Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Yoga postures are organized into groups according to the stretch each one provides. For a beginner it can be quite confusing guessing which ones to practice together, and the most productive time to practice them.
Back bends tend to wake us up, and flush new energy through the body. Therefore, it is not advisable to practice prior to going to bed. Instead, try adding back bends to a morning routine to help wake your body after slumber.
Salute To The Sun has a similar effect as the sequence creates heat in the body, stimulate all the systems, and muscles. This series of postures is more suited as a morning routine, as the body will be over stimulated if practiced before bed. Due to the concentrated use of the breath throughout this routine, you will feel enlivened, and invigorated.
Forward bends are more relaxing, and restorative. If you feel anxious, and experience stress, try practicing The Child Pose to bring calm back to your center. This is a lovely gentle posture, which would also aid a restful sleep.
Standing postures are excellent precursors to balancing postures, as you have to plant yourself as if rooted into the ground. They assist with building stamina, and stillness. The Mountain Pose is one of the more important standing postures due to the centering, grounding, and strengthening effect it has.
If you find it challenging to stand still, try using the breath to steady the mind, and body. This holds true for balancing postures too. The breath is the easiest way to center yourself, and find stillness. For this reason, balancing postures are greatly assisted when practiced mindfully, and with full awareness on the breath. Developing concentration, and one pointed focus is key to finding balance within.
The next group of postures come under the twisting category. Twisting puts pressure on organs, and acts to trigger digestion, and assist with the detoxification process. Including twists in your routine also helps to relieve muscle tensions in the neck, back, and torso. It is also helpful for relieving headaches. Twisting postures can be performed any time of the day.
The final category is the inversions. Inverted postures are not recommended for women during the menstrual cycle as they disrupt the natural blood flow. Along with that, inverted poses can have an effect on the mind as we are upside down, and experience seeing in a new way.
Inverted postures are best practiced in the morning, however, you may experience dizziness, and need time to settle after practicing. It is always recommended to lay in Corpse Pose after any session of yoga as this helps to integrate the practice, and gives you time to relax before carrying on with your day.
Always go at your own pace, and always use the breath, as this will assist with advancing your yoga practice.
To find out more about yoga postures, check out the Yoga Bible from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk