Learn relaxing yoga poses as well as exercises for the mind


Gordon Martin

What comes to mind, when we hear the word yoga? Is it an indulging exercise for people seeking relaxation, a passive activity for people with the luxury of time, or another spiritual routine for Hindu believers? This guide will help you understand among other things what yoga is truly about, how you can make the most of the exercise, what you will need to practice it and how expensive it is. It will also explore the benefits of and whether or not you actually need to visit a direct payday lender for help to get started. Essentially, this guide will give you a breakdown of all things yoga which should be especially useful if you've been thinking about taking it up. We can all learn relaxing yoga poses as well as exercises for the mind if we apply ourselves.

What is yoga?

You may have heard a lot about yoga as it happens to be a pretty popular exercise and meditation technique. It's likely that you've seen posts floating around the internet but do not have an in-depth understanding of what exactly it is. The good news is that this section of the guide is going to be examining a few definitions to help you better understand what yoga is as well as the culture. The nomenclature yoga is derived from ''yuj'' a Sanskrit (Indo-European) word which means to yoke or join together. Many people have directly translated this to mean a union of the body and mind.

Is yoga really for everybody?

One of the most beautiful things about yoga is that there are no barriers in terms of gender, religion or race. In addition to this, there are different yoga routines which means that whether you're flexible or not, it is something that you can do. In light of this, yoga is something that is suitable for anyone because of the immense benefits it has on your health. Around the world, people seem to have positive reviews regarding the impacts of yoga on their physical and mental well-being. However, it is important that you check with a doctor whether you are physically able to engage in yoga routines if you've recently had an injury or any other medical condition that could be affected by yoga.

Yoga for the mind

Physical health benefits of yoga

Following on from above, yoga has several benefits. For one, it promotes general physical wellbeing and also helps with stress management. It can also be great at dealing with some specific ailments such as back pain. If you're wondering how it works, yoga helps remove pain by increasing flexibility and muscle strength as well as increasing blood flow. Research has also shown that people with chronic pain that practice yoga can end up using less pain medications compared to people that are not regularly practising yoga.

Ailments that yoga can help with

  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Migraines
  • Poor circulation
  • Joint pain

Another way that yoga is good for your health is that as a subtle yet potent form of exercise, it helps improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around painful joints. This is especially true for patients suffering from the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. Over the years, arthritis patients practising yoga have reported improvements in their physical health, walking ability, pain levels, energy and mood. They've also been shown to have less swollen and tender joints after doing at least two hour-long yoga classes a week for an average of eight weeks. Yoga is also ideal for weight loss as you are exercising, you become conscious of what you eat and also develop a "can-do" mentality from within.

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Mental health benefits of yoga

Do you know that psychologists and psychiatrists have found yoga effective for treating certain mental disorders among others? To be more specific, during a yoga session, you tend to breathe deeply which keeps you out of fight-or-flight state and calms your nervous system which psychologists call a shift from fight-or-flight to rest-and-digest. It may also be interesting to know that in this state, you become less anxious and are more relaxed. In addition to this, yoga also helps you build a sense of self as it helps you understand yourself and you become at home in your skin which is essential for developing a sense of self-trust.

Equipment you need for yoga

If you've been playing around with the idea of starting yoga, you might be wondering what equipment you need to get started. The good news is that you don't need loads of cash to do yoga, nor will it burn a hole in your pockets. In terms of clothing, all you really need is a good pair of leggings, joggers or virtually anything that enables you to stretch and easily move around. Aside from clothing, if you plan on doing yoga at home, you're going to need a mat, rug or anything soft to move around on. If you intend on doing yoga at a studio instead you can bring your own mat or use one of the studio mats if they have them. For hygiene purposes, make sure to bring some anti-bacterial wipes with you if you plan to use the communal mats.

Women doing yoga

Yoga poses to try

One of the most exciting things about yoga is how many different poses there are to do. Most contemporary yoga routines focus on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost mental and physical well-being. Each pose however, has a different meaning and is said to perform different functions on the body. Below you will find different yoga poses that you can try.

