With the daily extra stress people have to go through in their daily lives, whether it is at work or at home, many people need to release all the negative energy and be in harmony with themselves and with their surroundings. Yoga is not just a sport that will benefit your body and health but also it is now considered as one of the main international exercises of meditation and wellbeing for the body and soul. The lives of many people have completely changed after they started practicing yoga in a daily basis, and it is never too late for you to start. You may be new to Yoga, or you may have just started doing simple exercises. Anyways, you now have a chance to know all about the types of yoga and its benefits for your body, health, and spirit. Read down below also to know about the necessary yoga exercises for beginners.
What is Yoga?
Many people may think that yoga is all about doing some poses where one has to stay still in a certain physical position, but that it is totally not the case, as there is much more into yoga than just the physical poses. Yoga, in general, besides its physical activities, is a way of life in which one has to pay attention to himself, actions, diet, attitude, and ethics in order to work on improving himself and influencing the others around him to come up with their best. Many yoga practitioners around the world believe that it has the potential to alter everyone’s response, whether it is a bodily response or a mental one. In addition, during the last few decades, many health professionals from around the world started doing a lot of research on the effects of yoga on the human body and its wellness, as it was noticed that it really has many healing capabilities.
After due research, it was found that professional yoga practitioners may sometimes have the ability to control their blood pressure, metabolic rate, respiratory function, body temperature, heart rate, brain waves and other bodily functions. Of course, the results of such researches were revolutionary, as this could be the perfect natural solution to many lifetime diseases that are affecting many people around the globe. Now, a lot of people prefer to do yoga on a daily basis in order to avoid the harmful side effects of medications. For instance, anyone who is diagnosed with high blood pressure can seek an alternative to his daily medications in yoga, and also get a chance to improve his body and physical health, which made yoga in Ghana more popular during the last few years.
Best yoga exercises for beginners
1. Mountain pose
- It is very simple pose but still important, as it helps you concentrate more on the right body posture and on your inner feelings at the same time.
- Stand tall with your feet together and your hands raised up. Relax your shoulders and take a very deep breath while keeping your palms faced to each other.
- Reach towards the sky with your fingers while keeping your arms straight.
2. Downward dog
- Kneel down and touch the ground such that your knees are under your hips and your hands are directly under your shoulders.
- Walk your hands forward and then spread them pressing your palms into the ground.
- Press your hips toward the sky slowly and bring your body into an inverted V position.
- Position your feet about a hip-width apart and slightly bend your knees.
3. Tree pose
- This pose may require some balancing skills but you will get to do it with practice.
- Stand with your arms at sides.
- Shift your body’s weight onto left your leg and then place the sole of your right foot inside your left thigh while keeping your hips facing the forward direction.
- Try to balance yourself and then bring your hands in front of you.
- Take a deep breath while extending your arms over your shoulders. Palms should be separated and facing each another. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then do it on the other side.
- Stand with your legs about 3 to 4 feet apart from each other.
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees in the direction of your mat and then slightly turn your left foot in.
- Bring both of your hands to your hips and keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Extend your arms out to the sides while keeping your palms down.
- Bend your right knee about 90 degrees while keeping it over your ankle.
- Gaze out over your right hand and keep the pose for 1 minute.
- Do the same steps on the other side for another minute.
4. Triangle pose
- Extend both of your arms out to the sides, and then bend your body over towards your right leg.
- Stand with your feet 3 feet apart from each other, and keep the toes of your right foot turned out 90 degrees and those of your left foot to 45 degrees.
- let your right hand touch the floor or rest on your right leg above or below the knee.
- Extend the fingertips of your left hand towards the sky.
- Look upwards at the sky and hold your body for 5 consecutive breaths.
- Repeat the same steps on the other side.
5. Bridge pose
- Lie on your yoga mat while bending your knees and keeping them over your heels.
- Place your arms at your sides while keeping your palms down. Exhale and then press both feet into the floor while lifting your hips.
- Clasp your hands under your lower back and press your arms down into the floor lifting your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor and bringing your chest toward the chin. Hold the pose for 1 minute.
