Yoga is fantastic for your body and mind overall, but some of you may have specific goals in mind. Here are some poses that might just help you will some of these goals!

For upper body strength: There are quite a few poses that build strength in your arms. Some of the simpler ones are downward facing dog,  plank, and chaturanga.  Plank is especially a great arm strengthener because there are many different variations of it. Plus, when you combine plank and chaturanga together it becomes a pushup! If you are feeling more advanced, crow pose is a great arm strengthener as well. This pushes you more though because it also requires you to balance!

For lower body strength: Most people probably underestimate what yoga can do for their lower body strength. While it is not likely to build visible muscle, it can absolutely make you stronger. Poses for lower body strength include warrior one and 2, chair pose,  and eagle pose. The two warrior poses are probably the easiest of the bunch, so if you are just starting out try these, and be gentle still. Chair pose when done properly should cause a mild burning in your thighs. Remember it should never, ever be excruciating pain, you should just be able to feel your muscles working.  Eagle pose, like crow pose, is a bit more advanced as it requires you to find a good center of balance.

For balance: Balance is one of the most important elements in yoga, but finding balance can help you outside of your practice as well. Some poses to help you increase your balance are half moon, balancing butterfly, bow (0r dancer),  side plank,  and headstand.  Balancing butterfly is the easiest of these poses, but remember most of them also have modifications. If you can not do a side plank or headstand on your first try, don’t give up! Just keep practicing, and eventually your balance will be right where it needs to be to accomplish the pose.

Hopefully, some of these poses will help you accomplish what your body needs. Remember, yoga as a whole focuses on strength, flexibility, and balance, and there are many more poses out there to help with all of those things.