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Friday, May 15, 2009

Standing Yoga Poses - The Many Benefits

By Sherry Holistan

There are many types of yoga and many types of yoga poses. Each one has its own set of benefits and when done in tandem can be very advantageous for the body as a whole. People have their own preferences but you should really incorporate standing yoga poses into your exercise routine as much as possible. These include forward and backward bends, twists and balance postures. As with all yoga postures, these positions will strengthen your muscles and increase their flexibility. But that's not all.

So what can these body postures do for you? Well first off, they can help you to relax. I know what you're thinking. When most people conjure up an image of relaxing it typically involves lying down, or in some cases sitting in a comfy chair. So how on earth can standing possibly be a form of relaxation? Think about what makes you stressed...your job, you studies, all the demands on your time. Just thinking about it is making your blood pressure skyrocket, is not it? Imagine what could happen if you just did not have to think about it at all.

That's the beauty of standing yoga poses. They allow you an opportunity to not have to focus on the pressures of your daily life. Instead, you focus on a particular point and learn to clear your mind of all the extra clutter. It's this excess baggage that keeps you from ever reaching a state of full relaxation. By concentrating instead on keeping yourself upright and balanced, it's like you're reorganizing your brain and making things more ordered in there. By not having thoughts and ideas strewn about any old place, you'll find that your mental capacity in increased and you'll ultimately be better able to handle anything which comes your way.

These types of asanas also help with balance. There are specific postures which are known as balance poses and these are a subset of standing yoga positions as a whole. However, most standing yoga postures do carry some element of balance to them. Not all of us are blessed with great balance, and the condition is known to get worse with age. The amazing thing is, barring a medical condition, the body has a natural ability to balance itself. It's when the brain gets in the way and over thinks things that balance is negatively affected. The concentration aspect of standing yoga poses allows the body to take over and the more this is practiced the more it is learnt.

Standing yoga asanas also have great benefits when it comes to improving posture. Did you know that bad posture is at the root of a lot of other problems besides back pain? While this may be the main indicator, bad posture can also cause headaches, muscle spasms and a slew of digestive difficulties since pressure is being placed on the internal organs. Standing yoga poses stretch the spine and having to maintain the positions for a length of time can ultimately lead to straightening of the spine. The strengthening of the muscles along the spinal column also help to keep the spine straight so there is not a recurrence of damage.

It is all too easy to hurt your back. Standing yoga poses contribute to the overall health of your back by aligning the spine, strengthening the muscles and increasing their flexibility. Tight muscles are more apt to be injured when they are stretched, especially if they are not strong enough to handle the strain. By practicing standing yoga postures every day, you will greatly decrease the likelihood of any back injuries occurring, while also calming your mind and improving your balance. There really is no down side.