6. Cobra pose
- Lie on the floor with your face facing your mat.
- Your thumbs should be directly under your shoulders and your legs should be extended with the tops of your feet touching the mat.
- Press your shoulders down and away from your ears.
- Push your upper body upwards with your thumbs and index fingers raising your chest towards the wall in front of you without moving your legs.
7. Crow pose
- First, get into the downward dog position mentioned above and then bend your elbows.
- Lift your heels off the floor and rest your knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep your toes on the floor. Abs should be engaged and legs pressed against the arms.
- Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.
Types of yoga
There are many types of yoga that developed over the ages according to the desires of the many people who practice it. Some do it for its behavioral, ethical, and spiritual effects on the body and soul, while others do yoga to seek physical stability and strength. There are also some people who do it as the main source of treatment instead of the usual common therapy. For example, it is considered one of the best and main natural cures of back pain than many people seem to suffer from sometimes. Anyways, below you will get to know an overview about each of the most popular types of yoga so that you can choose the kind of yoga that suits you best, as it sometimes could be very confusing for beginners to figure out the right exercises for themselves.
In your first yoga class, whether it is online or with a professional instructor, you have to make sure that it is a class for beginners. Going to a class with people who have been doing yoga for a long time might make you feel not as good or that yoga is not for you. Try to find the right instructor and start your first class with beginners like yourself so that you can go through the whole learning experience together. The kind of yoga does not really matter a lot in the first few beginner classes, as they are usually about a few basic poses that are very common in most of the kinds of yoga.
1. Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga is a very general practice that includes some of the most common yoga poses for beginners, and most of the yoga instructors recommend it to beginners as something easy to start with so that they can get to experience the most common and simple yoga poses. It is slow-paced and gentle compared to other kinds of yoga. If you are already used to doing a lot of sports and stretches on a regular basis and want to do yoga as a physical workout, then you might start with a more advanced kind of yoga that is more fast-paced, as you may already have the required level of fitness.
2. Anusara yoga
This kind of yoga was founded not a very long time ago in 1997 by John Friend. It is mainly about combining spiritual practices with physical movements at the same time, as it is based on a very positive philosophy that focusses on the basic goodness of all earthly creatures. Although Friend has started Anusara, he is not associated with it anymore, and he then started another new style of yoga called Sridaiva, which is discussed below. Anusara has become popular through the years because of its deep spiritual teachings that mainly focus on following one’s heart, going with the flow, and embracing life the way it is.
It is also called Bowspring because of its main method of body alignment, in which one’s knees have to be bent on many of its poses, which makes it different from other kinds of yoga. The pelvis also usually has to be tipped forward in order to maintain the curves of the spine. John Friend founded Sridaiva with Desi Springer after leaving Anusara yoga in 2012. There are many innovations to yoga and usually, most of the yoga students try different classes before they make up their mind about choosing the type of yoga that fits them the most. Sridaiva yoga is among the best-recommended types of yoga that included yoga exercises for good posture.
4. Vinyasa flow yoga
Vinyasa yoga is all about the management of the flow of the body from one pose to another while controlling the breathing at the same time. It is a more advanced kind of yoga compared to the Hatha yoga, and it is mainly preferred by the athletics who think more of yoga as a strong physical exercise than relaxation or meditation. It incorporates a series of different poses that are called the sun salutations in which each salutation has to be matched with the breath. A Vinyasa yoga class usually starts with some basic movements at the beginning in order to warm up the body and ends with intense stretches.
5. Baptise power Vinyasa yoga
This kind of yoga is also new compared to other popular kinds of yoga, as it was formed by Baron Baptise who studied many kinds of meditation, martial arts, and yoga before coming up with his own yoga style, which became later very popular among many people from around the world. The classes usually have to be conducted in a heated room; thus, you will definitely sweat a lot if you decide to join a baptize power Vinyasa yoga class. Baron’s yoga style is based on main five pillars, which are heat, ujjayi pranayama, Vinyasa, drishti, and uddiyana bandha. It is needless to say it is one of the most popular kinds of yoga among many people as it included a bit of everything because of Baron’s background in meditation and martial arts.
