With another year gone, and another one coming, it is very common for one to want to improve their health and fitness. This (2019) was the first year that I didn`t make a weight-loss goal actually, but rather a goal of acceptance of myself.
Yoga came into my life several years ago and I have always worked on my practise here and there over time. One thing I have always loved is how much better I feel when I regularly practise.
Yoga forces me to be in the moment and aware, and that is definitely good for my mental health. With the holidays here, my mental health has taken such a hit, so I`m sharing with you today my favourite yoga poses and why.
I love this one when my back is feeling stiff, which lately is, all the time.
Basically, go on your knees, sink back, and lower your head to the earth. There are SO many variations of this so please do whatever feels good. A few that I am aware of are stretching your arms out in front, or tucking one arm under the other and resting an ear down, focusing on a nice side stretch, and of course alternating each side. You can also open up your hips and allow for a bit of a deeper stretch, or lay one arm out and one arm behind. Inhale and exhale slowly, and repeat for each side. Don`t push your body to do something that doesn`t feel good.
Sometimes life is just so busy, it`s good to come back and find that balance.
I like tree pose for that very reason. It requires focus and concentration, while being mindful of your breath. Again, like child`s pose, there are many variations to this pose. You can have your foot at your ankle with your toes touching the earth, giving you more stability. Also, you can put your foot at your shin, and you can pull it up into your inner thigh. NEVER at your knee though. It takes concentration and focus, and is fantastic for your core, and your supporting leg. Again, make sure you are working both sides of you. Give each leg a turn at being the strong and supportive foundation.
Now this one has 3 different poses within it. Warrior 1, 2 and 3 are all very powerful poses. They all welcome challenge, while still allowing/encouraging you to work at your own level and comfort. For warrior 1 you are going to have your front leg bent, and your back leg several feet back. You want a nice long stance. There should be a soft bend at your back knee. Never lock your knee. Your back foot is turned slightly inwards, and the front is straight. Then, relax your shoulders, and bring your hands together at your heart.
For warrior 2, your back foot straightens, so it is no longer pointed inwards, and rather than facing forwards, you now open up your arms and your torso. You look forward past your finger tips.
Warrior 3 is quite a bit more challenging. You have one supportive leg and extend the other one backwards while you tip your body forwards, keeping your back straight. Extend your arms in front of you and envelope your fingers together with your pointer fingers out. When you are bending forward, imagine you are on a hinge. Your back, and back leg should all be in one straight line. Practise warrior 1 and 2 before this one definitely. It can put a lot of stress on your back if done improper.
I think everybody knows what downward dog is, but I still wanted to include it. What I have recently learned and been working on with my downward dog is that your heels are supposed to be flat on the ground. HARD! I love to sort of pedal my legs straight, and then bent while practising downward dog. I can feel a good long stretch in behind my leg and I know I`m working my shoulders and upper body really good holding myself up for so long.
I love plank because it`s such a fantastic FULL-BODY exercise but so simple to do. Well, not simple. But, you don`t require any equiptment whatsoever. There are again, many variations to this, so you can always start somewhere. However, as with all fitness programs, consult with your physician first.
I love all things Yoga, so I was SO excited when I found Yoga-inspired jewlery!!
She is a very proud Mom and an artist through and through. She has found peace, clarity and direction through all things creative in her life. Maria`s passions include making jewellery, painting and singing. She feels extremely fortunate to be able to do what fills her cup!
She is equally as excited to be here as I am to have her!!
Stop by her shop and pick up some of her incredible yoga-inspired jewlery!!
Do you practise Yoga? What is one of your favourite poses?