3 Common Yoga Poses you should know when starting out Yoga.
Whether you are an avid yogi or you’re still deciding if yoga is really for you here are some of the most common poses that you will experience during a yoga class.
After 8 years of my off again on again relationship with yoga, I can still remember the feeling before my first class like it was just yesterday. Walking by my neighborhood park I had come across a group practicing a few poses. Seeing the way their body contorted with every breath captivated me and after some exploring I was able to find a class near my home. As I sat there during my very first experience on a mat I began hearing the instructor refer to the different poses in both their sanskrit and english title. At first the very idea of turning into a chair was confusing but little by little I was able to recognize the way my muscles engaged and how I was mimicking (mentally and physically) a balanced,fortified chair. Below you’ll find a set of common poses that you will encounter during your experience along with their physical and mental benefits:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana | ताडासन)
With mountain pose in mind, the best way to describe this pose is a tugging of two ends to reach equilibrium. Although it might sound as simple as centering your body – this pose really dictates my intentions for the rest of my practice. Standing, engaging every muscle not only creates awareness for the different tensions found within our bodies – but also tensions within our thoughts. While aiming to find a solid foundation like a mountain, I often envision a string tugging at the top of my head highlighting the stretch for a middle ground. By grounding your toes into your mat, you are able to explore all that is grounded in your life. By tugging at the string above your head you are able to explore all that one aims to reach in life.
Mental Benefits: Concentration, Focus
Physical Benefits: Awareness of tension
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II | वीरभद्रासन)
Think like a warrior. By the time you reach this pose during your practice, more often than not, you will already have warmed up the majority of your body. At this point it’s time to fully embrace the warrior within. Lifting into this pose, your front knee should be positioned directly over your ankle with your back foot placed parallel to your mat. Keeping your warrior stance, your arms should be kept parallel to the group but actively engaged to the very tip of your finger tips. After a few moments in this pose you will begin to feel your activated muscles engaging. Warrior II is typically the transition pose for reverse warrior.
Mental Benefits: Strength, Transition
Physical Benefits: Endurance, Strength, Engagement
Corpse Pose (Savasana | shah-vah-sah-nah | शवासन )
Although the goal in this pose is not to think like a corpse, it is the culmination of your practice for the day (or hour). The goal in this pose should be to rid of any remainder stressors that you have not been able to let go throughout your practice. By resting your whole body on your mat – I am often able to quickly envision all of the actions my body just performed and all of the ways it can contort, providing me with a sense of gratitude. Your aim is to reach a meditative state – whatever that may mean for you. I often think of serene locations such as the beach or forest and imagine myself amidst all of the calm found here. I’ve found that if I think about nothing, it often becomes an endless cycle of thinking, which defeats the purpose of this position. Culminating your body from your practice is essential in depicting your understanding for all that your body and the different movements you’ve put it through have endured.
Mental Benefits: Relaxation, Calmness, Collectedness
Physical Benefits: Restorative
If your yoga journey is just starting don’t be alarmed by the poses presented to you, but rather embrace and inform yourself of the benefits these poses bring to your mental and physical health.