6. Iyengar yoga
The style of this yoga is mainly all about bringing the body into the most perfect alignment. It is based on the teachings of B.K.S Iyengar, who is one of the most famous yoga masters that are known for their many yoga contributions. In the Iyengar yoga classes, blankets, ropes, blocks, and straps are usually used to help the students master the perfect form or alignment. Iyengar’s practices usually focus on holding certain poses for a long period of time compared to Vinyasa yoga, as it is more about moving from one pose to another. Iyengar also contributed to the development of asana yoga. This kind of yoga could be what most people think about yoga, as it focuses on keeping hard poses for a long time, but that is definitely not an easy task as most people think, and it needs a lot of balance capabilities and practice.
7. Ashtanga yoga
This style of yoga could be assumed to be totally different from the most common yoga styles, as it is more intense and fast. It was founded by Pattabhi Jois about 50 years ago. It mainly includes a certain set of poses and moves that have to be performed in the same order one after the other. It is considered as an advanced type of yoga because it requires physical strength compared to other types, and that is mainly because one has to keep up with the constant movement from one move or pose to another. Ashtanga yoga was most embraced by students from the west, and it also had a huge influence on the evolution of yoga during the last 30 years in most of the western countries.
8. Bikram yoga “Hot yoga”
This may not be the favorite kind of yoga for those who cannot withstand the extra heat. Hot yoga classes are usually assigned with the name of its founder whose name is Bikram Choudhury. In general, the heat is known to ease the muscles and loosens them faster, and that is why Birkam founded this kind of yoga. Its classes are usually practiced in a room that is usually heated to 40.5 Celsius. It mainly includes a set of about 26 poses that are performed one after the other. A lot of people may prefer hot yoga to other kinds, as it becomes easier for them to perform many of the tough poses after the muscles are loosened by the heat, but still, many people may not prefer it so much because it cannot be practiced in the outdoors and has to be practiced in a heated room. After all, it is very nice to practice yoga exercises in the morning in the outdoors.
9. Yin yoga
This kind of yoga is mainly designed by Paul Grilley for stretching the body’s connective tissue, and that is why it is mainly about keeping and holding a certain pose for a few minutes. If you are having a problem with stretching your body tissues around the main joints, then Yin yoga maybe the right yoga to start with. It is also not just about the stretching poses but about meditation as well. It has been popular among many people because of its long meditation sessions and healing moves.
10. Sivananda yoga
Sivananda yoga mainly developed from hatha yoga with the main purpose of preserving the wellness and health if its practitioner. It mainly focuses on the right way of breathing and the relaxation of its practitioner compared to other kinds of yoga that include more intense exercises, as its main aim is to decrease the chance of getting disease and increasing the vitality of the body. The first Sivananda yoga center was founded in 1959 by Swami Vishnu-devananda, who is a disciple of Swami Sivananda. Its yoga teachers have to be graduates of the Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training Course.
This is a very special kind of yoga compared to many of the other kinds, as it focuses on the special needs of each student and disciple according to the stage of his life and his body health. It has to include an individual approach to each student in order to create a certain practice that only suits him. Even in group classes, Viniyoga is all about fitting each one’s particular and specific needs. This may be one of the kinds of yoga that are difficult to practice on your computer, as you will definitely need to communicate with your yoga teacher so that he can design an individual program for you to follow in your daily practices.
12. Kundalini yoga
It could be one of the most mysterious kinds of yoga due to its very deep and intense meditations in which one is said to feel himself in another place. There are very rare Kundalini yoga classes that are performed around the world because its instructors are not many. It is to focus on the breath in coordination with the physical movement in order to free the energy from the lower body and allow it to move upwards through the chakras of the body. Many of its practitioners claim that they may have feelings of euphoria or being high during its classes, and that’s why its exercises are considered among the super brain yoga exercises.
