The Benefits of a Yoga Routine

A regular yoga routine can help you stay healthy and fit. It can also improve your balance and flexibility.

Start by standing facing the long edge of your mat with your feet wide, the outer edges parallel to the short-edge sides. Slowly straighten the front leg while bringing your hands underneath your shoulders to rest on the floor or blocks, and breathe deeply for 4-5 breaths.

Mountain Pose

The cornerstone of all standing poses, Mountain Pose teaches you how to stand tall and focus your attention. It also builds body awareness and improves breathing and boosts confidence.

Stand with your feet in contact, the bases of the big toes touching and the heels slightly hip-width apart. Spread and relax the toes. Rock from side to front and back and eventually become still, focusing on the effort it takes to stay balanced.

Beginners can practice this pose backed up against the wall to help them find alignment. This helps to strengthen the muscles and prevent injury. It also prevents flattening of the lumbar spine.

Extended Side Angle Pose

This pose strengthens the legs and knees, and stretches the hips, groin and spine. It also stimulates the abdominal muscles and aids digestion. Avoid this pose if you suffer from headaches or high or low blood pressure. This pose can be challenging for beginners and those with neck injuries.

If you are unsure of this pose, start with Vrksasana (Tree Pose). Practice your balance and stability in the front leg before moving to this pose. You may find it easier to extend the arm alongside your head instead of bending forwards to improve your balance. With practice, you can eventually move into the full pose.

Downward-Facing Dog Modified

Downward dog can be challenging for beginners, particularly if they have a limited range of motion or if their wrists are sensitive. In these cases, it’s important to modify the pose for the student to avoid injury and to ensure they receive all of the benefits of yoga.

For beginners, it’s helpful to place blocks under the hands to reduce the load placed on the wrists and upper body. This shifts some of the weight into the legs, which are typically better prepared to support the weight of the body.

Another modification for downward-facing dog is to orient the index fingers out slightly. This helps to ease the stress on the shoulders without losing the stretch of the pose.

Runner’s Lunge

The Runner’s Lunge is ideal for runners as it helps balance the muscles in your lower body, and stretches your hips. It also provides a great core and back stretch.

To perform this pose, start on all fours, then step your left foot up between your hands into a Low Lunge stance with the knee above the ankle. Then, lower your right leg to the floor or keep it lifted, depending on your ability level.

This exercise can be performed to increase your lunge flexibility and strength, or as part of a yoga flow to warm up the body before other workouts. It also stretches the groin and glute muscles.

Extended Child’s Pose

A restorative pose, Extended Child’s Pose (Balasana) is a good option for those with back or shoulder issues. It helps to stretch the trapezius muscles and lengthen the spine. Students can experiment with positioning their arms down by their sides or over their head for the most comfortable position.

This pose is also good for those with lower back pain and helps release stress in the hips, thighs and ankles. It can be used as a transitional posture between more strenuous poses. It also calms the mind and activates digestion. For pregnant women, it’s recommended to spread the knees wider so that the belly can relax in between the thighs.


Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is the final relaxation pose in yoga. Although it appears simple, it’s one of the most difficult poses in yoga. It takes practice to relax the mind and body after an intense workout session.

Practicing this posture helps to increase interoception, which is the ability to notice bodily sensations like heartbeat and breath. It’s also associated with lowered anxiety and improved sleep quality.

People with sensitive skin should take special care to avoid this position, which can cause itchiness and irritation. Placing a rolled blanket or bolster under the knees helps to relieve pressure on these areas.