Benefits of Practicing Yoga
There are so many reasons that the practice of yoga is beneficial for virtually anyone.
Over time, I will create pages for each asana, which will include a picture and an explanation how to get into the pose as well as the specific benefits. These are only a sampling of the 1000's of yoga asanas that exist; I am including a list of some of the most common ones here. Eventually I will create a page of more creative poses for you to try.
Relaxation and Mental Wellbeing
Practicing Yoga allows you to bring the breath under control, making it calm and slow which helps relax the entire body and in turn, the mind.
Here are some poses that encourage relaxation:
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Matsyasana (Fish- supported )
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle, AKA Butterfly)
Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall)
Advasana (Reverse Corpse)
Physical Fitness and Flexibility
Vinyasa yoga is especially good for building physical fitness. The asanas done in a vinyasa class encourage strong muscles and the pace of the class raises the heart rate.
Here are some poses that encourage fitness:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Virabhadrasana I, II, III (Warrio I, II, III)
Utkata Konasana (Goddess)
Perhaps the most recognized benefit of yoga is increased flexibility. Virtually all yoga asanas have some aspect of stretching. You would be hard pressed to find an asana that doesn't stretch at least one muscle; in fact most involve stretching multiple muscles.
Here are some poses that increase flexibility:
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)
Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Runner's Lunge)
Anjaneyasana (Cresent Moon)
Parivrtta Janu Siransana (Revolved Head-to-Knee)
Yoga teaches you to ground down to rise. The skill of balance starts with the base of the pose, in some cases the feet; in some cases, the hands; and others that are a combination of the two.
Here are some poses that develop balance:
Vasisthasana (Side Plank)
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)