These poses will open up your whole body, increase blood flow, & make you feel stronger in no time.



For many, yoga is a path khổng lồ physical health. A solid, consistent practice can improve sầu your strength, flexibility, coordination—& even your mental well-being. While all of these benefits are appealing, it can be difficult lớn know how khổng lồ start your own practice. This is especially true if you"re not comfortable going lớn a studio.

The image of yoga on social truyền thông media can be incredibly daunting. Some of the most popular yoga ambassadors are praised for doing acrobatic stunts and complicated stretches (which is awesome for them!). But because of that, sometimes people assume yoga is only for those who are super athletic or flexible—or who are of a certain body shape and/or race.

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Know that yoga can be done by anybody given the proper modifications. And it can also be practiced in the comfort of your own trang chính. The poses below are some of the most comtháng positions you"ll find in yoga flows, whether you"re in a class or at home page. Get familiar with these essential moves (along with their modifications) so when you bởi vì hop inkhổng lồ a flow, you can be confident that you"re getting a good workout.

Equipment: yoga mat (go here for our favorites)

Hold Time for Each Position: 5-10 breaths

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This pose—one of the most common in yoga—is an excellent morning stretch. You"ll open up the shoulders, hamstrings, and calves as well as the arches of your feet. Down dogs also help to lớn strengthen your shoulders và upper bachồng. And by bending so that your heart is over your head, you"ll increase blood flow to lớn the brain—a great way to kickstart alertness in the early morning hours.

How khổng lồ vì chưng it: Start in a tabletop position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Inhale. Exhale và lift your knees off the floor, positioning your butt toward the ceiling. Contract your thighs. Reach your heels to lớn the floor and straighten out your knees as much as you can without locking them up. Press through your fingertips & keep your head between your arms.

Modifications: If you have difficulty opening your shoulders, raise your hands up on blocks or a chair.

This restorative sầu yoga pose is a great shoulder opener and can be used to rest in between more difficult positions. Come back to lớn it any time—but don’t idle. You want lớn feel like you"re reaching out toward the opposite end of the room for maximum benefits.

How to lớn bởi it: Start in a tabletop position. cảm biến your big toes together. Then sit baông chồng on your heels và put your torso on your thighs. Place your arms straight in front of you with your palms facing the floor.

Modifications: If it’s painful for you khổng lồ sit over your heels, fold a blanket or towel và place it in between the bachồng of your thighs và calves.

If you want flexible hips and strong legs, lunge positions are where it’s at. High lunge và Warrior 1 are especially good for opening the front of the hip flexors as well as the shoulders.

How to bởi vì it: Start by standing over the long side of your mat. Rotate your hips & torso toward your right foot. Inhale. Exhale & bkết thúc your right knee to lớn 90 degrees as you sink your hips toward the ground. Make sure you keep your right knee in line with your right ankle as you feel the stretch in your groin. Keep your left leg svào. Raise your arms overhead. Be careful not to lớn overarch your baông xã. Repeat on the other side. For Warrior I, the position is the same except your baông chồng foot is planted on the floor, nearly parallel to the front of your mat. This creates more external rotation in the hips.

Modifications: If you’re having trouble getting your front knee khổng lồ a 90-degree angle, put your hands on your hips. This helps you to lớn focus on the power of your legs. If your front leg is fatigued, bover your left knee and bring your left leg lớn the floor. From here you can even bring your hands to lớn the floor to lớn lessen to the intensity.

This standing pose stretches your hips, hamstrings, calves, chest, shoulders và your spine. It"s also great for strengthening your knees, quads, & ankles.

How lớn vị it: Stvà over the long side of your mat. Raise your arms parallel lớn the floor and keep your palms facing down. Face your right foot & angle it to the front of your mat. The left foot should be at a 90-degree angle to lớn the right. Both heels are in line with each other. Take a deep breath in as you face the right leg. Exhale and extover your torso over your right leg, bending from the hip joint. Rotate your torso to lớn the left and rest your right h& on your right shin, ankle or the floor on the outside of your right foot. Reach your left arm toward the ceiling & make sure that both shoulders are in one line. Keep your head in a neutral position by softly gazing up at your left hvà. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications: Reaching the floor can be really challenging. If you want to challenge your flexibility a bit more but can’t quite touch the ground, use a bloông chồng.

