I myself practice yoga every day, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing a full hour long yoga class each day, sometimes I find myself with only enough time to do 5-10 minutes of yoga. On those days I focus on what I’ve deemed the core yoga poses that help give my body what it needs to start or end the day. Doing yoga every day can give you more energy, keep your body and mind healthy and help promote a better night’s sleep, these are just a few benefits of practicing yoga. These poses are designed to warm up the spine, stretch the hips, invigorate the body and also help you wind down. If you don’t have time for all 5, pick 1 or 2 to spend some time in. These poses are designed for days when you don’t have a lot of time to practice, but be mindful that the body and mind needs variation, so switch it up. You can incorporate all of these poses into a longer practice, or just do a couple of them. But don’t be afraid to switch it up and try out some new poses.
Begin in Table Pose with your knees hip distance apart and your wrists elbows and shoulders in one line. As you inhale lift your head and tailbone and as you exhale round the spine, tuck the chin and push into the hands and the tops of the feet. Flow through these poses slowly and at least 5 times. This will warm up your spine, and stretch the back and shoulders.
From Table Pose push into the hands and send your hips up and back. Push down through the heels and keep a long spine. Gaze at your thighs or navel. Spread the fingers and push evenly into the hands. This pose deeply stretches the back, chest, hamstrings, calves, and Achilles’ tendon. It also strengthens the upper body and core muscles. It will energize you and helps improve circulation of the blood.
From Downward Facing Dog step your left foot forward in between your hands. Plant your right heel on the mat aligning the heel of the front foot with the arch of the back foot. Turn your hips and torso to the right and rise up keeping your front knee bent directly over the ankle or slightly behind. Stretch your arms out on either side of you at shoulder level and gaze out over your left middle finger. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other side. This pose will strengthen all of the muscles in the legs, it will also strengthen the feet, ankles, glutes, core, shoulders and arms. It stretches the hips, groin, and chest.
Wide-Legged Child’s Pose
Come back to Table Pose. Bring your big toes together and spread your knees out wide to the edges of the mat. Sink your hips down towards your heels and rest your torso in between your legs. Stretch your arms out in front of you and rest the forehead on the mat. This pose gently stretches the hips, low back, thighs, groin, knees, and ankles. It relaxes and calms the mind and helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Legs Up The Wall
Bring your mat to the edge of a wall. Sit next to the wall with your right hip as close to the wall as possible. Swing your legs up the wall and bring your head and torso onto the mat. You may need to slide your hips closer to the wall with the intention if bringing your legs flush with the wall. Flex your feet so the soles point towards the ceiling. Rest your arms at your side and stay here for at least 5 minutes. This pose is great for anyone who stands or sits a lot and is really effective at relieving low back pain as it brings more blood to the back. It provides relief for tired feet and legs and can relieve tension in the low body. This pose will not only relax your body, but your mind as well. This is a great pose to do right before bed.