7 Yoga Moves for a Healthy Mind and Body

 

If you missed it earlier this week as we continue helping you live your best, holistic life, mind and body, we talked about 5 Simple Ways to Kick-Start a Healthy Mind and Body. We touched on Yoga and also in last week’s Morning Stretches to Kick-Start Your Day post and wanted to dedicate a whole day on it because of how fantastic it is for holistic health!

Yoga is one of the best ways to support a healthy mind and body. Not only can it help you destress and unwind, but it can also provide you with a full-body workout. Here I’ve laid out a favorite yoga flow of mine that you can do in less than 15 minutes from the comfort of your own home. Add these seven yoga moves to your morning routine, so you feel refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

First, let’s go over the movements and then get our flow on! You can go ahead and try out each one as you review how they’re done.

 

Mountain (Tadasana)

  1. Stand with your feet together, big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Relax your arms at your sides with your palms facing forward. Lift and spread your toes, then release them softly to the ground, balancing your weight evenly across your entire foot.
  2. Squeeze your thigh muscles to lift your kneecaps and picture yourself drawing a line of energy up toward the middle of your body.
  3. Stretch your tailbone toward the ground while tilting your pelvis toward your navel.
  4. Press your shoulders back and away from your ears and broaden your chest and collarbone while keeping your ribcage down.
  5. Allow your chin to come parallel to the floor while relaxing your face and jaw.
  6. Feel yourself becoming tall from your feet to your head.

 

Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

  1. From Mountain pose, turn your arms so the backs of your hands face your body (thumbs point behind you).
  2. Inhale as you sweep your arms in a wide circle out to your sides and up toward the ceiling
  3. Keeping your shoulders relaxed, turn your arms to bring your palms together, fingertips touching.
  4. Extending the arms, tip your chin slightly up and look at your thumbs.

 

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

  1. From Upward Salute, inhale, then exhale as you hinge at the hips and bend forward, keeping your back flat as you sweep your arms in a wide circle out to your sides and down toward the ground.
  2. Press your palms flat to the floor with knees slightly bent.
  3. Keeping your hips over your ankles and chest wide, let your head hang.

The photo shows her arms wrapped around her legs, but if you are not able to do that, it’s ok to put your hands as close to the floor as described in step 2.

Half-Standing Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)

  1. From Standing Forward Bend, inhale and lift your upper body halfway up and away from your thighs. Keep your back flat as you straighten your elbows.
  2. With a slight bend in the knees, reach the top of your head forward and your tailbone in the opposite direction for a deep stretch.
  3. Tilt your chin up slightly as you draw your shoulder blades back to lengthen your neck.

 

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  1. From Half-Standing Forward Bend, brings your feet wide to hip-width distance apart and walk your hands forward.
  2. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your navel toward your spine and send your hips back and up, pressing down through your hands.
  3. Lengthen your spine and pull your shoulders away from your ears towards your hips as you come into an upside-down V position.

 

Plank (Kumbhakasana)

  1. From Downward Dog, walk your hands forward until palms are under your shoulders and your body forms a straight line with your back flat and shoulders down and away from your ears.
  2. Keeping your core, arms, and legs tight, gaze at a point about a foot away from your hands.

 

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

  1. From a Plank, lower your body down to the ground.
  2. As you inhale, press down through your palms to straighten your arms as you lift your torso and hips off the ground.
  3. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and expand your chest.

 

The Flow

What is a “yoga flow?” It simply means you make a smooth transition from one move to the next without a pause in between. Doing this creates a fluid movement, or a flow, as you progress through the sequence.

Now that you’re familiar with the movements let’s put them together into a flowing series. Aim to move quickly through the sequence, flowing from one move to the next, holding a pose for only a few seconds before moving on.

Begin with the Mountain pose and progress through the series. When you’re done with the Plank, follow the sequence in reverse to return to Mountain pose.

As you perform the moves, be mindful of your breathing and of how your body feels in each movement. Picture your muscles working in each pose and visualize your body flowing through the motions.

If you’re new to yoga, you can start off slow and gradually pick up the pace. For a quick yoga flow or if you’re a beginner, repeat the sequence 1 – 2 times. As you become more comfortable with it, do the flow 4 – 5 times. If you want a slower-paced flow, you can hold each pose for 15 – 20 seconds before transitioning to the next.

 

Find Your Zen

Yoga can bring you both physical and emotional benefits, providing you with an exhilarating workout while bringing you a feeling of calm and focus. Let’s go find your Zen. Grab a mat, put on some soothing music, then give these 7 yoga moves for a healthy mind and body a try. You may find yourself falling in love with the practice, too!

 

Have you tried yoga? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments.

 

Be Well & Thrive!

With Love & In Health,

Sarah Outlaw, MH, MSACN

  • For more information on who we are and what we do at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, browse the rest of our website. We offer Nutritional Coaching, Nutrition Response Testing, Functional Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Flower Essence Therapy, and Homeopathy. We also offer detox services including an infrared sauna, and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy mat, and foot bath (DSM office). We are on the front lines of wellness for you!

 

References:

  1. https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga
  3. https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga

 

 

 

 

 

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