Also known as Balasana, the Child Pose helps to calm the mind and rejuvenate the body with energy. It is also an effective yoga pose for relieving lower back pain, hip strain and shoulder and neck stiffness. It has the power to heal and restore the mental and emotional well-being so perhaps try it based on these benefits. To do this pose you will need to sit on the yoga mat kneeling while bringing your knees together and resting your buttocks on your feet. You then slowly lower your torso over your thighs and then exhale in a way that your forehead touches the mat and your hand rests on the floor. You can hold the position for anywhere between 30 seconds and 1-minute breathing regularly before returning to the starting position.

This position is said to be best suited to reducing stress. It is also really effective in ensuring the proper functioning of the nervous system by improving blood flow throughout the body. The Standing Forward Bend also stretches and relaxes the spine and increases flexibility. It tones the abdominal muscles and organs and is the ideal yoga pose for weight loss. To do this yoga pose stand with your feet closed and arms resting on the side. You can then raise your hand above your head while inhaling and bend your torso forward while exhaling. Once you've done that touch the ground with both of your hands keeping your legs straight. You then hold the pose for 30 seconds minimum and breathe normally and then come back your original starting position and repeat five to ten times.

The Down Dog pose happens to be a great stress-relieving yoga pose that helps awaken your senses and reduce fatigue and tiredness. It helps improve bone density and prevents bone diseases such as osteoporosis in women. It revitalises the body by improving blood circulation and can also help in relieving neck pain by reducing the stiffness of the upper body. To do the Down Dog pose get down on your knees and hands so that your back remains straight and parallel with the floor. You then push up your hips by straightening the knees and elbows so that your body creates an inverted V shape. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute while breathing naturally. Once you're done you can return to the starting position and exhale slowly.

The Bridge Pose is another yoga exercise that helps in stretching the muscles of the back and the leg. It is also an effective exercise for toning the thighs and hips. The Bridge Pose is an ideal exercise for controlling high blood pressure and reducing backaches, headaches, sleep disorders and fatigue. To do this pose lie flat on the yoga mat and bend your knees to rest your feet close to the buttocks. Note that your feet should be placed hip-width apart. Once you've done that lift your hips upward by pressing your arms on the floor and lift your breastbone while keeping your head fixed facing to the ceiling. Remain in the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and come back to the starting position.

This pose is helpful for stretching the spine and toning the muscles and organs of the abdomen. It helps relieve digestive problems and has also been found to be one of the most effective yoga poses for relieving PMS. To do the Cat Pose get on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. You then exhale and pull your spine inward to form a curve pointing towards the ceiling. After that bend your head toward the floor but make sure your chin doesn't touch your chest. You then hold the pose for 30 seconds and come back to the starting position. In many instances the Cat Pose and the Cow Pose are joined together which is typically done by inhaling and dropping your belly towards the mat while pointing your head upward. These 2 poses are to be repeated 5 to 6 times holding each pose for 30 seconds alternatively.

Every yoga session must have the Corpse Pose as many find it the most relaxing of all the poses and takes the body to a place of deep rest and relaxation. This yoga pose helps you get better sleep, lowers high blood pressure and calms the nervous system. To do the Corpse Pose lie down on the yoga mat with any cushion or pillow for support. You then keep your feet slightly apart and relax your knees and toes. Place your arms on the side of your body with your palms open and facing the ceiling. You can then close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply to relax your body and mind. Stay in this posture for 10 minutes and end your yoga session in a relaxed and rejuvenated way.


Now that you know what yoga is about and the benefits the next thing to do is find out what it costs to begin to practice yoga. On average a yoga session costs from £6 to £10 and can cost as much as £200 a month. This can take its toll on your budget for the month if not well planned for. You can cut out the cost altogether by learning to do it yourself at home or taking free classes.

For more information on where to practice yoga check out the The British Wheel of Yoga.

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