Yoga is a great way to relax tension and increase mobility in your body. When you practice yoga often, your energy will increase and you will feel calmer in your body. Try to practice these 11 essential yoga poses everyday for a good life and a healthy mind.
Here are 11 essential yoga poses you should do everyday to feel good in your body!
1. Uttana Shishosana – Puppy Pose
This pose will open your heart in a safe way and encourage self love as well as stretch the side body and increase range of motion in your shoulders
- Chest muscles
Come into tabletop position, (on hands and knees with a flat back).
Keep your hips over your knees and inhale, walk your hands forward towards the top of the mat.
Soften your chest towards the ground.
Your forehead may touch.
Spread through your fingers and press your fingertips into the ground.
Wrap your shoulder blades towards the front of your body.
Breath your heart forward and exhale to soften into the fold.
Your chin might touch the floor.
With practice your chest will come closer to the ground, but not with force.
Keep your low back lengthening, tailbone rounding, to protect the lumbar spine.
Inhale to come out walking your hands back to table top position.
Take a moment in child’s pose.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog Pose
This inversion will drain the lymphs, calm the senses and lengthen your spine.
- Back of the legs
Start in tabletop position.
Tuck your toes.
Line your wrist creases up with the front of your mat.
Spread through your fingers, index fingers pointing to the top of the mat.
Engage your belly.
Inhale push the hands into the mat lifting up your hips towards the sky.
Exhale and send the heels towards the ground.
Take a moment to peddle out through the feet.
Rest, if you need to, in child’s pose.
Take three to five smooth breaths in downward dog.
Inhale to lengthen the spine and push the front of your hands into the ground.
Exhale to draw the thighs back and heels towards the ground.
Spread through your toes.
Rotate the top parts of your arms down towards the floor. Breath.
3. Salabhasana – Locust Pose
Open up your heart and make room to heal, feel and give love.
- Pectoral muscles
- Anterior Deltoids
Lie on your belly.
Place your hands on top of one another.
Place your right ear on top of your hands.
Rock the hips side to side to release tension.
When you are ready, take an inhale and reach your hands back toward your feet.
Bring your head to center.
Inhale lengthen the tailbone and lift the chest off the floor.
Reach through your toes and fingers.
Energize the thighs.
Take three beautiful breaths spreading the lungs and rib cage on the inhale.
After three breaths lower down slowly.
Take your hands one on top of the other and lay your left ear on top of the hands.
Soften your whole body down to the floor.
Practice two more times increasing your breath by two.
It should the breath round should equal 3, 5, 7.
4. Anjaneyasana – Low lunge Pose
This is a necessary pose for today’s world because we spend hours at a time sitting for work, driving or Netflix! This makes our psoas muscle short and tight which can cause low back pain and possible injury. Practice this pose everyday to reduce the chances of low back injury.
- Front hip flexors
- Attachment point of the hamstring on opposite leg
From the tabletop position, step your right foot forward and keep your back knee connected to the Earth in a low lunge.
Your back toes can be tucked to energize the back leg, but sensitive knees may prefer the toes untucked.
Your right knee is directly over the right ankle.
Place hands on your hips. Inhale to lift up towards your hips to your heart and your heart toward the sky. Broaden the collarbones and upper back.
Flow forward and back a few times to warm up the hips.
When you are ready come into the full pose:
On and inhale lengthen your spine.
On an exhale, soften the hips forward, lifting up the low belly to keep space in the low back.
Inhale and sweep your arms up to the sky. Lift up through your heart and side waist. Reach through your fingers.
Root your feet and draw your thighs towards the midline of your body.
Guide your shoulders away from your ears and turn your pinkies in towards one another.
Stay here for 3-5 breaths, sending breath and love into your hips.
Press into your right foot to come out of it.
Bring your right foot back knee together and take a moment to rest in hero’s pose before coming into tabletop and trying it on the other side.
5. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose
This pose is great to release upper body tension and release the neck muscles. It also stretches the back of the legs and drains the lymphs.
- Relieves spinal extensors
In a standing position bring your feet hips distance apart.
The edges of your feet should be parallel with the edges of your mat.
