Here are some go-to poses to practice even when you are feeling less flexible or strong but still need some yoga lovin’. Focus on tolerance and patience as you enter each pose and watch the mind unload and make room for self-confidence, energy, and love.
Easy strength-building variation on tabletop pose: Come to the hands and knees. This exercise will build strength and flexibility. Starting off with a strength-based pose, exhale and retract the shoulders inhale and protract the shoulders. Keep the abs and the lower ribs pulled in. Repeat 5 times. Hold for 5 breaths (5 counts) and as you do this calm and tune the mind into the inner experience.
Opposite hands and leg lift: Take your left hand and extend them straight out. Hold for 5 counts. Then return to table-top pose. Switch sides, right hand and left leg and lift out. This exercise increases flexibility as you reach out and extend the limbs straight. Repeat twice.
Plank: From table-top pose, curl your feet under and come up to plank pose. Hold plank for counts while breathing. Keep the mind nice and steady. In plank, retract and protract the shoulders. Repeat.
Child’s pose: Hold for a minute and calmly tune the mind in. Gently open the knees and fold the chest even more down. Rest the head down. Hold for counts.
Downward facing dog: Take 5 breaths in a classic downward dog pose. Make sure to suck the belly in and stay active in the pose by reaching in opposition.
Crescent lunge with hands in prayer: Let the knee touch the ground. Pull the belly in hold for five breaths. Feel the hips opening, remembering to let go of any judgments. Inhale take the hands above the head look up and hold for count then return to prayer pose. Transition through plank pose to chaturanga, chaturanga to upward dog (leave the thighs touching the floor). Curl the toes and exhale into downward dog (settle here for two breaths). Still the mind and release tension once again. Then repeat the sequence on the other side.
Chair pose with prayer pose: from downward-facing dog, step your right foot and your left foot forward. Bending your knees, come onto your finger squeeze your knees towards each other. Then hands in prayer. Hold for counts, then raise the hands up for another count. Repeat the plank pose transition all the way to a downward dog.
Triangle: Hold for counts with your arm and gaze reaching upwards. Repeat on the other side.
Mountain pose with prayer hands: Pause for a moment and tune into the inner body. Calmly become aware of the inner sensations.
Upward Salute: Inhale raise the hands then exhale fold forward.
Cobra to locust pose: Lay on your belly come onto the elbow gaze forward for five breaths in cobra pose. Plant your ribs on the ground, bring your feet together, lift the legs locust pose for another five breaths.
Staff pose: Hold for five. Reach forward grab the shins or the toes. Inhale pull the belly in. Exhale nice and easy fold forward.
Counter with upward-facing staff pose: lace the hands back behind you, then inhale lift the hips up and forward.
Yoga mudra: In seated position hands into a yoga mudra and rest on the knees. Suck in the belly and hold for counts.
Corpse pose: Lay down and close your eyes for a moment. Tune into the inner body. Remember to make peace with yourself and feel that subtle vibration within. Roll up back to a seated position with hands in prayer. Inhale, exhale, and chant Om.
Try some or all of these poses to jumpstart your day for a yoga break a workout routine or to unwind from a long day.