Easy Yoga Exercises for Beginners

Easy Yoga Exercises for Beginners

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  1. You will probably find almost as many definitions and perspectives on yoga out there as there are people who practice yoga, and there’s something pretty wonderful about that: yoga can be as individualized as the individual. In general, it is a practice– a mental and physical exercise– that originated in India before the common era. Its practice today been has proven to have numerous health and lifestyle benefits including decrease in stress and chronic pain according to the US National Institutes of Health.

    The idea behind yoga for beginners is that it should be personalized for you. Below are steps to introduce you to yoga and an outline for 10 minutes of morning”wake-up” yoga. Try it and see how it goes!

    Getting Started

    1. Approach yoga as an opportunity for “me” time, as you would with a walk or a nap or something else that helps clear your mind.
    2. Decide what yoga means to you. Do you want to try to help you sleep? To be more focused? Do you want to do it for exercise?
    3. With that in mind, set a goal for your yoga. Do you want to try it for 5 minutes every day for two weeks, (see class one), or half an hour twice a week for a month (see class two)?
    4. Find a place for your practice. You don’t need a yoga mat, but you do need to find somewhere quiet with minimal distractions and some blankets or towels.

    10-minute “Wake-up” Yoga

    Please be careful if you are pregnant or practicing with any injuries. I would be happy to answer any questions about the exercises, but I cannot be held responsible for any injuries associated with the text. If you are feeling unwell, the best kind of yoga is relaxation with breath. Please be safe!

    1. Find a place to stand. Close your eyes and feel the connection of your feet to the floor.
    2. From the soles of your feet, begin to imagine your legs, your spine, and your neck growing taller.
    3. Relax your shoulders, relax the muscles in your face, maybe take a couple of shoulder rolls, making your breath deeper and longer as you go.
    4. Open your palms on an exhale, find length through your finger tips and arms.
    5. On the next inhale, bring the arms up. Reach the fingertips up above your head, arms parallel to the ears, hold at the top of your breath.
    6. Exhale to float the arms down, continuing to extend the fingertips out as you go.
    7. Repeat this for 3-5 breaths. At the top of every inhale, feel the soles of your feet on the floor and the length of your body reaching up. At the bottom of every exhale, relax the shoulders and allow the head to feel as weightless as possible by reaching th crown up.
    8. At the end of the third or fifth breath, release your arms down with the palms facing forward.
    9. Inhale to move the right shoulder forward and left shoulder back, twisting the upper body with the hips still facing forward and the head in line with the spine. Take three breaths opening your chest, feeling the muscles between your ribs stretch with each inhale. On your next exhale, come back to center. Repeat on the other side.
    10. Inhale the arms up, fold forward on the exhale. Bring your tented fingertips to the floor and step your right foot back to come into a lunge. Let your head relax and stay here for 4-5 breaths, feeling the stretch in your quadriceps, in your chest, maybe in your arms. Breath into the sensation of the stretch, watch how it changes over time.
    11. Step back to standing, bend your knees, lift the arms, and take 5 deep breaths in chair pose. Pressing the feet down, reaching the fingertips and arms up.
    12. Straighten the legs, inhale to reach the arms up, and exhale your palms to your heart. Take 2-3 breaths feeling your heart beat.
    13. Inhale to reach up, exhale to fold forward, tent your fingertips, and step your left leg into a lunge. Hold hear, breathing 4-5 deep breaths.
    14. Step back to standing and bring your hands to your heart.
    15. Step your feet out 3-4 feet apart. Have your heals facing in and your knees bent over your toes at about 90 degrees. Bend down even more. Can you get your upper legs parallel to the ground? Bend your arms like goal posts, press down through your feet and breath here for 5 breaths.
    16. Straighten the legs and fold forward. Your hands can be at your elbows, on the floor, or clasped behind your back. Breath 4 deep breaths, with the exhale longer than the inhale.
    17. Slowly bring the legs back to center and roll up to standing.
    18. Lift the arms on an inhale and bring your hands to your heart on an exhale. Thank yourself for taking the time to stretch in the morning and enjoy your day!

    (If you have more than 10 minutes, feel free to repeat the lunges, taking five breaths in a downward facing dog in between each side. Optional: Come down onto your back at the end and take a bridge pose. Your knees should be bent and in line with your hips and your heels close to ankles. Try lifting your hips, then your back and your chest, maintaining the press down through your feet and keeping your chin lifted off of your chest.)

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