If you’re as much of a “yogi” as Yogi Bear, we’ve got the 10 yoga poses (asanas) that even a newbie yogi can use to form the basic building blocks of a solid yoga practice and a healthy lifestyle. Use the 10 poses below to improve everything from strength, flexibility and balance to blood pressure management, improved concentration and pain alleviation.
Camel pose is a mood-elevating pose that opens up the lungs for effective deep breathing. The increased oxygen in the blood not only elevates your mood, but can also give your muscles the oxygen they desperately need to hold some of the more challenging poses below.
The back-bending (literally!) full wheel pose provides the type of deep back bend that rejuvenates you as it floods your system with oxygen. It also stimulates the nervous system through spine compression. One of the great things about this pose is that it technically qualifies as an inversion (as the heart is above the head) without the difficulty of standing on your head.
This yoga pose that marauds as a push up provides all-around strengthening and toning. It is one of the power poses in yoga and a great one to follow-up one of your rejuvenating poses (because you’re going to need the energy). In addition to core strengthening, it also de-stresses the neck and elongates the spine.
When you’re utterly pooped from from plank pose, head into the uber-lazy child’s pose. This yogi favorite improves circulation in your internal organs and alleviates stress while providing a gentle stretch. If at any point during your yoga practice you feel dizzy, faint or fatigued, enter into child’s pose to regain vital energy and concentration.
Tree pose is one of the quintessential yoga poses that business types use to mock tree-hugging yogis with. It aligns the spine, improves posture, deepens the thorax, strengthens ankle muscles and improves concentration (since lack of concentration will quickly turn the pose to “fallen tree pose”).
Shoulder stand is the mother of all asanas and should be included in every yoga practice. The benefits are endless and include: strengthening the upper body, legs and abdomen, stretching the neck, shoulders and back, improving circulation, supporting the nervous system, stimulating the thyroid gland and providing rejuvenating oxygen to the brain and chest cavity. The good news about this asana is that it is far easier than it looks.
Supine twist, or supta matsyendrasana or spinal twist, is another relaxation- and detoxification-oriented pose with some interesting effects. This asana compresses the belly which circulates blood to the organs and detoxifies the body. It also stretches the back muscles, re-aligns and lengthens spines and provides much-needed hydration of spinal disks.
Crane pose might sound like something from Karate Kid but this it is a popular pose, especially for women, as it builds core muscles and killer abs. It also builds balance while providing a healthy stretch of the lower back.
The full boat pose is a fantastic asana that strengthens the abs, hip flexors and back. On a health level is stimulates the kidneys, thyroid, prostate and intestines while relieving stress and improving digestion.
Dancer’s pose is an arabesque-esque pose that opens up the chest cavity, strengthens the spine and legs and stretches the thighs and shoulders. It is also one of the best balance-building poses, but it isn’t easy by any means.
If you can incorporate the above 10 asanas into your yoga practice you will successfully improve your balance while building core strength and supporting your body and brain with much-needed circulation.