Besides our usual exercise regimen, what our body also needs is not just being worked-out, but getting to really relax and stretch out those stiff or stressed spots. No matter how intense your work-outs are or how frequently you do them, stretches work wonders on your body in helping it relax.
So, here are some easy yoga exercises to do every day especially after a stressful and exhausting day.
All the poses should take about 5 minutes overall, each pose needs to be held for around 30 seconds, and can be done 1 to 3 times each.
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1. The Standing Side Arch
-This stretches out your compressed spine and tight spots in your back and moves it side-ways. This exercise helps your body feel calm and become flexible.
-First, stand erect, keep your legs and feet together, and stretch both arms upwards and put your palms together, inhale as you do this.
-Next, lower your right arm to the right side
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2. The Downward Facing Dog
-This stretches the entire backside of your body, such as, your back, hamstrings, calves, thighs, and heels.
-Start with kneeling on your mat with and place your hands firmly on the floor with your shoulders directly above it and your fingers spread wide apart.
-Tuck you toes under your body and use your abdominal muscles to push your body off the floor, so only your palms and feet are firmly placed on the mat.
-Apply gentle pressure on your hands and slowly bend over and move your chest so it is facing your thighs with your feet planted firmly on the ground, which puts a strain and stretches your thighs.
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3. The Cobra Stance
-This pose works better if done every day. It strengthens and stretches your abdominal muscles, thighs, lower spine, and upper arms.
*It may be better to keep your chest open and in front of your shoulders, as a more effective posture.
-For starters, lay face down on the floor with your head slightly lifted, palms flat on the floor, with your hands directly aligned under your shoulders. Lift yourself up a bit off the floor, so your body rests on the top or your feet and toes on the mat
-As you lift make sure your arms are straight and elbows are not bent.
-Hold the position, and make sure you slowly inhale and exhale as you do it.
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4. The Moon Worshipper
-This pose helps open those tight hip muscles, and stretches out the whole spine. It
-Stand straight and then place the toe edges your right foot to the back, making sure to keep your feet wide apart.
-Then, stretch both your arms above your head and put your palms together.
-Put the left foot forward and bend its knee to a 90-degree angle.
-Make sure your shoulders are relaxed, not stressed, as you continue to stretch your arms up and leg behind you.
-After holding the position, do the same for the other side.
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5. The Cat Stretch
-This pose relieves your tight spinal column, loosens tight back muscles, and keeps your spine flexible.
-Begin by placing your palms and knees on the floor. Your hands need to be aligned directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
-Keep your spine in a neutral or long stretched out position then slowly tuck the tailbone area and bend your head down so you will be able to see your front thighs when your head
-Focus on pulling your naval towards your spine and breathe in and out softly as you hold this stretch.
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6. The Cow Strut
-This helps relieve a tight back, works on your glutes, and keeps your spine flexible and eased out.
-Almost like a baby crawling position, place your palms flat on the floor and your knees too, make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips.
-Next make sure your spine is stretched out and you stick out your rear at the back to stretch it and see that your back is also curved downward. However, focus on lifting your body and don’t press your back downward, let that downward curve occur naturally.
-Finally, face forward with a relaxed neck and gently breathe in and out.
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7. The Happy Baby
-A common and unconscious pose you see babies do, this is a closing pose which is for relaxation, fun, and it also helps ease and flex your groin, inner thighs, and lower back.
-First lie on your back, bring your legs up, and then grab your big toes with your index and middle fingers.
-Gently tug your toes down and pull your knees towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows on your knees to press them open.
-As you hold this position, just relax, and breathe.
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8. The Yogi Squat
-Also, called the ‘youth pose’, it helps keep the flexes and joints of your hips open, flexible, and fluid in movement, so you never feel like an old person when walking again.
-Start by standing on your feel normally, then squat down, with your legs apart.
-Keep your tailbone between your ankles and your palms together at your chest.
-Press your palms firmly together, while simultaneously pressing your elbows against your knees or
These stretches can also be an addition to your daily work-outs, if not done on their own. They help manage those sore muscles and stiffness that come from rigorous exercise, which also do not account for relaxing your body or making you more flexible. Finally, these stretches are also a great stress buster and help you pace yourself, your breathing, body, and mind to conquer any form of stress and puts tiredness at bay.