7 Simple Yoga Asanas That Are Great for Your Body

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Yoga is more than just back bends, coordinated outfits and shareable sunset poses. Every asana or posture, when done right, can benefit your daily life. Los Angeles-based yoga instructor and wellness blogger Carla MacDonald said: "While the aesthetics of yoga may be undermined by things like Instagram and ego, taking the time to do basic, energy-oriented practices will be beneficial for real-life solutions. problems like stress, digestive ailments, posture, and anxiety.” From stabilizing muscles to relieving tension, these seven expert-recommended poses are a great addition to spending time on the mat. Find one that works for you, or cycle between them.

7 yoga poses that are good for the real world
To help relieve low back pain, tight hips and weak hips, try: Warrior 2
"Warrior 2 delivers a double whammy: front-leg hip external rotation and hind-leg abduction (away from the midline)," says Jenny Finkel, a local Fitbit ambassador and certified instructor in yoga, ballet, and group fitness. "Because this pose keeps the legs horizontally apart, the outer glutes are strengthened by external rotation and the inner thighs are stretched nicely." Warrior 2 forces you to open the hips, which improves hip mobility and helps relieve low back pain. Weak glutes can also be countered by external rotation, which helps activate and shoot properly.

direction:
1. Face the long side of the mat with your feet apart.
2. Tilt your left toes slightly inward, then turn your right foot completely outward so all five toes are facing the short side of the mat.
3. Place your hands on your hips, making sure they are level with each other, and bend to your right knee. You're trying to bend your right leg 90 degrees, but it doesn't matter that it's not that deep! If your knees are sticking out of your toes, relax your feet so your knees are still over your ankles. Make sure your hips are balanced and your spine is neutral.
4. When your spine is nice and straight, your hips are square, and your right knee is directly over (but not over) your right ankle. Extend your arms to shoulder height and gaze at the tips of your right fingers.
5. Come out, straighten your legs and turn your feet back parallel. Then repeat these steps on your left.

To help relieve tension in your lower back, and possibly relieve gas and constipation, try: Supine twist.
Relaxing stretches can miraculously relieve tension. This promise does double duty, as well as relieving stomach pains. "This gentle and moving twist is great for beginners," MacDonald says. "It calms, meditates and relaxes your joints and back." Plus, the move is said to be associated with bloating relief. "I've had students swear by it that it helps improve gas to move things around in their GI tract," she added.

direction:
1. Lie on your back with your arms stretched in a "T" shape. Your palms can be up or down.
2. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the floor, hip-width apart or slightly wider.
3. Let your knee drop gently to the right. Lift them back to the center and let them fall gently to the left.
4. Repeat several times, closing your eyes to increase relaxation.

To help stand up straight and strengthen your neck and back, try: Half Cobra Pose
"It's no longer news that modern life relies on computers, smartphones and other posture killers," Finkel said. This can lead to weakening of the upper back muscles, tightening of the pectoral muscles and, in extreme cases, the risk of a herniated disc in the abdomen A downward backbend, like the half-cobra, strengthens the upper back and erector spinae while opening the front shoulders and chest (and, because the abdomen is supported by the floor, reduces the risk of hyperextension through the lower back). Full wheel or king cobra pose may not be attainable, but a half cobra is a great component.
direction:
1. Lie on your stomach with your wrists flush with or behind your shoulders, palms down, fingers spread, and elbows pulled toward the spine.
2. Keeping your neck neutral throughout the pose, inhale, lift your shoulders and chest up and back, away from the floor. To make sure you lift it with your back muscles instead of pushing it with your hands, you can keep your palms off the floor.
3. Exhale and slowly lower back to the starting position.
4. Repeat several times, moving with your breath.

To help relieve tight hip and groin muscles, try: Double Pigeon
"Double dove is an excellent hip and groin opener that can be expanded based on your flexibility," says MacDonald. Folding your legs allows a deep stretch while mobilizing your glutes. Take the time to get in and out of this location. Use props such as yoga blocks or large mats to support your knees as needed. "

direction:
1. Sit on a mat and stretch your legs forward.
2. Bend your right knee about 90 degrees, then rotate your right leg so that the outside is resting on the mat, with your feet bent and your shins parallel to the front of the mat.
3. Do the same with the left leg, but fold over the right leg, with the lower leg aligned.
4. Once your legs are together, you can sit up straight and hold this position with your hands on your legs, or gently start walking forward with your hands to form a forward fold.
5. If you fold forward, carefully move your hands back to your body.
6. After sitting up straight again, move your legs away from the pigeon with both hands, leaving the left leg out of the position first.
7. Swing your legs, then place your right leg over your left and repeat the pose.

