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Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Beginner Yoga Positions You Need to Know

By Nancy Terence

Yoga can help you achieve peacefulness and a harmonious balance between your mind and body. It has a lot of health benefits such as improving your posture, relieving stress and stretching your tight muscles. However, if you are only a beginner in this art and science of yoga, you might get that natural feeling of uneasiness when you see the different yoga positions. Add to that the fact that each position has a strange and sometimes intimidating name to it.

But don't you worry because there are beginner yoga positions that are designed to help you get started. While some can be quite challenging at first, these are all relaxing and will pave the way for you to achieve more complicated yoga poses.

1. Balasana

Also called the Child's Pose, it will stretch your hips, thighs and ankles. It can also help with mild back pain problems. To achieve this, you must drop on the floor spreading your knees as wide as you can while keeping your big toes touching each other. Rest your belly on top of your thighs and then let your forehead touch the floor. Then your arms should be stretched upward above your head.

2. Mountain Pose

This is known as the Tadasana and it will help improve your posture. You stand straight with your big toes touching each other. If you are uncomfortable with your knees touching each other, you can spread them out a little bit just to ease off the pressure. Move your quadriceps upward, causing your knee caps to rise. Next, tone the belly and draw it in. Your collar bones should be parallel to the pelvis. Keep your neck straight the whole time.

3. Cat Stretch

This yoga position will help improve your abdominal strength while stretching the spine. To achieve this, you must drop on all fours just like a cat, hence the name. Now imagine that there is a line drawn on your back. It should be straight, starting from your head all the way down to your spine. Keep this imaginary line straight. Hold this position for a few seconds or a couple of minutes.

4. Standing Forward Bend

Also called the Uttanasana, this is a pretty straight forward position. This will stretch your hamstrings, providing for more flexibility. To do this pose, stand straight on your mat then bend down with your hands reaching the sides of your feet. Make sure to flatten your palms on mat. Put all your weight on the balls of your feet. When you do this you will quickly feel your hamstrings being stretched. Hold your position for as long as you can.

5. Raised Hands Pose

This position is also called the Urdhva Hastasana and it will help improve your posture as well as strengthen your thigh muscles. To do this position, stand straight and then stretch out both of your arms upward way above your head. Put your palms together touching each other flat while keeping both arms straight. Pull back your shoulder blades.

Source: Ezine Articles