Postural yoga has developed as a very beneficial physical practice for the maintenance of the body, and this at any age. We present to you 10 simple yoga postures, accessible to everyone.
It goes without saying that it is essential to know your state of health well before undertaking any movement or posture whatsoever. A medical opinion is always desirable in case of doubt.
Yoga being practiced slowly, this allows the mobilization of the body in full awareness of the parts of the body mobilized, and therefore the measure:you are master of your body and must not go beyond your limits.
The palm tree pose is a standing posture that refers to the tree as a symbol of life. It strengthens the back and ankles. It is also a source of dynamism.
To practice this posture, you bring your feet and legs together. You become aware of your supports then join your hands to the chest. You exhale and, on the inhale, the arms extend vertically. If your supports are secure and you have no balance problems, you can, at the same time as the arms go up, lift your heels off the ground. When the whole body is stretched vertically, you open your hands, fingers spread as far apart as possible, the tips of the thumbs in contact, like two suns. Then, without moving your arms and without leaning your chest forward, you bend your knees. You stay in the posture for the number of breaths that suits you. You straighten your legs on an inhale and bring your hands back to your chest (and your heels on the floor if you've lifted them off) on an exhale.
Here is another standing posture related to the symbolism of the tree but works more on balance because it leads to standing on one leg.
The hands are joined at the chest and the feet are hip-width apart. The body is straightened and gradually you shift the weight of the body into one leg (start with the right), without slouching. You fix a point on the ground or on the horizon. When you feel stable enough, the lightened leg (left to start) can lift off the floor to place the sole of the foot along the ankle, the knee open to the side while keeping the pelvis facing forward. The toes can touch the ground, allowing you to restore balance if you lose it. If you are comfortable, the ball of the foot can slide up, inside the knee or even the thigh. Breathe calmly seeking stability. Then do the same on the other side.
The triangle pose is another standing pose. It refers to the unity of the human being, balanced in its spiritual and material components. This posture develops the flexibility of the spine and strengthens the efficiency of breathing.
To practice this pose, you spread your feet wide apart. From your supports, the bust straightens and you exhale. On inspiration, the arms rise on each side of the body at shoulder height. Then on the exhale, you bend to the side (start with the right). According to your possibilities, the right middle finger can touch the ground, but do not force:either the spacing of your feet is insufficient, or your body cannot go further in the lateral stretch. At the end of the posture, the gaze is directed towards the palm of the hand in the air. If possible, the arms are placed on a line perpendicular to the floor. You breathe in the posture, taking care to push the left hip forward to register the body as much as possible in a plan. You straighten the bust on an inspiration and bring the arms along the body on an expiration. After a time of observing the sensations, you do the same thing on the left side.
The warrior pose strengthens the quadriceps and inner determination. The symbolism is that of a warrior fighting his fears and doubts. It exists in several variants. Here is the simplest. You spread your feet wide, right foot open outward, placed on the middle of the left foot, kept parallel to the short edge of the mat. Initially, the pelvis and shoulders are facing forward. Stable on your supports, you exhale then, on the inspiration, the arms rise on each side of the body at shoulder height. On the exhale, look to your right hand and bend your right knee. The knee must be placed in line with the foot to avoid pulling on the patella. The chest should not tilt to the right side, even if you feel the stretch on the left side. The top of the head is always directed towards the sky. You can hold the pose for a few breaths and straighten your right leg on the inhale. Exhale to bring the arms back to each side of the body. Do the same on the left side.
It is a seated posture that strengthens all the muscles of the back. If you put it in place correctly, it is a posture that is much more demanding than it seems. It consists of placing the body at a right angle, the bust perpendicular to the ground. This won't be easy if your hamstrings (the muscles at the back of your thighs) are short. If you have trouble extending your legs on the ground, that is to say that the stretch felt is strong and leads to a rounding of the back, bend your legs a little to allow the spine to straighten. Once you've taken care of adjusting the body, clasp your hands at your chest. Exhale then on the inspiration, stretch the arms vertically. Continue to stretch the spine upwards and try to push the arms back towards the back of the head, without excess. Bring the hands back to the chest on the exhale and repeat until you do this 6 times in all if desired. You can also maintain the posture and breathe calmly in the stillness of the body.
It is a posture in which the body shape at right angles is similar to that of the stick pose, except for the back which is lying on the ground. It allows you to stretch the hamstrings gently and according to your possibilities, without fear of hurting your back or rounding it.
In postures on the back, we do not recommend placing a thickness under the head. The necessary contortions can cause you to make false movements and the supports can be bad. It is best to try to tame the position lying on your back, taking care to stretch the neck.
You sit on the ground sideways, against a wall, lifting your buttocks close to the wall off the ground. Then you slowly pivot to place your back on the ground, while raising your legs to extend them along the wall. You stay in the pose, breathing slowly and deeply. If you wish, you can spread your outstretched legs apart, taking care that the feet are always at the same height. If necessary, massage the inner thighs to help stretch the adductors. As you come out of the pose, slowly bring your legs together, bring your knees in, and swing to the side. Straighten the bust slowly.
It is a very simple sitting posture, predominantly meditative, which invites introspection and letting go. The only difficulty may lie, for some people, in sitting cross-legged. If so, try two things. The first is to place a folded blanket under the buttocks to raise the seat. The second is to extend your legs in front of you, apart at 45°.
From your cross-legged seat, hands resting on your knees, you inhale then, on the exhale, you round the spine from the chin which goes towards the sternum. The bust leans a little forward and the whole back stretches. You adapt the amplitude of the stretch according to your feelings. You remain like this, curled up on yourself, breathing slowly. Given the compression of the abdomen, the breath naturally spreads out to the sides and back. Come up slowly on an inhale.
This posture promotes calm of the mind. It is taken from the position lying on the ground. The neck is stretched, the arms along the body, and you fold the legs on the belly. You exhale and inhale to lift your head and shoulder blades off the ground. The arms come to embrace the legs and you thus breathe while living the unity of your person in its body-breath-spirit components. To come out of the pose, you lower your arms first, then your feet and head, only last to protect your lower back.
This posture, which starts on all fours, is excellent for the tone of the back and the health of the joints of the shoulders and hips. If you find it difficult to rest on your wrists, you can put your fists on the floor. If the knees are sore, place a thin blanket underneath.
You become aware of the right leg and left arm and on an inhale raise them together, then lower them on the exhale. You do the same with the left leg and the right arm. Alternate like this and do these movements a total of 6 times on each side, if possible.
This is the relaxation posture with which your yoga sessions must end. It allows, in the immobility of the body, to diffuse and balance the effects of the postures which preceded. It also reduces stress. Very simply, you lie on your back, the neck gently stretched, the legs and arms slightly apart from the body. The palms of the hands are ideally turned towards the sky. Cover up if the room temperature is cool and if you are sensitive to ambient cold. You should be able to remain still for 5-10 minutes.