Health & Beauty | 26 January 2017Find Balance in Mind, Body and Spirit with 2 Simple Yoga Poses Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “yoke,” a wooden beam used to join livestock and synchronize their efforts as they share a load. The practice of yoga can have a similar balancing affect, as it is an exercise that requires the mind, body and spirit to work together. By training all three, you are investing in the health of your whole self and managing stress so that no one area of your being suffers at the expense of another. Essential Yoga is for beginners and intermediate students of yoga, and is designed to help you get in tune with your body while elevating your spirit and developing a disciplined mind. If you are nervous about starting yoga or it is totally new to you, don’t worry. in fact, you can bring your nervousness or skepticism to the mat. Yoga is never about denying what you feel, but getting to know what you feel. You will learn where your body is tight (e.g., in your hips, or hamstrings). You will learn where you are nervous (maybe arm balances make you sweat). You will learn what you love (the ultra-relaxing Corpse Pose might be your favorite thing ever). the point is that you can act with full awareness of your feelings and bring them along with you. Follow this brief tutorial on Mountain Pose and Dancer’s Pose to begin your journey toward a better balance between body, mind and spirit. © Jonathan Conklin Photography Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Mountain Pose will give you stability and strength, a feeling of openheartedness, and the sense of clarity that comes from simply looking straight ahead. the alignment points found in Mountain Pose form the basis of many other standing poses. let the openness of the front of your body remind you to be receptive, and the strength of the back of your body remind you that you can hold yourself up in confidence. Stand with your toes and heels touching. Allow your feet to root into the floor, your body weight distributed evenly through all four corners of each foot: the big toe, little toe, inner heel, and outer heel. Slightly tuck your tailbone, pulling your belly button toward your spine. Gently engage your core. Make sure your chin is parallel to the floor. On an inhalation, raise your shoulders; exhaling, lower them, pressing back and away from your ears. Broaden your chest. Keep your face soft, your chin parallel to the floor. Hold. © Jonathan Conklin Photography Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana) Considered by some to be one of the most beautiful-looking yoga poses, Dancer’s Pose is an energizing balance. as you hold, gaze outward and slightly up as your chin stays parallel with the earth. aim to keep your hips level, which can be a challenge as normally the hip of the raised leg wants to open outward. By kicking into the leg and extending through the heart, you will come into the bow shape of the dancer. Kick the leg back only a little, or not at all. Simply standing on one leg and coming into dancer’s grip makes for a great Dancer’s Pose. Begin in Mountain Pose. Bend one leg and grab the foot from the inside, using the arm on the same side, so that you are standing on one foot. Raise the arm of your standing leg. Inhale to prepare. Exhale, and begin to slowly tip forward. Gaze in front of you to help with balance. Use your core muscles to drive the movement as you kick your back leg into your hand, raising the leg higher as you deepen and expand the shape. Hold for five breaths. With each inhale, reach further outward, and with each exhale tip further forward. Release, and then repeat on the other leg. © Jonathan Conklin Photography © Jonathan Conklin Photography Buy from an Online Retailer In North America: In The UK: Essential Yoga is perfect for the beginning student who wants to begin practicing yoga—and getting the benefits—immediately. Covering all of the essential skills, poses, and postures, this essential guide breaks down the practice into 24 one-hour lessons that readers can take at their own pace whether they want to do several lessons in a row or one lesson per day, week, or month. Step-by-step photos, captioning, timing instructions, and tip/caution sidebars take the guesswork out of learning and get readers up to speed in no time. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.