Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Yoga is a great form of exercise because it provides physical activity and mental relaxation. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an expert looking for a challenging poses, here is a 20-minute yoga routine to help you get started.
Child’s pose is the yoga take on the classic stretching. This pose requires minimal strength and works to lengthen out tense and tight muscles. Start in a kneeling position with your bottom on your heels, allowing your torso to relax and hang down for a few breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
This classic yoga pose is great for stretching out your hamstrings and spine. Start on your hands and knees and come up onto your toes. Exhale and raise your hips, stretching your arms and legs at the same time. Make sure your head is relaxed and your shoulders and arms are gently stretched. Try to remain in this pose for five breaths before moving to the next.
Cat & Cow Pose
The cat and cow pose is a combination of two poses that when done together, helps to stretch and massage the spine. Start on your hands and knees and then inhale, arching your back and allowing your belly to come towards the ground. On the exhale, push your belly button towards the sky and round your back, allowing your head to come down between your arms. Repeat these two movements slowly for a few cycles.
Downward Dog Split
Continue in your yoga practice by adding a challenge with a downward dog split. From the downward facing dog position, slowly lift one leg at a time until you create a 90-degree angle with your body. Move your hips up and down and side to side while keeping your leg straight in the air. This is a great way to stretch your calves, quads, and hamstrings.
Wide-Legged Forward Facing Bend
Next move into a wide-legged forward bend. Starting in a seated position with both legs spread, use your hands to press your hips down towards the ground. Stretch your arms forward, keeping your chest lifted and pressing your hips forward. This can be a tough pose, but as with all yoga, work within a pain-free range.
Half Split Pose
Finally, move into a half split pose. Begin in a low lunge position and slide your back leg out, with your foot flat on the floor. Keep your torso and back leg in this 90-degree angle and place your hands forward, gently pressing your hips down until your torso is parallel to the floor. Feel the stretch in your hips and hold for five breaths.
This 20-minute yoga routine is perfect for any level, from beginner to experienced yogi.