Daily Yoga Pose
Pose Name: Crow
Sanskrit Pose Name: Bakasana
Chakra: Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Increases spinal flexibility. Strengthens arms, stomach and wrists. Can help reduce carpel tunnel. Improve abdominal organ health and stimulates digestion.
Emotional Benefits: Increases focus, confidence and calms the mind.
Instructions: Begin in a squat. Place your palms flat on the ground and spread your fingers wide. Lift your hips as you lean more weight into your hands. Place your knees on the backs of your bent arms as if they are shelves. Slowly shift your weight forward until you have little or no weight left in your feet. The secret to this pose is not dropping your head. Look forward and up so your spine doesn't curve making you roll forward. Hold the pose for a few deep ujjayi breaths and slowly shift your weight back to your toes and then your feet.
Pose Name: Child's Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Balasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra and Crown Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Stretches back, hips and ankles. Helps recover the body's energy. Helps balance and realign hips and spine.
Emotional Benefits: Calms the mind helps counteract and reduce stress.
Instructions: Start on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wider than your hips and reach your hands forward as sit back towards your heels. Once you are in the pose relax with your forehead on the ground and take long deep ujayyi breaths. If this hurts your ankles, hug your knees to your chest laying on your back for a similar affect.
Pose Name: Handstand
Sanskrit Pose Name: Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Chakra: Heart Chakra, Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra
Level of Pose: Advanced
Health Benefits: Improves cognitive functions like memory, imagination and clarity. Helps the complexion, heart and strength of the arms, back and core. It is a great circulatory flush.
Emotional Benefits: Helps you feel alert, energized and creative. Improves confidence and intuition.
Instructions: Start in downward facing dog with your hands close to a wall. Lift one leg as you inhale and as you exhale, hop up, keeping both legs straight and zip them together. Your fingers should be spread wide and hands should be shoulder distance apart. Do not bend your arms and keep breathing the whole time. Keep your leg muscles engaged for more stability.
Pose Name: Downward Facing Dog
Sanskrit Pose Name: Adho Muhka Svanasana
Chakra: Crown Chakra and Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Stregnthens back, shoulders, arms and wrists. Helps align spine and reduce compression of vertebrae. Stretches hamstrings and calves. Improves heart health, circulation and reduces back pain.
Emotional Benefits: Relieves depression, reduces stress, calms the brain and energizes you.
Instructions: Start on your hands and knees and begin to lift your hips as you inhale. Straighten your legs pulling your heels toward the ground. Make sure your fingers are spread wide and your hands your line up with your shoulders. Your feet should be as wide as your hips. Press your chest toward your knees and point your sitting bones toward the ceiling. Push your shoulders into their sockets and knit your ribs together around your solar plexus so they are not popping out. The back is not meant to be arched. Take a three long deep breaths through your nose and then bring your knees back to the ground.
Pose Name: Wheel
Sanskrit Pose Name: Urdhva Dhanurasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra and Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Energizes the body. Stretches shoulders, increases spinal flexibility, improves respiratory health, helps with asthma, infertility and osteoporosis. Strengthens arms, lungs, spine, wrists and legs. Stimulates pineal gland and thyroid. Strengthens your cardiovascular, nervous, lymphatic and endocrine systems.
Emotional Benefits: Decreases depression.
Instructions: Being laying on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and your heels are in to your backside. Place your palms on the floor next to your ears with your fingertips pointing towards your shoulders. As you inhale lift your hips and press into your hands. Come to the top of your head and make sure your elbows are in, no wider than your shoulders. Feet should be no wider than your hips. Keep pressing into your hands to keep pressure off of your neck. On your next inhale, press equally into your hands and feet and lift your body. Take a few deep breaths through your nose and then slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Do the pose three to six times for more energy and finish by hugging your knees towards your chest slowly to neutralize your spine.
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.