Yoga Warm Up Poses & Exercises

By Patricia | March 25, 2009
Yoga Warm Up Exercises

The prayer pose and spinal roll are not really warm-up poses. On the whole, warming up depends on what Yoga style you are practicing. Ideally, the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is considered the only warm-up exercise. But, considering that the ultimate aim of Yoga is to be able to sit comfortably and do the breathing exercises and meditation that follow, in this section we shall cover some of the important warm-up poses that you should, ideally, do in every Yoga class or session.

Standing Poses

These include Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Stand Spread Leg Forward Fold, Hastapadasana (Hands to Feet Pose), Standing Side Stretch Pose, Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) and Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

Sitting Poses

There poses can be done seated on your Yoga mat and include Spread Leg Forward Fold, Virasana (Hero Pose), Balasana (Child Pose) and Seated Forward Bend.

Yoga Twist Poses

Apart from stretching and strengthening your back, the Sage Marichi Twist Half-Spinal Twist are Yoga poses that help tone up and massage your abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion.

Supine Poses

These include several poses done lying face up, such as Shalabhasana (Locust Pose), the Leg Reclining Lunge, Single and Double Leg Raises, Leg Pulls, and Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose).

Inverted and Balancing Poses

These include Sirshasana (Headstand), Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), and Halasana (Plouw Pose) that help stimulate the brain, increase circulation, relieve pressure on the abdominal organs and enhance glandular system functioning.

Backward bends

These poses help promote spinal flexibility and strengthen the abdomen, legs and arms and include Ardha Chakrasana (Half Moon Pose), Ushtrasana (Camel Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Chakrasana (Wheel Pose) and Dhanurasana (Bow Pose).

A word of caution: Practicing Yoga exercises and poses will, definitely, improve and increase your immunity, improve your health, and cultivate more mental awareness. But, make it a point to do them slowly and, more importantly, practice warm ups before going in for the tricky postures, because you could just as easily end up with a sprain or twist or muscle pull. And while everyone is encouraged to try and practice all the poses by themselves at home or at the office, if anyone feels uncomfortable or is not able to complete a pose, please do not push yourself. Yoga is not a competitive discipline. So learn to relax and keep trying slowly and steadily. Furthermore, never attempt poses that you feel are beyond your reach. It will be help if you were to actually enrol in some Yoga institute where a trained, qualified and expert teacher can guide you through the practices and ensure that you do them properly.

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