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Pregnancy Yoga Poses

It almost seems that yoga was made for pregnancy, with its calming and relaxation focus, intense breathing exercises, and finally improving your muscle flexibility and circulation. Pregnancy yoga comes with abundant yoga benefits and is one of the most populat types of yoga with enough yoga poses to keep you going throughout these special 9 months, and keep practisng yoga after!

Choosing the correct yoga music can be great to help calm those nerves, while the yoga poses for back and yoga poses for hips will help prepare your body for the physical demand it is about to experience. Pre-natal yoga has become very popular lately and has spread to yoga poses for kids to keep up the act of yoga after you have given birth!

What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?

A common mixture of exercise during pregnancy is to couple yoga with running. These subtle exercises keep your muscles activated during pregnancy, they prepare your mind and body for labor as well as helping blood circulaton and staying healthy in general. The one suggested precaution when doing yoga poses for pregnancy would be to watch the abdomen area and try not to stretch it.

Yoga Poses for Pregnancy

These are specific yoga asanas to help during the pregnancy period. Be careful to stretch and move in the correct manner so as not to damage your muscles or over-stretch. Use as much yoga equipment as you need, pillows and cushions etc…

  • Cobbler/Tailor Pose: sitting straight up against a wall, bring the soles of your feet together and gently push your knees to the ground until you find a comfortable spot to stop and hold the pose
  • Child’s Pose: kneeling on your legs, stretch your arms forward and lean forwards, bring your tummy into our thighs and take deep breaths, breathe deeply into your back
  • Triangle Pose: stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, point your right foot outward while keeping your left pointing straight, bring your right hand to your right angle, extend your left arm above and follow your arm with your eyes

Here is a short video to give you an introduction on some pregnancy yoga poses and breathing techniques:

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Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Weight loss exercises are always on our mind. What is the newest way to lose those pounds? Yoga for weight loss! Yoga is a brilliant exercise activity that not only helps you with weight loss but improves your flexibility, builds strength and many more yoga benefits are still being discovered. In the beginning, yoga for beginners teaches you to focus on your mind, body and soul, but this in turn has positive effects on your weight.

With all the different types of yoga to choose from, it can be daunting trying to figure out which one will give you the best results. Don’t be worried if you feel the need to use yoga equipment and props at first to help with the yoga poses. Practice makes perfect, we suggest you read through the different yoga styles and positions, test them and see what works best for you. Bikram yoga and ashtanga vinyasa yoga are recommendable due to their quicker pace and higher energy sessions.

Check out our yoga vs pilates debate for more information.

Yoga Poses to Help Lose Weight

Our suggested yoga poses for weight loss will be sure to get you working up a sweat! As yoga is an activity that targets muscles and tissues, you might need to stick at it for a little while before seeing results. Give these yoga exercises a go:

  • Boat: sitting on a mat, raise your legs straight up and lean back to create a “V” shape with your body, hols your arms out straight and at shoulder height
  • Locust: lying on your front, inhale lifting your legs up and keeping them straight, raise your chest and head with your arms going backwards and palms up, you should feel a stretch in the abdominals and a slight lift
  • Warrior 3: standing and balancing on one leg, raise your other leg backwards so it is straight, bend forward spreading your arms out and face the floor, your body should be in a straight line except for your balancing leg and arms out
  • Temple: standing on the mat, bring your feet apart with your toes turned out as far as is comfortable, bend down slightly with your knees facing outwards, inhale and interlock your hands raising them above your head with palms facing the sky, exhale
  • Cow Face Twist: sitting on the floor, bring one leg over the other bending the knee and facing your toes behind you, bend the leg underneath also facing your toes behind you, place the contrary hand to the top leg to rest on your knee and turn to the side

For further help, view the video below showing yoga exercises for weight loss:

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Yoga Poses for Hips

Many people want to know what yoga poses for hips are out there. The answer is too many to count! The great thing about all the different yoga poses is that there are an endless amount, for different types of yoga or for different reasons, and you can always find several specific yoga postures designed for what you are looking for. Yoga is a great way to work on regions of the body, whether that be joints or muscles, as it comes with great yoga benefits.

When doing a yoga workout it is important that you are wearing the appropriate yoga clothes to allow for you to properly execute the positions, as well as having the correct yoga equipment for stretching your body as far as it can. In particular, hatha yoga and iyengar yoga could be useful to improve flexibility in the hips or if you have pain in this area.

Yoga Poses to Widen Hips

The following yoga poses for hips are good if you want to improve your flexibility and strength. They will help open your hips, give your joints more movement and will also ease pain if you are sensitive in this area. It could be useful to take a look at our pregnancy yoga poses because these also focus on benefitting this target area.

