Yoga Basics

Think yoga is only for people who can twist themselves into a pretzel? Actually the ancient practice that combines meditation with movement is designed to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well–being for anyone. And research suggests it may actually enhance cardiovascular health.

Yoga means “unity” in the Indian language of Sanskrit because it works to align body, mind, and soul. Unify yours with these beginner basics:

  • Downward facing dog: From a kneeling position, place your palms in front of you and raise your hips up and rotate your heels back so that your body looks like an upside–down V. Worry less about touching your heels to the ground and more about extending your body by engaging your quads, straightening your knees, hanging your neck, and pushing through your shoulders into the ground.
  • Mountain pose: In standing position, with feet together and toes fanned out, pull up, as if a string is attached to the top of your head, by engaging your abs, drawing your shoulders back, and pressing your feet into the floor. Turn your thighs inward and tuck your hips under.
  • Child’s pose: From a kneeling position, spread your knees out as wide as they can go, keeping the toes touching. Rest your belly in between your thighs and your forehead on the floor. Extend your arms out in front with palms facing down or hang them directly by your side.

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