Why Yoga?

Yoga is a great activity that strengthens, stabilizes, and reduces stress. Adding any of these exercises to your daily routine can improve your health and wellness!

#1: Extended Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Benefits of Pose:

  • Stretches arms, low back, and ankles
  • Relieves back pain
  • Promotes relaxation and mindfulness

How to Perform:

  • Begin on hands and knees
  • Gentle rock back to sit on your heels while keeping your hands stationary 
  • You should feel a light stretching in your lower back
  • Hold 30 seconds then return to starting position; repeat 3 times

Yoga Poses You Should Master

#2: Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Benefits:

How to Perform:

  • Begin standing upright with feet together and hands relaxed at your sides
  • While keeping your knees straight, slowly bend forward and extend your hands toward the floor. If you aren’t able to touch the floor, that is okay. 
  • You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs
  • Hold 30 seconds before slowly returning to starting position; repeat 3 times

#3: Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Benefits:

  • Stretches hip flexors
  • Strengthens hip, knees, and back
  • Decreases back and hip pain

How to Perform:

  • Begin kneeling on one knee 
  • Gently rock your weight forward onto your front leg until you feel a stretch down the front of your back leg 
  • Make sure you don’t let your front knee extend over your toes when shifting your weight forward; You may need to step your front foot forward a bit to prevent this
  • Lift your chest and arms upwards to the sky 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds before rocking your weight back and relaxing; Repeat 3 times leading with each leg

#4: Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Benefits:

  • Strength and endurance for arms, back, hips, and knees
  • Core and hip strengthening can lead to decreased hip, back, and knee pain

How to Perform:

  • Begin with feet about shoulder-width apart and arms extended up overhead 
  • Slowly bend your knees and shift your weight backward as if you are going to sit on a chair; Try not to let your knees go past your toes 
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds; Repeat 3 times 

 Yoga Poses You Should Master

#5: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana)

Benefits:

  • Strengthens arms, core/back, hips, and thighs 
  • Stretches hips and groin
  • Challenges balance

How to Perform:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms overhead (mountain pose – Tadasana)
  • Step one leg back, with your toes pointing away from you
  • Lower your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing down
  • Bend your front knee to where it is perpendicular over your ankle
  • Sink your back hip into the floor

 Yoga Poses You Should Master

#6: Plank Pose on Hands (Kumbhakasana)

Benefits

  • Strengthens arms/shoulders, core, hips, thighs, and calves

How to perform

  • Begin on your hands and knees, tucking your toes under and keeping your feet together.
  • Take a deep inhale and on the exhale bring your body forward with your shoulders directly over your wrists and legs straight.
  • Hold the position and breathe.

Everyday Health: 7 Yoga Poses You Should Master

#7: Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

Benefits

  • Strengthens core, hips, knees, ankles, and feet
  • Challenges balance
  • Promotes concentration and mindfulness 

How to perform

  • Begin by standing shoulder-width apart, tall back, arms alongside your body.
  • Slowly shift your weight to one leg and lift the other leg off the floor.
  • Place the sole of the foot in the air on the inside of the opposite thigh.
  • Your toes should be pointing down and your pelvis completely straight.
  • Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling with palms together.

 Yoga Poses You Should Master

BONUS: Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

Benefits

  • Helps the body recover, cool down
  • Peace, calmness, tranquility 

How to perform

  • Lay on your back with your arms to your side (palms up) and toes turned slightly out
  • Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing
  • Stay still and feel your body sink into the floor, one segment at a time

Yoga Poses You Should Master

Above are eight great ways ANYONE can work on their health and wellness without needing expensive home equipment or a gym membership. While challenging your strength, flexibility, and balance in these various asanas (positions), you also have time to improve on your mental health through meditation and relaxation. Daily exercise is important, and Yoga is a perfect way to mix up the routine with a low impact, active recovery workout. If you experience any pain, weakness or instability during these workouts, give one of our clinics a call or request an appointment online to speak with one of our physical therapists.