By Kimaya Singh
Yoga can be a wonderful tool for supporting you in your weight loss efforts. Many of the standing Yoga poses are very strengthening and vigorous. When you learn how to enter more deeply into the postures, in correct alignment, you will greatly increase the beneficial effects of the practice. Yogic standing postures increase balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. Each Yoga posture targets different areas of the body. Engaging in a regular practice of standing Yoga postures that are linked together by a series of Sun Salutations will enliven and invigorate you. It will also strengthen all of the major muscle groups in your body, keep your spine strong and flexible, and enhance the circulation of fresh blood and nutrients throughout your entire being.
Warrior I Pose
Warrior I Pose is an ennobling and strenuous posture that helps you to hone your power of concentration. It will also open up your hip flexors, the sides of your torso, shoulders, heart area and strengthen your quadriceps. To practice Warrior 1 Pose, come to the front of your Yoga mat in Samasthiti or Equal Standing Pose. Begin by moving through a Sun Salutation. As you come out of Downward Facing Dog, place your right foot parallel to the front of your Yoga mat. Your back foot should be three to three and a half feet behind you and turned in at a 45 degree angle.
With your next inhale, raise your arms up to shoulder-height with your palms facing the floor. Bend your right knee up to ninety degrees. Make sure to not extend your knee beyond the line of your ankle in order to protect your knee from injury. Make sure your gaze is unwavering over the third finger of your right hand at a point in the distance. Hold for several complete Yogic breaths. With your next inhale, come up and then pinwheel your arms down to Chaturanga then move into Upward Facing Dog and Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the left hand side.
Warrior III Pose
This is a great balancing standing Yoga pose that is also quite challenging and vigorous. It will strengthen your legs, buttocks and back as it increases your heart rate and improves your balance. From Warrior I Pose, lean forward on your right leg and raise your left leg up to hip height behind you. Keep your left toes pointing towards the floor. Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms touching. Focus your gaze or drishti on a point six to eight inches in front of you on the floor. Breathe deeply and fully. Hold the asana for several complete breaths. To come out of the posture, with your next inhale place your left foot back on your mat and with your next exhale return to the top of your Yoga mat in Samasthiti.
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