Strengthen Your Body With These Easy Yoga Moves

yoga moves

Yoga poses are designed to stretch and strengthen the body. It’s also a weight-bearing exercise, helping to ward off osteoporosis. Yoga can also help to lower heart rates.

A basic yoga sequence begins with Mountain Pose, or Urdhva Hastasana. It lengthens and decompresses the spine, stretches the hamstrings and increases body awareness.

Downward Facing Dog

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) strengthens the arms and shoulders while stretching the back, legs and spine. It can be a challenging pose for beginners because it requires a lot of strength and flexibility. It encourages blood flow to the brain, and like all inverted poses is great for calming the mind.

If you have sensitive wrists, use a block or folded towel under the hands to reduce the angle of the hand placement. Over time, this can help you build tolerance and improve your ability to hold body weight in the pose. This helps shift the load to the feet and legs, which are typically better conditioned to support your weight.

Cat Pose

The Cat Pose (also called Marjaryasana or Bitilasana) works to stretch and loosen the spine, neck and hips. It’s a great pose to start with in yoga class to warm up the spine and get the core engaged. It’s also a good exercise to perform at home, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.

Children can also use this exercise to strengthen deeper tummy muscles that help support their posture. It’s recommended to practice this pose with a rounded back and to be careful not to push the head down before it’s ready. Always link the movement with your breath, inhaling for Cow and exhaling for Cat.

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid Pose stretches the back side of the body, strengthens the legs and improves balance. The pose also encourages core engagement and fosters concentration. It can be a great way to warm up for more intense forward bending poses that require more flexibility.

To do Pyramid Pose, start with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands either brought behind the back into reverse prayer or pressed together in front of the chest. You can also move the back foot closer to the front one like a WI stance for more stability and less stretch in the back knee.

With consistent practice, this beginner yoga pose can help to open the hip muscles and hamstrings and increase strength in the legs and feet. It can even help to improve digestion by stimulating the abdominals.

Warrior II

The Warrior II, also known as Virabhadrasana II, is an energizing and empowering yoga pose that strengthens the ankles, legs, hips, groin and chest. The pose also challenges balance and concentration, building stamina.

This powerful, balancing posture is named after the Hindu warrior god Virabhadra. It is said that this pose cultivates courage and strength in the yogi, like the warrior spirit itself.

To avoid injury, it is important to prepare the lower leg muscles for this pose by performing poses that externally rotate the hip such as Bound Angle or Side Angle and Ardha Chandrasana. Adding a block between the front foot and back heel can help with the rotational challenge of this pose.

Tree Pose

Tree pose, or Vrksasana, works the legs, groin, and core to improve posture and balance. The key to stability in this pose is to stay relaxed and focused on an even breath.

To make this balancing pose more challenging, try standing on a mat or folded blanket instead of the floor. This challenges the small muscles in the feet and ankles and makes it more difficult to balance.

A lot of students get hung up on the fact that they might fall out of this pose. But this reaction can actually strip the pose of its power. Let the wobbles come and go and practice moving through them with grace.


Yoga Squat, also known as Malasana or Garland Pose, works a number of muscles in the lower body, including the quads, thighs and calf muscles. The pose also strengthens the core muscles. It is an excellent pose for boosting metabolism and improving digestion.

The yogi squat provides deep hip stretches and improves flexibility in the knee joints. It also helps to stretch the hip flexors, which are tight in many people due to spending so much time sitting.

The yogi squat is an excellent pose before or after exercise, as it can help promote recovery and reduce muscle soreness. It can also help improve balance and posture by strengthening the core muscles.