Yoga is a fat-burning workout which you can do for less than 30 minutes. It is the best exercise for increasing flexibility, strength and balance. It is also a perfect exercise for achieving peace of mind or mental clarity. It can be done sitting or standing, outdoor or indoors, at home or in the office. Those working in the office may use yoga to regain their energy and mental focus during a hectic workday. The following are seven basic yoga poses you can do easily during breaks.
Mountain Pose – Tadasana
No sweat, really. Just stand tall with your feet together (or slightly apart) and your shoulders relaxed. Your weight should be evenly distributed through your feet and arms.
When you are ready, take a deep breath and raise your hands above your head with palms facing each other and with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips, while keeping both feet flat on the ground.
The mountain pose is the foundation of all standing postures in yoga. It can improve your posture, groundedness and stability when done regularly. It is not however recommended for those suffering from recent or chronic injury to the shoulders.
Warrior Pose – Virabhadrasana
This standing pose builds strength and stability. It can help expand your chest, lungs and shoulders as well as strengthen your arms, thighs, ankles and back muscles.
To perform this pose, stand with your legs three to four feet apart, and then turn your right foot by 90 degree outward and your left foot slightly in. Extend your arms out to the level of your shoulder and with your palms facing down. Bend your right knee by 90 degree, keeping your right thigh parallel to the ground. Stay in this position for one minute and switch sides after. Repeat for at least five times.
Tree Pose – Vrikshasana
From the Mountain pose, bend your right knee, shift all your weight into the left leg, and place the sole of your right foot inside your left thigh.
Once you have achieved balance, bring your palms together as if in prayer. Take a deep breath (inhale) while extending arms over shoulders with palms slowly separating above your head. Keep this position for 30 seconds. After which, lower your arms and legs and repeat on the opposite side.
Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This rejuvenating backbend will stretch your chest and thighs as well as extend your spine. It will also strengthen your buttocks and hamstrings, and prepare you for more difficult backbends. What is more, it is easy and safe to perform for beginners.
Begin by lying flat on the floor with arms on your side, palms down. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the surface, a few inches apart. Lift your hips toward the ceiling while clasping your hands under your lower back. Hold for one minute and repeat.
If you are having a hard time getting into this position, place a stack of pillows under your tailbone for support.
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