When people ask me for ways to help them gain the most out of their yoga practice, there are two key components I point out; balance and consistency.
Though anyone can walk away from a single yoga class feeling amazing, it is with consistency and over time, that the real magic starts to happen.
This is why I encourage everyone to practice yoga daily, even if its just 15 minutes each morning.
So what asana should you practice each day, you might ask?
Along with consistency, balance is another important consideration. Not just ensuring you work your left and right, or front and back equally, but also considering the benefits different asanas provide.
I like to incorporate 5 asanas to my daily practice that each provides me with a little balance, strength, flexibility, grounding, and energy.
Here are 5 asanas you should consider adding to your daily practice:
Naukasana - Boat Pose
Strengthening asanas are great for toning your body and keeping you actively independent and strong. This is why Naukasana is a good strengthening asana to practice daily as it works your whole body.
Benefits: Strengthens your whole body, focusing on your abdomen, shoulders, thighs and spine. It also improves digestion and helps relieve stress.
Contraindications: To be avoided if you are pregnant, and practised with caution if you have high blood pressure, asthma, heart conditions or back/neck problems.
Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Many asanas focus on cultivating flexibility, yet some give you more of a ‘whole-body’ stretch more than others. This is why I like to incorporate Uttanasana into my daily yoga practice.
Benefits: Stretches your whole body, focusing on your hamstrings and wrists. It also massages your digestive system and soothes your nervous system.
Contraindications: To be avoided by people with hypertension, back injuries, hamstring injuries or heart conditions.
Natarajasana - Dancers Pose
Balancing asanas help improve balance, stability, and posture, as well as cultivating focus, concentration and memory. This is why I like to practice Nataranjansana daily.
Benefits: Improves physical balance and promotes focus and concentration. It also strengthens your legs and ankles, stretches your thighs, groin, shoulders and chest.
Contraindications: Practice with caution if you have weakness in your ankles or have a falls risk.
Virabhadrasana II - Warrior 2
Life can be quite hectic and busy at times, which is one of the reasons yoga is such a fantastic tool. It helps ground us, both body and mind, into the present, so we can move forward from a calm and mindful space. Virabhadrasana II is an excellent asana for grounding both body and mind.
Benefits: Promotes stability, both physically and emotionally. It also stimulates your abdominal organs and stretches and strengthens your legs, ankles, shoulders and groin.
Contraindications: Practice with caution if you have high blood pressure or a neck injury.
Utkatasana - Chair Pose
Energising asanas help stimulate your internal systems and activate your brain so that you can move through your day with energy, focus and enthusiasm. This is why I like to practice Utkatasana daily.
Benefits: Stimulates the heart, warming and energising your body. Stretches the shoulders and chest and strengthens your ankles, calves, thighs and spine.
Contraindications: Avoid this practice if you have a headache or high blood pressure.
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