Yoga is great for your body, but it does wonders for your mind as well. Practicing yoga can help you stay healthy, strengthen your muscles, and improve flexibility. It’s also a fantastic way to stay energized, improve your balance and posture, lower your stress levels, and improve focus.
I’ve found that my favorite benefit from doing yoga is that it helps me to realize my body’s strength, beauty, and power. Seeing what my body is capable of helps me to appreciate it so much more! Below is a list of my favorite go-to yoga poses that help me love and accept my body.
The easy pose is a great place to start for both beginners and advanced yogis. It’s called the easy pose because well… it’s easy! Not only is this pose simple, but it also helps you find your center and relieve stress.
All you have to do to achieve this pose is simply sit on your floor or yoga mat with your legs crossed. Rest your hands on your knees. Relax your shoulders and make sure they are not lifted towards your ears.
Next, take a few deep breaths and let the stress of your day just fall off you. I like to take this time to quote some positive affirmations to myself. There’s really no wrong way of doing this. Personally, I like to reaffirm my strength and self-worth.
Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose
Another basic yoga pose that has been known to promote positive thought and stress relief is the head to knee forward bend pose.
To do this pose, start by sitting on your floor or yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. bend your right knee inward and rest your foot on your inner thigh of your left leg.
Inhale and raise your arms in the air on either side of your head. Exhale as you slowly bend forward to touch your left ankle or leg (whichever is most comfortable). Hold this pose for 5 to 10 breaths then repeat this pose with your opposite leg.
This next pose will surely help you channel your inner badass. The purpose of this yoga pose is to build strength and balance. Hopefully, this pose will make you feel powerful and fierce!
Begin this pose in a standing position. Take a wide step out in front of you with your right leg and bend it in a lunge position. It’s important to keep your back leg straight to really feel the stretch throughout your leg.
Next, raise your arms above your head and look up. When I do Warrior 1, I always picture the Dirty Dancing lift but in lunge form! Repeat this pose at your own pace and switch between legs as needed.
If you enjoyed Warrior 1, you’ll love Warrior 2. This is another yoga pose that will help you tackle your day like the powerful warrior you are!
Similar to the first warrior pose, begin in a standing position with your arms at your sides. Take a wide step forward with your right foot. Raise your arms so they are over your legs and parallel to the ground. From here, you’ll need to pivot your legs and arms to face the side while keeping your palms facing down.
Breath and hold this pose. Return to your starting position and repeat this pose with your alternate leg.
Remember, it’s up to you to be your own hero. This is a relatively easy yoga pose you can do to improve flexibility while incorporating positive thinking.
To do the hero’s pose, start by sitting on your knees with your arms down at your sides or resting on your thighs. The tops of your feet should be on the floor.
Breathe deeply and hold this stretch. During the hold, meditate on the qualities you like about yourself or what you think makes you a hero.
The goddess pose is thought to energize the body and improve your balance and concentration.
To do the goddess pose, being in a standing position. Get into a wide-legged stance and point your feet out to each side. Next, come down into a squat and try to get your thighs parallel to the floor. If you can’t squat all the way down just go as far as you can or until you feel like you can’t go any lower.
Knees to Chest Pose
This pose is one of my favorites for promoting self-love and acceptance because it basically is an excuse to give yourself a big hug! (and who doesn’t need that every once in a while?)
For this yoga pose, start by lying flat on your back either on the floor or on your yoga mat. Start with your arms and legs extended. Take a deep breath and raise your knees to your chest by bending them inward.
Next, wrap your arms around your knees to hold them in place. Hold this pose for a minute and try rocking side to side. Exhale and return your arms and legs to your starting position.
For a more advanced stretch try clasping each elbow when holding your knees.
Taking the time to do these yoga poses helps me appreciate the strength and beauty of my body.