  • Happy Baby: lying on your back, raise your legs straight above you and hold onto the soles of your feet with your hands, your knees should be slightly bent and your knees slightly pointing outwards
  • Reclining Bound Angle: lying on your back with your arms relaxed at your side, bring the soles of your feet together in a prayer position, bending your knees slightly outwards and as close to the ground as possible, use props if needed
  • Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend: sitting with your legs stretched in front of you, spread your legs as far out as comfortable, reach your toes with your hands and bend forwards to press your chest and chin against the floor
  • Frog: start on all fours with palms touching the floor, slide your knees outwards until you feel a comfortable stretch in your thighs keeping your calves on the floor, go down onto your forearms and hold
  • Square: sitting crossed-legged, place your top foot on the bottom shin and the bottom foot under the top knee, bring your bottom leg in towards your body, bend forward and stretch your arms out straight in front

This video provides some useful moves and instructions on how to perform yoga poses for hips:

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Yoga Poses for Back

Yoga is a great way to help if you are having back problems, pain or recovering from a back injury. The relaxing and calming nature of the yoga poses and yoga asanas helps the body to exercise without feeling the strain. Yoga is also said to be good to prevent any back problems in the future as it stretches the muscles and improves internal blood flow. There are different types of yoga, although kundalini yoga and yin yoga are especially good for targeting the back area.

Amongst all the yoga benefits, the following yoga poses for the back are helpful in working on the muscles and tissues that make up your lower, middle and upper back area of the body. Many people are confused on whether to take up yoga vs pilates, and as yoga focuses more on concentrated regions of muscles, it would be more ideal for back pain.

Yoga Poses for Back Pain

If you are suffering from back pain, have suffered in the past, or want to prevent any future back problems, take a look at some of the best yoga exercises for the back:

  • Two-Knee Twist: lying on your back with your arms spread out in a T-shape, bend your knees to one side, keeping your legs together and one touching the floor, repeat with the other side (1-2mins)
  • Thread the Needle: lying on your back with your legs bent in the air, make a 4 shape by keeping one leg bent and resting the ankle of the other on the thigh in the air, hold your arms through the gap in the middle clutching to your thigh (2-3mins)
  • Legs Up Wall: pressing your bum against a wall with your arms stretched out on the floow, bring your legs up the wall with your feet relaxed (5-10mins)
  • Bow: lying on your front with your legs bent at a 90 degrees angle, lift your upper body and grab your ankles with your hands, keep your head facing forwards and your toes pointing away from your body (2-3mins)
  • Dolphin: lying on your front, push your hips into the air and start walking your feet towards your body, raise your chest in the air and face inwards towards your body, rest your arms from your wrists to elbows on the floor in front of your head (3-4mins)

For a visual demonstration of yoga poses for back, view the video below:

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Yoga Poses

The main art of yoga is in the yoga poses that make up the sequences during a session. Although focusing on your mind and soul is important as well, your body is the main piece of yoga equipment needed and the vital part to your yoga journey. Yoga poses, also known as yoga asanas, are infinite. You can find several different options depending on what types of yoga you are interested in and perhaps the reason you have chosen to take up yoga for beginners or as someone experienced in the craft.

The yoga industry has become so popular and widespread throughout the world, with increasing brands for yoga clothes and the need for new and current yoga music, that people often forget about the history of yoga and how important it is to master the yoga poses themselves. It is only with practising these positions and moves that you will only truly be able to reap the yoga benefits.

Types of Yoga Poses

Whether you are recovering from an injury, feeling pain or want a way to relax, there are several different yoga postures for each reason. Some yoga positions are applicable to more than one category, while others are great for targeting specific areas of the body. Have a browse through all the different ones to find what you are looking for:

  • Yoga Poses for Back: if you have back pain, are recovering from an injury, or even for pregnancy pains, these positions should help ease the back area
  • Yoga Poses for Hips: whether you want to improve your flexibility or are in need of some pregnancy relief and preparation, take a look at the hip postures
  • Yoga Poses for Weight Loss: some positions that will help you shed a few pounds, make sure to get a routine going!
  • Yoga Poses for Kids: a fun actvity for the little ones, whether you are an instructor or want to do something new with your kdis, have a look at these yoga ideas
  • Yoga Poses for Beginners: newbie introduction poses and help for those that are just beginning with the yoga journey
  • Pregnancy Yoga Poses: advice and poses for those doing yoga while pregnant

Remember to stay safe while doing yoga, if you feel unusual movements or are uncomfortable in a position, talk to a medical professional before continuing.

