As we try to get through the challenges of life, especially right now, it is important to keep the energy or ‘prana’ flowing efficiently through the body.

‘Prana’ is the vital life force that helps optimise both voluntary and involuntary functions in our body while increasing our overall well-being. And yoga helps the flow purify your body and mind through chakras or energy centres. The Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ means union and can be defined as bringing together mind and body to the present moment by the use of breath. With International Yoga Day around the corner (21 June), learn some beginner-friendly and powerful yoga poses (asanas) to reduce anxiety and improve conscious body movement.

These eight invigorating yoga poses will help you connect your breath with movement and guide you back into calming waters when going gets rough.

yoga poses
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Anjaneyasana or Crescent Moon Pose

In the lunging back pose, Anjaneyasana stretches the muscles of hips, thighs and quadriceps while opening up the chest, shoulders and torso. This pose is considered to keep you fresh and energised throughout the day and improve overall balance. If you are a beginner, make sure to lunge back gradually and start by trying to hold this pose for 20-30 seconds before you start releasing it.

yoga poses
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Virabhadrasana I or Warrior Pose 1

Warrior 1 is a strength-building and foundational yoga pose that helps develop a strong core, strengthen leg muscles and prepares one for advanced postures such as Warrior Pose 2 and Warrior Pose 3. It is a great pose to test your body’s flexibility and stretch your lower as well as upper body. This will help you stretch and tone muscles of the chest, shoulder, abdomen and back.

yoga poses
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Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose

Cobra pose provides much-needed stretch for the upper body to give the energy boost and increases mobility. The pose opens up the chest cavity and shoulders while increasing the flexibility in the arms and groin as you move forward. This pose is great to release stress and open up your heart chakra.

yoga poses
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Vrikshasana or Tree Pose

Standing tree pose is one of the easiest yoga asanas to enhance stability and energy flow throughout the body. The pose boosts awareness while working on the core to coordinate the upper and lower body. If your body needs balancing and stability, you should try this pose. Be sure to practice one side at a time.

yoga poses
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Balasana or Child Pose

The Child Pose is easy to do and helps oxygenate your entire body using rhythmic breathwork and movement. This pose gently warms up the spine and prepares you for advanced yoga postures. The restful pose helps in stretching your front torso including shoulders, neck, spine and gently relieves stress, fatigue, back pain and neck pain.

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Seated Garudasana or Eagle Pose

Seated Eagle Pose is an excellent way to stretch your legs and hips, strengthen your core and correct your posture. It is great to relieve stress in your neck or head muscles especially from long hours of sitting in front of the gadgets. This beginner-friendly yoga pose can be done standing as well. Make sure to hold your breath for a few seconds before releasing the pose.

yoga poses
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Dandayamana Bharmanasana or Balancing Table Pose

Balancing Table Pose pairs rhythmic movement with stretching to gently improve balance in each side of the body. This beginner-friendly yoga pose helps build core muscles, improve memory and focus, relieves fatigue, lengthens the spine and improves mindfulness. Make sure to gently flow between the poses on each side.

yoga poses
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Trikonasana or Triangle Pose

Trikonasana or Triangle Pose helps open the chest cavity and opens up the throat as well as heart chakras. It is a great pose to enhance physical and mental equilibrium while strengthening upper as well as lower body muscles such as legs, knees, chest, shoulders, arms, spine, calves and hamstrings. The pose helps alleviate stress, symptoms of menopause, neck pain, sciatica and anxiety. Make sure to keep the eyes open to stay balanced throughout the pose.