With the hustle and bustle of summer internships, jobs and vacations, it is important not to forget about your health and well-being. It may be hard to get your zen on while you’re sipping margaritas or jet-setting to exotic places.
Fear not, Chaya Spencer a long-time student of yoga and owner of Shree Yoga Studios in Saddle River, NJ for 14 years explains the five best yoga positions to keep yourself centered during the summer months. Spencer explains that these are the best poses because they are simple enough to do outside on the beach but still produce great benefits.
1.) Warrior 1
Stand tall with your feet together and arms by your sides. Separate your feet 4 to 5 feet apart, keeping them parallel. Inhale and lift your arms up overhead shoulder-width apart, palms facing each other. Exhale and turn your right foot and leg 90 degrees out to the right. Turn your left foot in, toward the right, at a 45-degree angle. Rotate your hips and torso to face the same direction as your right leg.
2.) Warrior 2
Begin in Warrior 1. Take a deep breath. As you exhale, bend your right knee so your right thigh and shin form a right angle. Less than 90 degrees is okay; bend your knee as far as you can while keeping the outer edges of your back foot pressing flat into the floor. Lower your arms to shoulder height, palms facing down and look out over your right hand. Hold for 3 to 10 slow, deep breaths—about an 8-second inhale and 8-second exhale, both through the nose.
3.) Warrior 3
Begin in Warrior 2. Bend at the waist, lean your chest down so it’s resting over your right thigh (right leg forward, knee bent). Keep your arms straight in front of you with your palms together. Your belly will be touching your thigh, but don’t put any weight on it. Shift your weight forward to your right leg. As you straighten that leg, lift your left leg off the ground, your arms, torso, and left leg should be parallel to the ground with both hips facing the floor. For stability, keep your belly in and strong. Lift your head slightly and look out over your fingers. Hold for 3 to 10 slow, deep breaths. Return to start and repeat on the left side.
4.) Tree Pose
Start standing upright, feet should-width apart. As you exhale, place your left foot on the inside part of your right leg, close to the groin area, with the toes pointing downward. As you inhale, stretch your arms sideways to form a T, palms facing down. As you exhale, bring your palms together in prayer position. Raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms in prayer position. Take 5 deep breaths here, then return to start and repeat on the right side.
5.) Eagle Pose
Start standing upright, feet should-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, lift your left foot up and, balancing on your right foot, cross your left thigh over the right. Point your left toes toward the floor, press the foot back, and then hook the top of the foot behind the lower right calf. Balance on the right foot. Stretch your arms straight in front of you, cross the arms in front of your torso so that the right arm is above the left and then bend your elbows. Put the right elbow into the crook of the left, and raise the forearms perpendicular to the floor. The backs of your hands should be facing each other. Press the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left, so that the palms are now facing each other. The thumb of the right hand should pass in front of the little finger of the left. Now press the palms together, lift your elbows up, and stretch the fingers toward the ceiling. Take 5 deep breaths, unwind and return to start. Repeat on the other side.