Although yoga may seem slow and gentle at first, many types of yoga can provide an excellent strength and cardiovascular workout. Yoga is especially beneficial for those seeking to maintain or increase flexibility. Yoga is comprised of poses or “asanas” that work different muscle groups. As each asana is performed, you are stretching, bending and moving your entire body resulting in a more sculpted and toned physique.
There are several easy yoga exercises that can be done at home. Here are just a few:
Sitting on the floor, stretch your legs straight in front of you with your back straight. Exhale and slowly bend forward until you can grasp your feet with your hands. If you can’t reach your feet, get a strap or scarf and wrap it around your feet. Hold this pose for 10 seconds. Then, release the hold on your feet and slowly straighten back up exhaling to a count of 10. This asana stretches your body prior to more difficult poses.
Sit on your knees. Interlock your hands behind your back and slowly bend forward until your head touches the mat. Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds. Slowly return to your original starting position. This works both your lower back and abdominal muscles.
Stand up straight with your feet together. Inhale and stretch your arms over your head. Arch your back slightly and push your pelvis forward, while keeping your legs straight. This provides a great stretch for your calves and quads.
Bend forward from the waist while keeping your legs straight. Pull in your stomach muscles while you touch your toes with your fingers (flex your knees slightly if needed). This provides a great stretch for both the calves, quads and abdominals.
Finish your easy yoga workout by bending your knees and then straightening one leg out behind you. While balancing on your toes on that particular foot, bend your other knee. Switch legs and repeat in a series of 10 seconds. This asana is a leg strengthening pose helping you with your overall balance.