Here are five yoga poses you can easily bring into your day while going about your regular activities. Of course, you may think, why not just practise a yoga class? Well, sometimes it just doesn’t work out because:
- you feel you have no spare time at all
- the spare time you do have is spent on something else – another discipline, meditation, Pranayama, running…
- you’re too tired to make the effort to unroll your mat and do a proper practice
- you simply just don’t feel like it
Maybe you can come up with a few reasons yourself!
If I have limited time, I often end up spending it on Pranayama and meditation, so these options are a way of squeezing a bit of asana practice into my day:
1. Tree pose
I practise this whilst standing in front of the sink, brushing my teeth. I also end up spending a bit longer brushing my teeth, which is a good thing!
- Works on your balance, leg and ankle strength
- Gives length to your spine and opens the hips
- When you actively bring the outer hip of the standing leg in, your gluteus medius (one of the buttock muscles) is also exercised
2. Virasana with the toes tucked under
I like to do this whilst cuddling my dog in the morning… But you can also practise it while watching TV!
- Stimulates the soles of the feet and the whole body through the thousands of nerve endings in the soles of the feet
- Increases flexibility in the hips and knees
- Energises the legs when they’re tired
- Stretches the quads (front of the upper legs)
3. Extended child’s pose
This pose is lovely to do first thing in the morning. What’s great about it is that I can do it in bed after I’ve just woken up!
- Elongates and stretches the spine and the back body
- Relieves compression in the lower back
- Gently stretches the hips, thighs, ankles and knees
- Opens the shoulders
- Relieves stress and fatigue
4. Seated twist
Ideal tension-reliever whilst sat behind my desk.
- Releases tension in the muscles of the spine, abdomen and rib cage
- This has a knock-on effect of helping the other systems in the body work effectively
- Helps to stimulate our organs, including our organs of elimination
- Stimulates circulation
- Creates heat
5. Downward dog
A great pose to stretch out the calf muscles whilst hiking (you can grab a friend’s ankles to stop your palms getting dirty!), or you can do a downward dog variation against a wall or a tree. Place your hands hip-height and walk the feet away till you create a right-angle between arms/upper body and legs.
- When your heart is above the head it encourages blood flow and both energises and calms the body
- Works on both flexibility and strength in several places in the body
- Builds strong bones in your upper body
All of these poses are really worth incorporating into your day. When you practise them don’t push, stay present and aware. Try to move and breathe mindfully with the intention to get the energy flowing and to feel better afterwards.
I would love to know about other poses you practise while going about your regular activities!