Solo Yoga Moves
You can do the majority of yoga postures by yourself in the comfort of your home or wherever you have some quiet, relaxing space. Following are some of the most basic one-person yoga asanas.
The Triangle is a stretching asana that is similar to a move that people often do while warming up for aerobics or other physical routines. Stand up straight, with feet apart. Reach up with your left arm, bend to the right. Keep your right arm on the right leg for support, allowing it to slide down your leg as you stretch further. Hold for thirty seconds or one minute. Straighten up slowly while inhaling. Repeat stretch with the other side.
Lie face-down on the floor with your legs straight and together. Put your hands on the floor, palms down, to support your weight. Slowly bring your head and chest up off the floor, gradually bringing them up and back, as if you were looking up at the ceiling. Stretch the upper part of your body as far back as you can comfortably, while only raising your hips off the floor as little as possible. Hold the pose for several beats and then exhale while gradually lowering your head and shoulders back to the floor.
Every yoga pose actually consists of a three-step process: getting into the pose, holding it, and releasing it. The middle step is probably the most important — the longer you hold a pose, the more benefit you will generally get out of it.
Sit on the floor and bend your legs in toward you. Bring the soles of your feet together, keeping your feet as near to your body as possible. Alternate raising and lowering your knees to the floor.
This is the most familiar yoga pose, the one most people probably think of when they picture yoga or meditation. You sit on the floor and fold your legs in, one at a time, so that each foot is resting on the opposite thigh. This pose can be tricky for some people at first, so you may need to practice or wait until you've become a bit more limber by doing the Butterfly for a while first.
The Sun Salutation is a continuous cycle of twelve stretching moves. This is a great exercise because it involves all parts of the body, and is thus an effective all-purpose stretching routine. The steps are as follows:
Stand up straight with your feet together and your hands pressed together in front of you (envision a typical praying pose).
While inhaling, raise your arms straight above your head.
Exhale while slowly bringing your arms down to the floor in front of you (you can also grasp your calves with your hands).
Inhale and, with your hands on the floor, kick one leg out behind you, in a lunge type of movement.
Exhale and bring the other foot back behind you, so both legs are now outstretched behind you.
Inhale while lowering your hips and lower your body to the floor. You should be supporting yourself on your hands, with arms straight and head up.
Exhale while bending your elbows and lowering your head to the floor. You should now look as if you are about to do a pushup.
Continue to exhale steadily while raising yourself up on your arms. You should now be in the “raised pushup” position.
Inhale and bring one knee in toward your chest while keeping the other leg outstretched behind you.
Repeat step three, bending over and bringing your head toward your knees.
Inhale while lifting your arms above your head.
While slowly exhaling, drop your arms to your sides.
Many people find that they have great sexual encounters immediately after an intense yoga session. This is not surprising — the exercise has stimulated chemicals in the brain that boost the libido. Not to mention, the yoga session has helped you warm up and stretch out. Bottom line: You're limber, in touch with your body, and ready for action.
As the name implies, you should visualize yourself as a tree — perhaps a mighty oak — with your legs and feet keeping you planted firmly on the ground. Keeping one leg straight, bring your other foot up against the straight leg, so your foot rests against the opposite thigh. Take a few deep breaths and repeat, switching legs.
Get on your hands and knees, putting your head down while curving your back up. Envision the movement a cat makes while stretching. Hold this pose for a moment, then lift your head up while bringing your back down. Keep alternating poses slowly. This helps stretch your back and hips.