 

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Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is a very unique and different type of yoga, one that began in the West rather than the East. Yoga is a great way to keep fit, it can be done as one of our serious workouts or it can be used to warm up the body and keep your flexibility imporving. Due to the different types of yoga asanas and yoga poses, it helps to build muscle strength in different manners.

If you are starting off doing yoga for beginners, don’t hesitate to use yoga equipment and different yoga props to help you achieve the correct positions. Once you have mastered the breathing techniques and body alignment of the different yoga postures, you will be sure to feel the yoga benefits and see the positive change in your body and mind.

What is yin yoga?

During yin yoga, you are encouraged to help reach your deep tissues, using passive postures and more instense relaxation methods. The yin yoga poses are usually held for long periods of time to help you reach the deeper parts of your body, this could be from 5 minutes to 20 minutes! This type of yoga is more meditative to help improve organ health and focus on emotional well being.

Yin Yoga Poses

Beacuse yin yoga postures are held for longer, there is less of a variety in which positions you can choose, although having said this there are still loads! Have a go at what you like and see which ones help your body and mind:

  • Shoelace: sitting with legs stretched out, bring one leg over the other bending the opposite leg at the same time, you should end with your toes reaching behind you beside your bum, bend over stretching your arms straight ahead of you
  • Child’s Pose: kneeling on a mat, bend forward to rest your forehead on the floor and keep your arms by your side with palms facing upwards
  • Butterfly: sitting on your bum, bring the soles of your feet together so your knees are pushed slightly up and out, bend forward grasping your feet with your hands
  • Sphinx: lying on your front with your legs stretched behind you, bend your arms so that from your wrist to your elbow you are resting on the floor, raise your chest up and keep your head facing forward

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Iyengar Yoga

This style of yoga, iyengar yoga, is just one of many types of yoga that people look for to help with building muscle strength, improving balance and relaxation. Today, there are so many varieties of yoga that you are bound to find something that suits you perfectly. Each yoga style comes with its own specific yoga benefits and yoga asanas to aid the main purpose of the exercise.

In the history of yoga, each of the different yoga poses are aimed to target parts of the body, mind and sould to give you a true workout and find inner peace. Whether you are an expert at yoga positions, or trying yoga for beginners, read up on each type before making your decision. Finding the perfect yoga for you will take some trial and error.

What is iyengar yoga?

Iyengar yoga focuses on body alignment and perfecting the yoga poses and breathing techniques. It takes extreme concentration and practice to be able to execute the iyengar poses properly, and this is how you will truly be successful in gaining body strength and flexibility. Iyengar yoga is one of the few that include yoga equipment and props as a must. The use of blocks and straps are all there to aid you in reaching your full potential and feeling the burn for the yoga moves.

Iyengar Yoga Positions

Due to its purpose for helping body alignment and strength, iyengar yoga is often suggested for injury recoveries and helping pain in target areas. Some of the folloing iyengar poses do just that:

  • Paschimottasana: with your legs stretched in front of you, bend yourself forwards so your head is sitting between your thighs, keep your legs straight, either put your arms on the floor from your palms to your elbows or hold them inwards to your thighs
  • Downward Facing Hero: kneeling on your knees with your knees facing outwards to your body, bend forward stretching your arms straight in front of you as far ahead as you can, keep your head down
  • Reclining Angle: lying on your back, bring the soles of your feet together bending your knees outwards, keep your arms relaxed out to your side, use cushions to support your back

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Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a different style of yoga that is relatively new to the Western world. With the countless options for all the types of yoga available to us nowadays, kundalini yoga offers a more spiritual and mental experience that being physically challenging. It manages to provide some amazing yoga benefits, some similar to what you can find in other yoga styles, but kundalini instructors will help you to getrid of negative energies and build your strength.

What is kundalini yoga?

Every style of yoga will always include certain yoga asanas and yoga poses tailored for the specific end results. In kundalini yoga, the theme of the workout is to help unravel the “coiled snake” at the bottom of your spine by focusing on your breathing and movement. It is a more spiritual style of yoga teaching that should bring about happiness, health and fitness.

How is kundalini yoga different?

A kundalini yoga class will always be different depending on your teacher because there is no set order of yoga exercises to carry out. You should expect to wear yoga clothes that allow for flexibility and movement as there may be times where you are required to jump, dance and hols long poses. It is a great way to introduce yoga for beginners as you are shown the yoga way of life with meditation and chants included.

