10 Best Yoga Poses: Your Daily Yoga Routine

No matter where you find yourself on your fitness journey, there is one thing we all have in common: the need to stretch. Why? Well, it turns out there are many reasons.

Benefits of a Daily Yoga Routine

There are so many reasons to add yoga to your daily routine. Even a five-minute flow will provide you with:

1. Helps Stiffness and Sore Muscles

The most obvious benefit of stretching is to relieve stiff, sore muscles. Whether you are hurting from a hard workout or stiff from being sedentary, stretching alleviates muscle pain. And it’s a more natural and inexpensive solution than popping Advil or Tylenol—both of which can be hard on your body over time. Stretching after workouts helps prevent your muscles from becoming stiff and sore the next day, so you can be ready to get back at it again tomorrow.

2. Increases Range of Motion

Everything in our bodies is connected: muscles, bones, and joints included. If the muscles around the joint aren’t flexible, it’s difficult to move efficiently. In other words, muscle stiffness can prevent you from doing full range of motion exercises, cause injury, and worst of all keep you from progressing with your fitness goals. Even those who DON’T exercise regularly will find that skipping stretching limits the ability to take full strides when you walk, reach for things, or move with a complete range of motion. Skip stretching and you’ll eventually have that familiar “grandpa shuffle.”

3. Relieves Stress

Don’t underestimate the damage stress can have on both your mental and physical health. A brief stretch break that utilizes deep breathing can provide a respite during the day to find clarity and slow down your breath.

The bottom line is this: maintaining flexibility is the key to feeling good, preventing injury, moving well, and continuing to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle well into your second half of life. And while you probably know that yoga provides the flexibility benefits that everyone desires, you may not have the time or the desire to get into a regular yoga practice. But truthfully, if you only do a handful of poses each day, you’ll start to see the difference in how your body looks and feels. Try our 10 yoga poses below to get a simple stretch every day that will benefit your mind and body.

10 Yoga Poses To Do Every Day

This 5-minute yoga workout gives you 10 yoga poses you should add to your daily workout routine:

1. Standing Side Bend

Lengthen a compressed spine and a tight back by moving in a new direction: sideways!

  1. Stand tall with feet and legs together and reach both arms straight up overhead as you inhale.
  2. Lower your right arm down the right side of your body and exhale as you lengthen the left arm over the head, bending your body gently to the right.
  3. Inhale to return arms overhead to center and exhale as you repeat on the left side.

Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Downward Dog

Stretch the entire backside of your body: your back, hamstrings, calves, and Achilles.

  1. Begin in a kneeling position on your mat with hands directly under shoulders, fingers spread wide.
  2. Tuck your toes under and engage your abdominals as you push your body up off the mat so only your hands and feet are on the mat.
  3. Press through your hands, moving your chest gently toward your thighs and your heels gently toward the floor.

Hold for 30 seconds.

3. Up Dog/Cobra

Open your chest and the front of your shoulders for better posture.

  1. Begin lying face down on your mat with your head slightly lifted and your hand sitting directly under your shoulders.
  2. Point your toes so the tops of your feet are on the mat.
  3. As you exhale, press through your hands and the tops of your feet raising your body and legs up off the ground until arms are straight.

Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Crescent Lunge

Open tight hip flexors and lengthen your spinal column.

  1. From a standing position, step the ball of your left foot to the back of the mat. Keep your feet slightly wider than one another like you’re standing on railroad tracks.
  2. Reach both arms straight overhead and bend the right knee to 90 degrees.
  3. Relax your shoulders as you continue reaching up and lengthening the back leg. Hold 30 seconds and switch sides.

Hold for 30 seconds.

5. Cat

Relieve a tight back and maintain spinal flexibility.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.
  2. Start with your spine in a “neutral” or long position, then slowly tuck your tailbone and lower the crown of your head so your back gently rounds.
  3. Draw your navel up to your spine and breathe gently as you hold the stretch.

Hold for 30 seconds.

6. Cow

Relieve a tight back and maintain spinal flexibility.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees with hands directly under shoulders and knees directly under hips.
  2. Start with your spine in a “neutral” or long position, then gently lift your heart and tailbone so your back gently curves downward. Be sure to focus on the lifting; do not press your back downward. Let the curve happen naturally.
  3. Look slightly upward with a relaxed neck and breathe gently.

Hold for 30 seconds.

7. Pigeon

One of the best hips stretches around. Open hips and lower back with traditional pigeon or do it lying on your back.

  1. Begin in a plank position. Tighten your abdominals and pull your right knee toward your right hand placing your right foot as close to your left hand as you can.
  2. Keep your back leg long and keep your hips even as you relax your weight through the middle of your hips.
  3. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds. Step back into plank and switch sides.

Hold for 30 seconds.

8. Happy Baby

A yoga pose of relaxation! You will also open your groin, inner thighs, and lower back.

  1. Begin lying on your back and grab your big toes with your index and middle fingers.
  2. Gently draw toes down so knees pull toward shoulders. Keep elbows gently pressing knees open.
  3. Relax and breathe. Hold 30 seconds.

Hold for 30 seconds.

9. Yogi Squat

Yogi squat has been called the “pose of youth.” Keeping your hip flexors open and hip joint mobile, this pose will keep you walking and moving like a young person.

  1. Begin on feet, crouched down with tailbone between ankles and hands in prayer at chest.
  2. Continue to press hands firmly together while at the same time pressing elbows against inner thighs.
  3. Hold and breathe for 30 seconds.

Hold for 30 seconds.

10. Windshield Wiper

Stretch external hips, lower back, and relieve sciatica.

  1. Begin on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms stretched out to the sides.
  2. Gently lower your knees to the left side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze right and breathe.
  3. Engage your abdominals and slowly pull your knees back to the start position.
  4. Gently lower your knees to the right side of your body and place on the floor. Gaze left and breathe.

Hold for 30 seconds.

Printable Yoga Poses

Print these 10 yoga poses as a daily reminder to stretch. Your body will thank you for it!

READ THIS NEXT: 12 Yoga Poses To Alleviate Back Pain

The post 10 Best Yoga Poses: Your Daily Yoga Routine appeared first on Get Healthy U | Chris Freytag.

This content was originally published here.

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