Did you know that our body has 3 different types of muscles? They are called Skeletal (attached to bones and across the joints), Visceral (found inside stomach, intestines, blood vessels) and Cardiac (found in the heart, and pumps blood throughout our body). All of these types of muscles work together to provide movement, and there are approximately 640-850 of them!
There are several different reasons why our body operates the way it does and we should do everything we can to make sure it's healthy. Understanding that there are so many muscles in our body that work together constantly, sometimes they need recuperation and cooperation from us.
Muscles need to be stretched and rested frequently so that they can work to function properly when we need to use them the most. If not, it can cause aches and pains in our body and even affect the way other parts of our body operate such as the brain, hormones, cells, and our emotions. Yoga is a great way to combat these side effects and keep a healthy mind-body balance.
Yoga is not just a trendy lifestyle, and it's great for any person, any age. Its origins are over 5,000 years old from ancient India, and over time has made its way into the western world. Ancient Indians understood that our body is made of both external and internal mechanisms and it is important to keep both of these functions healthy.
Practicing Yoga, you'll prevent aches, pains, and tone in the process. Who wouldn't love the best of both worlds?
If you're ready to stop aching and get a mind-body balance here are some simple Yoga moves for you:
Seated Forward Fold:
For this position, begin seated with your legs pressed together and extended straight out in front of your body.
Lean your upper body forward and grab the outer edges of your feet while inhaling. Keeping your chest lifted from your legs.
Exhale, and without rounding your back, lengthen your torso over your legs.
Make sure to relax your neck and shoulders. Press your thighs down to the floor and keep your feet flexed. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
This pose stretches your hamstrings, back, and prevents headaches. It also strengthens the vertebral column, hamstrings, and shoulders.
Upward Facing Dog:
For this position, start out in the upward facing dog position. You should be facing the front with your legs extended behind you and your arms holding you up.
This position is similar to what you would see in a push-up, except your face should be positioned upwards with your body curved down to the ground.
Next, transition into a plank. (Your body should be closing inwards with your glutes in the air and your face down to the ground, knees straight.) After you transition into a plank, return to the upward facing dog position and repeat.
This pose is good to stretch abs and prevent back pain. It stretches the wrists, arms, and lung.
Knees To Chest:
This is referred to "Knees to Chest" pose. Start out by laying down on the ground on your back. Bend your knees, bringing them forward towards your chest. Place your hands over your knees and hold them in position.
This pose is great for women on their monthly cycle. It stretches abs, lower back, and increases circulation in the abdomen. This pose can also reduce anxiety and relaxes the mind.
For a massage in this position, wiggle around for 1 minute. Make sure you're laying on a comfortable surface or floor mat beforehand.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
This pose is ideal for those who have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). CTS is a condition that causes numbness in hands, wrists.
Start this position in a seated position with both knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Next, drag your right foot under your left knee and next to your left hip.
Place your left leg on top of your right leg and put the left foot on your right hip. Your legs mirror each other. Try to get your knees to stack if possible.
Reach your left arm straight up and drop your right arm downwards. While bending both elbows swing the right hand up the spine until you can clasp your hands behind your back.
Hold for 4-8 breaths then repeat the pose.
Also known as "The Corpse Pose," this is probably the easiest Yoga pose of all. While laying on your back, keep your legs and arms stretched out from your body.
Yep, that's it for the physical, but the mental exercise is where you reap the majority of the benefits.
This is a pose that provides a relaxing experience. For Savasana, while it is simple, it's important to successfully execute this exercise by being aware of your breathing and body. Breathe in deep and exhale focusing on releasing the stress or pain.