A beginner’s guide to fundamental yoga poses and mindful movement
Yoga often conjures up images of hyper-flexible acrobats; while this is often the case at the very advanced levels of yoga practice, the great majority of people who do yoga are in it for improved flexibility, strength, and overall improved mobility. Additional widely-touted benefits of yoga include stress relief and meditation, and the rewarding feeling of completing a workout!
People are often looking for light and simple routines that they can try at home or in the office. The sheer number of poses and complicated names can seem daunting, but don’t be intimidated by the terminology and advanced poses! Yoga is for everyone.
Try these four fundamental yoga poses that are part of many yoga flows:
- Mountain Pose Also known as Tadasana, this balancing pose strengthens the thighs, knees, ankles, glutes, and core. It can help improve posture and relieve back pain when practiced regularly.
- Modification: You can always stand with your feet hip-distance apart if you are having a hard time balancing with your feet together.
- Plank This core-burning pose is a staple in the sun salutation series and most genres of exercise (Check out our plank guide here). In addition to your abs, it targets your wrists, arms, chest, and back muscles as well.
- Modification: If you don’t feel stable or supported in the traditional plank, practice the pose with your knees on lower down onto your forearms.
- Triangle pose This pose engages most of your muscles, but especially strengthens the core. It’s also an excellent stretch for legs and opens up your hips and shoulders to alleviate any tightness.
- Modification: Use a block for support if you aren’t able to touch the floor with your fingertips.
- Tree pose Targeting primarily the lower body, tree pose works to improve posture and strengthen your ankles and calves. It’s also a great stretch for your quads and inner thighs.
- Modification: If you are unable to bring your foot to your thigh, rest your foot alongside your calf or the ankle of your standing leg instead.
Many people feel that their minds are constantly overstimulated; the practice of yoga can help us slow down our thoughts, restore a sense of balance, and feel a sense of mindfulness.
Try out this mindful movement practice to relax your mind and release any tightness in your body:
Everyone can spend dedicated a few minutes in the morning or evening to stretches for improved mobility and flexibility. Your stretching routine doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. Roll out your mat and try out some poses!
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