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8 Essential Yoga Poses for the Mind, Body, and Soul

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8 Essential Yoga Poses for the Mind, Body, and Soul
    written by
    Cairo 360

    Image credit: Cottonbro

    Yoga is a physical and mental practice that originated in ancient India thousands of years ago. It has numerous benefits for the mind and body, with scientific evidence to back it up. There are several kinds of yoga with a wide variety of goals; however, there are a few key poses used across different schools of yoga dedicated to specific areas of tension and can benefit just about anyone suffering the symptoms.

    Remember to breathe in and out continuously throughout any pose; do not hold your breath! And to avoid potential injury, never push yourself too hard into a pose or keep a pose longer than necessary. The rule is to usually stop once muscles start shaking or hurting, and do each pose as effortlessly as possible.

    All poses generally increase blood circulation and build muscle and flexibility, but particular poses can be dedicated to creating confidence, relieving physical and mental stress, or improving energy, clarity, or calm – or a combination of the above!

    1) The Cow & Cat Pose

    The Cow pose works on warming up the spine and stretching the front torso, while the Cat pose stretches the spine, back torso, and neck while massaging the belly organs through both movements. When combined, they relieve anxiety, indigestion, and gas. Inhaling with Cow pose and exhale with Cat pose for maximum results.

    2) The Camel Pose

    Another anxiety-freeing move that stretches hip flexors, quads, and shoulders, and relieves lower back pain and slouching habits. It stretches and opens up the heart and helps build confidence and relieves panic attacks.

    3) The Bow Pose

    Works for menstrual discomfort and constipation, improves posture, and increases energy levels by stretching the whole front of the body, including organs, and stimulates blood flow through the neck. The Bow pose is also great for respiratory problems, including asthma.

    4) The Standing Forward Bend Pose

    Another therapeutic pose for asthma, as well as high blood pressure and sinusitis, along with various other benefits, makes the Standing Forward Bend pose the most casually practised pose in yoga. It stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips, stimulates the liver and kidneys, strengthens thighs and knees, improves digestion and reduces fatigue. It also helps calm the brain and relieve symptoms of stress, insomnia, and mild depression.

    5) The Bridge Pose

    A restorative pose for the neck, chest and spine, the Bridge pose stimulates the abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid, and is excellent for back pain. It also rejuvenates tired legs and improves respiratory function. The Bridge pose is also therapeutic for osteoporosis and sinusitis.

    6) The Child’s Pose

    A simple, restful pose that is great for inner calm and relief of anxiety. The Child’s pose subtly stretches the back and shoulder as you allow your mind to turn inwards to find your centre.

    7) The Boat Pose

    This pose strengthens the abs and hip flexors, enhances mental focus, and inspires body awareness. The Boat pose also builds physical endurance and boosts energy. It fights the effects of prolonged sitting and strengthens the core and thighs.

    8) Extended Triangle Pose

    Stretches the groins, hips, hamstrings, shoulders, chest, and spine, and also stimulates abdominal organs. Breathing into your side body is essential in increasing blood flow into your organs and relieves stress and backache. The Extended Triangle pose is particularly a blessing for those pregnant in their third trimester.