Daily Yoga Pose
Pose Name: Shoulder Stand
Sanskrit Pose Name: Salamba Sarvangasana
Chakra: Throat Chakra and Third-Eye Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Improves digestion and circulation. Strengthens immune system and nervous system. Strengthens core and shoulders. Reduces headaches. Improves heart health and brain function.
Emotional Benefits: Relieves emotional stress. Energizes, elevates mood, and increases clarity and focus.
Instructions: Begin laying on your back and bring your legs up to 90 degrees like you're going to stand on the ceiling. Place your palms face down next to your hips. During this pose, do not turn your head to the side in order to protect your upper spine. Lift your hips and place your hands on your lower back so your feet go straight up. Keep lifting your hips until your spine is straight and your chin presses into your chest. Take 5 deep ujjayi breaths here through your nose. Slowly allow your spine to come back to the ground.
Pose Name: Standing Forward Bend
Sanskrit Pose Name: Uttanasana
Chakra: Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Improves digestion, complexion, memory and other brain functions. Improves heart health and stretches hamstrings. Relieves lower back pain. Can help relieve headaches.
Emotional Benefits: Reduces anxiety. Brings clarity and a fresh perspective.
Instructions: Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Lean forward and grab your toes with your index and pointer finger. Inhale and lift your torso straightening the spine but hold onto the toes. Exhale bend your elbows to the sides to pull your nose toward your knees. Take three deep ujayyi breaths here.
Pose Name: Half Sleeping Pigeon
Sanskrit Pose Name: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Stretches psoas, glutes and groin. Can help relieve back pain and sciatica. Provides mobility and flexibility in the hips.
Emotional Benefits: Releases emotional tension stored in the largest muscle groups and largest joints in the body.
Instructions: Start in plank pose (push-up position). Bring your right foot forward and place your right knee by your right hand as your right foot comes toward your left hand. Eventually your hips may be open enough that your shin is parallel to your body but that takes a while. You can place a folded blanket under your right hip if it feels tight. Keep your right foot flexed to protect your knee. Your left leg is straight behind you and your toes are untucked so the top of your foot is on the ground. Look to make sure your left toes are not turning in but point straight back. Spin your right hip forward and down as you rotate your left hip up and back. Inhale and lift your chest up and slightly back. Exhale and lean forward and either bring your elbows to the ground or lay over your leg with your arms reaching forward. Take five slow deep breaths before lifting your chest and returning to plank pose to do the same stretch for the left leg.
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: Warrior One
Sanskrit Pose Name: Virabhadrasana I
Chakra: Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Strengthens legs, ankles, core and arms. Stetches shoulders, hips, calves, thighs and ankles.
Emotional Benefits: Helps you feel grounded, stable and capable.
Instructions: Start in plank pose. Step your right foot forward between your hands. Pull your back foot in a few inches and as you inhale, reach your arms up towards the sky lifting your chest. Bring your arms in line with your ears with your palms facing each other. Spin your back heel down and point your left toes at a slight angle. Pull your left hip forward and your right hip back so they are in one line. Point your tailbone down. Pull your lower belly in. Firm the thigh muscles. Spread the toes. Knit your front ribs together and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Take three deep ujayyi breaths. Return to plank position and repeat teh same thing on the left side.
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.