by EverydayYoga.com Staff
Yoga has been known to help increase brain functioning and memory even after your final savasana. Great for beginner yogis, start each day with this quick flow to get your blood running, focus your mind and set the mood for your entire day.
Take these poses in order and hold for at least 5-10 breathes. Practice ujjayi breathing during each asana - inhaling and exhaling through the nose to increase oxygen and build internal body heat.
These 10 poses are a great alternative when you don't have time to head to a full yoga class, but want all the yummy benefits!
Child's Pose - Balasana
How to: Sitting on your heels, bring your torso forward and rest your forehead on the ground in front of you. Extend your arms towards the front of the mat with palms facing down and rest your chest in between your knees.
Benefits: Relaxes the spine, neck and shoulders and increases blood circulation to the head.
Tip: You can take this position anytime you're feeling light headed or fatigued during your yoga practice (or just want to relax and zone out!)
Cat-Cow Stretch - Chakravakasana
How to: Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Start with cow by curling your toes under on an inhale and dropping your belly while gazing up toward the sky. Transition to cat on an exhale by releasing the tops of your feet to the floor, rounding your spine and bringing your gaze towards your belly. Repeat until you feel complete!
Benefits: Keeps the spine healthy and improves abdominal strength.
Tip: Channel your inner animal here and let loose. Closing your eyes while moving through cat-cow is encouraged!
Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
How to: The infamous down dog! Start on all fours and spread your hands shoulder width apart and your knees hips-width apart. Send your hips to the sky to create can inverted V shape with your body. Spread your fingers and toes as wide as you can on the mat to get as much grounding as possible.
Benefits: Great stretch for the calves and heels and helps to boosts blood circulation throughout the body.
Tip: After time and practice, this pose will start to feel like a resting pose, I promise!
Cobra - Bhujangasana
How to: Start on the belly with feet hip-width distance apart. Place your hands on the mat beside your rib cage with your elbows bent and peel your chest and upper ribs up off the floor.
Benefits: Opens up the back, chest and shoulders.
Tip: By stretching the base of your spine, cobra pose can help to awaken your kundalini (also known as primal) energy source, so get to stretching!
Mountain Pose - Tadasana
How to: Stand tall with your feet hip-width distance apart and your arms by your sides. Engage your legs and draw your tail bone down. Relax your shoulders and gaze straight forward.
Benefits: Improves posture and mental clarify.
Tip: Try practicing mountain pose whenever you are standing in line for something, you may be surprised at how crooked you stand without even noticing!
Chair Pose - Utkatasana
How to: From mountain pose, bend your knees and try to get your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible while keeping your tail bone down and your chest lifted.
Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, calves and spine and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Tip: Utkatasana 's name stems from the Sanskrit work utkata, which means fierce and proud!
Warrior I - Virabhadrasana I
How to: Come into a lunge position with your back heel facing inward and your front knee directly over your front ankle. Keep both your hips facing forward and bring your arms up over head. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Strengths the chest, arms and legs.
Tip: It's okay to move your legs into a wider stance to get both of your hips to face forward.
Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II
How to: From Warrior I, open up your hips to the side of the mat and extend your arms out with your palms facing down. Make sure to keep a 90 degree angle in your front bent knee. Gaze out over your front middle finger. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Strengthens the legs, ankles and arms. But more importantly, makes you feel like a warrior!
Tip: This pose may not feel like much at first, but trust me, it will start to burn!
Pigeon Pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
How to: From an all fours position, slide your right knee forward toward your right hand and slide your left leg back. Square your hips to the front of the mat and bring your torso down into a forward bend over your bent right leg. Relax, breathe and let go. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: So many! Lengthens and opens up the hip flexors, stretches the back, opens the chest...and most importantly, feels amazing!
Tip: Pain in the hips often reflects emotional pain. Opening up your hip flexors in pigeon pose can help you relieve stress and let go.
Corpse Pose - Savasana
How to: Lay down on your back, let your feet fall out to either side and bring your arms alongside your body. Let your breathe come naturally, close your eyes and enjoy!
Benefits: Calms the mind, relaxes the muscles and improves concentration.
Tip: Proper relaxation is extremely important for mind and body health, so spoil yourself and stay in this resting pose as long as you wish, it's good for you!