Daily Yoga Pose
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.
Pose Name: Dragonfly
Sanskrit Pose Name: Maksikasagasana
Chakra: Solar Plexus, Heart, and Sacral Chakras
Level of Pose: Advanced
Health Benefits: Stretches hips, spine, and IT band. Strengthens core, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and stimulates digestion.
Emotional Benefits: Releases emotional energy of grief and sadness. Builds self-confidence and frees up energy stored in your spine to make you more vivacious.
Instructions: Begin standing with your feet together. Pick up the left foot and cross it over the right knee, making a figure four with your legs. Keep the left foot flexed as you bring the palms together at heart center and sit back so your forearms come together with your left shin. Place your hands to your right on the floor with fingers spread and plant your left foot on the back of your left arm at the armpit. Lean forward, keeping your head up to transfer weight into your hands as you straighten your right leg when it lifts off the ground. Breathe and slowly come out the way you went in so you can switch to the other side.
Pose Name: Cow Face
Sanskrit Pose Name: Gomukhasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Stretches chest and shoulders. Reduces knee pain. Stretches lower back, ankles and hips.
Emotional Benefits: Allows you to go inward. Releases emotional tension. Induces deep relaxation.
Instructions: Begin sitting. Take your right foot under your left leg so your right foot is by your left hip and rest your right knee on the ground. Take your left foot towards the right hip stacking your knees on top of eachother with both feet on the ground. Your knees should be in line with the mid-line of your body. Reach your right arm up and behind your neck as you reach you left hand down behind your back. Try to grasp the fingers or use a strap and hold both sides if you can't reach yet. Keeping you spine straight, inhale through your nose. As you exhale lean as far forward as you can. Take three ujayyi breaths here. Inhale and come back up to switch sides with your legs and arms.
Pose Name: Half Lotus
Sanskrit Pose Name: Ardha Padmasana
Chakra: Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Can help reduce menstrual pain and alleviate mild back pain. Stretches hips, knees, thighs, and ankles. Helps circulation in pelvic region.
Emotional Benefits: Can reduce feelings of sadness and depression as well as reduce stress and anxiousness.
Instructions: Begin seated and bend your right leg placing your right heel on your right hip and turning the bottom of your foot up. The left leg bends in under the right leg. Breathe and lift the chest to straighten the spine. Hold the position for a few rounds of breathe before switching 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.