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Yoga To Lift Your Spirit
Among the many benefits of Yoga is greater spiritual strength. Yoga has been shown to improve muscle tone, mental stamina, and overall physical strength. Many people seek Yoga for something extra - spiritual strength. This strength comes through the meditative process that is Yoga. If you have been practicing Yoga or if you are just looking at trying it out, follow these 3 simple steps to increase your spiritual benefit from Yoga: First, prepare yourself for a calming experience. Turn off your cell phone, turn off all music/tv, and put yourself in the most quiet area accessible. Second, concentrate on your breathing. Throughout each position, focus intensely on your breathes. Third, clear your mind of external noise. Ignore the dishes sitting in the sink, the neighbor you promised to call back, or the memo you need to send. Your experience can only be as calming and enlightening as you allow it. If you bring outside "noise" into your session it will prevent the spiritual uplifting that could happen. Try these three positions with all this in mind and your experience is sure to be more uplifting and calming.
1 Side Plank
- Start on your side, on your forearm.
- Align your elbow under your shoulder.
- Stack your feet, and draw your navel in towards your spine.
- As you exhale, push down through your forearm to lift your hips straight up.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
2 Boat Pose
- Sit on the floor with straight legs in front of you.
- Inhale, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands on the side of your thighs just below your hips, keeping your fingers pointed toward your toes.
- Exhale and slowly lean back at your hips lifting your legs, with bent knees, a few inches off the floor. Make sure your back is straight as you draw your shoulder blades together to lift and open your chest.
- Slowly straighten out your legs. If you cannot straighten your legs, go as far as your can or follow the modified pose in the section below.
- Your thighs should be angled about 45 degrees from the floor as should your torso. From the side your body should look like a "V" with your arms still touching your thighs.
- Begin to slowly move your arms alongside your legs with palms facing down until they are parallel to the floor.
- Hold the pose for 10-20 seconds to begin, gradually increasing the time you hold the pose to one minute. Release the pose by dropping the legs and returning to the sitting position.
3 Leg High
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Exhale; lift knees, push hips up, straighten arms and legs.
- Inhale; lift right leg as high as possible.