Daily Yoga Pose
Pose Name: Chair Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Utkatasana
Chakra: Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Strengthens the legs, ankles, lower back and shoulders. Improves heart and organ health while toning the stomach. Improves balance, energizes the body and creates heat in the body. Also stretches the chest and shoulders.
Emotional Benefits: Builds determination and energy. Helps you feel responsible, capable and confident.
Instructions: Begin standing and bring your feet hip distance apart with the toes pointing directly forward. Inhale through your nose and lift your arms so they are in line with your ears and your palms face each other. Exhale and push your hips back as you sit into an imaginary chair. Keep the arms by the ears and lift your chest as you pull your knees energetically towards eachother without touching them together. Inhale and try to lengthen your spine by lifting the top of your head and exhale tilt your tailbone towards the ground as you knit your front ribs in so they are not popping out. Inhale and as you exhale sink a little lower. Stay here for three more breathes and then slowly come back to standing.
Pose Name: Headstand
Sanskrit Pose Name: Salamba Sirsasana
Chakra: Crown Chakra and Third Eye Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Improves brain health, hair growth and complexion. Reduces onset of grey hair by delivering nutrients to the scalp and stimulating hair follicles.
Emotional Benefits: Helps eliminate depression. Provides energy, clarity and stimulates the pineal gland which is the connection to the soul and spiritual realms.
Instructions: Begin by kneeling, placing your forearms on the ground and intlerlace your fingers, creating a basket for the back of the head. Place the top of your head on the ground and keep the elbows at a slight angle but not too wide. Lift your hips and walk your toes closer to your face. Engage your core and push into your elbows to lift your feet, slowly coming into a tuck position. If you feel comfortable, slowly straighten the legs and continue to breathe. Come out the same way you went in with control. Do not put too much weight on the head to protect the neck.
Pose Name: Upward Facing Dog
Sanskrit Pose Name: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra, Sacral Chakra and Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Strengthens your arms, wrists, spine and legs. Stretches your hip flexors. Improves respiratory system. Stimulates abdominal organs and improves spinal flexibility. Increases energy.
Emotional Benefits: Improves personal power, creative expression and generates feelings of peace and harmony.
Instructions: Lay on your stomache with your legs zipped together and place your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and untuck your toes bringing the tops of your feet on the ground. Inhale through your nose, pull your shoulder blades down your back and lift your chest so your arms are straight. Lift your chin so your head tilts back and keep your lower belly pulling in. Take three slow deep breaths through your nose while pulling your shoulders down and away from your earts. Exhale and slowly lower your stomach onto the ground. Repeat two more time to increase energy.
Pose Name: Extended Side Angle
Sanskrit Pose Name: Utthita Parsvakonasana
Chakra: Root Chakra & Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Improves digestion while strengthening legs, core, back and shoulders. Stretches the hips, legs, groin and intercostal rib muscles.
Emotional Benefits: Helps open the heart and allows you to let go of emotional blocks.
Instructions: Come to plank pose. Step the right foot between your hands. Inhale and reach your left hand forward at a diagonal angle as you spin your back heel down. Your back toes should be at a diagonal forward and out. Push the edge of the back foot down as your reach your left arm over your left shoulder. Take three long deep ujayyi breaths and then come back to plank pose to repeat the pose on the opposite side.
Pose Name: Dancer's Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Natarajasana
Chakra: Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Energizes the body, improves balance, stretches the back, shoulders and chest, strengthens the ankles, increases hip flexibility and circulation.
Emotional Benefits: Improves ability to focus and reduces scattered thinking, opens you to love, helps you feel stable.
Instructions: Begin standing with both feet together and bend your right knee. Reach your right hand back and grab the inside of your right foot. Keep your chest lifted as lean your torso forward and kick into your right hand. Point the left hand forward and gaze forward. Breathing slowly and deeply and keep your hips level (the right hip will want to pop up). Come out of the pose slowly after a few deep breaths through your nose. Repeat the same pose on the other side. You may want to practice this next to a wall to stabilize yourself while you work on your balance.
What is Yoga?
