Yoga is a centuries-old activity still loved and practised today due to its benefits on mental and physical health. Still not sure if it’s for you? Yoga is for everyone, and it is a myth that only flexible people should do it. In fact, being flexible is a result, not a requirement. We’ve already covered how to do three basic poses in our blog, all about yoga, but this time we’re showing you how to do four more popular yoga poses that you’re likely to see in a routine.
It’s best to warm up first, and remember, some of these aren’t meant to be easy! Keep practising, and you’ll get there.
Often seen as part of a chaturanga, Upward-Facing Dog stretches the abdomen, chest and upper back.
How to do Upward-Facing Dog
- Lie flat on your stomach and align your hands with your chest, making sure your elbows are bent.
- Push your shoulder blades together.
- Press your hands into the mat and while keeping your legs straight and engaged, begin to raise your upper body from the floor.
- Continue to raise your upper body while lifting your hips and thighs away from the mat.
- Keep your arms straight and legs engaged, and press through the tops of your feet.
- Remain here for a few breaths, then release.
Warrior moves are great for balance, and they can also provide a powerful stretch for the legs, groin and chest. There are a few variations, but today we’re focusing on Warrior 2.
How to do Warrior 2
- Start by standing straight at the top of your yoga mat.
- Turn to the left and twist your left foot on its heel 90degrees. Then, step the left foot towards the other end of the mat, making sure the heels of your feet are aligned with one another.
- Turn your left foot, so it’s now at a 45degree angle and facing slightly inwards, while your right foot points forwards.
- Raise your arms to shoulder height, and with your palms facing down, point to both ends of the mat.
- Bend your front knee, aligning it directly over your right ankle.
- Sink your hips low and bring your right thigh parallel to the floor, making sure your front shin stays vertical, and your knee never moves past your ankle.
- Keep your back leg straight and turn your gaze to your left fingertips.
- Drop your shoulders and lift your chest.
- Try and remain in this pose for one minute.
Tree pose aims to improve balance and concentration and is great for beginners. It is completely normal to have a little wobble; just place your foot down and try again.
How to do Tree pose
- Stand in the centre of your mat with your arms straight down by your side.
- Focus all your attention on one object and start by shifting your weight to your left leg.
- Begin to lift your right leg, slowly bringing your foot to the inside of your left thigh (to modify, place it on the inside of your lower leg instead, but avoid the knee area).
- Make sure your right toes are pointing towards the floor and stretch your arms straight up in the air with your palms together.
- Stay in this pose for as long as you can!
Crow pose is the ultimate yogi move, but it can seem intimidating for beginners. Truth is, it’s pretty tricky, but it’s a great pose to aim for as you do more yoga.
How to do Crow pose
- Begin by standing with your arms by your side.
- Place the palm of your hands on your yoga mat about a foot in front of your feet, and spread your fingers wide.
- Bend your elbows and come up onto the balls of your feet.
- Open your knees and place them behind your upper arms, ensuring they’re aligned.
- Bring your weight into your hands and start to raise your head.
- Come onto your tiptoes, lifting one foot and then the other off the floor.
- Make sure your knees are still resting on your arms and that your thighs are engaged for support.
- Hug your feet together, so they are towards your bottom.
- Remain in the pose for as long as you can or want to.
- Come out of the pose by exhaling and transferring your weight back onto your feet as they touch the floor.
*Top tip – Start with a block under your feet as a modification.