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Yoga to Energize Your Body and Mind

These 11 simple yoga poses will stretch your muscles, reduce back pain, refresh your mind, and rejuvenate your body.
Breath of Fire with Raised Thumbs
Mountain Pose
Chair Pose or Standing Squat, Part 1
Chair Pose or Standing Squat, Part 2
Eagle
Eagle at Rest
Eagle Soaring
Archer's Pose
Bridge
Warrior One Pose
Warrior Two Pose

AVERY POWELL

Eagle

1. Stand with feet together, back straight. Bring your left arm under your right, crossing both arms at the elbow. Place palms together.

2. Bring hands toward your face, fingers touching nose and thumbs under chin, if possible.

3. Bend both knees slightly. Gaze at a spot on the floor and slowly cross your left leg over your right thigh.

4. If you can, wrap left foot around right ankle or calf.

5. Bend your right leg a little further, spine remaining straight and hips forward. Breathe deeply and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

Mountain Pose

1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart, feet parallel.

2. Tighten and lift the muscles above your kneecaps; tuck your tailbone. Lift your head up and out from your shoulders.

3. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs. Raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Relax your shoulders, and stretchfrom the armpits. Exhale.

4. Gaze straight ahead; breathe slowly and deeply. Hold position for 10 counts.

5. Release your arms and let them float slowly down to your sides.

Benefits: Aligns the spine and corrects posture problems, restores balance to the body and the mind.

Chair Pose or Standing Squat, Part 1

1. Stand with feet under hips, arms held straight out from chest, palms facing down.

2. Exhale and slowly lower you body into a squat position as though sitting on an imaginary chair.

3. Keep feet flat on the floor, knees over ankles.

4. Gaze beyond your arms. Hold for a slow count of 10.

Chair Pose or Standing Squat, Part 2

1. Press your knees together and raise your heels off the floor while remaining in a squat position. Hold for a count of 5.

2. Straighten your legs and upper body while remaining on the balls of your feet. Hold for a count of 5.

3. Lower heels to the floor. Lower your arms. Relax and feel the energy stream through your body.

Eagle

1. Stand with feet together, back straight. Bring your left arm under your right, crossing both arms at the elbow. Place palms together.

2. Bring hands toward your face, fingers touching nose and thumbs under chin, if possible.

3. Bend both knees slightly. Gaze at a spot on the floor and slowly cross your left leg over your right thigh.

4. If you can, wrap left foot around right ankle or calf.

5. Bend your right leg a little further, spine remaining straight and hips forward. Breathe deeply and hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

Eagle at Rest

Start in eagle pose. If it feels comfortable, slowly bend forward, rounding your back.

Eagle Soaring

1. Straighten upper torso. Release left leg; hold it out to the side and raise your arms. Let your eagle soar!

2. Release and reverse the pose. Repeat once more.

Benefits: Firms upper arms, thighs, calves, and abdomen, strengthens knee and ankle joints, brings fresh supply of blood to sexual organs and kidneys, improves balance and concentration.

Archer's Pose

1. Stand with feet about 3 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees; turn left foot in about 30 degrees.

2. Keep hips and shoulders facing forward. Bend your right knee, lowering the hips about a foot.

3. Make fists and bring them to your sternum. Straighten your right arm and look in that direction. Imagine there is a large bow in your right hand; pull back on the string with the left hand.

4. Bend your right knee slightly and sink down, keeping your gaze fixed on the target.

5. Breathe slowly and deeply into the center of your chest. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you lift your chest and pull back more with your left hand. Hold for a minute.

6. Lower your arms and straighten your legs. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Strengthens the nerves, opens the shoulder joints and chest, strengthens the leg muscles.

Bridge

1. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet near your buttocks and hip-width apart.

2. Contract our buttocks and curl your pelvis toward the ceiling, pressing your back into the floor.

3. Slowly lift your lower back off the floor. Arms are beside your body, palms down.

4. The front of your body resembles a diagonal plank. Weight is on shoulders and feet. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.

Warrior One Pose

1. Stand with your right foot in front, pointing straight out. Bring your left leg behind you and point your left foot out to the side.

2. Slowly bend your right knee into a right angle. Continue to keep your back leg straight and your back foot pressing into the floor. Look straight ahead.

3. Extend your arms above your head, palms clasped together.

4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Release and switch sides.

Warrior Two Pose

1. Stand with your right foot in front, pointing straight out. Bring your left leg behind you and point your left foot out to the side.

2. Slowly bend your right knee into a right angle. Continue to keep your back leg straight and your back foot pressing into the floor. Look straight ahead.

3. Extend your arms, shoulder height, with your palms facing downward. Relax your throat, neck, and shoulders.

4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Release and switch sides.

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