Beginning Yoga poses Virginia

June 23, 2018
Bettina Lanyi, Washington Post

Yoga has been in existence for over 5, 000 years and has a rich history in offering relief to those that suffer from numbness, immobility, and even chronic pain. While it cannot reverse the effects of scoliosis, yoga can help to strengthen core muscles that support the spine and possibly decrease pain. Try these 4 beginner poses to help strengthen and stretch the back muscles.

1. mountain pose

This pose helps with balance and core strength. It requires you to stand tall and steady, like a mountain.

  • Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly separated. Relax your shoulders and allow your arms to hang, relaxed, by your sides.
  • Keep your feet firmly planted in the ground.
  • Lift up on the balls of your foot, and then your toes.
  • Lay your feet flat again and find your balance while fanning out your toes.
  • Engage thigh muscles without locking knees.
  • Lift your pelvic bone slightly toward your navel while keeping your chin parallel to the floor. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang naturally.
  • Relax your facial muscles and take slow, fluid breaths.
  • Shift your weight to your left foot and continue with the tree pose.
2. tree pose

Tree pose helps with posture, strengthening the core, and improving overall balance.

  • Shift your weight to your left foot.
  • With your right hand, reach down and grab your right ankle. Lift the right foot up and place the sole of your foot against your left thigh. You can also place the sole of your foot against your calf if that feels more comfortable.
  • Stretch and lengthen your spine. Pull the pelvic bone inward and point your tailbone to the floor.
  • Place your palms together in front of your check and move your should blades together.
  • Look forward and take slow, steady breaths. Repeat on the other side. โ€‹โ€‹
3. cat/cow pose

This pose opens the spaces between your vertebrae and stretches the muscles and tendons that support the spine.

  • Kneel with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hip {also known as table top pose}.
  • Look down toward the yoga mat and spread your fingers. Engage your abdominal muscles.
  • As you inhale, lift your head and tailbone, making your lower back concave.
  • As you exhale, tuck your tailbone, release your neck, and drop your head while rounding your back
4. child's pose

This pose is very relaxing to all yogis and is best to do after cow/cat pose.โ€‹

  • Start with you seated on your heels.
  • Stretch your arms and hands out in front of you.
  • Bend the upper body forward and lower your chest close to your knees.
  • Continue to stretch your arms forward, breathing deeping and relaxing as you lengthen your back and spine muscles.
  • Relax the entire body.
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