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Naked Yoga Positions / Asanas
There’s a multitude of yoga poses, and each of them is unique with its positive effects on specific body parts. Depending on the position of the body, all poses fit into one of 5 groups: sitting, standing, lying, inversions/balances and bends.
Bends are aimed at stretching your hamstrings and strengthening your body. Yoga poses that involve forward bends are usually used as a warm-up and are suitable for beginners. They are more calming and have a soothing effect on the nervous system. They are also ideal for stretching the spine to prepare for a more intense workout. Most back bends are pretty challenging and can only be performed by advanced yogis. They improve spine flexibility and strengthen shoulders and arms. At the same time, to be able to perform back bends, you need to already have a fairly strong upper limb girdle so as not to get injured. Start gently with preparation yoga poses and gradually work your way into deeper bends.
Inversions / Balances
Inversions are hard to perform. Merely taking your feet off the ground and putting them up in the air takes a great deal of dexterity (and courage). But these poses are believed to even slow the process of ageing, so they are really worth giving a try. To be more precise, when you’re upside down and feel the blood rushing to your head, your cardiovascular, endocrine, lymphatic, and nervous systems are being actively stimulated. Inverted yoga poses help to solve one of the most common problems: a poor flow of oxygen to the brain. Apart from that, when you’re in a headstand, you reduce your stress level, let go of your anxieties and boost your confidence. No wonder kids enjoy being held upside down so much!
Lying poses are often restorative as relaxation is an essential part of any yoga routine. Many people admit that the greatest challenge of the famous Savasana or Corpse pose is to stay awake while doing it. Not all lying poses, however, have such a lulling effect. They can also be very challenging and require a great deal of practice in order to master. At the same time, such lying poses have numerous positive effects. They stretch the abdominal muscles and hip flexors, strengthen thighs, etc.
Standing yoga poses require certain balance, so practicing them helps to improve one’s vestibular apparatus. Simple standing poses can be a part of a warm up while more complex poses are pretty challenging and help to gain better control of your body. They strengthen legs and hips, increase pelvic mobility and even stimulate inner organs (stomach, kidney, bowels). It’s good to know that standing poses are very energising, so they are not recommended for bedtime routines.
Sitting yoga poses can be independent or function as a starting point for other asanas. They are also typically used for meditation as they are ideal for keeping mindful attention over your body and relaxing at the same time. Many sitting yoga poses involve stretching and bending and suit both beginners and advanced yogis.
image copyright by Denis Vodnikov