrings along with relaxing the head, neck and shoulders. This simple yoga posture involves standing with both feet hip distance apart.
Soften the knees and slowly lean forward. Bring the hands to opposite elbows, allowing the arms, head and neck to be very heavy. Gently sway side-to-side to release any tension in your lower back.
Continue softening the knees as you shift your weight slightly forward. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute, however long feels comfortable. Taking deep breaths as you hold the posture until gently releasing.
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