Spread through your toes and lift up the inner arches of your feet.
Inhale, lengthen your spine and reach your hands up to the sky.
Exhale hinge at your hips. Keep your spine long and hands reaching forward as you fold.
When you come completely into the fold let your upper body round towards the lower body.
Bend your knees if the backs of your legs feel tight, via the hamstrings.
Allow your upper body to hang over your lower body like a rag doll.
Balance your weight evenly into the front part of your feet and the back part of your feet.
When your legs feel more open you can start to straighten the legs, sending your tailbone up to the sky. Or you can stay here if comfortable and guide your belly to the thighs as you reach your sit bones towards the sky.
Keep the back of the neck relaxed and long, the head releasing towards the ground.
Relax your arms, upper body and breathe.
Focus on letting go of the upper body, head and the neck.
Feel the tension pouring out of you through the crown of the head.
Stay here and breathe for around a minute. You can always build up to a longer time.
Come out of uttanasana in one of two ways.
For those with back injury or vertebrae issues:
Reverse swan dive, take your hands onto your hips and come up through flat back.
Those without back injury or vertebrae issues:
Roll up your spine, keeping your chin tucked into the chest. Imagine the spine stacking vertebrae on top of vertebrae.
Crown of the head is the last thing to come up! Roll your shoulders back.
This should feel like a self massage.
Take your thumbs to your third eye and bow the head towards your inner light.
6. Virabhadrasana Two – Warrior Two Pose
This pose teaches you how to be fierce and strong. It teaches you to root yourself in the face of adversity and keep calm the storm.
- Inner thigh of back leg
Stand sideways on your mat with your leg foot closer to the back of the mat and take your feet wide, about 3-4 feet apart.
Feet are parallel.
Turn your right foot towards the front of the mat.
Spread through your feet and toes. Lift up the inner arches of your feet. Ground the balls of your and heels feet into the earth.
Inhale lengthen your spine and lift your arms shoulder height.
Exhale and bend the right knee over the right ankle. Guide your right knee to not splay out or in, just over the ankle.
Exhale to release your shoulders, away from the ears.
Inhale to lift up your heart and low belly. Feel as if your hands are pressing down into an energy bubble.
Keep the back of the neck long and the crown of the head reaching up to the sky.
Gaze over the right fingertips.
Reach out through each direction of this pose.
Radiate. Feel your power.
Stay here for 3-5 breaths up to a minute.
To come out, inhale and straighten your right leg.
Exhale the arms down and parallel the feet again.
Take a moment and then repeat on the other side.
7. Vrksasana – Tree pose
Tree pose is a great pose to increase balance, strength and focus.
Start with the feet hips distance apart.
Find a dristi, (a non moving object to set your gaze on.)
Place your hands on your hips.
Bring your left heel to your right ankle and turn your left knee out to the side.
You can stay here in kickstand pose and bring your palms together, and breath, or Inhale your left foot to the inside of your right inner shin or thigh.
Exhale and root the standing foot. Anchor with the big toe.
Inhale to reach your hands up to the sky and connect your palms together.
Exhale spread through the toes and fascia of the standing leg. Activate your thigh.
Inhale and imagine a line of energy reaching up towards the sky as you press your palms
Focus your eyes on your dristi and breath. ( Dristi is a non moving object to set your gaze on.)
The more you can focus on your drishti the more you will be able to stay in the balance. This is a great way to strengthen your mental focus.
Breath. Keep all incoming thoughts positive.
After 3-5 rounds of breath, exhale to take your hands down and foot to the earth.
Shake out the standing let and try the other side.
Notice what side feels easier! Have fun! Smile if you want!
8. Ustrasana – Camel pose
Open up your heart and make room to heal, feel and give love.
- Pectoral muscles
Stand on your knees. Place a towel or small blanket under sensitive knees.
Tuck your toes, letting your heels lift up.
Lengthen your tailbone towards the ground.
Draw your thighs back and your hips forward.
Inhale lift up and broaden your chest, but keep your low ribs on your belly.
Exhale to soften your shoulders.
Inhale lift up your heart and take your right hand down to the heels of the right foot.
