10 Yoga Poses You Should Do Every Day
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
I have really been slacking on posting lately and I could give a million excuses about how life has kept me occupied. In the midst of all of my personal craziness, I wanted to do a yoga post centered on foundation and basics - the brick and mortar must haves to maintain a solid structure in my daily life. And I wanted to do it wearing a fabulous flower crown.
I had this beauty in my fridge for four days from another shoot and I just had to give it another go! The Pink Peony LLC whipped up this masterful creation and it looked perfect for days afterwards! I put it on and my inner green goddess came out, so it was only appropriate that I took this post riverside.
And so I give you...10 asanas you should do every day. I'm not saying these are the only poses you should be practicing, but incorporating these into your daily practice - whether before, after, or mixed in between - is bound to increase your mobility, flexibility, and strengthen your personal practice.
1. Standing Side Bend - Katichakrasana
The standing side bend is a simple but powerful way to kick off any sequence. It focuses on breathing - with each bend, exhale to further deepen the stretch - to calm your mind and body. Switching each side is a great way to lengthen a compressed spine when the day has worn you. Loosening up that tight back will promote better posture, something that, at 5'11", I desperately need.
2. Downward Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana
Everyone is familiar with this pose, but you may not know that it takes care to stretch the entire back side of your body - from you achilles to your shoulders. This energizes your body and takes care of that stressed and frazzled brain, relieving headaches, and fatigue. This gentle bend also gives your inner organs a nice massage and could improve your digestion. Don't do it too soon after eating though, you can do the math to figure out that result.
3. Cobra - Bhujangasana
Getting into Cobra has many benefits across your full body. Pointing your toes so that the tops of your feet are on the ground will help ensure you've properly entered the pose - you'll feel it in your bum, this pose helps keep it nice and tight! Cobra opens your chest and the front of your shoulders, and this leads to looking less like Lurch (If you don't know my Munsters reference I can't have a healthy discussion with you). Along with being a posture perfecter, this asana is said to destroy disease. While that may be up for debate, you're sure to stimulate your abdominal muscles - so either way, things are happening.
4. Crescent Lunge - Anjaneyasana
This lunge pose strengthens and stretches your lower and upper body while simultaneously creating stability and balance. Talk about a multi-tasker! The Crescent Lunge is a triple threat - a balancing pose, a heart opener, and a back bend - triggering so many parts of your body at once increases your energy and reduces fatigue, and this lunge in particular will lengthen your spine and open up tight hip flexors.
5./6. Cow & Cat Poses - Bitilasana & Marjaryasana
These poses were made for each other, and when practiced in sequence provide your body with major benefits. As you -INHALE- into Cow Pose and -EXHALE- into Cat, you provide your belly with a gentle massage, giving love to all of those organs held there, and your spine, which supports them. Practicing your breath in this manner will calm your mind and relieve stress. This short little sequence will relieve a tight back and help you maintain flexibility in your spine.
7. Pigeon Pose - Kapotasana
Pigeon Pose provides one of the best hip stretches you could ask for, and as someone who sits for work, I'm on my knees beggin'. This asana hits your hips from all angles - not only does it work the rotation of your hips, but it stretches the back of your leg at the same time. This pose will have your hips and lower back feeling nice and open - you can either fall forward for a deeper stretch, or grab your back foot from over head for a back bend variation - definitely not pictured. This girl's got some work to do...
8. Happy Baby - Ananda Balasana
Happy Baby is the ultimate relaxation pose - second to svasana (my personal favorite) - with a name like "happy baby" how could it not be? You can call it Happy Hailey if you want, because this pose will open up your hips, groin, and lower back and lengthen and realign your spine. Those are things I'm very much into, they'll make a very happy Hailey.
9. Garland Pose - Malasana
Aka The Yogi Squat, aka The Pose of Youth - this many monikered pose is said to keep you walking and moving like a young person when practiced regularly. It opens up your hip flexors and keeps your hip joints mobile. The squat position helps sculpt strong and lean legs and tightens your belly, while the balancing aspect helps you focus your intention in the pose.
10. Windshield Wipers
No fancy sanskrit name for this one, but don't let that fool you. This age old exercise is a great spine neutralizer when you've been practicing bends and folds, or you just have a sore back...The gentle twist creates flexibility in the spine and stretches the external hips and lower back as you swish from side to side. This motion strengthens your core muscles, especially your lower abs and obliques - the ones grow as quickly as your need for cheese curds - so keep 'em going! (The wipers, not the cheese curds!)
It's not hard to see the common thread for these asanas. In just five minutes, the practice of these poses delivers tremendous benefits to all areas of your body with minimal effort. Perhaps it's time you gave your body some T.L.C. and incorporate this sequence into your daily routine. Your muscles will thank you!
My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same,
we are one.
Pants - Amazon
Crop Tank - Discovery Clothing
Crown - The Pink Peony LLC