National Yoga Month!

 

September is National Yoga Month!

Yoga has made its way into the health and wellness world at full speed: it’s used for fitness, meditation and mental-well being. The health benefits of this ancient practice are many and varied: from warding off anxiety, to combatting back pain, to improving heart health it’s really no wonder yoga continues to gain traction.

In honor of National Yoga Month, we rounded up seven yoga poses for you to try.

Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose

  • Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides.
  • Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.

beginner yoga downward dog position

Downward Dog

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Warrior II yoga standing pose

Warrior

  • Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
  • Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
  • Bend right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand. Stay for 1 minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

tree balancing yoga pose

Tree Pose

  • Stand with arms at sides.
  • Shift weight onto left leg and place sole of right foot inside left thigh, keeping hips facing forward.
  • Once balanced, bring hands in front of you in prayer position, palms together.
  • On an inhalation, extend arms over shoulders, palms separated and facing each another. Stay for 30 seconds.
  • Lower and repeat on opposite side.
  • Make it easier: Bring your right foot to the inside of your left ankle, keeping your toes on the floor for balance. As you get stronger and develop better balance, move your foot to the inside of your left calf.

Bridge yoga pose

Bridge Pose

  • Lie on floor with knees bent and directly over heels.
  • Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale, then press feet into floor as you lift hips.
  • Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
  • Make it easier: Place a stack of pillows underneath your tailbone.
Triangle

Triangle Pose

  • Extend arms out to sides, then bend over your right leg.
  • Stand with feet about 3 feet apart, toes on your right foot turned out to 90 degrees, left foot to 45 degrees.
  • Allow your right hand to touch the floor or rest on your right leg below or above the knee, and extend the fingertips of your left hand toward the ceiling.
  • Turn your gaze toward the ceiling, and hold for 5 breaths.
  • Stand and repeat on opposite side.
Seated spinal twist yoga pose

Seated Twist

Stretches shoulders, hips, and back; increases circulation; tones abdomen; strengthens obliques

  •  Sit on the floor with your legs extended.
  • Cross right foot over outside of left thigh; bend left knee. Keep right knee pointed toward ceiling.
  • Place left elbow to the outside of right knee and right hand on the floor behind you.
  • Twist right as far as you can, moving from your abdomen; keep both sides of your butt on the floor. Stay for 1 minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Make it easier: Keep bottom leg straight and place both hands on raised knee. If your lower back rounds forward, sit on a folded blanket.
Take a picture of you doing one of these yoga poses, or your favorite yoga pose, and post it to our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/the.zoo.gym

 

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