Yoga exercises benefits
Besides its main healing benefits to both the body and soul, imagine if everyone around the globe starts his day with a brief yoga exercise. Not only that will boost your metabolism and make you feel more confident about yourself but also it will make you more peaceful and forgiving with the other people you meet throughout the day. Some researchers have proven that people who practice yoga tend to fight and quarrel much less with their partners or colleagues compared to other people who do not participate in any other physical or meditating activities. Besides its main body benefits, there are many other benefits to practicing yoga on a regular basis, and the intensity of your yoga workout usually varies according to the kind of yoga you are going to practice. Read down below to know more about the main yoga exercises benefits.
There are many fitness professionals who claim that the only way to build muscle is through lifting weights, but that may only be true from certain muscles of your body like arm muscles, while with other muscles, it could be sometimes easier and better to use yoga poses. In general, it is hard to build core muscles and abs, and that may take a lot of time with some people, especially when it comes to building the side abs. Holding a side plank for a few seconds on each side can be a very useful and a simple pose just for that. If you want to focus more on your middle abs, then do a boat pose and try to hold it for a while. The boat pose is actually considered among the best yoga exercises for flat stomach.
If you cannot go to the gym, you can still build your arm muscles using your body weight. A simple pose like the plank distributes your body weight among your arms and legs, while other poses like the crane and crow poses will definitely strengthen your arms and increase your fitness level. It may be hard to perform them at first, but you will manage to do it after an organized and a regular exercise, even if you are just working out by yourself at home.
When it comes to your legs, you are already using them every day, at least to walk from a place to another, but still, you may be looking for a better way to strengthen your leg muscles. Many yoga poses include movements in which you will have to work all the muscles of your legs including your thighs, hips, glutes, and quadriceps. You can see that for yourself when you feel the burn in your legs after trying to hold a basic squat for some time. The most basic squat is also among the best and easiest yoga exercises for hips. Many stretches and poses are also very good for your back muscles. Poses like the downward-facing dog, cat pose, and child’s pose give your back a good stretch, and that is why many doctors recommend yoga to their patients who have back pain.
Besides the many body benefits mentioned above, with the time, you will start to notice that your flexibility and metabolism have significantly improved just a few weeks after practicing yoga on a regular basis. Although yoga exercises are not aerobic, you can still sweat after practicing some kinds of yoga like power yoga. Research has also found out that the benefits of practicing some kinds of yoga exercises can be just as good as aerobic exercise when it comes to improving your health. That is mainly because it takes a lot of muscle strength to hold and keep your body in a pose for a certain time, which will eventually strengthen all your body muscles.
Many people do not seem to know about the main health benefits of yoga and may think yoga is all about touching your toes and sitting in a certain position for a while. In general, because of the many side effects of medications and the dangerous overdoses that many people may suffer from at sometimes, scientists have been lately trying to find out other resources for alternative medicine when it comes to some diseases that can be found in many parts around the globe.
Among the main health benefits of yoga is the way it helps people who suffer from heart disease. It is known for its ability of lowering blood pressure and slowing the increased heart rate, as its breathing techniques relax the body and all its organs as a whole. A slower and a calmer heart rate can definitely benefit people who suffer from high blood pressure or heart strokes. In addition, it was noticed that people who practice yoga on a regular basis have lower cholesterol levels in their blood and a better immune system. Yoga exercises for gastric problem also had amazing effects and many doctors started recommending it. In general, the state of the mind is very connected to the state of the body, and that is why anyone who is always relaxed and in harmony with his surroundings will have a healthier and a calmer life, and yoga is all about linking the body to the mind during its exercises.
A study that was conducted in 2014 concluded that practicing yoga for 25 minutes through a guided protocol had a huge effect on the people who took part in the study when it comes to decreasing high blood pressure, relieving stress, and decreasing the breathing rate of those who were hypertensive. Such effects were noticed just after one exercise, which means that doing yoga on a regular basis can even have more useful health results. The type of yoga that they performed, which also included some physical movements, helped with managing stress, relieving anxiety and depression, enhancing the quality of sleep, and improving the mood. It is time for you to start. Click here to see a list of some of the most popular yoga websites on the internet that will have the right yoga exercise video for beginners, and here is a simple video for beginners on YouTube to start with.
