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10 Yoga Poses You Should Know & 1 You Should Never Neglect!

11.07.2013

Yoga, the ancient practice of postures, breathing and meditation, has been around for over 5,000 years but is continuing to gain popularity throughout the world.  And with its many health and fitness benefits - including strengthening, lengthening, balance, meditation and more - it's no wonder why so many are adopting the practice.  Here, celebrity trainer and yoga instructor Kristin McGee - who has trained Tina Fey, Steve Martin, LeAnn Rimes, and Bethenny Frankel, among others - shares the 11 yoga poses you should know to perfect your posture, strengthen your core, improve your balance, tone up, and release tension.

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
    This will keep you grounded and perfect your posture. Tadasana is the foundation for all standing yoga postures.




     
  2. Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2 Pose)
    Warrior 2 is a confidence-building pose. Warrior 2 is great for strengthening, stretching and shaping the hips, buttocks and thighs.  

     
  3. Marjaryasana (Cat) and Bitilasana (Cow) Pose
    Perfoming Cat/Cow regularly will keep your back safe and stretched out and strengthen your core. Great prep for Upward Dog and Downward Dog as well as a way to learn to link the breath and the movement together.  
     

     
  4. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
    Will help you with balance and focus and is a quintessential yoga pose. 


     
  5. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
    A pose that will stretch and strengthen your entire body. Downward Facing Dog is performed in the popular styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Power and Vinyasa. Downward dog is also a gentle inversion and great for letting the blood flow to the brain. I like to say “A Downward Dog a day keeps the Doctor away!”

     
  6. Chaturanga Dandasana (Narrow Arm Triceps Push-Up)
    The best way to tone your upper body and develop incredible strength. Also a posture that is performed in the yoga classes mentioned above.

     
  7. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
    I highly recommend pigeon to everyone. Pigeon is an incredible hip opener and stretch. Pigeon is great for athletes or desk bound office workers. I highly suggest doing this after a long workout, grueling day at work or airplane flight. 
  8. Navasana (Boat Pose)
    Boat pose is a solid yoga core strengthener. It targets the deep core muscles (transversus) and helps not only to tone the abdominals but also support the breath since our transversus is directly related to the diaphragm. 
  9. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
    Every yoga practice needs a good backbend. Bridge pose strengthens the hamstrings and glutes as well as opens up the chest and heart. Backbends are the anti-depressants of yoga, they keep our posture lifted and shoulders from rounding forward.
  10. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)—Forward bends are the counter poses to backbends. Forward bends are contemplative and help us unwind. Seated forward bend stretches the spine, back, and hamstrings as well as releases the neck and shoulders and any tension in our body. 

    LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
  11. Savasana (Corpse Pose)—The most important pose of the practice is final relaxation. I often have students who leave during corpse pose and it breaks my heart. The entire goal of the yoga practice is to find peace and contentment and to unite our mind and our body so we can achieve a state of bliss. If we don’t take the time to allow our self to truly let go, we can’t ever fully absorb all of the benefits of the yoga practice and our life. Savasana let’s us reap the rewards of our efforts we make and it’s a sweet surrender we all need to practice every time we unroll our mat. 

Ready to get started? Sign up for Kristin's newsletter here and get 30 minutes of free beginners yoga flow.

Renowned celebrity trainer, Kristin McGee, is certified in Yoga, Pilates and Fitness—and dedicated to a program of healthy eating for all.  She has just introduced her latest DVD, Prenatal Yoga & Pilates - Perfect for Moms-to-Be, choose from 5 different routines, to stay strong and sexy throughout pregnancy. While pregnant with her first, she developed a workout program for expectant mothers that has worked for her, and will work for you, too!  And her most recent APP is YOGA AND PILATES WITH KRISTIN MCGEE.  She has been featured on CNN, CBS Morning Show, Fox, Good Morning America, Tyra Banks to name a few, a Health Magazine Contributing Editor, a Fila Yoga Ambassador, and teaches at Reebok/Sports Club LA, Clay Health Club and Spa, Equinox Fitness, Yoga Works, and more.  Kristin has worked with a long list of celebs such as Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Bethenny Frankel, LeAnn Rimes, Emilia Clarke, Christine Stiller, Erin Heatherton, Savannah Guthrie and appeared in the DVD, Body by Bethenny.  Kristin trains people from all walks of life, from nutrition specialists, supermodels, CEOs, moms, to actors!     
For more great tips and inspiration, check out Kristin's website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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