Take a deep breath, then try our top 5 poses
Here are GL, we’ve become totally obsessed with yoga. Some of us have been loyal yogis for years, and some have just picked it up. Either way, we all love it—it’s the ultimate relaxer. We leave every class feeling mentally clear and physically stretched and, most of all, strong. When we hit the mat, we love these five go-to poses best. Try them out in honor of International Yoga Day today!
1. Extended Triangle Pose
This classic and commonly overlooked pose is actually one of the best for you. This standing pose not only works to release any tension in the lower back, it also strengthens your core. In order to properly perform this pose, start in Downward Dog and swing one leg forward in order to create the basis for Warrior pose. Typically, we’d start with our right leg. You should feel as if you’re doing a lunge. Now, unbend your front leg in order to create a triangle shape between your legs. Your right foot should be facing forward and your left foot should be facing left. Turn your upper body so that it is facing left. Lean your upper body toward the front leg, but make sure to keep your back straight. Extend the outer arm straight up and the inner arm straight down. It’s difficult, but practice makes perfect.
2. Warrior 1 Pose
This standing pose, otherwise referred to as high lunge, opens the hips, brings space and openness to the chest and encourages a powerful body. For this pose, start in Downward Dog and swing one leg forward. Again, we typically start with the right leg. Come into a lunge position with both feet facing forward. Steady your upper body and maintain a strong core. Raise both hands above your head and reach, really reach upwards. Stay in the pose for as long as possible with proper form.
3. Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose
This relaxing pose is for those days when you’re feeling too lazy to really workout, but you want to do something good for yourself. It works to drain and stretch the legs. To get into the pose, you may want to grab a towel or blanket to put under your lower back. Place the blanket against a wall, and work your bottom as close to the wall as possible. If you can get all the way against the wall, you’re golden. This may take time. Put both legs up against the wall and hold them there for as long as you’d like.
4. Downward Dog Pose
This is a classic yoga pose. Downward Dog stretches the entire body and it works to build strength all over—it’s the dream pose. To get into it, start on your hands and knees. Spread your fingers out to distribute the weight evenly. Push your hips upward and form the body into an upside down V. Keep both your legs and back straight. This is difficult at first, but the more practice you have, the deeper into the pose you can sink.
5. Forearm Plank Pose
Don't run away just because it has the work “plank” in it. It’s a great pose for strengthening the entire body. Start in the usual plank position, then place your palms and forearms downward on the floor. This will feel weird at first, but practice it a few times and your strength will improve and the pose will feel much easier.
Have you tried yoga? What are your favorite poses?
Photo credit: Susie Zsuzsanna Tolgyesi