Yoga has become very popular around the world, thanks to its many health benefits. People that practice yoga often report improved spinal flexibility, better balance and posture, and stronger muscles.
Yoga also has health benefits that you can’t see, like improved blood circulation, better immunity, and reduced toxin accumulation in the body.
You don’t need to practice difficult poses to experience these benefits.
Yoga involves a range of poses that all have different benefits. Many beginner-friendly poses that seem basic can help improve awareness, aiding your mind, body, and soul.
If you’re looking to improve your well-being, we’ve listed 6 of the best yoga positions to improve your well-being in this post. You’ll learn how to perform each movement, as well as what their benefits are.
Many of these poses are suitable for beginners, but we’ve also included some harder ones suitable for those with more yoga experience.
Keep reading to discover some amazing yoga positions!
1. Vajrasana – Diamond Pose
Vajrasana is a basic yoga pose that is also beginner friendly. This is a seated pose that helps strengthen the leg and back muscles.
In addition to improving posture, the pose is known to improve digestion and ease constipation.
Some other benefits of Vajrasana include:
- Aiding relaxation by calming the mind
- Toning the calf, thigh, and hip muscles
- Improving blood circulation throughout the body
- Easing painful arthritis symptoms
Follow these steps to perform Vajrasana:
- Begin kneeling on the ground. If you prefer, you can use a yoga mat for additional cushioning.
- Press your ankles and knees together, then align your legs and feet. Your big toes should touch each other with the soles of your feet facing the sky.
- As you breathe out, sit back to rest on your legs. Your thighs should sit on your calves while your glutes should sit on your heels.
- Rest your hands on top of your thighs and tilt your pelvis to find a comfortable position.
- Keep breathing deeply as you sit upright, lengthening your spine. Push your tailbone towards the ground, using your head to raise your body upwards.
- Gaze ahead, keeping the ground and your chin parallel to each other. Rest your hands on top of your thighs with your hands facing downwards. Keep your arms relaxed.
2. Paschimottanasana – Forward Bend
This position needs a decent flexibility level, but it can still be practiced by beginners.
It’s best to perform it in the morning, as the pose involves stretching the abdomen. This may make it harder to perform after you’ve eaten.
Some of the benefits of Paschimottanasana are:
- Lowers stress levels
- Helps calm an uneasy mind
- Improves flexibility through stretching the spine
- Aids irritability, anger, and anxiety feelings
Follow these steps to perform Paschimottanasana:
- Start by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you.
- Raise your arms to your sides and on top of your head, lifting towards the sky.
- Breathe in and straighten your spine.
- When you breathe out, start to bend forward at the hips. It can be helpful to picture your pelvis as a bowl of water slanting forward.
- Extend your spine on every inhale. You may need to come out of the bent position when doing this.
- Deepen into the forward bend on every exhale. Think about your stomach bending to rest on your legs, instead of bringing your nose to your knees. This will ensure your spine remains long.
- Maintain a neutral neck when performing the pose. Don’t raise it to look upwards or let it become fully loose.
- Once you’ve bent with your spine extended and long, you can stay in this position, or allow your spine to round slightly.
- Grip your shins or ankles, based on what your flexibility level is. If you prefer, you can loop a strap around your feet. Your feet should remain flexed for the duration of the movement.
3. Padmasana – Lotus Pose
Padmasana is a meditative cross-legged pose. It’s useful in meditation practices as it helps soothe the mind and ease tension.
The lotus pose may be harder for beginners as it can be difficult to keep the legs locked together. You may need to practice Padmasana a few times before it becomes easier.
Here are some of the benefits of Padmasana:
- Stretches the ankles, knees, and hips to improve flexibility
- Improves body awareness
- Soothes menstrual cramps
- Replenishes energy levels
- Relaxes the body
- Improves digestion
Follow these steps to perform Padmasana:
- Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front. Your heels should remain in contact with the ground. Keep your hands by your sides with your spine long and upright.
- Gradually move your legs slightly wider. Keep your heels touching the ground.
- Bend one knee and rest it on your opposite thigh. You’ll use your hands to move the foot closer to you. Make sure that your foot’s sole points to the sky, keeping your heel as near your stomach as possible.
- Perform the same steps on your remaining legs, so your legs form a cross. Your spine should remain upright with your head in a neutral position.
- Keep breathing deeply and hold the pose for two to three minutes.
4. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
The name ‘Bhujangasana’ is a blend of the Sanskrit terms ‘asana’, which means posture, and ‘bhujanaga’, which means serpent.
This pose involves stretching the chest, abdomen, and shoulder muscles. This can help improve stiffness in the lower back and aid upper torso flexibility.
Here are some benefits of Bhujangasana:
- Improves digestion and constipation symptoms
- Strengthens the spine and improves flexibility
- Soothes menstrual cramps
- Improves blood flow
- Improves mood
Follow these steps to perform Bhujangasana:
- Start by lying on the ground, flat on your abdomen.
- Position your palms flat on the floor, straight beneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows backward and clasp them at your sides.
- Rest for a few seconds, gazing directly down at the floor. Keep your neck neutral and your pubic bone secure to the ground.
- Breathe in to raise your chest above the ground. Shift your shoulders down and back, keeping the lower ribs on the ground. Keep your elbows clasped at your sides, instead of whinging them outwards.
- Maintain a neutral neck instead of lifting it. Keep gazing at the ground.
- Breathe out to release the pose down to the ground.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
A well-known yoga pose, Downward Facing Dog is amazing for giving the body a complete stretch.
Adho Mukha Svanasana is used as a resting and transitional pose. It strengthens and stretches many of the body’s muscles, while also giving your stress-relieving benefits.
Some of the benefits of Adho Mukha Svanasana include:
- Lengthening the spine to relieve pressure
- Strengthens the upper back, arms, and shoulders
- Stretches and soothes the calves, hamstrings, and Achilles tendon
- Improves blood circulation
- Lowers stress and tension levels
- Strengthens the fingers, wrists, and hands
Follow these steps to perform Adho Mukha Svanasana:
- Begin on your hands and knees. Keep your wrists directly beneath your shoulders with your knees straight under your hips.
- Roll your toes under you and raise your hips by pushing through your hands. Extend the legs.
- Spread the fingers out wide and bear down into your fingertips, bearing the weight of your forearms.
- Turn your upper arms outwards to open your collarbones.
- Allow your head to hang, then move your shoulder blades towards your hips, keeping them away from the ears.
- Activate your quad muscles to bear some of the body weight, taking some of the pressure off of the arms. This will help you stay in the pose for longer.
- Turn your thighs inwards and keep your seat high. Let your heels descend toward the ground.
- Remain in this position for ten or more breaths. To release the pose, bend your knees when you exhale to come into Child’s Pose.
If you’re a beginner, you can keep your knees bent when you practice the pose.
You can also keep your heels lifted off of the floor, but the aim is to keep practicing until you can keep them flat on the ground.
6. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
This pose looks like a triangle, which explains its name. Trikosana helps stretch the muscles in the legs to improve flexibility, particularly the hamstrings in the back of the thigh.
Some of Trikonasana’s benefits include:
- Strengthening the chest, hips, legs, back, and shoulders
- Improved digestion
- Relieving back pain
- Lowering anxiety and stress levels
- Improving energy levels
- Better balance and stability
Follow these steps to practice Trikonasana:
- Start by standing in Mountain Pose, with your arms at the sides and your feet hip-width apart.
- Step behind with your left foot, around three to four feet. Turn your toes out a little to the left. The right foot should point ahead, with the toes in the direction of the mat.
- Breathe in and raise your arms to the sides, parallel to the floor. Keep your palms facing the floor with your shoulders relaxed as you gaze ahead.
- Breathe out and hinge at your right hip to move your torso forward. Place your right hand on your right ankle or shin, or a yoga block next to your foot.
- Your left arm should remain straight, pointing at the sky. You can choose to look up at your left hand or gaze straight ahead.
- Push down through both of your feet, activating your leg muscles to bear down through the mat. Keep your chest and hips open, taking care to avoid falling backward or forwards.
- Hold the position for a few deep breaths, extending the spine with every breath. Deepen the stretch with every breath out.
- Release the pose by breathing in and returning to a standing position. Raise both arms overhead, then breathe out to lower them back to your sides.
- Repeat the steps on the opposite side.
Yoga has a lot of beneficial poses, but if you’re trying to improve your well-being, the poses above are worth practicing regularly.
Always remember to listen to your body as you perform each pose, as it’s important to respect your limits. With consistent practice, you should see your strength, flexibility, and overall health improve.