Bennd Staff Picks: Our Top Four Yoga Poses to Jumpstart the New Year
The beginning of a new year allows us the opportunity to start fresh and create clear intentions around the next twelve months. Yoga is a great outlet to bring our body, mind, and spirit into balance. It creates space and softness in the body while easing the mind and invigorating the soul. Practicing on Bennd's herb-infused mats can help enhance these benefits and make your flow that much more enjoyable.
Below are some yoga poses to help propel you into 2022 with a positive attitude and abundant energy, leaving you feeling your best.
Downward facing dog with a twist (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)
Come into a downward-facing dog by tucking your toes under and pressing into the palms to extend your legs, creating an inverted “V” shape with your body. Keep your spine long and a micro bend in your knees as you press the mat away. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders and gaze at your navel. Hold still and breathe in downward facing dog for a few moments. After around three breaths, bend your right knee and root firmly through your right hand as you reach underneath your body for the outside of your right calf with your left hand, coming into a twist. Encourage your body deeper into the twist by using the strength of your left arm to pull slightly on the left thigh. Hold for a few breaths, then go ahead and switch sides.
Big toe pose (Padangusthasana)
Stand at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width distance apart. Hang heavy in a forward fold for a few moments, then grip your big toes with your peace fingers and shift your weight into your heels. Inhale, halfway lift straighten out the spine, then exhale bend at the elbows to fold and encourage your chest toward your thighs.
Tree pose (Vrksasana)
Stand tall at the top of your mat in mountain pose; feet separated, hips-width apart, arms by your sides, and hands facing forward. Shift your weight into your right leg and place your left foot on your right calf or thigh, avoiding the knee joint. If you have trouble balancing, keep your toes on the mat and plant your heel on your right ankle, knee facing out to the side. Find your final posture and engage the right leg to press back into the left foot. Find a steady gaze and keep your hands by your side for a few breaths or until your feel balanced. You can extend your arms overhead or out to the side to grow your tree if you feel called. Hold for five breaths before coming back to mountain pose to transition to the other side.
Half moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
From a standing position, transition into Warrior III by shifting your weight into your right foot and extending your left leg long behind you at hip height, flexing your foot toward the ground. Gaze down at your right toes and plant your right hand on a block or the mat outside your right pinky toe. Peel your left hip open toward the ceiling and extend your left arm skyward to come into a half-moon pose. Hold and breathe for five breaths, then slowly square your hips to the mat and come back into a standing posture to transition to the other side.
Finish this practice by lying in Savasana on your mat for a few minutes to allow the effects of these poses to set in. Following your yoga practice is a great time to meditate, so consider taking a seat on a Bennd meditation cushion or yoga bolster to sit with yourself in silence. Then, transition slowly out of the sequence and back into your day. We hope these poses help you feel open, inspired, and ready to take on the new year.