Benefits of yoga poses are numerous and they differ from type to type. Here's a little cheat sheet for you to remember how different asanas do you good.
These poses will make you feel inner peace and calm because they promote deeper breath. Use the cross-legged seated postures to increase hips and lower back flexibility and to strengthen your back muscles.
Mountain Pose, one of the most important standing poses, is the basis of any yoga routine as it gives proper alignment to your feet and body. When done correctly, standing poses are instrumental in improving your posture.
Forward bends stretch your lower back and hamstrings, release tension in your upper body and increase spine flexibility. They help you feel calm and relaxed.
Back bends open your chest and hips, strengthen your arms and shoulders. They help relieve muscle tension and improve spinal flexibility.
Both kinds of bends should be performed in succession to maintain balance in your spine and avoid injuries.
Challenging balance poses help you tone up your muscles, develop coordination and agility. They are also posture-improving because you need to elongate your spine in order to maintain balance. A non-physical benefit is that balance poses polish focusing skills: attention is the key factor in the right performance of a balance pose.
Twists release tension and lengthen your spine, increase shoulder and hip mobility and relieve backaches thanks to the stretching of back muscles. Always be sure to twist both sides of your body to ensure proper balance.
Back poses stretch your abdominal muscles, open your hips and increase spinal mobility. They release tension and strengthen your limbs and back.
Stomach poses strengthen your arms and back and open up your hip area. They relieve tension and increase flexibility in your spine.
The most popular inverted poses - headstand, shoulder stand and plow - are often called the King, Queen and Prince of asanas. They develop strength and stamina in your upper body, stimulate your brain. Bringing your legs higher than your heart, they reverse the flow of blood and other fluids in your body, which relieves tension in your legs.
Relaxation poses, including the most well-known Corpse Pose, calm your mind and body and encourage a deep feeling of relaxation. They can be used at the end and start of your yoga practice, as well as in the middle of it. Despite the seeming easiness, relaxation poses are often really challenging because of our inability to relax fully.
Plank poses are helpful in building strength in the arms, wrists and spine, which prepares you for inversion poses. To reap as much benefit as you can from a plank pose, try holding it for up to 1 minute. Side plank poses additionally work your shoulders.