This pose is known for increasing strength and stamimãng cầu, particularly in the legs and arms. Fun fact: All of the warrior poses (or Virabhadrasamãng cầu in Sanskrit) is named after an incarnation of the Hindu deity, Shiva. This incarnation is a warrior who was said khổng lồ have a thousvà heads, a thousvà clubs, and was always wearing a tiger’s skin. Emtoàn thân this fierceness when you enter Warrior II & see how you feel afterward!

How to vày it: Stand nice & tall over the long side of your mat. Take up space; your feet should be about 3-4 feet apart. Lift your arms until they are parallel khổng lồ the floor, palms facing the floor. Turn your right foot lớn face the front of the mat & angle your left foot 90 degrees. Bover your right knee until it’s directly over your right ankle. Try to get your left thigh as parallel to lớn the floor as possible. Hold your gaze over your right h&. Step baông xã and repeat on the other side.

Modifications: If you’re having trouble holding this pose, grab a chair and position it lớn face the outside of the front knee that you’re going khổng lồ bover. As you bover the knee, slide the chair beneath your thigh for tư vấn.

Doing Mountain Pose might feel at first like you’re just standing. But when performed intentionally, it’s a great way to rest between poses và improve your posture. It can even firm up your abs and butt!

How lớn vì chưng it: Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart. Lift và spread your toes, then place them on the floor. Roông chồng bachồng và forth, then side-to-side. When you’re done exploring your balance, come lớn a standstill. Contract your thigh muscles & lift your kneecaps. Imagine a line of energy traveling up from your toes khổng lồ your head. Pinch your shoulder blades together then pull them down. Raise your sternum lớn the ceiling without raising your lower ribs. Arms are by your sides with your palms facing the front. Your head should be in line with your spine. Maintain a soft gaze.

Modifications: A great way to check your alignment is lớn vày this pose against the wall. (Just don’t lean the bachồng of your head on the wall. That will compromise your neông xã position.)

Cat/Cows can be a fun way lớn warm up the spine. These are great khổng lồ prep for more difficult bachồng bends & khổng lồ release bao tay. If you’re feeling silly, add some animal noises.

How to lớn vì chưng it: Start in the tabletop position with your hands beneath your shoulders & your knees beneath you hips. Your spine và head will begin in a neutral position. Inhale. Exhale and enter cat: Round your spine lớn the ceiling & gently release your head toward the floor. Inhale và enter cow: Lift your chest, head & butt to lớn the ceiling và be careful not lớn over strain the nechồng. Instead of holding each pose for 5 to 10 breaths, oscillate between these two positions 5 khổng lồ 10 times going at your own pace.

Modifications: If you are experiencing wrist pain, you can do these positions from your forearms. For achy knees, a folded pillow can add some cushion. And if your neck is bothering you, keep your nechồng in a neutral position throughout the movements.

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Bridges are awesome glute strengtheners và a great way to open up the chest & shoulders. They are a precursor khổng lồ the wheel pose, which will have you back bending in an upside-down “U."

How khổng lồ vị it: Start by lying on your baông chồng with your feet on the ground và knees pointed toward the ceiling. Bring your heels as cđại bại to your butt as possible. Inhale. Exhale và squeeze your glutes và lift your heinie off of the floor. Keep your knees over your ankles. Clasp your hands beneath you and stay on the tops of your shoulders. Pinch your shoulder blades together và hold.

Modifications: If holding your pelvis up is too hard, place a blochồng beneath your sacrum (lower back) and rest there.

The last of the three Warriors, this one is especially demanding on balance và coordination. It’s great to lớn strengthen the ankles, legs, and the muscles in the upper back.

How to bởi it: Stand with a pair of blocks in front of your feet. Inhale. Exhale and reach for the blocks. Inhale và as you exhale, extover your right leg & try lớn keep your spine & leg in one line. Actively press through the heel. As you feel comfortable you can also raise your arms in front of you until they are in alignment with your right leg. This will strengthen your upper baông chồng. Hold. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications: If you are using blocks, make sure they"re at a height that allows your legs và baông xã lớn be in one line. You can also use a wall for assistance lớn understand where that baông chồng leg should end up. Stand in front of the wall about a leg"s distance away. When you raise that leg, press the heel into lớn the wall khổng lồ maintain the balance và alignment.

