If you are starting out as a beginner, here are 4 types of basic yoga postures you may consider if you like to improve your skills and take them to the next level. They are:
1. The Cobra
When starting out, follow these basic instructions.
Lay down with your face prone. Your legs should be placed next to each other together and straightened back with your forehead on to the floor. Place your hands with palms down, just beneath your shoulders.
Breathe in and elevate your head with your neck arched back. Then use your hands to thrust your trunk up til you are bending in a beautiful arc from your lower spine to the back of your neck.
You do not need to go further than this. However if you are resilient enough, you can now stretch out your arms totally while bending your legs at the knees and laying down your head back to touch your feet.
Even if your head does not go anywhere near your feet, go down as far as you can. All these while holding your posture with deep breathing.
Next, emerge yourself out of the posture very slowly before reverting back to your face prone posture.
Finally, relax with your head tilted to one side before repeating the whole process again.
2. The Bow
This is is the more advanced version of the simple bow. It is amazing how many children can accomplish this straight away.
The first step is to lie down on your mat with your face prone.
If you possess a slim figure, get a thick padded mat for this one. Breathe in while holding your knees up.
Straighten back with your arms and grab hold of your ankles while placing your fingers and thumbs all together on the outside. Breathe in before raising your head and chest.
Next, pull at your ankles, lift your knees and thighs off the floor.
Inhale normally while kicking up your legs higher and lifting your head up.
Your body is now bent like a bow, juggling the weight of your body with your abdomen.
You have the choice to stop or continue but if you continue further, put down your hands across your legs. After which lift them higher, ensure your knees are together and recoil as much as you can.
Sustain for a few minutes of normal breathing before finally relaxing back into your face-prone position with your head tilted to one side.
3. The Shooting Bow
In Sanskrit this is also called Akarna Dhanurasana since one leg is stretched out like a shooting bow.
Sit with both legs straightened out in front and back straight. Next, stretch out with both hands and grip your feet, grabbing the right foot with your left hand and doing the same to your other foot and hand.
Breathe in, bend the left knee and move your foot across the body. Make sure it is close to your chest with your elbow pointed out before shifting} the body slightly to the right. Your left hand should remain firm and tight, gripping hold of the right foot.
Maintain your posture with normal breathing. Then release slowly and relax. After which rinse and repeat on other side. Your left hand holding your right hand and then the other way round.
When this is easy, stretch down and hold the left foot with the right hand. Continue to pull on the left foot, lifting it higher on each exhalation.
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Janet Suzanna has been a fitness and yoga instructor for over 4 years.
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