Yoga Exercises for Mindfulness
Yoga is a great form of exercise especially if you are looking to increase your flexibility, strength,
and balance. In last week’s blog I discussed the importance of balance in everyday life. This is
similar in the fact that balance is a key part to yoga movements. With that being said, mindset is
also a very important aspect of yoga as well. A proper mindset will allow you to thrive at this
form of exercise. Mindfulness is the act of being alert and conscious. Practicing mindfulness
frequently will allow you to become focused, calm, and alert. Combining yoga and mindfulness
for a great combination to reduce anxiety and stress. Below is a list of yoga exercises that are
great for mindfulness.
Yoga Poses to Improve Mindfulness:
- Child’s Pose
a. In order to do a child’s pose, lay on the ground with your knees hip-length apart
and your toes together. Extend your arms forward with palms on the floor. Rest in
this position for as long as needed. For an image example click here.
- Hero’s Pose
a. Hero’s pose is commonly called a seating position used in meditation. This is a
relaxing position in which you rest your butt on your heels then rise up and take a
breath. Repeat this rising motion for each breath. For video demonstration, click
- Lateral Bend
a. To perform lateral bend, also known as a simple side bend, place your hands
above your head, palms touching the back of your neck in somewhat of a wing
position. Cross your legs in a sitting position. Then, move slowly to one side of your body allowing your elbow to touch your knee. Repeat this motion evenly on both sides for as long as desired. A video demonstration shows this movement here.
- Seated Moving Meditation
a. This movement is somewhat of a free movement. You allow your body to move
freely where your mind takes you. This allows your body to focus on mindfulness
for a deeper connection within. This can be done in a seated or standing position.
Here is an example of a standing moving meditation.
- Forward Fold
a. A forward fold is done by standing in a regular position with feet shoulder width
apart. Put your arms above your head with your hands together. Bend down,
keeping your back straight, bringing your hands to your feed or to the floor. Hold
this position as long as desired. For demonstration, click here.
- Cat Pose/Cow Pose
a. A cat/cow pose is great for stretching whether that be before a workout or just
before a yoga session. This is done in which your hands and knees are on the
ground, palms facing down. Lift up your back into an arched position (this is a cat
pose), then push your back downwards towards the floor (this is a cow pose).
Here is an example.
- Chair Pose
a. To perform this, stand up straight. Then, lift your arms straight over your head
and leave them close to your ears. Sit back like you are about to sit down in a
chair. Hold this pose for however long you can. Here is an example image.
Each of these poses is great for meditation and improving mindset. If you are suffering from
anxiety, overwhelming thoughts, and stress, this may be the exercise for you. Here at the
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, we offer yoga classes from trained instructors. Click here to
get more information about attending our student-led classes. This is a great way to get started
on your exercise or yoga journey.
Do not get discouraged,