Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling stiff? Do you experience a lot of pain during the day? Yoga is essential for those who struggle with chronic pain or stiffness. For new beginners, it can be daunting to know where to start. There’s a lot of helpful tutorials on youtube, but they could lack modifications or be too difficult. These five simple yoga poses are necessary for those who just want an easy stretch in the morning. By doing these two-minute yoga poses in the morning and throughout the day, your body will thank you.
1. Pelvic Tilts
This yoga pose is primarily for people who experience bad back pain. Simply lie down on a yoga mat. A carpet or rug will work well if you don’t have a mat. Then, with your back straight on the floor and your knees up, slowly tilt your hips upward to your face. Slowly repeat this movement; it’s supposed to be subtle, nothing too dramatic. If lying on your back causes discomfort, then get into a table top position. After getting into position, tilt your hips slightly inwards. You can do this pose for as long as you want. This pose is also great for tightening those abdominal muscles used later on in other poses. To increase the difficulty of this pose, hold for longer than 10 seconds.
2. Downward Dog
Beginning on your hands and knees, walk your hands forward. The most important part of this exercise is that you are comfortable. You can walk your hands forward as far as you can go. Then, push up on your hands until your legs are straight, creating an “A.” If you need to walk your hands closer, that’s alright. This pose helps with stretching out your hamstrings. It also helps with strengthening the shoulders and the back. Remember to keep your core engaged when doing this pose, tightening it. If your back starts to hurt, you’re using your back instead of your core. If you have difficulty with this pose, try to keep the core engaged as much as possible. Over time, your core strength will increase, and you will use your back less. If you need assistance with this pose, blocks are helpful.
This pose is helpful with improving blood flow throughout the body. It can also help with posture. Since this pose stretches the chest and the shoulders, which aids the spine by straightening it out. The feet muscles get strengthened, which can improve walking.
Downward dog should be held anywhere from 5-10 breathes. Depending on your comfortability level, you can increase or decrease how long you stay in this position. You can see the benefits from this pose when you repeat it 2-3 times a day.
3. Standing Forward Bend
This is a great pose to stretch out the back and strengthen the hamstrings. Starting on a yoga mat, slowly bend down to touch your toes. There are a couple variations of this pose depending on your comfortability.
You can either let your arms hang or grab your ankles for a more intense stretch. If bending forward causes pain, bending the knees is another variation. Doing this stretch daily will strengthen your back and your hamstrings.
To increase the difficulty of this pose, hold for longer or change the position of your hands. If you started out by bending your knees, try to grab your ankles for a harder pose.
A block would be useful with this pose if the individual has issues with balance. Place the block between the thighs for more stability. Another useful tool would be the wall. Face the wall while doing this pose, letting your upper back rest on the wall.
4. Child’s Pose
This pose is beneficial for those who have poor core strength and struggle with back pain. While building that core, other poses can be difficult and discouraging. When you add back pain into the mix, it might deter you from yoga. This pose requires no core strength and stretches out the back. On a yoga mat, sit in a kneeled position. Then, slowly lean down, with arms outstretched and hands touching the mat. Based on your comfortability level, you can either reach your hands out more or keep them closer to your body. A modification for this pose would be to sit in a chair with your feet touching the ground. Then, slowly bend down and place your hands on the mat between your feet.
The suggested time for this pose is anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute. If it’s for meditative purposes, you can increase the time to your liking. 3-5 minutes is usually a good stopping point when using this pose for meditation.
5. Corpse Pose
This pose is a great one to incorporate at the end of stretching. Yoga poses can be challenging on our bodies. The corpse pose is strain-free and provides some meditation at the end of your stretching. This pose is beneficial for calming the nervous system, lowering blood pressure, and even can reduce headaches. For the pose to be effective, hold it for a minimum of five minutes. If you can do more, it will benefit you throughout the day. Simply lay down on the mat with your hands by your sides to do this pose. Take deep breaths, focus on each part of your body and slowly release the tension. Concentrate on your breathing while relaxing your arms, legs, core, and face. While this pose is the easiest out of the five, it leaves you feeling peaceful and accomplished, ready to start the day.
With these five poses, you’ll notice a difference in your energy and mood throughout the day. Yoga is proven to help lower stress and inflammation in the body. As a beginner, yoga can seem overwhelming or too challenging. With these five calming yoga poses, you can incorporate it into your daily schedule. Your body will thank you!