In Sanskrit, yoga literally refers to a connection or uniting, or the act of discipline. A practice that dates back thousands of years, yoga involves a combination of meditation, movement, and spirituality to bring us into connection with the Universal energy that allows us to connect with our soul. Yoga guides us to enlightenment, not just through the flows and poses themselves, but through a retraining of the mind that harnesses the energy of the body to expand one’s consciousness. Yoga has many forms and the benefits reach far beyond the physical body. Like meditation, yoga is a personal practice that will look different from person to person.
What are the Different Types of Yoga?
In the west, there are 22 main different types of yoga. The poses in traditional yoga are called asanas. The traditional branches of yoga include Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Anusara, and Ashtanga. Traditional yoga almost always includes mantras, breathwork, and meditation. Kriya yoga, kundalini yoga, and yoga nidra focus more on the emotions, mind, and soul through a development of the mind and energetic body. Recently, more westernized versions have evolved, giving us Bikram, Restorative, Yin, hot yoga, and many other variations.
It’s important to realize that every type of yoga will have an entirely different feeling, depending on the style, speed, environment, and the teacher (if there is one) - so don’t let one bad experience throw you off. Yoga takes study, persistence and personal dedication. Keep experimenting until you find the style that works best for you and your unique needs.
How to Decide Which Type of Yoga is Best For You
If you are looking to lose weight, a regular vinyasa or heated vinyasa class can help speed up your metabolism. The emotions can best be aided in slower, more traditional forms of yoga where meditation and breathwork are prioritized. Hatha yoga is a great way to prepare the body to sit in meditation. Ultimately, reading about the types of yoga will allow you to intuitively pick a type that will help you grow the most.
If you’re dealing with substance abuse, depression, anxiety, or abusive relationships, just getting to class can be difficult. Not everyone has access to a yoga studio either. At Daily Life, we want to assist you in developing your yoga practice by meeting you exactly where you’re at. Check this page every day for a new daily yoga pose that you can experiment with in the comfort of your own home.
How Does Yoga Affect Mental Health?
Yoga is continually prescribed to help people with depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health issues. While yoga is not a substitute for serious mental health condition treatments, it can be incredibly impactful as a supplement in the healing process. Yoga helps regulate the chemical balance and hormones in the body, bringing the mind, body, and soul into harmony. Because yoga teaches us how to manage our mind while strengthening the physical vessel we take through the world every day, yoga can be a crucial catalyst of growth and healing.
How Does Yoga Improve the Mind?
Yoga works by making you more conscious of your mind, allowing you more control over what you keep inside it. For many people, yoga is actually much more about the mind than the body. A lot of people don’t realize the myriad mental benefits of yoga that they keep going back because they start to feel a little better each time. The gentle coaxing of the teacher, the fluidity and flow of movement, and the calmness of the yogic mind all contribute to the health of the mind.
How Does Yoga Affect the Soul?
Yoga’s purpose is to connect you with your soul. The Ego, the sense of one’s self as a physical being in the world, often obstructs our ability to communicate with the soul, which is where the true self is housed. Yoga allows us to raise our health and emotional state to be able to perceive the higher frequency through which our soul communicates with us. Once we establish a clear channel through which to access our soul, we can align our thoughts, motivations, words, and actions to be in harmony with ourselves and the life force that we are all a part of on this planet.
How Does Yoga Improve the Body?
Yoga improves the 10 main systems of your body: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, and respiratory systems. As if that’s not enough, yoga is designed to bring harmony and balance to the mind, body, and soul. If the mind and soul are not in balance, the body will feel the effects. Adopting a regular yoga practice into your daily life will allow your brain function to improve and your body to detox as well as strengthen itself to defend against illness naturally. Yoga is the science of optimization.
Can Yoga Assist in Weight Loss?
Yes! Yoga stimulates the metabolism and internal organs, regulating digestion. With consistent practice, yoga builds momentum that aids in weight loss in various ways. As your muscles grow and strengthen, your body burns more fat since the fat cells store the energy that is used to feed the muscles. Even breathwork can improve the metabolism because it creates heat in the body, causing the metabolism to speed up. Of course, yoga is not an overnight fix (but what is?) and the results will be greater with more frequent practice.