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Yoga poses for the beginner

A holistic approach to health can be invigorating — and intimidating. If you are looking for a new approach to health in 2021, yoga is good place to start. Yoga, which combines breathing, meditation and body poses, improves flexibility, strength and helps relieve stress. If you are uncertain about the intricacies of yoga, here are some poses to get going.

 

1. DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

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The “poster pose” for yoga, according to verywellfit. com, it’s the one that is best-known. The pose stretches the hamstrings and calves and strengthens the arms, legs, and back. 

An important tip is to keep your weight mostly in your legs and reach your hips high, with your heels stretching toward the floor, verywellfit.com said. 

Downward-facing Dog can also help relieve back pain, according to the New York Times. 

The focus should be on keeping your spine long, self.com said. 

2. MOUNTAIN POSE

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This is a standard yoga pose that improves posture and strengthens your legs, according to verywellfit.com. The mountain pose focuses on alignment; it draws a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels, with the shoulders and pelvis stacked along the line, verywellfit.com said. 

Keep your arms parallel with your ears, self.com said.. 

The focus should be on keeping your spine long, self.com said. 

3. WARRIOR II

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A standing pose that strengthens the arms and legs and tones the abdomen, verywellfit.com said. 

Warrior II is good for stretching a tight back and legs and “develops balance and stability,” according to harmonyyoga.com. 

A beginner’s tip from Very Well Fit: Watch your right knee. It may drift toward the center. Work on keeping your shin perpendicular to the floor with the knee over the middle toe of the right foot. 

4. TRIANGLE POSE

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The triangle strengthens the legs and stretches the hips and spine, the New York Times said. It also offers flexibility (hamstrings, hips) and helps with balance. The pose is good for endurance. 

A tip from the New York Times: Lifting your arm toward the ceiling helps keep the pose “buoyant.” 

5. BRIDGE POSE

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A “gentle way” to start working the spine, verywellfit.com said, the bridge pose improves the mobility of the spine and helps reverse the effects of sitting for too long. It can improve core stability by working the abdominal muscles and the lower back and hip muscles. 

This pose stretches the muscles of the chest, back and neck, according to the New York Times, and builds strength in the back and hamstring muscles. 

6. TREE POSE

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This pose is excellent for working on your balance and can strengthen your core, the New York Times said. 

It is often the first standing balance pose taught to yoga beginners because it is simple, Very Well Fit said. 

It’s fun to try to keep your balance while standing on one leg. Wobbling is expected. 

The pose can also help strengthen your calves and spine. 

Before trying these excercises, it’s best to consult your doctor to find out what’s best for you. Be safe. Be healthy.