When Things Get Turned Upside Down: Yoga Inversions

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Beginner Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha Yoga is the path of Physical Yoga or Yoga of Postures is the most popular branch of Yoga. This style of yoga considers the body as the vehicle for the soul. It uses physical poses or asanas, breathing techniques or pranayama, and meditation in order to bring the body in perfect health and for the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind to emerge freely. The practice of Hatha Yoga will aim for the union of the body and the soul, to fill the body with life force. Swami Svatmarama believed that the regular practice of Hatha Yoga asanas could give “steadiness, health, and lightness of body.”

Virasana

Virasana (Hero’s pose) stretches the ankles, gluteal muscles, and other smaller muscles in the hips. Also, therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma

Matsyendrasana

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika lists a number of specific benefits for Matsyendrasana (the Lord of the Fishes Pose). These benefits include increased appetite, the destruction of multiple diseases, and the awakening of kundalini energy.

Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana (the Intense Back Stretch) is a deep stretch for the entire posterior chain of the body. The posture creates openness in the calves and hamstrings and can relieve tension in the back muscles as well.

Dhanurasana

Dhanurasana (the Bow Pose) stretches the hip flexors, abdominals, chest, and shoulders. The posture also strengthens the back muscles.

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