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Yoga Poses - Exploring The Body, Mind & Beyond

 


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Yoga positions are as unique as the Sanskrit word used to describe them: Asana.

The life-changing Asana can be credited for the increasing popularity of Yoga throughout the world. Optimal strength and flexibility is the objective for practicing Yoga and the results come from perfecting unique combinations of stretching and breathing.

In a Yoga routine, you will find the instructor will use a combination of different categories in order to prepare a well rounded routine. Also, as you become familiar with the categories you will be able to come up with your own personal routine by picking and choosing a few from each in order to address those parts of the body that you want to improve.

Classification of these is broadly identified by the following types of poses:

  • Standing

  • Inverted

  • Seated

  • Supine & Prone

  • Backward bends

  • Forward bends

  • Twists

  • Balance

  • Relaxation

    Standing

    Standing poses work on the legs and hips and dramatically improve your posture. Stronger leg muscles, increased mobility in the neck and shoulder and improved flexibility in the lower back and pelvis are some of the benefits. The most basic standing pose is Mountain (Parvatasan). It is used to form a number of other standing positions.

    Inversion

    An inversion pose is considered any position where the legs are lifted above the upper body. They increase blood flow to the heard. Most people have seen the Sheershasana. It is one of the defining Yoga poses where the practitioner stands on his or her head for a few moments. It is always important to have a Yoga instructor close by when attempting this type of pose to be sure you are doing it correctly.

    Seated

    There are two main types of these: One is usually done with the legs crossed; the other has the legs bent and folded backwards. They strengthen the lower back, spinal agility, and elasticity to hips, knees, angles and the groin. Breathing is a significant part of the seated posture, and is made up of a combination of deep, normal, and fast breathing. The use of breath control in the seated positions is used to attain mental peace and for curing breath-related ailments.

    The Lotus Pose (Padmasana) is well known. It is the most basic of the seated poses and is used as the base in several different positions.

    Supine and Prone

    Supine poses are done on your back and offer spinal motility and stronger hip and stomach muscles. In some of these poses, the body is kept totally flat on the floor or is lifted up from the floor partially or totally with the support of hands, legs, or both.

    Prone poses are done while facing the floor. They work at the arms, legs, spine and shoulders and help relax the lower back.

    Backbends

    These are directed at strengthening the lower back, spine, shoulders and neck and help alleviate chronic stiffness in these areas. They also assist in attaining relaxation and calmness.

    Forward Bending

    These work on arms, shoulders, and the chest and when done correctly, help to alleviate chronic pain in these areas.

    Twists

    With the right type of guidance these oddly named poses relieve body tension. Since both sides of the body are addressed, they results in increased mobility.

    Balance

    Another term for balance is Santuian and these poses work on improved posture, concentration, coordination, and muscle tone. They are also directed at the spine and once attained, they increase stamina prevent stumbling. It is important these be practiced with a Yoga expert.

    Relaxation

    These are simple positions designed to be performed at the end of a Yoga session. Not only do they help cool down the body, but they bring the mind to peace.

    These are just a few of the poses within different categories. As you become familiar with Yoga, you will find there is an abundance of positions to be found and enjoyed.

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