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Published on May 31, 2019

12 Yoga Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home

12 Yoga Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home

You’ve heard of the many benefits of yoga but don’t know how to start?

If you’re new to yoga, you might have this misconception in your head that yoga poses are hard to attain. You might also worry about coordinating the beautiful art of inhaling and exhaling while you’re practicing certain poses.

Well, it’s not yoga that’s difficult. It’s just your obsessing mind. And, therefore, take a deep breath, clear your mind of any resistance and expectations and start off reading this article with a free mind.

Yoga is comprised of 300 poses and it’s definitely not easy to be able to master all of them. If you’re randomly picking up a complex one while leaving the simplest one behind, it might seem impossible. Thus, start by choosing the simplest ones, keep yourself regular with the practice, and let your body adapt to the increasing difficulty levels of yoga poses with the steady flow.

Give yourself enough time to master the basics and challenge yourself with the difficult once slowly. That’s all!

So, if you worry about what are the best yoga poses you can start with and easily practice without a yoga teacher, I’m here to help. Here are 12 best yoga poses that you can do at home:

1. Easy Pose

This is a perfect pose to begun any yoga routine. It is one of the simplest yoga pose and the name literally means pleasure pose.

It is done by crossing the legs while sitting so that feet are below knees with back straight and hands rested on the knees with palm up or palm down.

This asana relaxes the body and tones back which becomes stronger and steadier.

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2. Mountain Pose

This is a perfect beginner’s pose for practicing at home. This helps in defining the body posture for next level and complicated poses.

This yoga pose begins with standing firm, keeping back and head straight, firming thigh muscles by lifting knee caps, keeping hands parallel to body and lifting bodyweight on toes and maintaining the position for 7-10 seconds before releasing.

The biggest benefit of mastering this posture is that it is the starting point for standing asanas and can be practiced easily at home as a part of morning or evening routine.

It helps in improvement of body postures, regular practice keeps thighs & ankles stronger, makes spine more agile and regulates digestive, respiratory, nervous systems.

3. Downward Facing Dog

This yoga pose looks similar to the posture of a dog bent forwards, hence the name meaning down-face-dog-posture. This is a very easy to learn pose and beginners can practice it daily with zero side effects.

Start with standing on all four limbs and then lifting your hip to straighten the arms and legs. Shoulders should align with hands and feet should be in line with hips, keeping them straight. Finally, turn your gaze to your navel and hold the posture for few seconds before releasing ad coming to initial position on all four limbs.

This asana strengthens abdominal muscles, improves circulation and digestion, tones hands & feet and decreases anxiety.

4. Cobra Pose

This is a highly recommended pose for the beginners as it helps in building up stamina for higher level postures and tones the upper body.

It starts with laying on the stomach and placing the palms of hands beside shoulders. Then raising the upper body gazing the sky. Once a comfortable height is achieved, press thighs, hips and toes against each other and hold the posture for few seconds before releasing and coming back to same posture of laying on the stomach.

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This asana strengthens spine and tones organs in lower abdomen. It stimulates digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. It opens up lungs and heart and helps in stress release.

5. Warrior Pose

This yoga pose is one of the most graceful asanas in yoga and adds beauty to practice. It has direct benefits to arms, legs and lower back.

It starts with placing right foot 3 feet in front of left and turning your right foot 90 degrees while keeping center of heels aligned. Then, lift the fully stretched arms sideways until they are parallel to the ground. Now, move the arms further up joining the palms at top of the head. Release and repeat the pose with left leg in front.

This asana boosts self confidence, improves walking posture and eases stressed shoulders.

6. Bound Angle Pose

The name of this yoga pose means reclining bound angle. It is beneficial in deep relaxation.

The pose starts with laying flat on the ground on back and bringing feet close to groin. Then opening up knees until they touch the ground and pressing palms downwards stretched towards feet. Before releasing, hug the knees and roll from side to side.

It stimulates kidneys, bladder and heart and blood circulation. It also stretches inner thigh and groin muscles.

7. Chair Pose

Chair pose starts with doing a chair pose, then slowly raising the arms parallel to the ground and bending the knees to mimic a chair until thighs comes almost parallel to the ground. Hold this pose for as long as possible and then release back to chair pose before relaxing the body.

This pose has more physical benefits than spiritual. It strengthens ankles, calves, thighs and spine, reduces flat feet and stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart.

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8. Skull Shining Breath

This is a beginner’s yoga breathing exercise. It can be done sitting or standing.

It begins with placing right palm on stomach, inhaling passively and exhaling aggressively. Repeat the process for 25 to 30 times. Then increase the number as many as one is comfortable in.

This exercise reduces back and neck pain, opens up chest & lungs and rejuvenates blood circulation.

9. Bellows Breath

This is a yoga breathing exercise for the beginners.

Sit with back supported by a wall or chair, keeping the back straight. Breathe in with nose and breathe out with mouth making a ‘AH’ sound. Once comfortable, breathe out with mouth closed. Practice 3 to 4 sets of 10 breaths.

This exercise increases oxygen content in blood, opens up congested nose & chest, improves appetite and is good for abdominal muscles.

10. Alternate Nostril Breathing

This is one of the deep breathing yoga exercises which stimulates and strengthens the entire respiratory system. This helps to calm your sleep, relax and rejuvenate your mind.

It is performed by sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine. Close the right nostril with right thumb, right ring finger close to left nostril rest of the fingers pointed to the sky. Inhale and exhale with left nostril then with right nostril by closing left one with ring finger and releasing the thumb. Repeat the process back and forth for 15 to 20 times.

11. Plank Pose

To begin, lie on the ground with stomach down, place palms beside shoulders, rising up the shoulders while keeping the entire body straight. Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds.

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This pose helps in stamina and strength building. You can learn more about this pose benefits here: 7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

12. Corpse Pose

This yoga pose is highly recommended for mind and body relaxation.

It is one of the simplest asana which is done by laying flat on the ground, facing upwards and relaxing the body. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes.

This pose is easy to do, reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue.

Yoga doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. It’s simply meant to make you feel free, powerful, and capable in all aspects of life. It is something you should be able to do without pushing yourself too hard.

Start trying these 12 yoga exercises at home and become healthier mentally and physically.

Featured photo credit: Form via unsplash.com

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Deep Shikha

A passionate health blogger and founder of Healthifying World

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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