Did you know September is National Yoga Month? That means it’s as good a time as any to channel your inner yogi and reap benefits like greater flexibility, improved strength and a boost in mood. We’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite yoga moves, so you can try them out whenever the urge strikes!
There’s good reason the Warrior II is a yoga classic. This pose is excellent for strengthening your legs, opening your lungs and leaving you feeling powerful. For this pose, begin in mountain pose and float your right leg over about 3 1/2 to 4 feet away from the left. Keeping your toes parallel to the front of your mat, bend your front leg to 90 degrees, extending your arms with palms facing down. Keep your gaze centered over your middle finger. Repeat on the other side.
The cat/cow is great for relieving back pain and maintaining a healthy spine, and also engages your abs. Begin in a tabletop position, with a neutral spine. On an inhale, drop your abdominals towards the floor, rounding out your back and taking your gaze to the ceiling. On an exhale, reverse the movement and arch your back.
This twist on the downward facing dog is excellent for stretching the shoulders, and is a great alternative the the down dog if you’re experiencing wrist pain. Begin in a table top position, lowering your forearms to the mat and keeping your wrists in line with your shoulders. Plant your feet, raising your hips and straightening your knees.
The locust pose is great for helping to prepare your body for more elaborate backbends. Begin lying on your stomach on the mat, with your forehead pressed against the floor. On an exhale, raise your upper body and lower body, pressing your hips in the mat. Stretch back through your hands, keeping them parallel to your body or clasped together, depending on your flexibility.
Beginning in downward facing dog, step your left foot through to the front of the mat, aligning your ankle and knee. Sweep your arms up, extending them overhead as you drop your back knee to the floor. For a more advanced crescent pose that will really strengthen your legs, keep your back knee off the floor. Repeat on the other side.
This challenging backbend is excellent for stretching and developing strength in your total body, while also allowing you to focus on your balance. Rooting your standing leg in the ground, extend your leg back, reaching overhead to grasp the arch of your foot. If you’re not quite ready for the full pose yet, feel free to use a yoga strap wrapped around your foot to help you gain the flexibility needed for this pose.
Child’s pose is a go-to for relaxation, and can always be returned to at any point in your yoga practice. Begin in a tabletop position, with your knees about as wide as your hips. Extend back, stretching out through your fingertips, as you move your hips back towards your heels.
The camel pose is a back bend that stretches the entire front body, as well as the hip flexors, while invigorating the entire body. Begin kneeling with knees hip-width apart. Draw your tailbone towards your belly button as you extend backwards to rest your hands on your heels, lengthening your spine.
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