Asanas, or poses, in Yoga are the number one reason yoga exists as a way of life. The word Asana derived from the sanskrit word for ‘seat’ , as in a meditation pose, or standing, lying or sitting pose. There are different reasons asanas benefit our daily lives; different asanas can help different muscles, organs and in general parts of the body. Here are some i find the most helpful:
1. Tadasana – mountain pose
Tadasana, or the mountain pose is probably the most used asana in yoga practice; it might seem like a very easy, simple and quick pose, but it’s really all about muscle engagement. This pose can help with improving body posture, increasing height, and stimulating the nervous system. With the use of of the buttocks, thigh muscles and arms in this position the body instantly forms exactly like a ‘mountain’ – firm, strong and difficult to knock over. So when doing this pose, always make sure to not underestimate this pose and focus on staying firm and engaging all muscles.
2. Ardo Mukha Svanasana – Downward facing dog
It’s called downward facing dog only because, if you ever see your dog stretching as it wakes up, or just generally stretching out its legs, pay attention to what the dog does first: it gets up and goes straight into a position where the butt goes up and its front and back legs are wide open on the floor. I might not have described that in the best words but you could understand what I mean by just looking at your dog 🙂
This Asana is ideal for everyone, and is also considered an inversion, which you can also read about in my other blog post on the benefits of inversions.
The downward facing dog is an asana that works best for stress relief, blood circulation and more importantly, strengthens the shoulders, hamstrings, calves and hands. So if you want to energize your body, strengthen your muscles or even have some fun upside down, the downward facing dog is the best pose for you!
3. Virabhadrasana – Warrior 1 pose
The warrior – exactly the way it’s described; by doing the Virabhadrasana you become a warrior – strong, firm with a focused mind. This Asana strengthens all muscles, improves concentration and encourages good circulation and respiration. There are variables to this pose ; the legs and open nice and wide, the hands can either be open wide facing the sky above the head with the eyes focused on the thumbs, or they can interlaced above the head , with the eyes facing straight ahead. A very dynamic, mindful and energizing asana.
4. Vrikshasana – alternate tree pose
Another type of tree pose, with a completely different concept: Vrikshasana is an Asana that works with the balance and focus of the mind; improving simultaneously the balance and stability in legs, pelvic stability and strengthens the ligaments and tendons of the feet. Personally i find this Asana one of the most beautiful ones in yoga practice, as it’s a major relaxation method and at the same time pure focus in the mind for balance and stability.
Get to balancing!