Monday, February 1, 2016

4 Yoga Poses You Can Do Right Now

A new year, a new reason to restore.

When we think of the word restorative, we think of taking one really long, deep breath and letting go of everything giving us stress or anxiety in our day-to-day lives. That’s why we decided to highlight a few of our favorite restorative yoga poses throughout the month of January. The combination of deep breaths and even deeper stretches really help to relax the mind and body, allowing you to focus on what you need most in that moment.

Even if you’ve never practiced yoga before, these poses are a great snapshot of yoga basics you’ll find in any class. Try the poses out for yourself–you might be surprised at how these simple movements can help you feel more focused and restored in just a few minutes. If you like how you feel after doing these poses on your own, try jumping into a local yoga class to reap the full mind-body benefits of practicing yoga–we promise it won't disappoint. 

Sukhasana or Easy Pose

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Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your wrists resting on your knees with relaxed, open palms. Sit up straight, drop your shoulders and take in a deep breath in and out through your nose. Repeat breathing as needed to relax your mind and body.

Upward Facing Dog or Updog

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Start by lying face down on your mat. Place your hands next to your waist with your palms down and fingertips pointed toward the top of the mat. Make sure your legs are extended straight back and your feet are a few inches apart, with the tops of your feet resting on your mat. Take a deep breath.
As you breath out, begin to gently press into your palms and extend your arms, lifting your torso and the tops of your thighs a few inches off the ground. Squeeze the muscles in your thighs and firm up the muscles in your back. Feel your chest open up and a deep stretch in your abdominal muscles and back. Release to the ground as you breathe in.

Anjali Mudra

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Begin by sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor. Lengthen your spine. With open palms, bring your hands together in the center of your chest.
Anjali Mudra is a pose that shows up often in yoga practice. Whether you’re in mountain pose or Sukhasana (easy pose), you’ll find this pose is a centering and grounding experience.

Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II

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Begin by standing tall in Mountain pose with your feet hips width apart. Take a deep breath and step your right foot back about 4 feet or a distance that is comfortable for you. Point your right foot out perpendicular to the mat at 90 degrees. Point your left foot straight up towards the top of the mat. Align your heels so they are in a straight line along your mat and firm your thighs.
Exhale and bend your left knee. Make sure your left knee is positioned above your left ankle so as to protect the knee. If you can, bring your left thigh parallel to the floor. Squeeze your right leg and firm up your entire body. Stretch your arms out so that they run parallel to your legs, with your left arm reaching over your left leg and your right arm reaching back over your right leg. Look towards your left hand fingers and firm up your entire body. Inhale and exhale a few times in this position.

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