Go with the Flow
Say yes to yoga with five days worth of poses selected
especially for beginners
- By Amy Lynn Smith
Yoga isn't about twisting yourself like a pretzel. Instead, it's
an "amazing opportunity" for people
interested in a healthy lifestyle, says Sara Davidson Flanders, a
yoga practitioner and instructor based in Rhode
Island."It encompasses body awareness, breath awareness
and awareness of the present moment," she explains.
"It's been shown to release stress, which benefits our
health and our lives. The body feels both freer and stronger at the
Above are five poses for new yogis to try out. With each one,
pause in the pose to breathe deeply for five or 10 breaths before
1. Warrior I Pose
Stand with your feet four feet apart and raise your hands toward
the ceiling. Turn your right foot in and your left foot out,
exhaling as you rotate toward the left. Bend your left knee over
the left ankle so your leg is perpendicular to the floor. Reach
toward the ceiling, bringing the palms together and breathe. Hold
for a minute and come up. Repeat on the other side.
2. Warrior II Pose
You can start this pose from a standing position, or from
Warrior I pose. With your feet slightly more than shoulder-length
apart, your right foot turned in and your left foot turned out,
bend your left knee over the left ankle so your leg is
perpendicular to the floor. Stretch the arms parallel to the floor.
Look out over your fingers and breathe. This pose helps improve
respiration and energize tired limbs.
3. Boat Pose
Start seated, legs stretched out in front of you. Rest squarely
on the sitting bones, drawing the lower back inward. Bend your
knees, sliding your feet toward you. Keeping your shoulders
relaxed, raise your feet upward. You can hold lightly onto the
backs of your thighs for support. As much as you can, straighten
your legs upward in front of you, keeping your core engaged for
balance. Breathe and release your hands.
4. Downward Dog
Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly below
your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Lift
your knees off the floor and stretch back, lifting your sitting
bones toward the ceiling as you exhale. Press your heels down
toward the floor. Relax here for several minutes before bending
your knees back to the floor. This pose is great to help decrease
back pain, tension and headaches.
5. Low Lunge with Twist
From downward dog, step your left foot between your hands and
bring your right leg down to the floor until you feel a deep but
comfortable stretch in the front thigh. Lift upright as you inhale.
Twist to your right, resting your right elbow over your left knee.
Breathing deeply in a twist brings greater blood flow into the back