To help improve posture and stabilize muscles, try: Yamagata.
It may seem simple, but asanas are often performed incorrectly - both by beginners and experienced yogis! "While it looks like you're just standing up straight, it's up to you to make it a meaningful pose," MacDonald says. "Remember the name: a mountain is alive, growing, steadfast, and unwavering. Mastering an asana should translate into full-body activation and adjustment."

direction:
1. Stand with your feet hip apart and big toes parallel. Swing the balls of your feet back and forth, side to side, before firmly planting your feet on the floor. Keeping your knees slightly bent to move your legs, find the right pelvic tilt by pulling your abs back while guiding your tailbone down slightly.
2. Shrug your shoulders toward your ears, then roll your shoulder blades down and back.
3. With your arms at your sides, palms forward and fingers open, turn your biceps out so the backs of your arms "stick" to your sides, with your biceps facing out and away from your torso. Keeping the chin up, pull it back to activate the "neutral neck" (head aligned, stacked over the spine).
4. If necessary, close your eyes and hold the pose as long as it is comfortable and stress-free.
5. For added challenge, find and hold your mountain pose and slowly lift your feet/toes. This is a great way to stabilize your muscles and strengthen your legs and ankles.
To help build balance, focus and strength, try: Warrior 3
"Warrior 3 is one of the most challenging standing balances because most of your body isn't upright, but parallel to (or working toward) the floor," says Finkel. Your standing leg supports most of your weight, which builds balance; your raised leg is aligned with your hips while trying to keep your hips square, which builds stability and strength. This pose also helps restore focus. "If you're having trouble completing a task or concentrating on a work item, jump up and try to hold this position for a few breaths on each foot," says Finkel. "Multitasking in a standing and balanced position is difficult, so they really help you reduce distraction and readjust!!"

direction:
1. Begin mountain pose from the top of the mat. Stand up and put your hands together in your heart.
2. Step into your right foot and lift your left knee to your chest.
3. Hinged forward from the hips, extending the head and heart forward, slowly pressing the left leg back until straight. Try to keep your spine as long as possible, your chest as wide as possible, and your hips straight and level, as you would when standing up straight in the pose. Raising the toes on your legs is a good indicator of whether your hips are square: If all five toes of your left foot are pointing down toward your mat, your hips are probably square. If their goal is to the left, one or both of your hips may rotate outward.
4. Feel free to keep your hands on your heart as you focus on keeping your spine and hips aligned and balanced. If you feel stable, stretch your hands forward to form a long line from your hand to your left heel.
5. Slowly come out with control, then repeat on the other side!

To help strengthen your core and engage your entire body, try: Planks
Set your timer and challenge yourself with 2 minutes of tablet support. "The advantage of planks is that they strengthen your entire core while keeping your spine in a neutral position, so the discs don't get stressed," says Finkel. Keeping the contraction in a static (resting) position can help build etc. Long strength, which has been shown to better activate muscles and lower blood pressure.

direction:
1. Starting with your hands and knees, find your neutral spine. Consider pulling the top of your head forward and your tailbone back. Keep your collarbones wide as you pull your ribs up and inward.
2. Put your toes under the mat and keep your knees an inch away from the mat to make a "tabletop". The spine maintains the same perfect posture!
3. Hold your breath and put your knees back in place.
4. Next, stack your shoulders over your wrists, spread your fingers, and step back with your feet one at a time. Your hips should be at the same level as your shoulders, or slightly lower.
5. Focus your gaze on the top edge of the mat - avoid the temptation to look back at your belly button.
6. Forearm flats follow the same alignment considerations: shoulders stacked above elbows, hips at or slightly below shoulders, legs long and straight, eyes on top edge of seat cushion or between thumbs .
7. Challenge yourself to stay in the correct position as long as you can.