23 Mar Five Yoga Poses You Need To Know!
Yoga Poses You Need To Know For a Great Foundation For Any Practice
Our yoga expert, Kirsty Gallagher of http://www.kirstygallagher.com takes us through her suggestions for the five yoga poses that make a great basis for your yoga practice, and are easy to keep up on your travels.
Nothing in yoga is an accident and every pose is opening, strengthening and building you towards something else. If you want to really create strength, space, alignment and freedom in your body these are 5 yoga poses you need to know:
Down Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is the anchoring pose of many yoga practices and a posture that we come back to time and time again, mainly because it’s good for many of the ailments that plague our modern day society: fatigue, tightness from sitting all day, tight hamstrings and back pain to name just a few. As it’s done so frequently it’s really worth taking the time to get to know it and get it right and done properly, down dog lengthens and straightens the entire spine, strengthens the arms, legs and bones and opens the hamstrings and the shoulders. It’s also a mild inversion and a great ‘assessment’ pose, to check in with how your body is feeling.
Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
Want to work towards arm balances and inversions? Then this is the pose for you! It is very easy to cheat chaturanga but done correctly this pose will help you to build the most incredible amount of strength and stability. It strengthens the arms and legs, tones and strengthens the abdominals, builds healthy shoulders, and is the best preparation for balancing on your arms and hands. If you find it a real struggle then begin t drop the knees down first while you build the strength to get you to the full version of the pose.
Childs Pose (Balasana)
This is your go to rest, restore, rejuvenate and relax pose. It will release tension in the back, shoulders and chest and lengthen and stretch the spine. It also helps to gently stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knees to keep them healthy (although avoid in the case of knee injury without qualified supervision) and open through the ankles. It’s a great pose to get to know for when down dog doesn’t feel an option in a practice, or when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed as this calming pose helps to alleviate stress and anxiety.
This is the preparation pose for moving into deeper backbends, so ensuring that your alignment is correct here will open you up (literally!) to a whole world of deeper backbends in the future. Cobra helps to increase the flexibility of the spine, open the chest, tone the abdomen and open the hip flexors – essential for backbends. Begin with a low cobra as you start out to ensure that the spine is lengthening and opening, rather than pushing into the hands and hunching the shoulders, and increase over time.
Savasana is one of the most challenging yet beneficial asanas ever, if you want to ‘master’ any pose this is the one! It is in savasana that all the changes and benefits that your practice brings integrate into your body, mind and nervous system. Savasana not only helps to deeply relax the entire body and central nervous system but also helps slow down the brain waves bringing with it a deep sense of calm. In Savasana you get to simply surrender yourself to the present moment, enjoy a few blissful moments and experience total peace.
Kirsty Gallagher is an International Yoga Teacher, barefoot dreamer, free spirit, adventure seeking traveller and pursuer of happiness. She teaches regular workshops and retreats in the UK, Europe and beyond. For more information visit her website www.kirstygallagher.com