Exhale take your left hand to the left foot.
Inhale lift up your chest and lengthen your spine only arching in the upper back.
Keep your thighs moving back and your hips moving forward. Breath.
If you feel comfortable let your head rock back behind you. If not keep the chin tucked into the chest. Letting your head rock back can feel scary at first, but eventually you will feel more comfortable.
Take 3-5 breaths here.
Too come out, bring your chin into your chest and soften your hips back.
Release your hands and sit on your heels untucking the toes.
When you are ready. Try this 2 more times.
Eventually you might try untucking your toes and reaching for the heels.
9. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – Pigeon Pose
This pose is great for stretching the piriformis muscle, which attaches from the hip bone to the sacrum. Tightness in this area can press on the piriformis nerve and cause sciatica symptoms. Releasing to this pose can help open your low back and glutes.
Come to Downward Dog.
Inhale your right leg up and back. Spread through your toes.
Exhale, bend your right knee into your belly and place it on the floor next to your right thumb.
Bring your back knee onto the floor and extend your leg pointing your toes.
Slide your right foot over to the left side of your mat.
Caution: Make sure this does not hurt your knee. If it does bring your right foot closer to your body till you feel comfortable in the knee. If your knee still hurts, try a modified seated version of pigeon pose.
Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to fold your body over your front leg and place one hand on top of the other.
Splay your elbow out to the sides on the ground and lay your forehead onto your hands.
The hips hold a lot of emotions. So you may see some riding up. You may feel resistance. Breathe into it and tell your hips to soften. Tell yourself everything is going to be okay. Allow those feelings to come out if you want to. Remember, anything that rises to the surface is just there to be cleansed.
You should feel a good stretch on the right side of your booty and right side of your thigh.
Stay here for a minute if you would like or 3-5 breaths.
You can stay for three minutes if you want to make this a yin yoga pose.
To come out, press your hands into the floor and push the hips up into downward facing dog.
Repeat on the other side.
10. Upavistha Konasana – Wide angle seated forward bend pose
The hips carry a lot of emotion. Release and breath into this reflective pose.
This pose is a great way to open up the:
- Inner thighs.
Start seated on the mat in lotus pose.
Extend your legs out in front of you and take them out to the sides.
Flex your feet.
Engage your thighs.
Inhale and lengthen your spine.
Exhale to hinge at the hips. Walk your hands out in front of you on the floor.
Listen to your body and keep the spine long without rounding the low back.
Inhale to lengthen your spine and reach your heart forward.
Exhale and soften your hips, walking the hands forward if you are ready to mose little deeper into the pose .
Flex your feet, reach out through your heels, and spread your toes.
Breath nice smooth breaths for 30 seconds or more.
Walk your hand back towards your body to come out of this pose.
11 Savasana – Corpse pose
This is where we receive our practice. Wet the pranic energy that we just cultivated, dance the space that we just created. Enter into Savasana and let go.
Lie on your mat face up, in a supine position.
Lengthen the back of your neck and avoid lifting your chin.
Rotate your palms to face the sky and soften the hands, allowing the fingers to curl slightly on their own. Keep some distance between your hands and your body.
Bring your heels to the edges of the mat and let your feet splay outwards.
If your low back hurts put a bolster or pillow under your knees. You can also bend the knees letting them lean on each other and keep the feet flat on the floor.
If you tend to have internally rotated shoulders, inhale, lift up your heart and draw the shoulder blades underneath. Exhale and soften back down.
This will open the chest and secure the heart space.
Bring your attention to your breath at the belly and feel as it moves through you.
Scan the muscles of your body starting from the toes up and let go of each muscle of your body.
Release your jaw, unhinging it. The lips can be slightly parted.
Soften the muscles of your face, your cheeks, and your forehead.
Breath in and out through the nose watching the belly rise and fall.
Be here for 5 – 10 minutes.
Enjoy this full body release.
To come out of it, inhale and reach your hands up over your head and reach your toes in the opposite direction.
Exhale and come into the fetal position on your right side.
When ready, come up to a crossed legged position.
Bring your palms to your hearts center.