Yoga Guide: Beginner’s Edition – The George-Anne Media Group

Want to try yoga, but don’t know where to start? You are lucky!

Yoga teacher Melanie Moineau from Statesboro’s only women’s gym, EMPOWhER by 180 Fitness, is here to guide you in the right direction. EMPOWhER is the “Women-only gym” in Statesboro, offering a variety of amenities such as personal training and group fitness classes.

While EMPOWhER is only for women, that doesn’t mean yoga has to be. Yoga is suitable for all genders and types of bodies. So roll out those rugs, all of you!

Before embarking on your yoga journey, it is important to understand the basics of yoga. “Yoga is a combination of breathing and movement. And without combining the two, you don’t get all the benefits of the practice, and it can be combined with meditation or other types of exercise, and it also goes very well with certain types of aerobics, ”he said. Sparrow said.

Yoga can serve as a building block for other forms of exercise with an emphasis on core strength, balance, and breathing control.

The practice of yoga itself is complex as there are many different styles of yoga like Vinyasa and Kundalini. But until you know which style is right for you, let’s take a look at some basic yoga poses to get you started!

Sitting meditation posture (sitting position)

Benefits: This pose allows you to relax and anchor yourself at the start of your exercise. Improves posture.

“We are used to sitting on chairs in Western society. It’s very different because you are using the core and back muscles that you don’t normally use while sitting in a chair. In this particular pose, you can sit on some type of elevation like a blanket or pillow. And you can use blocks under your knees. Which can help if your knees don’t come out all the way to the side comfortably, ”she said.

Descending dog

Benefits: Stretches lower body and upper arm muscles. Stimulates blood circulation in the body.

“It can relieve the tension in the back because it’s kind of a reversal. So you take weight off the areas of the back that are normally stressed, ”she said.

Tip: keep your knees apart from the hips and breathe deeply!

Tree pose

Benefits: Increases the strength of the hips and legs. Improves balance and concentration. Slows down heart rate (calms body and mind).

“It’s a balancing act. There are pretty much variations with all poses. I brought my foot up to my thigh, but you can just leave it up to your ankle. Or even leave it on the floor just inside your ankle.

Tip: don’t be discouraged if you can’t seem to balance the first few tries! Remember to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Child pose

Benefits: Brings total relaxation to the body. Stretches the muscles of the lower back, thighs and arms. Increase blood flow.

If you suffer from back pain, this is a good pose for you. This is considered a resting pose and relieves tension in the lower back muscles in particular. This therapeutic pose also brings calm to your brain and relieves stress.

Tip: You can extend your arms forward as in the example or fold them behind you. Lay your forehead on your mat.

Warrior Pose III

Benefits: Strengthens core, shoulder, arm and leg muscles. Stretch your body. Improves balance and concentration.

There are many variations of this pose. This intermediate level pose can serve as an achievable goal for beginners. It takes stability and patience. Once you become more comfortable with practicing yoga, Warrior III is your next step!

Tip: don’t hold your breath. Keep your leg upright firmly planted on the floor and only extend your arms when you are ready. Don’t rush this pose!

Sparrow encourages the use of props with yoga, especially for beginners. You can find yoga blocks at fitness stores and even at major retailers like Target and Walmart.

Yoga can be done at your own pace and when you feel comfortable. “You can kind of break it up throughout your day and do poses however you have the time,” she said. “Of course, you get more benefits if you do them together in a set, but you can fit it in perfectly with different stretches, even at your desk before going to sleep.”

Yoga experience with an instructor is highly recommended for beginners. It can boost your confidence in the beginning and motivate you to continue in a group.

But for those who can’t attend a yoga class, yoga before bed is a great alternative. “Yoga somehow helps your body relax after the day, so you relax your muscles and mind before you go to bed.”

“Yoga can be very good for dealing with stress. So that helps with the state of mind, ”she said. Remember that yoga is not only a physical exercise, but also a mental one. Yoga should reduce stress, not increase it.

Don’t overthink what you’re doing. Have fun with it. Namaste!

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