Feel Great in 15 Minutes with These Yoga Poses
You don’t always need an hour-long yoga class to feel loose and limber—sometimes you might only have 15 minutes because of a crazy schedule and that might be all you need thanks to modern technology. Whether it’s a quick break between meetings or winding down at night, these five yoga poses can help you get relief from sore muscles, stress and even an upset stomach—no yoga mat required
- Forward Fold
Most of us spend all day sitting at work, sitting in cars, sitting on trains, and sitting in front of the TV. This sedentary behavior can really take a toll on our backs, necks and hips—humans really weren’t meant to spend so much time on our behinds. After a long day, a forward fold can be just what we need to relax and decompress. This easy pose can be done anywhere and anytime, no matter your fitness level. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent (to protect them), and bend forward slowly. Let your head hang loose and grab opposite elbows. You can gently sway from side to side feeling everything relax. You should feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings, your hips, your neck, and shoulders. When you’re done, slowly roll yourself back up one vertebrae at a time to prevent dizziness.
- Crescent Pose
If you’re feeling tired and drained, Crescent Pose is a great fix. It’s a standing pose that will get your blood flowing and heart pumping to increase your energy and get you motivated for the day ahead. Start by stepping back two or three feet with your left leg. Keep your feet hip width apart, and turn your left foot out 90 degrees. Keeping your right foot straight, bend your right knee slightly (make sure you can always see your right toes) and sink into the lunge. Raise your arms overhead with your palms facing each other, and look up towards your fingers. Breathe deeply to give your body strength, and after about a minute repeat the pose on the opposite side. You should feel strong and invigorated, as this pose works your full body to leave you refreshed and energized. Note: you might work up a sweat in this pose, so be sure to wear your comfortable Australian gym wear.
- Cat and Cow
A great morning stretch is the Cat and Cow pose; it helps you wake up your body by stretching out all the kinks from sleeping. You can even do it right on your bed, which will help protect your knees. Start on all fours with arms directly below your shoulders, inhale and round out your back like a cat stretching. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly exhale and arch your back, looking upwards. You should feel a delicious spinal stretch, and the deep breathing helps to wake you.
- Reclined Cobbler’s Pose
It can be tough to mentally shut down in time for bed, especially if you’re prone to insomnia. Help your mind relax enough to get some shut-eye with a Reclined Cobbler’s Pose: start by laying on your back and bending your legs so that the soles of your feet touch. Place one hand on your stomach, and one hand on your heart. Close your eyes and let your mind be empty. Hold this position for several minutes to give your body and mind enough time to sink into the pose and clear out all thoughts.
- Spinal Twist
If your stomach is churning or you’re tensed up, a spinal twist can be just what the doctor ordered. This is another position you can do right in bed to relax your body enough to sleep. Lay flat on your back with your arms extended at your sides, and bring your knees up to 90 degrees. Gently rotate them to your right, keeping both shoulders flat on the ground, and look over your left shoulder. Hold for 60 seconds, and repeat on the other side. This twisting position helps to wring out your insides, which can aid with bloating and indigestion. You’ll also get an amazing lower back stretch that will relax you enough to send you to right to dreamland.