Yoga helps you release unwanted tension and stress from your body. It also teaches you how to breathe through challenging positions, such as inversions and back bends.
It also builds muscle strength, improves your balance, and wards off osteoporosis. Here are 15 yoga exercises you can try to benefit from these benefits.
The bridge pose is a gentle backbend that lengthens the chest, shoulders and abdominal area. It also strengthens the mid- to upper-back muscles, buttocks (glutes), thighs and ankles.
It can also help reduce lower back pain and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). This pose is particularly beneficial for those who spend long periods of time sitting at a desk, as it helps improve posture.
However, this yoga exercise is also risky for those who suffer from neck or shoulder injuries. As a result, it is important to practice Bridge Pose correctly.
Cobra pose (also called Bhujangasana) opens up the chest and lungs, improves circulation, and stretches the shoulders and abdomen. It also strengthens the back, legs, and arms.
It is especially good for people who spend a lot of time seated, since tightness in these muscles can cause pain. Yoga stretches can help counteract this stiffness, according to Dr. Harding, a physiotherapist and instructor at The Baron Wellness Center.
Be sure to start slow, with a low cobra, and build up your strength over time. Avoid overdoing this backbend if you have lower back pain or injury, and make sure your shoulders don’t get tense.
Plank pose is one of the most effective yoga exercises for enhancing core strength, and also for improving posture. This simple, yet effective, pose strengthens the triceps, core muscles and abdominal muscles, glutes, obliques, and leg muscles while simultaneously lengthening the spine.
It improves body flexibility and reduces belly fat.
Practicing plank for at least 60 seconds a day can help boost stamina and endurance, which can be helpful when practicing other poses.
This posture also helps to activate your local spinal stabilizers, which are endurance muscles that can support your joints in static positions for long periods of time. This makes it a great tool for improving back health and reducing back pain.
The Cat-Cow Pose is a gentle exercise that can help you strengthen your spine. It activates the tailbone and releases tension in the neck, upper back, and lower back.
It also stretches the hips, abdomen and chest.
In Cat-Cow, you can alternate between flexion (Cat) and extension (Cow). This movement is beneficial for your spine and can be used in a variety of yoga flows.
For a more comfortable position, you can try placing a rolled-up towel or blanket under your knees for extra support and cushion. You can also modify the wrist angle to make this pose less painful for your wrists.
Downward-Facing Dog is a yoga exercise that helps to improve blood flow and energy levels, as well as relaxes the mind. It also stretches the back and hamstrings, builds strength in the arms, shoulders and legs and improves flexibility.
Misalignments are a common problem in Downward-Facing Dog, but you can easily correct them by working on your alignment. For example, if you’re finding it difficult to lift the fronts of your feet (especially if you have tight calves and Achilles tendons), you can try using a blanket to bring the floor closer to your heels.
Similarly, if you’re having problems with your ribcage or hips rounding, you can try pressing your knees down and straightening them as you push your ribcage back. This will keep your spine long and help you get the most out of Downward-Facing Dog.