Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that centres on stretching and breathing. New research is that it can help you sleep better and can even help fight mental helath issues such as depression and anxiety, so as well as getting fit and flexible, there are now even more reasons to try Yoga.
If you want to give it a try, but don’t want to fork out on a DVD or exercise class until you know if you like it, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together two galleries of yoga poses and positions to try in the morning or in the evening. Have a read of the descriptions and then click through to view our step-by-step guides to these yoga sequences.
Here are two sequences from Yoga For You by Tara Fraser. One to start the day and one to end it.
Morning yoga sequence
The following series of yoga poses can provide a dynamic start to the day – try to set aside some time in your morning routine to practice. If you can, face the sun as you carry out your yoga poses – think of the sequence as a revitalising way to greet the day. We all naturally feel stiffer in the morning than the evening, so don’t be surprised if the first few poses in your morning sequence feel a little tight. Breathe into each pose and visualise your body loosening up as you move into it. Take your time and allow yourself a relaxing posture at intervals if you need it. Build up to the full sequence over time.
Evening yoga sequence
This sequence is an excellent way to unwind after a long, tiring day and to free stress and aid digestion and sleep. The postures help to open and extend both the front and back surfaces of the body, relieving feelings of tension, particularly around the upper back, neck and shoulders – ideal if you work in a job where you spend most of your day sitting at a desk. Prepare with a few rounds of full- or half-sun salutation. Evening sequence should be performed as smoothly and fluidly as possible – listen to your intuition and allow it to guide you freely in to and out of each posture (as always, remember to do asymmetrical postures on both sides of your body). Try to stay in each pose for at least two to five breaths. Taking care to breathe evenly and steadily, allow energy to radiate through the body with each breath.