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Home > Blog > October 2015 > The Benefits of Yoga & 3 Poses You Can Try Today

The Benefits of Yoga & 3 Poses You Can Try Today

Posted on Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bald Head Island Yoga 2015

Picture this: alone on the beach in the early hours of the morning, waves lapping on the shore, and a gentle breeze hits your face as you switch from downward facing dog to child’s pose -  what could be more peaceful than that?

I know what some of you are thinking… a walk on the beach is way more peaceful than twisting oneself into a pretzel.  

However, studies show that yoga has a whole host of benefits that include relaxation, improved circulation, increased flexibility, improved sleep, weight loss, and mindfulness - all guaranteed to make your vacation that much more enjoyable.  

 

But where do you start?  


Whether you’re new to yoga or not, Bald Head Island Yoga makes it easy for visitors to reap the benefits of stress relief and mindfulness on every vacation. Betsy Kimmel, founder of Bald Head  Island Yoga, holds small weekly classes for beginners and experts alike, in a picturesque setting by the water at the Bald Head Island Association.*

Each class is carefully guided by Betsy through a sequence of poses that leave you more invigorated and relaxed than when you first came to the mat. With this gentle workout, you’ll focus on breathing and postural techniques that strengthen the core and lengthen the limbs, all while enjoying the picturesque views that Bald Head Island has to offer. The classes are small and attentive, ensuring you get the most out of every practice, with modifications and variations given as needed. For an updated schedule or to secure your next yoga practice on the Island, please visit us here.  

*From Thursday - Sunday October 15-18, Bald Head Island Yoga will be hosting the Om Sweet Om Bald Head Island Yoga Retreat. Throughout the extended weekend, you can enjoy daily yoga, meditation, island adventure - bike, hike, paddle, a one-hour massage and more. To view the house or sign up for the yoga retreat, please visit us here. 


The best part about outdoor yoga is you can easily take what you’ve learned on the mat and apply the same techniques when you’re on your own. If you’re on the Island this week but cannot make it to a class, we encourage you to head to the beach and try out several of the poses below. The following 3 poses below are great for beginners and are guaranteed to promote stress relief and a strong sense of presence for the day ahead.  


Warrior II Pose



The position of warrior II is calming and invigorating at the same time, making it the perfect pose for beginners to learn from. To begin, stand with feet wider than hip-width. Turn right toes out and left toes inward at a 45 degree angle (see picture). Keep your left leg straight and core engaged. Extend your arms directly out from your shoulders (your right arm in front and your left arm behind) and gaze ahead, past your right fingertips. Hold for 10 breaths and then repeat on opposite side.  



Dolphin Pose


Dolphin pose is a variation on Downward Facing Dog that gives you a stronger strength exercise in your quad muscles. To begin, come into a straight-arm plank with wrists under shoulders and legs extended straight back. Keeping your hands in place, shift your hips up and back. Similar to Downward Facing Dog, point tailbone straight up to the sky and pull your shoulders away from your ears. Make sure your head and neck are relaxed and continue to breathe deeply for 10 full breaths. 



Pigeon Pose


Pigeon pose is a great exercise for releasing tension within the body and for lengthening out  your limbs and hips. To begin, come into downward dog with tailbone pointing towards the sky. Lift right leg up to hip height and gently swing it forward. Bend your right knee and lower it onto the mat - as seen in picture above. Try to get your shin as close to parallel with the front of the mat as possible. Your left leg will stay straight as your head falls forward to rest your hands or forehead on the mat in front of you. Hold for 10 deep breaths and repeat on opposite side.  

To get started with outdoor yoga today, please visit the Bald Head Island Yoga website here