Yoga exercises for back pain
In general, most of the yoga moves include stretching the back muscles, and this stretching the spinal cord, which is eventually good for your back. Because of the daily lifestyles of many people at work, some people tend to have some problems with back pain, and that is normal for those people who spend a lot of their time sitting in front of a computer without trying to move or stretch their backs from one time to another. When you sit for a long period of time, your back is subjected to the pressure of your weight, which works on compressing your spinal cord making you feel a lower back pain later on. That is why back stretching exercises are very important for everyone who spends most of his day sitting on a chair, whether at work or even driving a car.
Many people have tried all that conventional medicine has offered them without actually realizing any results. Painkillers could actually make your problem worse, and they may lead to a more serious injury of your back, as they don’t relieve the pain, but just do not make you feel it is there, thus making you move your back in none favorable positions without realizing that it is bad for you.
If you have lower back pain or neck pain, it is very important to find the right kind of the yoga classes for you. A lot of yogis may tell you many suggestions but they may all still prove to be inefficient. That is why it is very important to make the right exercises and moves in order to avoid more pain or injury. You can also ask your physical therapist for some yoga exercises for beginners that can help with the back pain. You should also make sure that your yoga instructor is reliable enough to have a certain treatment plan for you and who understands all your medical problems. If you feel that he/she are not listening carefully or just pretending that they can help, then it is better to start with another instructor who knows what he is doing when it comes to treating back and neck problems.
Yoga myths that you need to stop believing
Many people just repeat all that they say without actually thinking if what they are saying is right or wrong. Some people may tell you that yoga is just for girls, but that is totally not true. Yoga is mainly for everyone who is trying to have a better life with his body and mind in harmony together. It may be true that men seem to prefer more active or violent sports, while girls prefer more peaceful sports, but that does not mean that yoga is just for girls. Yoga, in general, includes plenty of stretches. You can notice for yourself that many sports like swimming, football, or even basketball include some stretches during the warm-up before the actual playing starts. Before doing any physical movements, you need to stretch your body in order to prevent injury. So, that may be the right answer that you may need to say in case someone told you that yoga is just for girls. In addition, doing yoga will not only benefit your body, but it will make you happier, as it relieves all the anxiety and stress and enhances the quality of your sleep at night.
A lot of people may also think that you need to have a very flexible body in order to do yoga. That is also another false information about yoga, as you will notice that the flexibility of your body will improve significantly just after a few yoga classes. The human body is very adaptive, and it will adapt to the loads and stretches it is subjected to. Some people also may think that yoga is a religion, and they seem to think that way because they see yoga practitioners sitting in groups and doing specific poses together as if they are doing acts of worship, but that is also another false information about yoga because it is just a sport that focuses more on meditating than other sports. Also, Yoga is neither too easy nor too hard as many people may sometimes think. It takes a lot of effort to keep your body in a certain pose, and it is not all about sitting on the ground and meditating. It also does not take so much time compared to other kinds of sports. A regular yoga class takes 60-90 minutes.
Yoga exercises during pregnancy for normal delivery
There are some certain precautions that you may need to follow when doing yoga exercises during pregnancy, and it is of course, better to consult your doctor about the best moves for normal delivery. In general, doing yoga during pregnancy can help you be stronger, more relaxed and in shape. As your baby grows, your belly grows as well; thus, your body’s center of gravity will change. That is why it is better to make some adjustments to your regular poses to keep up with such changes. It is necessary, for example, not to do any poses in which you will have to lie on your back in order to avoid injury. You should also understand that there are some certain pregnancy hormones that loosen up your joints making you feel more flexible than before, so it is important not to overstretch your body more than the usual in order to avoid injury. During pregnancy, you should also avoid some postures that may put extra pressure on your belly or lower back, and it is also important not to take part in any hot yoga classes. The hot room temperature may too much for your organism to withstand during pregnancy.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.