Want to get into yoga? Here are three poses for beginners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Broga founder Matt Miller shares three yoga poses to get you started on your yoga journey.

By Matt Miller

 

These three moves will get you mobilised and feeling better to tackle the day, a workout, or maybe even the confidence to go to a yoga class.

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Lets start with the mother of all yoga moves: the famous Downward Dog. If you have already been to a yoga class you probably heard the teacher say, “this is your rest posture, just enjoy a moment here.”

 

All you will be thinking is “F*CK THIS IS REALLY HORRIBLE GET ME OUTTA HERE!!“

 

The truth is downward dog does not lie. It exposes all your mobility shortcomings all at once. Tight hamstrings, calves and glutes? Check. Impinged shoulder and compressed sub-scapula? Yep, got those. Shortened biceps? Ok, fine, you got me!!!

 

The bottom line is that you have to master this basic move to open up your body from all the damage you have done to it through sport, inactivity, life, whatever… and it is never too late.

 

It is going to hurt for a week or two after practising this move. But the good news is that if you keep at this every day for a couple weeks straight your body will respond, open up, and sooner than you imagine it will feel more and more like an enjoyable stretch rather than sheer hell.

 

Here is how to do it:

    • Start in a high plank with feet shoulder width and hands directly under the shoulders
    • Stick your butt in the air and look at your feet
    • Press the hands into the floor like you are pushing it away and try to pull your elbows towards each other
    • Tilt your butt in the air and press your heels into the floor
    • Now run through all those points again and do them all at the same time
    • Hold for 10 long, even, breaths or half that time in two sets

2. Crescent Lunge

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Next up is the Crescent Lunge, which is a natural progression from the downward dog.

It takes what you just did for the Forward Fold and brings the back into even greater extension, while also beginning the same process in the hips.

This looks so easy but so much of our day is spent lazily hunched over that slouched actually becomes the standard comfortable position for the back and consequently, undoing this damage feels wholly unnatural in the beginning.

Get over it and make the effort not be the hunchback of Notre Dame aged 45!

Here is how to do it:

  • From Downward Dog bring one leg high in the air and swing that high leg in-between your hands. If you don’t make it all the way don’t worry!
  • Drop your other knee down and make that back foot flat
  • Now adjust your front foot so it is directly under your knee
  • Lastly, extend your arms up as high as you can
  • Hold for 10 long deep breaths and try to bring your hands back and hips more forward each time
  • Go back into downward dog for a couple of breaths and repeat on the other leg

 

3. Forward Fold

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Last up is the Forward Fold.

Again seriously, how hard can THAT be??

Hard is the answer if you have been neglecting your flexibility.

Being in a fold is the compliment to the crescent lunge extension and puts your back in deep flexion.

It attempts to take the initial stretch you felt in downward dog in the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves and go even further with it.

Here is how to do it:

  • Again, starting in Downward Dog, walk or hop your feet to in-between your hands
  • Inhale deeply and roll up the spine, lifting the hands to the ceiling
  • Then, take a big exhale and bring your fingers as close to the ground as possible. If you can touch the ground, great! If not, don’t fret, just grab the back of your calves firmly and pull your face closer to your knees
  • While you are drawing your face closer to your knees, try and lift your butt up and squeeze your quadriceps
  • Hold this for 10 long breaths trying to go deeper with each breath

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

Join Broga Founder and Celebrity Trainer Matt Miller on a James Bond style Safari and Fitness Adventure in South Africa from 13-22 May 2016.

Find out more!

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