Yoga can be one of the easiest and effective ways of fitting a workout into a busy day. No need for a gym membership or any expensive weights or equipment. Just grab a mat or find somewhere comfortable and you can get started!
This 5 step routine will not only help you to improve your flexibility which is the primary reason a lot of people take up yoga, but will also work on your strength and balance.
Try to hold each pose for roughly a minute depending on your ability and cycle through the routine twice. Remember to repeat poses that work one side of your body for each side to avoid imbalances.
1. Warrior Pose
This pose provides a great stretch for your hip flexors while requiring a good amount of strength and balance to hold.
Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground and your back leg completely straight. Raise your arms above your head and look straight ahead as you hold the pose.
Try to reach as high as you can to lengthen your spine and expand your rib cage. Repeat on both sides for a minute.
2. Downward Dog
This pose gives a great stretch for your hamstrings and calves. Be sure to keep your legs straight and your butt stuck out to avoid your lower back from rounding.
Spread your hands out ahead of your head to open up your torso and also stretch out your shoulders.
Hold for a minute.
3. Triangle Pose
For this position, your feet will be in a similar position to the warrior pose. But this time, keep both legs straight. Reach one hand down to your front ankle and the other to the ceiling.
You will feel a good stretch in your hamstring again. If you struggle to reach down to your ankle, you can aim for your shin or knee and slowly progress as you do this regularly.
Again, as it is a one-sided pose be sure to hold it on both sides for a minute.
4. Reverse Plank
Place your hands directly below your shoulders and use your glutes and core to lift the rest of your body up.
Your pelvis should be aligned with the rest of your body. This static hold requires a lot of strength to hold so if you need to, take a short 10 second rest in the middle of your minute hold. You can slowly progress up to doing a minute without any rest!
5. Garland Pose
Get into a deep squat position to start with. Then press your elbows into the inside crease of your knee and push outwards with your hands together.
This deep squat position has an abundance of good effects for opening up your hips and improving your stability and flexibility.
Hold for a minute.
For this routine, I recommend holding each position for a minute. Poses that are one-sided will take 2 minutes to do each side. After that, rest for a few minutes and go through the routine again.
To start with, you may struggle with balancing or getting just the perfect shape for your pose but don’t worry! Like anything else, yoga takes time and practise to get good at but your body will thank you for taking the time to improve your flexibility and strength.