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10 yoga poses worth learning more about

In the words of the late Vincent Van Gogh, “The best way to know life is to love many things.” This is why we loved all of your yoga poses on the pumpupapp. Check out our photo diary chronicling some of our favourite photos down below.

Bow Pose

@iyarbo’s bow pose wins our #MyResolution prize from our yoga pose challenge! The bow pose helps to elongate the front of your body. Not only does this position strengthen your back muscles, it helps to circulate blood and oxygen to your core.

Dancer’s Pose

@latasia_lovely and @gillianmicah’s pose symbolizes cosmic energy. It’s a fun pose that allows the practitioner to make their balance and focus more acute by focusing on one leg at a time. It stretches the thighs and shoulders and opens up the chest and lungs. Yoga has been crucial for @gillianmicah’s recovery from an eating disorder: "It helps relieve stress and calm your body down. I would highly suggest it regularly."

Inversions

pameladiazfc's forearm stand and elivkaa's handstand are both excellent examples of yoga inversions. Practicing yoga encourages us to “shake it off”, if you will: to break from habit or routine. Inversions are yoga's way of dramatically increasing blood and oxygen flow to our upper extremities. This reportedly accentuates mental concentration, cognitive functioning, and memory. If you’re stressed out over exams, assignments, or particularly a heavy workload, take a gander at inversions. 

Partner Poses

@minimimi26’s resolution for the year is to incorporate yoga into her fitness routine. She only just began to practice this year! Having a workout buddy helps to keep her accountable. Similarly, @beckydirsch has been using the benefits of partner yoga to help perfect her inversions and balance.

Side Angle Pose

@ramo5678’s side angle pose is perfect if you are sedentary for most of the day (office chair and library desk-dwellers, we’re talking to you). This pose will open up your chest, lungs, spine, and shoulders while strengthening your lower half. It will help to prepare your stabilizing muscles to perform more advanced poses.

Crow pose

@linds_3’s crow pose is something of a feat. She’s been working on it for awhile and gleefully shared the progress that she made since August 2014. "I could barely get my toes off the floor in the summer, but now I can hold it for a second and my technique is much better!," she exclaimed. "I can see strength in my arms and shoulders. I had no idea I had improved on this pose so much! That is why it is so important to keep track of your progress."

Lotus Pose

@bangerz10’s meditative position helps to calm the mind. Do this if you need a break! It’s a perfect pose for reflection. You’ll be able to align your intentions with your actions the more you meditate.

Check out our full #MyResolution photo challenge here

Follow Marinka’s 21-day yoga challenge on PumpUp @rinkae using the hashtag #21DayYogaChallenge. Find the full calendar here.

Let’s begin the 21 Day Yoga Challenge with a Sun Salutation A. It is a great way to warm up your body and get your day going. During this challenge you will learn the habit of doing yoga everyday and you have no excuse not to fit some yoga into your day as these only last for 10 minutes or less!

Pilates themed workout focusing on our abs and the core which is essential when you start working towards more challenging poses.

Since we sit so much during the day the lower back can really start hurting due that. In this sequence we will relieve the tensions out of the lower back. However, be careful with your lower back, when done incorrectly simple poses like forward fold might actually hurt you. Always try to keep a straight spine and don’t round it unless necessary.

Deep stretching with this relaxing Yin Yoga sequence fit into 10 minutes. Feel more at ease after completing this yoga routine! Usually a Yin yoga sequence lasts up until 90 minutes but let’s see how much we can do in 10mins!

Yoga might not be your first choice for arm muscle sculpting but it actually does help you get toned and strong arms, so let’s do some poses to help you achieve that!

A relaxing yoga routine that will also help you cure your hangover and make your inner organs feel better after a night out.

This is how to breathe positivity into your soul

There’s a saying that when we quiet the mind, the soul will speak. In this post, PumpUp member fitnessriss (@carissamarie2 on the app) teaches us how to internalize negativity and #SpreadPositivity through self-awareness.

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must find discipline and control one’s own mind.” – Buddha

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Open your mind to the infinite possibilities that inhabit our lives. Ponder the possibility that our lives are molded by our minds. Imagine your life without stress, pain, depression; all the outer negativity from work, school, peers, family, and even personal issues. It can all be mended from within.

Wouldn’t that be relief? Wouldn’t that life be a beautiful breeze? Well, it is. It is freedom of the soul, and it’s more than possible. The change you’ve been waiting for, that part of your life that you’ve been searching for that has been missing, it has been within you all along. Your despair, stress, and worry can be healed beginning with the way you see, think, and how you feel.

 You carry the freedom of your mind, body, and spirit, but it’s up to you to take that freedom and control the emotions and responses you have towards life. Our lives are altered by our reactions and it takes seconds to make that right or wrong decision to react. Indeed, we are only human, but we must be patient with ourselves and think before we act upon a simple emotion. I’m not telling you to bottle up your emotions, I’m telling you to acknowledge the negative ones, breathe in, and search for an easier, less stressful way to react to a situation.

Those few moments of pure awareness within yourself can free your mind of the way you view the outcomes and sometimes negative situations handed to you. But you are saving yourself from the unneeded pain, unwanted alterations, and even unacceptable anger or intolerance. Your reactions to the struggles and situations that this life will bring forth will define your outlook on life. You cannot let the negative ones get the best of you. Your love embodies the best of you and your negative emotions or reactions will only bring you out of touch with that love. No matter what life throws your way, you can overcome it. Always look at situations from all perspectives. Stay mindful of yourself and be aware of your emotions, but again, do not act upon the negative ones. If you breathe positivity into your soul, only a positive brighter life can be viewed through your now aware and tolerant eyes.

Free yourself from the barricaded rooms of stress, depression, and despair. You deserve the light. You deserve to feel the winds of happiness caress your skin. See the world for what it is and realize that only you can truly stop yourself from seeing that beautiful truth. Remember that this happiness and positive perspective of life isn’t something you need to search for – it’s already there with you.

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You possess the ability from within, right now. You can be happy and see this life full of light and feel the love, right now. Once you take hold of that new perspective you are living that life you’ve always wanted, you’ve found what was missing, you have it all in the palm of your hands. Hold it close, practice each day, stay mindful, and remain patient with yourself. You can spread the love and positivity to others, don’t just tell them to react differently, remind them of that self-awareness, and let them see the beauty of a more patient perspective of life.  

Follow Carissa on Tumblr fitnessriss, Tweet her at @risaamariee2, find her on instagram @rissmarie2, and best of all, #SpreadPositivity with her on PumpUp @carissamarie2!