2022 has rolled around and as usual the New Year, New Me resolutions are in full effect for most people.  We know it can be hard to sustain some goals for the entire year but we think we have found the perfect routine for you that is not only easy to keep, but beneficial in more ways than one.  Today we will touch on the health benefits of Yoga and provide you with an easy to follow yoga routine perfect for any beginner. 

Not only is yoga great for your physical health but it's incredibly beneficial for mental health as well.  Below you’ll find a couple of key points on the benefits of yoga. 

  • Yoga can help relieve back pain.  The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as the first method of treatment for patients with chronic back pain.  Due to the lengthed stretches and slow breathing, yoga is perfect for easing pain and improving mobility.
  • Improvement in strength, flexibility, and balance.  Due to the usage of slow movements and deep breathing, yoga can help increase blood flow, warm up muscles, and build muscle strength while holding a pose. 
  • Practicing yoga regularly can help with your heart health.  Yoga has been found to help reduce levels of stress in the body and also body-wide inflammation both.  Both of which can help with your heart health. 
  • Yoga can help improve your sleep.  Research conducted by John Hopkins Medicine has found that a consistent bedtime yoga routine can help calm the mind and body. 
  • Research shows that yoga can help ease symptoms of arthritis. In recent studies conducted by John Hopkins medicine, yoga has been found to ease the discomfort of swollen, tender joints in patients with arthritis. 

30-Minute Beginners Yoga Routine

Warm up:

  • Sit cross-legged with your hips propped on a blanket or block, if that feels most comfortable. Allow your eyes to close, and find your breath. Stay here for five or so minutes, until you begin to feel ease in your breath.

Knees-to-Chest Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Lie on your back and draw both knees toward your chest. You may hold onto your shins, forearms, or hands. Gently rock side to side, massaging your back body and lower back. Play with gently curling your pubic bone toward your navel and then down toward your mat to release and lengthen your lower back.

Supine Twist, variation

  • 2 minutes, 8-10 breaths each side
    • Keep your knees drawn into your chest. Take your arms out to your sides in a T shape, palms up or down. Ground both shoulder blades down into your mat as you inhale deeply. As you exhale, drop both knees to the right, stacking them atop one another. Take 4–5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Cat-Cow Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Come to your hands and knees, aligning your shoulders over your wrists, and your hips over your knees. On an inhale, arch your spine, moving your heart forward and up; let your gaze follow. On an exhale, round your spine, pushing the floor away with both hands, gently lifting your navel toward your spine and letting your gaze follow. Repeat 4–5 times, or more if you like.

Cat-Cow Pose, Variation

  • 2 minutes, 16-20 breaths
    • Still on all fours, gently lift your navel to your spine to engage your abdominal muscles. Inhale and extend your right arm forward and your left leg straight behind you, keeping the inner left thigh rolling skyward. Exhale to bring your right elbow and left knee toward each other, rounding your spine and bringing your chin in toward your chest. Inhale and reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Do this 4–5 times on each side.

Child’s Pose, Variation

  • 2 minutes, 16-20 breaths
    • Touch your big toes together, let your knees slide a little farther apart, and ease your hips back over your heels with your arms extended. Give yourself a bit more space here by placing a block or blanket under your forehead. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • From Child’s Pose, inhale to all fours; as you exhale, curl your toes under to lift back into Downward Dog. If you are new to this pose, bend both knees deeply and work on keeping your hips lifted while pushing the floor away evenly through both palms. Breathe deeply as you hold for 4–5 breaths.

Standing Forward Bend

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Step one foot at a time to the top of your mat and separate your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, hinge forward from your hips, and grasp opposite elbows. Take 4–5 deep breaths, then exhale and release your arms. If your shoulders are healthy, reach behind your back to interlace your fingers and clasp your palms together. Release the crown of your head down toward the earth as you breathe deeply for 4–5 breaths.

Mountain Pose, with Salutation Seal

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • With your feet together or hip-width apart, inhale and reach your arms skyward, externally rotating your upper arms as you stretch tall. On an exhale, bring your hands to your heart center in Anjali (heart) Mudra, with your palms together. Take a moment to stand here with your eyes closed and shoulders relaxed, breathing deeply for 4–5 breaths or until you feel grounded and centered.

Garland Pose

  • 2 minutes, 8-10 breaths
    • With your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, squat, keeping your feet firmly planted on your mat or a blanket (if your heels lift). Snuggle your upper arms against your inner thighs and hug your inner thighs into the backs of your arms, with your hands in Anjali Mudra. Inhale your heart up toward the sky and breathe deeply for 1 minute. If this posture feels challenging, it helps to externally rotate your thighs. You will notice your feet and knees turn out on a diagonal to give you more space.

Chair Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • From Mountain Pose, place a block between your upper thighs. With your feet parallel and toes pointing forward, squeeze the block and bend your knees deeply, reaching the buttocks back as if you were about to sit. Draw your shin bones back so your knees hover over your ankles, and continue to squeeze the block. Breathe deeply for 30 seconds, then stand to rest in Tadasana. Repeat 1–2 more times.

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Turn to face the long-edge side of your mat and step your feet wide, outer edges of your feet parallel with your mat’s short-edge sides. Bring your hands to your hips. Inhale and lift your chest; as you exhale, hinge from your hips and fold forward, bringing your hands to the floor or to blocks. Breathe deeply for 30 seconds, then inhale to return to standing. Repeat 1–2 more times.

Warrior Pose II

  • 2 minutes, 16-20 breaths
    • Facing the long-edge side of your mat, extend your arms out to the sides, palms down. Step your feet wide, about the span between your wrists, with the outer edges of your feet parallel with your mat. Turn your right toes to the short-edge side of the mat and your left toes in slightly. Inhale to lift your chest; as you exhale, bend your right knee, tracking it over your ankle. Push into the outer edge of the back foot to find stability as you try to distribute your weight evenly through both feet. Breathe here for 4–5 breaths, then change sides.

Extended Side Angle Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • From Warrior II, inhale; as you exhale, extend your left arm toward the sky. On the next inhale, reach the arm overhead, palm facing the floor. Lightly rest your right forearm on your right thigh, or reach your right hand down to a block behind your right ankle. Keep your chest open and spacious, your collarbones spreading. Stay here for 4–5 breaths, then change sides.

Extended Triangle Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • From Extended Side Angle Pose, inhale to come back up and straighten the front leg. As you exhale, hinge from your right hip and reach your right fingertips forward, in the same direction as your right toes. Bring your right hand to a block behind your right ankle as you reach your left arm skyward. Internally rotate your inner left thigh, ground firmly through the base of your front big toe, and hug your right hip in toward the midline of your body. Slightly lift the front side of your pelvis. Hold for 4–5 breaths, then change sides.

Tree Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Stand at the top of your mat, feet together. Shift your balance to the left foot and leg. Hug your right knee in toward your chest with your hands, then place the sole of your right foot against your inner left thigh—either above or below the left knee. Bring your hands to your heart. Work on dropping the right hip down and pressing your pinky toe into your leg, which will help you find balance in your pelvis. If you feel steady, consider reaching both arms skyward. Take 4–5 long, deep breaths, keeping your heart lifted, then change sides.

Eye-of-the-Needle Pose

  • 1 minute, 8-10 breaths
    • Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over the top of your left knee. Lift your left leg as you flex your right foot, and reach through to hold the back of your left thigh with both hands. Inhale as you draw the left thigh closer to your chest while keeping your pubic bone curling down toward your tailbone. Exhale, relaxing your shoulders and neck, finding broadness across your chest. Breathe here for 4–5 breaths, then change sides.
January 31, 2022 — Admin Pass