by Jayla Fields
Originating in Northern India, yoga is an ancient practice including balancing, deep breaths, and a flow of physical activity. There are many different poses and breathing exercises, but these are four core moves to find relaxation and flow.
Easy pose- Sukhasana
The easy pose, also known as the Sukhasana pose, is a cross-legged pose that anyone can do regardless of skill level, according to Mrs. Rose, health and physical education teacher at BHS. In this pose, you sit in a seated position with a straight spine with the shoulders back and the hands in a prayer pose. The hands can be resting by the side if preferred. According to Mrs. Rose, the Easy Pose is generally used to start and/or end her yoga sessions in the Mind and Body Wellness class. It can be used to focus on an intention for the day or to focus on a guided meditation to promote relaxation.
The cat and cow pose- Chakravakasana
This stress-relieving pose is very simple to do, with great benefits. The Cat and Cow poses are used together to improve the flexibility of the spine. The pose is also used to improve balance and posture. When performing Cat-Cow, “Focus on the synchronization of the breath to maximize the additional benefits of relaxation and stress relief,” said Mrs. Rose. Breathe in when arching the back like a cat and breathe out when lowering the belly like a cow.
The child’s pose- Balasana
After doing more difficult poses, doing the Child’s Pose can be very relaxing. It involves bending at the waist over the tucked knees with arms stretched out in front to touch the forehead to the floor. There are many benefits to Child’s Pose. One benefit is to stretch and lengthen the spine. It also relieves lower back pain while stretching the thighs and hips. “When performing the Child’s Pose, also focus on the breath to activate the relaxation response (the parasympathetic nervous system),” said Mrs. Rose.
The supine spinal twist- Supta Matsyendrasana
The supine spinal twist is a pose that corresponds with stretching. The Supine Spinal Twist is a lying gentle pose with many benefits. “Some of the benefits include improving flexibility of the spine as well as lengthening the spine. It also lengthens the hip external rotators,” said Mrs. Rose. “When doing a Supine Spinal Twist, it’s best to inhale and lengthen the spine and then exhale as the leg crosses to the opposite side of the body.” There are some restrictions for anyone with fragile or injured backs when it comes to this pose. Mrs. Rose recommends avoiding any twisting yoga poses for people with delicate backs.