Easy yoga poses to do at home
Homelife can be stressful — not to mention a bit sedative — but it’s important for our bodies and minds that we try and undertake some mindful and physical exercises during all this isolation.
by Rebecca Giorgilli
A year ago
Luckily for us, there’s an activity that not only achieves both, but you can do it from the safety of your own home — Yoga.
Got 15-20 minutes? (I think, secretly, we all do right now) Here are five yoga poses we absolutely love here at Thalia that are quick to learn and sure to benefit your body and mind
I know we’re sitting around quite a lot, so mimicking a seated position is the last thing on our minds. However, this is a fantastic exercise for all your leg muscles that aren’t exactly getting much of a workout at the moment. The Chair Pose is also good for our posture which, let's face it, could always do with improving.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, pointing forward. Take a deep breath in and raise your arms straight up over your head.
- Push your shoulders down and away from your ears. Then, bend at your hips and lower yourself, as if sitting in a chair. Go as low as you feel comfortable. Lengthen through your spine, and breathe deeply. Try to hold this pose for six to eight breaths. Return to standing. Repeat.
From the Chair Pose, this one is a bit more relaxing. It’s ideal for those of us who have stiff hips, hamstrings and calves. It also keeps your spine strong and flexible while helping to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
- From the chair pose, reach your hands up to the ceiling and return to standing. Breathe out, bend at your hips and lower your head as far toward the floor as possible.
- Cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Let your head hang and relax. Breathe in, lengthening the front of your body; as you breathe out, reach your hips toward the ceiling. Hold for eight breaths, then place your hands on your hips and, with a flat back, come back to standing. Repeat.
Don’t worry if you can’t do this for very long — a lot of people can’t. The longer you can train yourself to hold it for though, the more benefits you’ll get from it, and there are lots of them!
The pose strengthens your core, heightens metabolism, reduces back pain, improves posture and balance, enhances bone and joint health while boosting your mood and relieving stress.
- Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and walk your feet back until you are in a straight plank position. Spread your fingers out as much as possible.
- Lengthen through your spine and send the top of your head away from your heels in a straight body position. You should feel a stretch across the muscles of your back as you rotate your shoulders out from your body. Hold this pose for eight breaths. Lower to the ground. Repeat.
Following on from the plank, the High Lunge opens the hips and chest, stretches the groin and legs, lengthens the spine and strengthens the lower body.
- Get into plank position. Bend at the knee, reaching one foot forward, placing it between your hands.
- From this position, reach for the ceiling with both hands so your upper body is now straight. (Your back leg remains straight and your front leg is bent at 90 degrees.) Your lower-body muscles should be engaged. Hold this pose for eight breaths. Return to plank pose and then repeat on the other side.
Seated Half-Spinal Twist Pose
Time to sit down I think! But let’s not stop the poses just yet. This twisting pose can increase the flexibility in your back, while stretching the shoulders, hips and chest. It can also help relieve tension in the middle of your back. It’s a little complicated, so take your time and make sure you get all your hands and legs in the right place.
- Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping the feet together and the spine erect. Bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip (optionally, you can keep the left leg straight).
- Take the right leg over the right knee before placing the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you. Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over the right shoulder. Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out. Once finished, breathe out and release the right hand first (the one behind you), release the waist, then chest, lastly the neck and sit up relaxed yet straight. Repeat on the other side.
Don’t be put off by the name if you don’t know what it is, it’s everyone’s favourite!
It typically signals the end of a yoga class and is designed as a pose for reflection and meditation. You’d be surprised as to how many people struggle to stay still in this position, but try your best to relax all those muscles you’ve been stretching over the past 15 minutes or so.
- Lie down on your back, ensuring your feet are pointing upwards and your body is well-aligned. Place your arms slightly away from your torso with palms facing up. Look up at the ceiling, breathe and close your eyes.
- Think about all the things that you're thankful for and all the things you have to look forward to. This is time for forgiveness and positive thoughts, not stressful and frustrating ones.
If you have any chronic injuries or had an operation recently, look up these poses and ensure you’re fit and well enough to do them.
To your blossoming xxx
(Image credit: Yogajournal)