Want more flexible hamstrings và a healthy spine? Try forward folds. In this variation you’ll be on the floor, so you won’t get as much of a head rush lượt thích you might in a standing version.

How to lớn vị it: Sit on your mat with your legs straight in front of you. Keep your hands on the ground by your hips as you actively press your heels forward & descover your thighs into lớn the floor. Take a deep inhale. As you exhale, lean forward from the hip joints. If you can, you can grab your big toes or the outside of your feet. Never force your toàn thân lớn go too far. Just observe sầu where your body toàn thân is at today.

Modifications: For added tư vấn in this pose, place a folded blanket under your butt. If your hamstrings are tight, loop a strap around your feet instead of trying khổng lồ reach for them. If you are really tight, roll up a blanket and place them under your knees.

This position stretches the groin, thighs, torso, & shoulders. Because you’re standing on one leg, it also challenges your ability to lớn balance. If you’re feeling particularly “unbalanced” in your life, this pose might help you khổng lồ refocus và center yourself.

How to vì chưng it: Begin standing on your mat with your arms by your sides (i.e. Mountain Pose). Shift your weight onto your right foot & lift your left off the ground. Grab your left foot và place it khổng lồ the inside of your right leg. Avoid placing it directly on the knee. Above sầu or below the joint is fine. Stare at an unmoving point in front of you and bring your arms lớn a prayer position at the center of your chest. Depending on how flexible you are, you might be able to lớn get to lớn this position without grabbing your foot. Raise your arms overhead if you want an extra balance challenge. Repeat on the other side.

Modification: For many people, the goal of this pose is to be able lớn bring your foot to lớn the inside of the standing thigh. If that’s a struggle, it’s OK to lớn place that foot on the inside of the standing calf or ankle. You can also rest the toes of the raised foot on the floor for added support. For even more assistance, try doing this position with your baông chồng lớn the wall or try resting one h& on a chair placed by the side of the standing leg.

Pigeon Pose is excellent for increasing hip mobility. This is a particularly good stretch if you find yourself sitting for long periods at a time. Depending on how tight you are, it can feel very intense. Go slowly và explore the position.

How to lớn do it: Start in downward dog. Shoot that right leg baông xã behind you and bring your right knee toward your right wrist (or as far as you can). Rotate your right foot toward your left arm. Rest that right leg on the ground with your shin either perpendicular to lớn the front of the mat (making a 90-degree angle) or pointed more toward your groin (more of a 45-degree angle). Adjust yourself lớn make sure you’re not putting too much pressure on the right knee. You can keep your hands on the ground by your sides or you can reach ahead of the shin that’s on the ground. To increase the intensity, extend the left leg straight behind you. Gently return to the tabletop position & repeat on the other side.

Modifications: To lessen the intensity of the stretch, move your shin closer to lớn your groin. If your pelvis is far away from the floor, it’s going lớn be hard lớn really let go in this stretch. If that’s you, grab a bloông chồng or a rolled blanket & place it under your pelvis for support. You can also rest your arms on blocks in front of you if you feel like reaching the floor is too much.

This regal-sounding pose will have you standing taller và more energized. It’s great for aligning the spine, stretching the shoulders, hips, và nechồng, as well as stimulating the digestive sầu organs.

How khổng lồ bởi vì it: Start sitting on your mat with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your knees and have sầu your feet flat on the ground. Slip your right foot under your right leg until your left foot meets your right hip. Then place the outside of your left leg on the floor. Take your right foot và place it closer to the outside of your left hip. Your right knee will be pointed towards the ceiling. Inhale. Then as you exhale twist your torso khổng lồ the inside of your right thigh. Keep your right hvà behind your sit bones for tư vấn. Place your left arm on the outside of your right leg, just below the knee. Twist your torso khổng lồ your right thigh as you press your right thigh into lớn your torso. Look over your right shoulder. As you breathe lift the sternum và stay tall in the torso. Try to lớn twist a little bit more every time you exhale. Repeat on the other side.

Modifications: If it’s challenging lớn get your torso close to lớn the inner thigh, use a wall for assistance. Start with your baông chồng facing the wall with about a foot’s distance in between. As you twist, reach baông chồng for the wall. Your elbow should be nearly straight (not fully locked out). If you have sầu long arms, move farther away from the wall as to avoid jamming your shoulder. Once you reach the wall, push away from it khổng lồ deepen the twist. Make sure lớn keep your torso long và upright.