Yoga is becoming increasingly popular, but many people make the mistake of thinking that they need to go to a yoga class in order to get the benefits of this healthy routine. In fact, there are a number of stretches that you can easily do at home:
1. Pelvic tilt: Great for relieving pain in your lower back and also provides a little bit of a workout to your abs and glutes. Just lie on the floor with your legs bent and rock your hips up towards your face, gently lifting up your pelvis.
2. Back arch: Perfect for loosening up your entire body and relaxing the upper back. Start on your hands and knees and push your back up as far as it will go. Then, push your stomach down towards the ground.
3. Downward dog: Ideal for stretching your back and legs. Starting on your hands and knees, slowly straighten your legs and point your butt upwards until your legs are perfectly straight. You can bend one leg and then the other to extend the stretch into your hamstrings and calves.
4. Bent leg lunge: Great for extending your hips and hamstrings. Start by standing upright, then step forward until one leg is bent and the other leg is straight. You can rock lightly to extend the stretch through your legs before switching to the other leg.
5. Straight leg lunge: Wonderful for stretching the legs and back. From a standing position, put one leg forward and keep both legs straight. Lean forward as far as you can over the bent leg, ideally until your hands touch the ground, then switch to the other leg.
6. Toe touch to reach the sky: Stretches out the entire body. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and lean down towards your toes as far as you can, bending your legs slightly so that they do not lock. Slowly reach up and stretch your arms over your head, reaching as far as you can and bouncing a bit on your toes to extend the stretch.
7. Pigeon: Deep stretch for the hips and good for the back as well. This is one of the more challenging yoga stretcheson this list but well worth doing. Start in the downward dog position. Bring one leg down and cross it under you, and put the other leg out behind you. Slowly lean over the bent leg as far as you can comfortably go. Switch to the other leg and repeat.
8. Child’s pose: Relieves tension in your arms, back, and upper legs. Start on your hands and knees and slowly drop backward until your bottom is resting on your ankles and your arms are stretched out straight ahead of you. You can gently rock to extend the stretch if desired.
9. Triangle: Good for stretching hips, hamstrings, chest, and shoulders, making it a nearly all-body stretch. Stand with your feet spaced fairly far apart with one foot angled out. With your hands held straight out from your sides, lean down until one hand is touching the ground and the other hand is pointed straight over your head.
10. One leg out: Improves balance and stretches the legs. Start by standing straight and touching the ground. If you can’t comfortably touch the ground, use blocks to stabilize you. Slowly lift one leg out behind you, leaning on the ground or on your blocks to enable you to keep your balance. Bring the outstretched leg back to the ground and repeat with the other leg.
Is At-Home Yoga Really Beneficial?
To many people, yoga can feel like a waste of time, especially if you are sticking to simple stretches. However, even the most basic yoga poses can have significant benefits for your entire body:
Improve strength, especially in little-used muscles and core muscles that help you in everyday life
- Develop better balance, particularly when balancing on one foot or when reaching out
- Become more flexible, which has the effect of reducing the possibility of injuries
- Reduce pain, particularly back pain, through increased flexibility and muscle building
- Improve your health, especially symptoms of arthritis and heart health
- Manage your stress, improve your mood, and have more energy throughout the day
- Promote a lifestyle of taking care of yourself
Is Yoga at Home Sufficient or Should You Join a Class?
You may wonder whether doing it at home is sufficient or whether you ought to join a class. There is no right answer to this question. Doing yoga at home using a simple guide like this one, joining a virtual yoga class, or joining an in-person class with an instructor are all great options to give you the benefits of yoga.
The ideal solution may be to choose a combination of these tactics. Go to a class every so often so that a professional can adjust your stance and encourage you, then bring what you’ve learned at class home to continue daily yoga by yourself or using an online class.
Enjoy Yoga at Home
Performing yoga stretches at home can make a huge difference in improving your balance, strength, flexibility, and overall well-being. It won’t take long to practice these ten simple yoga stretches, but they are well worth doing every day.