Daily Yoga Pose
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: Happy Baby
Sanskrit Pose Name: Ananda Balasana
Chakra: Root and Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: Realigns spine, stretches and relieves lower back. Stretches groin and inner thighs.
Emotional Benefits: Lowers stress and allows energy to flow better to all chakras.
Instructions: Begin laying down on your back and then bend your legs and lift them so you can grab the outsides of your feet. Keep your elbows inside of your knees and pull your feet down to stretch your hips and bring your knees closer to the ground. Breathe deeply and rock gently side to side in this position to massage the muscles that line the spine.
Pose Name: Camel Pose
Sanskrit Pose Name: Ustrasana
Chakra: Solar Plexus Chakra
Level of Pose: Intermediate
Health Benefits: Improves respiration, loosens up the vertebrae, stretches shoulders, strengthens your back, stimulates kidneys, improves digestion, improves posture and relieves lower back pain, reduces fatigue, stretches throat and stimulates the organs of the neck and stomach.
Emotional Benefits: Anxiety relief, opens the mind and heart so we can have deeper relationships .
Instructions: Begin standing on your knees with them hip distance apart but not wider than your hips. Place your palms on your lower back and lift up from the lower back using your back muscle as you lift your chest and lean back. Try to bend in the upper back instead of the lower back. Keep a slight tuck to your chin so your head doesn't drop completely back. Pull the root lock up and in like you're stopping the flow of urine to create internal stabilization. If your spine is flexible, you may be ready to reach one hand back at a time so that both are holding your heels and your straight arms support your body. Keep the knees energetically pulling towards each other to protect your lower back and make sure your hips stay in line with your knees and don't drop back. Take deep breaths here for three cycles and then place your hands back on your lower back one at a time and slowly come up.
Pose Name: Garland
Sanskrit Pose Name: Malasana
Chakra: Root Chakra and Sacral Chakra
Level of Pose: Beginner
Health Benefits: This is a great prenatal pose. It helps your lower back, hips and pelvis. It stimulates the metabolism and stretches your groin. This is great for the digestive system.
Emotional Benefits: Can help increase energy, regulate sexual energy. Can help with mental clarity because of the removal of toxins in the blood.
Instructions: Bring your feet slightly wider than your hips and turn your toes slightly out. Lower your hips below your knees so you're just above the ground. Bring your elbows inside your knees, placing your palms together in prayer pose and pushing your knees apart to stretch the groin. Lift your chest and straighten your spine as you breathe.
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.
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.