September is National Yoga Awareness Month! This is a time to learn about the health benefits of yoga and to promote living a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga offers physical and mental benefits for people of all ages. And if you’re going through an illness, recovering from surgery or living with a chronic condition, yoga can become an integral part of treatment and help with healing.
Here are nine benefits of yoga from Johns Hopkins Medicine:
Try it: Tree Pose
Balance on one foot, while holding the other foot to your calf or above the knee (but never on the knee) at a right angle. Try to focus on one spot in front of you, while you balance for one minute.
Try it: Cat-Cow Pose
Get on all fours, placing your palms underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. First, inhale, as you let your stomach drop down toward the floor. Then, exhale, as you draw your navel toward your spine, arching your spine like a cat stretching.
Try it: Warrior pose
Place one leg in front of the other, bend your front knee so that it is directly over your ankle. Square your hips and shoulders. On an inhale extend your arms up alongside your ears.
Try it: Downward Dog Pose
Get on all fours, then tuck your toes under and bring your sitting bones up, so that you make a triangle shape. Keep a slight bend in your knees, while lengthening your spine and tailbone.
Try It: Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
Sit with your left side against a wall, then gently turn right and lift your legs up to rest against the wall, keeping your back on the floor and your sitting bones close to the wall. You can remain in this position for 5 to 15 minutes.
Try it: Child Pose
Come to your hands and knees. Bring your belly to rest between your thighs and root your forehead to the floor. You can stretch your arms in front of you with the palms toward the floor or bring your arms back alongside your thighs with the palms facing upwards.
Try It: Corpse Pose
Lie down with your limbs gently stretched out, away from the body, with your palms facing up. Try to clear your mind while breathing deeply. You can hold this pose for 5 to 15 minutes.
Try it: Chair Pose
Begin with your feet separated hip distance apart and parallel to one another. Spread your toes wide and ground down through all four corners of your feet. On an inhale, sweep your arms overhead with your palms facing one another. Keep your ears in line with your arms and relax your shoulders. Exhale and bend your knees deeply, as if you are sitting into a chair. Bring your thighs as close to parallel with the floor as your body feels comfortable allowing, and keep your knees hip distance apart. Hold the pose for five full, deep breaths.
Try it: Butterfly Pose
Come to a seated position and bring the soles of your feet together. Keep your spine tall and abs pulled in tight. Grab hold of each foot with your hands and place elbows against your inner thighs. Keeping your spine long, inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, slowly lower your torso forward pausing when you feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds or more.
How AFSPA Can Help
As an FSBP member you have access to meditation app discounts such as Honor Yoga, Pranamaya, and Calm. To learn more about these discounts and how to take advantage of them, check out this blog post.