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Yoga: Postures and Poses

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Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise, however, some styles focus primarily on physically working the back, for instance: the most important Yoga poses in this case will differ from others, remaining the most important Yoga poses for another kind of Yoga.

There are also very difficult one might focus on in other styles of Yoga designed to stretch and strengthen other specific parts of the body, and many that work the entire body, treating the body as left and right equals yin and yang.

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There are specific Yoga poses for the floor parts of Yoga exercise, as well as the more familiar standing Yoga poses.

One of the most basic kinds of standing Yoga poses one will learn in Yoga is what is called the tree balance. In this balance you will:

  1. Prepare as always by checking the posture and lifting through the torso, pushing your shoulders down.
  2. Hold your eyes on one object diagonally or straight forward for the entire pose.
  3. Stand with your feet together.
  4. Lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  5. Rock your weight back, onto your heels.
  6. Strengthen the right leg shifting all of your weight and lift your left leg slowly up so that your foot lays flat, toes down, resting on your right inner thigh.
  7. Your arms slowly lift up to what is called the prayer position: both palms meeting directly above the top of the head--the full body in perfect alignment. Meeting above the crown chakra and lengthening all the way through the body.

The benefits of practicing this posture are many. It will result in remarkably noticeable balance and grace.

The posture requires balance, focus and concentration--all the basic guidelines of Yoga--both spiritual and physical are involved in Yoga poses. The tree balance is one of the many Yoga poses where the key is to relax and clear your mind. Not thinking about the difficulty of the pose itself--releasing tension--that is the mental aspect of several complex positions--without which many Yoga poses would be virtually impossible to hold.

This is one of the most well known Yoga postures. However, there are many. Including, as I mentioned before, many floor Yoga poses. Focus and breath--this is how you remain in any of the Yoga poses.

One example of the floor Yoga poses is the snake:

  1. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands on your shoulders.
  2. Lift up by straightening the arms and focus up--as though your eyes were also a part of the arch.
  3. Focus on pushing the pelvis down towards the floor--arching your back.
  4. And keep your shoulders down, as with virtually all Yoga poses.

Remember, all Yoga poses are meant to be held. You do not just reach the posture. Instead you reach it and remain there--thirty seconds, a minute etc. Holding, breathing, the asana, and the pranayama, this is how the balance is earned. In all Yoga poses you will find that you can stretch further and further each time. There are many other yoga poses and techniques out there--go find the perfect kind of yoga for you!

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