Hatha yoga poses: Learn Some Fundamentals

hathayogaposesA popular yoga path for building an exercise routine and promoting mind-body connection, hatha is a good place for many to start and it is the foundation of many styles practiced in the West. In addition to the physical benefits to the body, the style helps participants focus on their breathing, improving oxygen flow and leading to reduced stress.

As hatha is prevalent, it is easy to find an introduction, and you can even start learning from your own home. Try an online course in hatha yoga to begin your practice today. And to start off, take a look at a few of the basic poses you’ll learn.

Mountain pose

Possibly the first posture you will learn in a hatha yoga course, mountain pose serves as a starting point from which you will enter in to many different poses. In a sense, you can think of it as learning to stand properly. Practiced for its own sake, the pose has some additional health benefits. For example, it promotes good posture, helps alleviate sciatica and flat foot, and strengthens muscles in your lower body and abdomen.

Here’s how you do the pose:

1. Stand straight. touch your big toes together, but keep your heels apart.

2. Firm your balance by spreading your toes apart.

3. Also firm up your thigh muscles, but don’t lock your knees.

4. Raise your pelvic bone, slightly, toward your navel.

5. Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Let your shoulders relax and your arms hang naturally.  Also relax your facial muscles and take slow, fluid breathes.

Tree pose

treepose

The tree pose is a good position for overall strengthening. It also calms your mind and nervous system, and can therefore be a helpful pose for stress-relief goals.  If you have this type of goal in mind for your yoga, you might even try an online yoga course dedicated to stress-relief.

To accomplish the tree pose, take the following steps.

1. From mountain pose, shift your weight on to your left foot. reach down and grab your right ankle with your right hand.

2. Use your right hand to move your right foot upward, and place the sole of your foot against your left thigh.

3. lengthen your spine. You will do this by pointing your tailbone toward the floor and drawing the pelvic bone inward.

4. Place your palms together in front of your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

5.  Ease the bent knee backwards and hold for several breaths.

Eagle pose

eaglepose

This standing pose is not difficult to accomplish, but it does require concentration and balance. It is helpful for joint relief, strengthening the limbs, and even improved digestion. As it also has application in back and neck health, it is also a good part of a yoga routine undertaken for this goal. If this is what you are looking for, you might try a yoga course for back and neck care.

1. Start in mountain pose. Extend your arms in front of you and cross them so your right elbow is underneath your left. Move your hands toward each other, with the knuckles on each hand facing the knuckles of the other. Cross your right hand in front of the left so your palms are facing each other

2. Now cross your right leg over your left leg, at the knee and balance on your left leg. If you are able, wrap your right foot around your left calf.

3. Bend your left leg a bit more so you are positioned as though sitting cross legged in a chair.

4. Hold the pose for several breaths and then switch to complete the pose crossing your legs and arms in the opposite direction.

Standing forward bend

Fully extended, the standing forward bend can be difficult, but you can simplify it as much as necessary as you are starting out. This will still give you the benefits of the pose, and give you something to work toward.

The standing forward bend has many therapeutic applications. It helps promote digestion and stimulate the kidneys as well as reducing anxiety and depression. It’s also a great pose for combating insomnia. If you would like to know more about this kind of pose, you can take an online course in yoga for curing insomnia.