8 Basic Yoga Poses
You Can Do Everyday
By Nicole Ganglani
Practicing yoga has indeed become one of the most advantageous fitness activities. Although, with everyday’s life demands and our time being taken away with work or school, it gets challenging to squeeze in a yoga session. Thankfully, there are a number of yoga poses you can do everyday and anywhere that are helpful and beneficial to your body.
We, at 8list, asked Jasmine, a yoga enthusiast, to demonstrate 8 yoga moves one can easily do to help energize your day or that can even do as part of your workout. Here are 8 poses you can do:
The cat-cow is the perfect pose to do as soon as you wake up. The pose stretches the muscles of your hips, back, abdomen, chest, and lungs. Not to mention that this pose increases flexibility to your neck, shoulders, and spine.
- Arch your spine up and look down at your thighs.
- Take a breath, bring your spine back to neutral and then look up while dropping your belly.
- Repeat this four times.
2. Downward-facing dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana)
Another great way to wake up is by doing the downward-facing dog pose as this stretches out the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and arms. This pose is known to calm the brains and relieve stress as an energizer stretch to kick off your day.
- Start on all four with a flat neutral spine.
- From there, tuck your toes, lift your hips, bring your ears between your arms and look down at your thighs.
- Bring your heels toward the ground, and pedal your feet to wake up your hamstrings and calves.
- Hold this for three breaths before coming back down to your hands and knees.
3. Tree Pose and the extending tree pose
Considered as one of the most basic yoga poses, the tree pose stretches the entire body from head to toe. Not only does this pose enhance the flexibility of legs, back, and chest muscles, but also increases stamina, concentration, and immunity. The three pose calms and relaxes the central nervous system, cures rheumatic pain and treats body numbness.
- Stand erect. Keep the feet together.
- Fold the right leg and placed it at the top of left thighs with the toes of right leg should be pointed downwards.
- Extend your arms above your head.
- Inhale and try to make Namaskar mudra with your palms.
- Balance the pose as long as you can because balancing is utmost important in Tree pose.
- Repeat the same with left leg.
The triangle pose stretches and strengthens the core and legs and is the perfect pose if you have a long full day of walking. If done properly, the triangle pose helps strengthen legs, knees, ankles, abdominals, obliques, and the back. It relieves stress and helps alleviate back pain. This pose can also help if you’re experiencing diarrhea, eye strain, low and high blood pressure and heart conditions.
- Starting from standing mountain pose, turn sideways on your mat.
- Walk or jump your feet apart approximately the length of one of your legs–this usually works out to be about three or four feet apart.
- Look down at your feet, your left big toe should line up exactly with your right big toe to ensure your hips are in perfect alignment.
5. Warrior 2
Always craving for caffeine or sugar at 4 in the afternoon? The Warrior 2 pose helps solve that since it is the main energizer pose throughout your day to answer to that 4 PM drowsiness feeling. This strong pose can also be done in the afternoon when your head is about to crash in your office desk. Not only does the warrior 2 pose boosts your energy fix, but also strengthens your legs, opens the hips and chest which improves circulation and respiration.
- Start in a low lunge position, with one foot forward and the other behind, with your back toes tucked.
- Plant your back heel on the ground and cartwheel your arms up, bending your front knee and extending your arms.
- Make sure your front heel is lined up with the center of your back foot and take your gaze forward.
- Hold this for three breaths before cartwheeling your arms back down to a low lunge position.
Finding the perfect stretch before hitting the sheets? The child’s pose is the perfect relaxation stretch to do before a night of relaxation sleep. The pose smoothly relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while gently and passively stretches the muscles of the back torso. This also helps in removing all negative vibes and stress before getting into a peaceful sleep.
- From the downward-facing-dog, gently bring your knees to the ground and to either edge of your mat or bed (this helps with opening up the lower back),
- Take five deep, restorative breaths with your forehead resting on your mat.
7. Sitting forward pose
The sitting forward pose helps provide a deep stretch throughout the backside of the body from the heels to your neck. The pose not only helps stimulate the back, it also eases your hamstrings and your distracted mind.
If you cannot stretch your hands until your feet, it is acceptable bend your knees enough for the hand to reach the feet.
- From Staff pose, inhale the arms up over the head and lift and lengthen up through the fingers and crown of the head.
- Exhale and while hinging at the hips, slowly lower the torso towards the legs. Reach the hands to the toes, feet or ankles.
- To deepen the stretch: A) Use the arms to gently pull the head and torso closer to the legs. B) Press out through the heels and gently draw the toes towards you.
- Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.
8. Cobra Pose
Sitting all day at work? The best answer to stretch that is the cobra pose. The cobra pose is the most basic back bending pose that opens the chest and lungs and stretches the back throughout the spinal cord. This is most beneficial for those suffering from asthma, fatigue and keeps the buttocks firm.
- Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. The tops of your feet should rest on the mat — do not tuck your toes, as this can crunch your spine.
- Place your hands under your shoulders with your fingers pointing toward the top of the mat. Hug your elbows into the sides of your body.
- Press down through the tops of your feet and your pubic bone. Spread your toes.
- Inhale as you gently lift your head and chest off the floor. Keep your lower ribs on the floor.
- Draw your shoulders back and your heart forward, but do not crunch your neck. Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears.
What’s great about all these yoga poses and yoga, in general, is that all possess have their corresponding benefits to your body. Not only is it beneficial for the body, but also to your emotional and mental health as well since it promotes positive energy, good vibrations, and gratitude. Try adding all these 8 simple and beginner friendly yoga poses to your daily exercise routine to energize and remove the stress to either start or end your day.