Yoga is a practice that celebrates focus, stability, self-awareness, and strength (among other things). These yoga photos from the PumpUp community will inspire you to try something new.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @roxanneidk
Most people employed in office jobs (and even students!) find themselves slouching over a desk or couch for most of the day. Wheel pose is a practical pose, and it's here to help. Root your weight in your shoulders and your arms to make your wheel pose stronger. Ground your feet into the floor and use your legs to lift your torso up higher towards the ceiling. The wheel pose, or chakrasana, helps to correct your posture if you are sedentary for most of the day. It opens up your back and chest and draws deep, intense consciousness to you breath.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @hezza_96
For another variation on the wheel pose, keep your forearms grounded on the floor as you perform a backbend. Lift one leg off the ground and raise it straight up and overhead. Keep the other foot raised off the ground, with the balls of your feet planted on the floor. Maintain your balance throughout the entire pose. "Stretching is just my favourite thing to do," said PumpUp member hezza_96. "It relaxes me when I'm stressed. My lower back is getting stronger and more flexible and I'm really proud of how my backbends are improving."
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member emmalienchen
You can look like a certified boss when you do the tree pose. It’s a perfect way to improve single-legged stability while you tackle various chores throughout the day. You’ll engage your core, strengthen your legs, and make yourself a lot less prone to injury. Try doing the tree pose while you’re brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or waiting in line for the bus. Begin in a standing position, rooting both feet into the ground. Slowly lift one leg up and plant your foot along your inner thigh. Focus your gaze on one point in the room to help maintain balance. Bring your arms straight up over head. For an extra stretch, close your palms together and press them behind your back.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @kabuki
Don't eat away your sorrows
. Instead, perform seated twists to wring out your worries and relieve tension in your shoulders. Sit upright with both legs straight out in front of you. Cross one leg over the other, bending your knee so that your foot rests near your inner thigh. Turn your gaze away from the straight leg and either place your hand on the outside of your bended knee, or interlace your hands behind you. Tuck your knee into your elbow as you do so and take deep breaths.
Lord of the Dance Pose (Needle)
This pose is as beautiful as it is beneficial for your body. Not only will you improve your stability, but you'll also strengthen your legs, ankles, thighs, shoulders, and your chest. Ground your feet firmly into the floor and make sure that you open your hips with a few other preparatory poses before you attempt this. Lift one leg off the ground and grasp your foot with your hand, bringing it as far towards your head as you can. Bend your upper body towards your legs for a deeper chest and shoulder stretch.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @emschaeffer
The forearm handstand is quite a feat to achieve without the wall. Practice with a partner to become comfortable with this challenging pose. It will test the limits of your upper body strength, stability, and more. Inversions are a great way to relieve headaches and improve your focus. The key is to plant your forearms firmly towards the ground. Face a wall and practice touching your feet up and overhead. Become comfortable with holding this pose for a few seconds, then try for longer.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member rinkae
The lotus pose is perfect for long periods of seated meditation. You'll improve your concentration as you gently close your eyes, crossing your legs and keeping your back straight. Focus your attention on your breath. Clear your thoughts and be mindful of the present. If you need to clear your mind after a long and busy day, the lotus pose is for you. For a more advanced variation, bring your crossed legs up towards your chest and wrap your elbows underneath your feet. Bring the legs tighter towards your chest to deepen the stretch.
Wide side lunge
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @vidy
Tight hips are a common problem for runners. Open them up with a deep, standing side lunge. Begin in a wide legged stance and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Point one foot towards the side and shift your weight towards the other foot into a deep lunge, keeping your body upright. Bring your hands to the ground and fold your body forward for a deeper stretch. This lunge is perfect for building up to more advanced poses.
Reverse warrior pose
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @ramo568
Reach for the stars with the reverse warrior pose and you'll get a great stretch in your obliques and hips. Have one leg form a ninety degree angle with the floor and reach the other foot back, keeping it as straight as possible. Reach both arms straight out towards the side and hold the pose for a few breaths. Next, inhale and reach one arm up towards the ceiling, extending the other arm down towards the floor. Look up towards the ceiling and sink your hips, grounding your weight through your feet. Hold for a few breaths.
Photo courtesy of PumpUp member @issa_
Loved these inspiring yoga photos from the PumpUp community on the first-ever International Day of Yoga? There are more to be discovered! Tag your yoga photos with #TeamPumpUp on the PumpUp app and Instagram so that we can see and share them!