Yoga can give you a perfect start of the day, providing you the peace of mind and a flexible body.
Try these 10 yoga exercises that will help you strengthen your core and relax your body physically as well as mentally.
1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge is an excellent stretching pose for beginners that stretches the front body and strengthens the back body. It is the opposite pose of the backbend pose.
Lie down on the floor and place your feet some width apart. Press hard on your feet and lift your hips off the mat. Connect your hands and press the palms down to the ground as you open up your chest even more. Imagine you are dragging your heels towards your shoulders to engage your hamstrings.
Hold for a few seconds then repeat two more times.
2. Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)
This is a gentle and great pose for stretching open the front body while strengthening the legs, hips, core and upper body. Warrior poses are necessary for building stamina and strength in a yoga practice. They make us confident and are good for stretching the hips while building strength in the entire lower body.
For this pose, you can take a big step back with your right foot coming towards a lunge, then turn your left heel down and angle your right toes forward 75 degrees. Lift your chest and press your palms up over your head.
Step forward and repeat on the opposite leg.
3. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
This is an external opener for hips, and it opens up the inner thighs. It is a good starting point for beginner yoga sequence with many side postures including triangle, extended angle and a half moon.
Stand with your feet some length apart. Bend your left knee until it is directly over your left ankle while keeping the torso between your hips. Stretch your arms out to your sides and look at your left hand. Hold for a few seconds before straightening the left leg and turning your feet to the other side to repeat on the right side.
4. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Every person needs a good resting pose, and this pose is a stretching yoga for beginners as well as for advanced level. It’s good to learn a child’s pose to use when you are feeling fatigue, before bedtime to work out the kinks, or anytime you need a mental break and stress/tension relief.
Start by bringing your feet and knees together as you stretch your arms forward and sit with your butt back to your heels. Lower your forehead to the floor on a pillow or a blanket and let your entire body relax. Hold for as long as you want.
5. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This pose is the base for all other standing poses. It gives you logic of how to ground into your feet and feel the earth below. Mountain pose may seem like a simple standing pose, but there is a lot going on.
Start standing with your feet together. Engage your quadriceps to lift through your inner thighs and to lift your kneecaps. Push your abdominals in and up as you move your chest and press the tops of your shoulders down. Feel your shoulder blades coming towards each other and open your chest but keep your palms facing inwards. Hold for a few breaths.
6. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
It is one of the simple and effective yoga poses for beginners. Plank pose teaches us how to keep balance with our hands using the whole body. It is a fantastic way of strengthening the abdominals and learning how to breathe for staying in a hard pose.
Start by tucking under your toes and lifting your legs off the floor. Slide your feet back enough until you feel you are a straight line of energy from head to toe. Engage the lower abdominals, draw the shoulders down and away from the ears, pull your ribs together and breathe deeply for a few times.
7. Tree Pose (Vriksasana)
Tree is an effective standing balance for beginners to learn to breathe while standing and keeping the body balanced on one foot. It is also a nice yoga pose for kids to work on gaining focus and clarity.
Place your left foot on your inner right upper thigh. Press your hands in a prayer position and find a place in front of you that you can hold in a steady look. Hold and breathe then switch sides. Don’t try to lean into the standing leg. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your abdominals engaged.
8. Back Bend (Salabhasana)
This pose is one of the great yoga poses for back pain. It has energizing and heating effects, it also strengthens all the back muscles. This pose is an ideal choice for improving posture and for people with weak upper back muscles
Lie down on your stomach and inhale raising your body off the floor including arms, chest, and legs. Place your palms on the floor, extend your head up and keep your neck high. You can put your hands behind in a handcuffed position if you can. This will create a deeper opening for the chest muscles and shoulder muscles.
9. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
This pose is an effective standing yoga pose that improves strength, flexibility, and posture. This pose is particularly good to stretch the side of your body and strengthen your legs.
To start, spread your legs and then turn your torso sideways with one arm pointing to the ceiling and the head looking in the upward direction. When your right knee is bent and left palm on the ground. There will be a straight line from your right foot all the way up the side to your right arm.
Hold this yoga pose for 2-3 seconds,
10. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
This is the perfect fold for everyone to start to open up the body and learn to breathe through uncomfortable positions. It is necessary to include a forward bend in the yoga routine to stretch the hamstrings, lower and upper back and sides.
Start sitting with your legs together, flex your feet and don’t turn in or out, and place your hands by your hips. Lift your chest and start to move forward from your waist. Engage your lower abdominals then stop, breathe for a few times and relax your muscles.