Daily Yoga Pose
Pose Name: Revolved Side Angle Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Utthita Parsvakonasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Good for osteoporosis, strengthens legs, stomach, helps relieve sciatica, improves digestion, loosens tightness in the back, stimulates internal organs, reduces constipation.
Emotional Benefits: Increases creative energy.
Instructions: As you move into and out of the pose, use ujjayi breathing which is a constriction of the back of the throat that slows your inhale and exhale making it audible and helps send oxygen to the areas you're stretching. Start in plank pose (push up position) and step your right leg forward between your hands. Raise your left hand so your arms are in one line and your body is open to the side. Raise your torso so you're upright in the lunge and then bring your hands into prayer pose. Cross your left elbow to the right as you lengthen your spine and hook your left elbow outside of your right knee. Breath deeply. Come out of the pose slowly and back to plank pose so you can do the same thing on the opposite side.
Pose Name: Lotus
Sanskrit Pose Name: Padmasana
Chakra: Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Advanced
Health Benefits: Good for relieving sciatica, menstrual problems and improving posture. Stretches the hips, thighs and ankles. Stimulates the lymphatic system to cleanse viruses from the body. Strengthens the spine and helps get rid of disease, according to ancient yogis.
Emotional Benefits: Calms the mind and helps increase awareness while providing a sense of grounding. Induces a meditative state or allows one to meditate easier. Helps release emotions stored in hips like anger, fear and resentment.
Instructions: This position requires open hips. You can begin with half lotus to prepare yourself for full lotus. With both legs out in front of you, bend one leg and bring the heel towards the opposite hip. Never force and to protect the knee, rotate your thigh externally in its socket to turn your foot up, letting it rest in the hip crease. Once the knee easily rests on the ground, lean forward gently. Add the other other leg by doing the same on the other side and crossing it over the first one.
Pose Name: Sphinx
Sanskrit Pose Name: Salamba Bhujangasana
Chakra: Heart Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Improves lungs, heart and respiratory system. Reduces fatigue, stretches the stomach and strengthens the glutes. Brings flexibility to the spine and helps loosen tension while improving posture.
Emotional Benefits: Self acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. Increase energy and improve mood.
Instructions: Start laying on your stomach and lift your chest placing your elbows under your shoulders with your palms face down. Your forearms are parrallel to each other and fingers spread wide. Inhale and exhale through your nose slowly. Your toes are untucked so the tops of your feet are on the ground which will alleviate pressure in your lower back. Pull your sternum forward to stretch your spine gently as you pull your forearms towards you energetically. Then relax your neck so your head hangs and the back of your neck stretches. Take a few deep breaths here and then raise your head. Lower your chest back to the ground and relax. Repeat this pose three times to increase your energy.
Pose Name: Pyramid
Sanskrit Pose Name: Parsvottanasana
Chakra: Root Chakra and Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Stretches lower back to reduce back pain. Improves digestion, heart health and cholesterol levels. It stretches hamstrings and calves, improves balances and stabilizes the ankles. Improves posture. Improves balance.
Emotional Benefits: Reduces stress and anger. Helps reduces lethargy and improves mental alertness.
Instructions: Begin standing with your feet together and step one foot forward and one foot back, turning the back foot at a slight angle. Bring your hands to your hips and keep them both pointing forward. Lengthen from the base of your spine and bend over your front leg. Reach your fingertips to the ground and your nose to your knee. You may microbend the front knee. Breathe and slowly come up to switch sides.
Pose Name: Splits
Sanskrit Pose Name: Hanumanasana
Chakra: Sacral and Root Chakra
Level of Pose: Advanced
Health Benefits: Stimulates digestion and helps reproductive organs. Stretches groin, thighs, hips and back. Stretches hamstrings to reduce lower back pain.
Emotional Benefits: Helps relieve stress and tension.
Instructions: Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and your left knee on the ground. Start to straighten your front leg and slide the right heel forward until you feel a stretch but not pain. Keep one hand on each side of the leg to help take some pressure off. You may want to use blocks under your hands. Keep your left hip pulling forward so the hips are square. Stay in the position as long as you would like breathing deeply and then switch sides.
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.