Kundalini Yoga Poses

Here are some of the basic kundalini yoga poses that you can try at home, or that you might experience during a yoga session at the gym. Remember, this style of yoga requires concentration and relaxation so try using yoga music to help:Camel Yoga Pose

  • Half-Wheel: lying on your back with your knees bent, reach your arms to grab hold of your ankles and push up with your hips keeping your head on the ground, arch your back and walk your feet backwards until you are resting on your shoulders
  • Camel: sitting on your knees, raise up to a half-stand and grab your ankles with your hands, tilt your head backwards to create an arch in your back, push your thighs forward and chest toward the ceiling
  • Cow and Cat: on all fours with your knees under your hips and arms stretched under your shoulders, face downwards bringing in your belly button and arching your back upwards, relax, bring your belly button down and arch your back the opposite way, bring your head up
  • Lotus: sitting with your legs crossed and back straight, bring your feet above your thighs rather than below and place your wrists on your legs with your fingers pointed upwards

 

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Hatha Yoga

Yoga as we know it today is originally known as hatha yoga, the original style of yoga that describes the inclusion of yoga poses for any of the different types of yoga. Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity and workout, which would not be what it is today without the origins of hatha yoga.

What is hatha yoga?

In summary, hatha yoga is the name used to describe the physical act of yoga, with the yoga positions and breathing exercises to introduce you to the world of yoga for beginners. This style of yoga tries to combine the relationship between body and mind. It is the perfect choice if you are starting out as it will introduce you to the yoga world and will then help you advance.

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Yoga benefits come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the pose, the length of pose, and the conditions in which the pose is done, such as in a heated room during bikram yoga. The act of yoga itself relieves stress and brings the body into a deeper feeling of relaxation. Yoga is mainly aimed at improving muscle flexibility, tone and strength.

Basic Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha yoga is the basis of all modern day yoga practices, providing the guide for all the possible yoga asanas. A hatha yoga class would be slow-paced to allow you to get to know the yoga poses. These are a few of the most important and popular hatha yoga poses to build a foundation for further yoga practise.

  • Tree: standing on your left leg with your right foot bent and pressed flat against your thigh, keep your hands in prayer position against your chest, inhale raising your arms above your head with palms touching and hold
  • Downward Facing Dog: start on your hands and knees spread shoulder-width apart, raise your knees off the ground to an almost-straight position and push your heels towards the ground, keep your head facing down and hold
  • Bridge: lying on your back with your knees close towards your bum, raise your hips and bring your arms behind your head with palms flat on the ground, lift your chin slightly and hold
  • Seated Twist: sitting with your legs extended, cross your right leg over your left thigh with your foot flat on the floor, bend your left leg in the opposite direction, bring your left elbow to rest on your right knee and twist to the right

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Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is possibly one of the most popular types of yoga that you can find. With increasing studios and gyms including bikram yoga classes in their schedules, many people look towards yoga for their daily dose of exercise. Different yoga styles offer you different yoga asanas, also known as yoga poses, which you should try out and see which ones you enjoy best.

What is bikram yoga?

If you are doing yoga for beginners, you might be wondering what the difference is between all the different types of yoga. Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhary, an Indian yoga teacher, who put together a series of 26 hatha yoga poses to be completed in a hot room of 40°C or 104°F. Every bikram yoga session will include the same yoga poses in the same order, as every bikram instructor must stick the the teachings of Bikram Choudhary, however, you will be able to find some variations.

Bikram Yoga BenefitsBikram Yoga

The yoga benefits for any style of yoga are proven to be beneficial for flexibility and building strength or endurance. With the added heat element of bikram yoga, it is suggested that sweating out your toxins is good for your skin and body in general. Not only do you have the plus of detoxification, but the sweat and body heat created from the room helps you to move easier into the bikram yoga positions. A bikram yoga workout helps you to speed up heart rate and warm up your muscles, meaning that your body is working harder.

Tips for Bikram Yoga

It is important that you are aware of the correct preparation when doing bikram yoga, whether you are a beginner or expert. Here are a few useful tips you should take into account before you start:

  • Stay hydrated as your body will produce a lot of sweat during one session.
  • Correct yoga equipment for bikram yoga will include a towel to help your grip due to the sweat.
  • Try not to eat 2-3 hours before your class, some positions can lead to feelings of nausea due to the heat, stick to a healthy diet and light snacks.
  • Avoid being self-conscious about the amount of sweating you will do and embrace the heat!

Bikram Yoga Poses

Here is a short video showing you the range of bikram yoga poses included in a bikram yoga workout: