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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 October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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