Yoga can be a life style; a way to express yourself when words can’t cover your feelings anymore and best of all, yoga is known to help you get rid of all of that extra tension in your body the right way, the nonviolent way.
There are so many examples of people out there that literally fixed their lives thanks to yoga so we won’t delve too deep into that, but what we can say though is that it definitely works as a great conduit to throw away your frustrations at the world without actually hurting anyone.This is why most of us do yoga; we do it as a way to make sure that we are in control. Most of the time, people tend to overlook certain stressful situations and just let it all build up until eventually we can’t handle it anymore and we just end up imploding from the inside out.
This is why we need yoga; it’s not just us doing funny poses while listening to hipster music, it’s our way of coping with things.
Another great thing about yoga is the fact that we can all literally get into it overnight. That’s right, you don’t need to be the most flexible stick in the mud, you don’t need to be a world class athlete either and you most definitely don’t need to do every exercise perfectly.
Sure, there are different levels of difficulty when it comes to it, but at the end of the day yoga is not made to be perfected. It is a way to release all of that extra stress you’ve been building up over the past couple of weeks, not a way to add up to that buildup.
So, don’t stress yourself over not being able to do it all perfectly overnight, we can assure you that you won’t be able to do every exercise perfectly immediately as soon as you see it, but hey, as we’ve mentioned previously, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about helping your mind blow off some steam.
With this being said, as you may have guessed from the title, we are here to provide you with some of the best yoga exercises out there. Some are easy to get into, but hard to master, while others are hard from the get go, but alas, they should all have the same effect on you.
So, without further ado, let’s start this article right with one of the most popular yoga exercises out there, aka:
This is a very easy pose to get into, but it doesn’t just stop there. This is what we refer to as a mental exercise above a physical one. You will have certain poses that will require you to bend a certain way or twist a certain way to get any results, but with this pose you need to do quite the opposite.
You need to clear your mind, concentrate on what’s in front of you, and avoid clouding your mind with any negative thoughts.
This is definitely an exercise that’s meant to be done after a long day at work, or after spending a couple of hours taking care of your baby. If you’re tired this is either going to come off as a super easy exercise either it will be impossible, but if you’ve been doing this for a while you should be able to do it regardless. So, physically wise, it is not that hard to get started with it, you just need to do the following:
- Lift your arms above your head and stand tall
- Picture yourself as a tall mountain, nothing can move you, the air zigzags around you and you are left unscathed
- Take a very deep breath then slowly lower your arms and before they get all the way down exhale all of it out.
- Take another deep breath as you lift your arms up, trying to grab the sky and pull it down with you as you breathe out once again and lower your arms.
If you’re just getting into yoga you should definitely do this exercise because it honestly helps a lot more than most others out there.
If you’re a rookie then you will find yourself losing your mind when trying to get some of the hardest poses out there, but if you keep an open mind and just repeat this simple exercise you should have no problem with clearing your mind and cleansing it of all of the negative thoughts that must have clouded your mind that day.
You’ve definitely heard of this one before. Everyone, and I mean everyone that has ever tried to do yoga in their lives have tried the downward dog position. Why? Simply because it is quite simplistic but as opposed to the Mountain pose this one actually does require you doing something physical. Sure, it’s not exactly a bone breaking technique or anything like that, but it is definitely a lot harder than lifting your hands up and doing a breathing exercise.
Still, you can’t help but realize why this is such a popular position to begin with. It helps you clear your mind almost instantly and before you know it you’re there, with no negativity around you, just enjoying the moment, not allowing anyone or anything to disturb you.
So, in order to do the downward dog position you just need to do the following:
- Stand in a plank position on the ground, on your chest
- Slowly yet surely start lifting your upper body with your hands
- After you’ve done that start inching yourself closer and closer with your feet.
- Spread your fingers wide and press your palms into the mat as hard as you can as you inch closer and closer to them with your feet.
- Push your hips as high as you can, forming a V position
- Curl your fingers and start breathing in
- Hold your breath for as long as you can
That should be it, but as simple as it sounds this is a very good way to clear your mind if something has been bothering you for quite a while and you don’t know how to fix it anymore. This lets you push everything aside and concentrate on what’s in front of you. It’s a great combination of both physical and mental fortitude.
Alright, so there are two ways of doing this. They both start the same way and they offer the same benefits, but one can actually be considered to be way tougher than the other. Depending on how you want to do this you can either go for one or the other, but we suggest that you try the easy way first before you start mixing everything up.
So, the easy version is pretty simple minded. You just do the following and you should be able to get the right results:
- Stand with your arms together
- Shift your weight on the left leg, putting the other against it
- Once that’s done you can actually just take your arms and put them in a praying position
- Breath in then lift your arms above your head
- Keep that breath in for a good thirty seconds
- Exhale while slowly putting your hands down, next to your hips
Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, that is one way to do it, while the other is pretty much the same, just a bit more focused on the physicality of the matter. So, instead of sitting on your leg the way you would usually do it, you can go right ahead and lift your whole body on your toes. Not only this, but you can also increase that timer from 30 seconds to 45 and immediately after switch your legs.
As you may have realized by now, this is way more difficult but it does have its perks. The more physically demanding the exercise is the better because you are basically forcing yourself to pay attention to what’s in front of you aka the exercise. If you’re having a real rough day then it’s better to crank it up a notch and release all of that stress this way, but we suggest that you always have someone around you when you attempt this.
Sure, the risk is minimal, but if you’re not paying attention you could sprain something without even noticing at first. Keep safe, yoga is not meant to hurt you, it’s meant to help you relax. Sure, you can relax in a hospital bed but that’s not exactly what we would refer to as a healthy mindset to have!
