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Let’s be honest: it’s hard to say which are the “absolute best Yoga poses”, because every one of them is excellent.
Every Yoga pose encourages better flexibility, mobility, endurance, and strength. Each twisting, stretching, reaching, and balance pose is excellent for your overall fitness and wellbeing.
But there are a few that I highly recommend you incorporate into your daily workouts—or even just practice at home in the morning, at the office during your lunch break, or in your bedroom at night.
These are the “best Yoga poses” to increase your fitness and make every movement so much easier.
The 9 Best Yoga Poses to Practice Daily
Cobra Pose – Cobra Pose is an amazing pose to work out the knots and kinks in your entire spine. You start lying flat on your belly and using your hands to push your head and shoulders up until your arms are extended. As you do, you’ll feel the pull start in your upper back and shoulders, but it will extend all the way to your lower back. After a long day spent sitting down (or standing!), this is an amazing stretch to limber up your spine and increase lower back mobility.
Child’s Pose – Spend a few minutes in Child’s Pose, and you’ll find the tension in your back melts away. In fact, the stretch extends all the way down to your hips, knees, and ankles, increasing your lower body flexibility while loosening the knots in your spine. It’s typically used as a moment of rest between poses, but you can use it to clear your mind and focus on the sensations of your body during a busy day when you need a few minutes to relax.
Triangle Pose – Before you do any resistance training or high-impact exercise, it’s highly recommended to spend a minute or two in Triangle Pose to really loosen your spine and stretch your legs. This stretch does wonders for not only your back, but your shoulders, chest, hips, groin, hamstrings and even your calves. You’ll find that just the act of straightening your legs in this position can help to work out the tension that forms after long hours of sitting, and twisting to reach for the sky improves your balance and stretches your lower back brilliantly.
Plank Pose – Plank Pose is easily one of the all-time BEST core exercises. It not only fires up all of your core muscles—your abs, lower back, obliques, and the muscles that connect with your glutes and legs—but even targets your upper and lower body muscles. Best of all, it involves no movement, so it’s unlikely to trigger or worsen back injuries. It’s an incredibly safe and incredibly effective core-strengthening exercise that you should practice every single day.
Warrior Poses – The various Warrior Poses (Warrior I, II, III, and Reverse Warrior) are amazing for building strength in your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and thighs. Spending more time in these poses will also help to make your knees more “bulletproof” against injuries because you’re strengthening the muscles that protect your knee joints. You’ll find that few other Yoga poses really make you feel the burn quite as effectively as the many Warrior poses!
Downward Dog – Also known as Downward Facing Dog, this is one of the best poses to build upper body strength while stretching your shoulder muscles, activating your core, and loosening up your hamstrings. It’s a great pose to relieve lower back pain, and helps you to pay attention to the stiffness in the backs of your legs (very common after a day spent sitting down). Just be aware that it could exacerbate any wrist issues, so consider modifying it by lowering your elbows to the ground if you’ve got carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tree Pose – Tree Pose is an interesting one to try if you want to improve your balance and posture. Basically, you stand on one leg for as long as you can hold the position, using your other leg to maintain stability. It’s amazing for helping you to have better body control and just be more aware of how you sit and stand all day long. Plus, it will strengthen your core and develop powerful lower body muscles—particularly the muscles in your feet that contribute to your balance.
Bridge Pose – If you want a movement that’s half-workout, half-stretch, you won’t find many better than Bridge Pose. This pose specifically focuses on your lower back, glutes, hips, thighs, and hamstrings, ensuring that your core and lower body can move in synchronicity and strength. It can be easily modified to make it easier for anyone suffering from a lower back injury, or made more difficult if you want to turn it into a core-strengthening exercise. It’ll help you pay extra attention to your lower back and legs to ensure smooth, limber movement.
Standing Forward Fold – This is a wonderful stretching movement that will loosen up your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, working out all the “back body” tension that contributes to a higher risk of spinal injuries and general inflexibility. The beauty of this pose is that working on it every day will increase your mobility and loosen up your spine, making it easier to bend forward in every other activity you do.
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