“I don’t have time,” said the busy person who is struggling to balance family, work, friends, sleep, and a healthy lifestyle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult should get 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Realistically, it is difficult to set aside big chunks of time each day to exercise, but this goal becomes attainable by attacking that 30 minutes in small intervals.
Yoga is the perfect medium of exercise to fit into your busy schedule. Not only is it an effective yet simple workout for burning calories and toning muscles, but it strengthens and rejuvenates the mind as well. Reach your 30 minutes of physical activity with these powerful poses that will increase your productivity and reduce stress and anxiety.
If you are a beginner, try to hold each pose for 30 seconds to a minute to improve flexibility and receive results. Thirty-seconds on average are about 6-8 breaths. If you are more experienced with poses, reach to hold each pose for 2-5 minutes or as long as comfortable.
A Pose for Your Brain: Child Pose
- Begin on your hands and knees with your knees as wide as your hips and your big toes touching.
- Exhale and bow your torso down between your thighs and rest your buttocks on your heels.
- Allow your forehead to touch the floor.
- Keep your arms extended with your palms down and press back slightly with hands while keeping your buttocks contacting your heels.
- Stretch hips, thighs, ankles
- Relieve stress and fatigue
- Reduce back and neck pain
A Pose for Your Abs: Bridge Pose
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor with your heels as close to your butt as possible.
- Keep your arms to your side with your palms and elbows down.
- Exhale and push your tailbone upward to lift your buttocks off the floor while keeping your thighs and feet parallel
- Hold the pose.
- Exhale and release by rolling your spine slowly onto the ground.
- Stretch chest, neck, and spine.
- Calm brain to alleviate stress and depression.
- Improve digestion.
- Relieve menopause symptoms and menstrual pain.
- Rejuvenate tired legs.
- Stimulate abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid.
- Improve blood circulation.
- Relieve symptoms of asthma and high blood pressure.
A Pose for Your Arms: Downward Facing Dog
- Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Spread your fingers wide while pressing down through your knuckles and palms.
- Exhale and tuck your toes as you lift your knees off the floor and reach your pelvis towards the ceiling.
- Straighten your legs without locking your knees as you bring your body into the shape of an “A”.
- Instead of hanging your head, keep it between your upper arms.
- Relieve stress and depression.
- Energize body.
- Stretch shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands.
- Strengthen arms and legs.
- Relieve headaches, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue.
- Therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, asthma, and high blood pressure.
- Prevent Osteoporosis.
A Poses for Your Back: Cobra Pose
- Lie down on your stomach with your hands spread on the floor under your shoulders.
- Keep the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
- Press your palms into the ground and keep your elbows close to the body pointing out behind you.
- Pull your shoulders slightly back and engage your abs as you draw your belly button towards your spine.
- Keep your thighs firmly on the ground as you bend upwards.
- Bend your back backward by lifting your upper torso, tilting your chin upwards, and raising your chest towards the ceiling.
- Strengthen the spine.
- Stretch chest, lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Firm the buttocks.
- Relieve stress and fatigue.
- Open the heart and lungs.
- Stimulate the abdominal organs.
A Pose for Your Glutes: Locust Pose
- Lie down on your stomach with your forehead down on the mat, your arms at your side and your legs extended behind you hip-width apart.
- Inhale and raise your head to look forward.
- Exhale and lift your chest and arms up with your arms alongside the body and the palms facing downwards.
- Lift your legs upwards and rest your weight on your lower ribs, your stomach, and your front pelvis.
- Raise your arms to be parallel to the floor and stretch your back up towards the ceiling.
- Strengthen spine, buttocks, and backs of arms and legs.
- Stretch shoulders, chest, stomach, and thighs.
- Improve posture.
- Relieve stress.
- Stimulate abdominal organs.
A Pose for legs: Bound Angle Pose
- Sit with your legs straight out in front of you with your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
- Bend your knees as you pull your heels close to your pelvis.
- Drop your knees to the side and press the soles of your feet together with the outside of your feet touching the floor.
- Grab your ankles or big toes with your thumb and your two first fingers.
- Hold the pose.
- Therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure, infertility, and asthma.
- Stretch inner thighs, groin, and knees.
- Stimulate heart and improve general circulation.
- Relieve depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
- Soothe menstrual discomfort.
Whether you have years of experience or are trying yoga out for the first time, these simple poses are the perfect way to get a quick and effective workout in for the day. As you get more comfortable with these poses, try to challenge yourself by holding them for longer or explore additional poses that work different areas of the body by visiting the Yoga Journal.
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