Viparita Karani

Legs up the wall promotes relaxation while stretching your hamstrings and supporting your circulatory system. Elevating your legs above the level of the heart helps support the flow of blood back to your heart, decreases any leg swelling and/or feelings of fatigue, according

Downward Facing Dog | Adho Mukha Shwanasana

Health benefit: Downward facing dog is one of the most versatile beginner yoga poses you can find. It not only helps with back pain and core strength, but also promotes flexibility from head to toe. It creates traction in the lower back, which takes pressure off the spine, according to Dr. Mukai. Meanwhile, your hamstrings and calves also get a good stretch.

Knees to Chest | Apanasana

Health benefit: By stretching your lumbar spine, this beginner yoga pose promotes flexibility and helps manage back pain. Once you’re situated, rocking gently from side to side can give your lower back muscles a massage. “This is a place where we often hold tension that can be at the root of back pain,” says Dr. Soffer.

ethnic woman doing yoga in wind removing pose
Photo by Miriam Alonso on

Cobbler’s Pose | Baddha Konasana

Health benefit: Also known as bound angle pose, this basic yoga pose helps with flexibility, according to Dr. Soffer. By letting gravity lower your knees, it opens up your hips. In fact, a study performed on people with diabetes showed that, in combination with other yoga asanas, it improved subjects’ total cholesterol, blood glucose and overall sense of well-being.

How to do it:

  • Sitting with your legs extended in front of you, bend your knees and bring your heels toward your body.
  • Let your knees fall out to either side while pressing the soles of your feet together.
  • Draw your heels as close to your body as comfortably possible.
  • Maintain an elongated spine, pressing your shoulders down and away from your ears.

Chair Pose | Utkatasana

Health benefit: In this pose, you mimic sitting in a chair, as you hold a static squat with your feet together. Chair pose is “super” for developing both upper and lower body strength, particularly in your glute and back muscles, according to Rountree. It also helps with balance, especially if you lift your heels.

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