Yoga Beginner’s Session 1
Yoga is an effective and gentle way to exercise. While there are different types of yoga, our focus will be Hatha Yoga. In addition to the postures or asanas, we will also practice yogic breathing. The breath is an integral part of yoga as is the practice of meditation.
I have taught many students with the following yoga session and have seen amazing results in just a short time. No matter your level of flexibility or experience, you will with practice become more limber and gain strength you may have lost years ago.
As with any new exercise routine, please consult your healthcare provider before beginning this
Gently stretch your body before starting your yoga session. Upon awakening you can do some stretching while still in bed.
Stand with arms at your sides. Breathe normally.
Let arms hang loose at your sides.
Lift both shoulders up toward your ears and roll them in a circle forward, down and back.
Now up toward your ears again. Repeat several times.
Lift your shoulders and move in the opposite direction; circle backwards, down and then forward. Repeat several times. After each repetition shake out your arms and relax them.
With feet wide apart (2'-3') gently swing arms back and forth.
Let the weight of your arms use gravity to stretch your spine and upper torso. Breathe gently.
Keep feet firmly planted, head facing forward, upper and lower torso stationary.
Do this for several minutes. Shake out your arms and relax.
Leg Lift Squeeze:
Lie on your back. Keep legs straight and on the floor. If you have any lower back pain, you can try easing the pain by bending one knee.
Bend one knee. Place both hands just below the back of your knee.
Gently pull your leg towards your chest as you inhale deeply.
Exhale and bring your head up towards your knee. Hold this position for several seconds. Release and gently lower your leg to the floor and repeat with other leg.
Shake out legs.
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Back Body Stretch
Stretches spine and back muscles
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Feet a few inches apart.
Palms on the floor by your sides. Take a nice deep breath in and exhale.
Inhale and stretch arms up overhead lifting the trunk.
Breathe out, relax upper body and stretch forward very slowly. Maintain good posture. Your arms are straight and legs on the floor. Keep your thoughts focused on reaching forward.
As the out-breath ends, let the hands hold the part they can reach; your toes, feet, ankles or calves. Maintain a relaxed stretch with head hanging down. Hold while breathing gently for 10-30 seconds.
Breathe in as you come back to a sitting position.
Stretches the front of the body and spine
Lie face down, forehead on floor, arms by sides, palms upward. Breathe gently.
Exhale slowly. Inhale and place your hands palms down on other side of your chest.
Push yourself up and raise your head, neck, shoulders and chest. Pull your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Hold for 10-30 seconds. Keep your legs on the floor.
Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and quietly.
When you are ready exhale and slowly bring your forehead down to your mat. Relax.
For a supple spine
Get down on all fours like a cat.
Knees hip distance apart, palms facing forward, wrists under your shoulders.
Breathe in, drop the back down and raise the head looking forward or up, whichever is comfortable.
Hold for a few seconds.
Breathing out, arch the back as high as it will go, drop the head down between the arms.
Perform for several minutes. Daily practice will loosen your back and increase its flexibility.
Use whenever you need to relax or rest your back
Sit with your legs under you. Sitting bones on the floor.
Reach forward and place your chest, forehead and arms outstretched in front of you on your mat.
If you prefer, bring your arms back along your sides, palms up.
Relax for several minutes.
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