You don’t have to master all the bendy yoga poses women do to improve your balance and flexibility. Here are five basic yoga poses that you need to start practicing at home and hold for at least 30 seconds to strengthen and lengthen those muscles.
- Mountain (Tadasana)
Tadasana is the key for all standing poses. It improves the flexibility in your feet, your core and thighs and the overall posture of your body.
Start off with your toes apart and your big toes touching. Focus on balancing the weight evenly on your feet and start engaging the thigh muscles to lift up the kneecaps. Lift up the arches and avoid locking the knees. Keep your shoulders relaxed, inhale and stretch your head to the ceiling.
- Tree (Vrksasana)
The tree standing pose improves your focus and works the muscles in your thighs, calves, ankles. You will also notice the effect is has got on your inner thighs as this pose will help you stretch those muscles, along with the groin muscles.
Start off with your right foot pressed firmly against the floor, bend the left leg and bring its sole on your inner right thigh. The toes must be pointed at the floor. If it is too challenging, place the sole of your left leg on your inner calf or even ankle, just avoid the knee. Now get your palms together and bring them against your chest. Focus on the floor in front of you to maintain your balance and push the right knee back to open the groin muscles.
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana is known to stretch the muscles of the spine and hamstrings whilst calming your mind.
Start off with the Mountain pose and place your hands on the hips. Exhale and tuck your chin toward the chest and bend forward whilst carefully lengthening the front of your torso. Relax, breath in and let go of your arms. Place your fingertips on the floor either on the sides or in front of your feet. Bend your knees slightly and allow the spine to stretch. Work your way up and go from placing the fingertips to placing the palms on the floor. When you want to go out of the pose, simply place your hands on your hips, inhale and lift up whilst still keeping your chin tucked in the chest.
- Downward – Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The Downward – Facing Dog pose helps you both strengthen your arms and legs and stretch the hamstrings, shoulders, wrists, hands and calves.
Start off on your knees, with your hands in front of your shoulders. Make sure the knees line up with your hips and press your hands against the floor, with your index fingers pointing forward. Exhale and lift your knees up whilst still keeping them slightly bent. Stretch your tailbone, press your heels against the floor and keep your thighs back until your legs are straight. Don’t stop pressing your index fingers against the floor and start lifting your arms to your shoulders. Focus on lengthening your spine and ensure your shoulders are not drawn towards your ears. Now draw your shoulder blades down towards your tailbone and against your back and drop the knees to the floor.
- Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Warrior I is known to improve your balance, stretch the shoulders, groin, lungs and chest whilst strengthening the thighs, calves and ankles.
Start off with the Mountain pose and place your right foot in front of you. Now lift your arms above our head and turn your left foot to the left by 45 to 60 degrees. Bend the right knee until it gets just over the ankle, slowly arch your upper back and lift your chest up. Keep your palms together and your eyes ahead. Now step back into the Mountain pose and repeat on the left leg.