The Cobra Pose
This is another very popular pose that most people have already seen in action by now. Regardless if you’re into yoga or not you should already know of this one by now because literally everyone that has ever seen yoga on TV or on the internet already knows this. But that’s the great part about it, it’s really easy to get into, and similar to the Mountain Pose it is meant to help you release that frustration mentally, not necessarily physically.
So, without further ado, here’s how you get into this pose:
- First and foremost, lay down face down on the mat
- Put your hands directly under your shoulders and extend your legs as much as you can
- Tighten your pelvic floor, and tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes
- Press your shoulders as down as you can
- Push your palms as down as you can
- Take a 10 second breathing break then repeat
As you can tell, very easy to do, but the results don’t lie. All you really need to do is concentrate on what’s in front of you and as mentioned previously just avoid actually concentrating on any negative feeling you’re getting. This is what yoga is after all, an escape from the harsh reality of our lives, a way to cope with any sort of negative feeling, and of course, and a way to overcome any hardships in life without having to resort to violence. It is the best nonviolent way of coping with things that we have ever come up with, and that’s a fact.
The Pigeon Pose
Alright, now we’re getting into the complicated ones. On first glance it might not seem like a lot’s going on in here, but alas, things are not always as simple as they seem. This is the most complicated yoga poses we’ve introduced so far actually, but many would argue that it’s also one of the most effective ones when it comes to relaxation through trying times.
Here’s how you begin this one:
- Remember the push-up position? Get in that position right away
- Push your knee as high as you can until you feel that it’s as close to your shoulder as possible
- Get down from the push-up position until you’re maintaining your weight on your elbows
- Keep that chest up the whole way through and look directly in front of you the whole time
- If you are flexible enough you can actually push your chest all the way down and extend your arms slightly above your head in front of you
- Pull navel in toward spine and tighten your pelvic-floor muscles; contract right side of glutes.
- Curl your toes and start slowly breathing in and out
- Bend the knee to the ground as much as you can, until you have done at least 5 reps in total
As mentioned previously, a lot of work goes into this one, but alas, the results don’t lie. It won’t take you any longer than 30 minutes to get the gist of it but after you do you’ll realize just how helpful it is. It is a more physically demanding pose, obviously, which is why it’s best to do it slowly and steadily, just like yoga has always been meant to be done. Don’t rush into anything and before you know it you’ll know exactly what you’re doing and it’ll help clear your mind off of things.
Alright, let’s calm down for a second and get a little comfier. Yoga is not all about being the most flexible person in the room; it’s not about proving something to someone. This is why not all poses have to be so demanding physically. Case and point, the child’s pose.
This is definitely extremely easy to get into and honestly a great way to just get ready for anything else that’s about to be thrown at you that day. This is why it’s especially good to start your yoga exercises with this one. It is extremely easy to get into and overall it doesn’t make you sweat so you should have no problem with doing this at home before you go to work either.
So, without further ado, this is how you do the child’s pose:
- Sit down on your heels (preferably comfortably)
- Roll your torso forwards
- Place your head on the mat (or preferably bed) right in front of your legs
- Lower your chest as much as you can on your knees
- Extend your arms in front of you and start breathing in and out
- Repeat the exercise 5 times in a row and you should be refreshed.
This is great to do if you only have 10 minutes to get that exercise done. It won’t cause you to sweat anytime soon and it will help you relax especially if you do it on a comfy bed or just on a soft mat.
No, this is not a joke, although you can feel free to laugh as much as you want, nobody will blame you here. Yep, it sounds like a joke but the corpse pose is a real thing and honestly there is no better way to end your yoga session than with a good old corpse pose.
It is about as simple as it sounds, and as physically demanding too. No, you don’t need to die in order to do it (although I suppose that it might help a bit). You just need to relax and just slowly let your body relax. Stand on your knees if you want to and slowly lean down to the ground. You can either lean on your back or on your chest. Regardless of your choice, the results will be the same.
This is the epitome of a mental exercise. You can close your eyes and listen to the ocean, or the waterfalls around you. Sure, chances are that there are no waterfalls around you, but that shouldn’t stop your mind from picturing this in the first place. The mind is meant to make up these illusions but we tend to take away that power by replacing it with stress and worries. The corpse pose is specifically made to counter this and make sure that you don’t waste your time by doing anything especially physically demanding. It’s just you and your mind for a good 30 seconds straight. So, just relax and breathe in and out. If done correctly, before you know it you should be hearing that waterfall around you.
The Fish Pose
Alright, so let’s end this article off with one of the most physically demanding poses out there, aka the fish pose. This might not sound that threatening at first, but we can assure you that it’s way harder than it sounds, and not for the same reasons the pigeon pose was hard.
So, it begins like this:
- Lie down on your back and slowly lift your upper body off the ground.
- Put your hands underneath your back, fold them underneath your hips
- Lean your head back as much as you can
- Stretch as hard as you can, until you hear your body’s reaching its limit
We know that it might not sound like that hard of a pose, but it’s no longer a beginner’s pose at this point, we can assure you of that. First and foremost, the amount of pressure that you should be putting on your neck and back alone should cause you mild discomfort at first when you try it, but if you keep on doing it over and over again you should get to the point where you can do this without actually feeling anything but satisfaction for doing a good job.
You need to try it out to actually get just how difficult it is, but the results are staggering. This is extremely useful when you’re dealing with a lot of stress and are feeling like you’re just about to explode. Do it whenever you feel like the world around you is crumbling and you should get over it quite fast if you do it properly.