There are two kinds of people in this world: people who love yoga and those who claim to hate it. For the latter group, we present a few easy poses that will make your body feel so darn good you just might change your mind.
Do these 10 postures in a sequence, holding each one for five long breaths. Focus on the expansion of your lungs as you inhale and the contraction of your belly as you exhale. Notice your tension melt away.
Since you hate yoga, you probably don’t have a mat. So find a soft place on the floor and sit on your shins. Keep your toes together and let your knees go out wide. Drop your torso between your knees and place your forehead on the floor. Stretch your arms out long over your head. Press your hands into the floor and your hips into your heels.
From child’s pose, straighten your legs and lift your hips so that your body is in an upside down V. Spread your fingers wide; let your head be heavy. Look between your feet; press your heels to the floor.
From down dog, roll over your toes and move forward until your shoulders are over your wrists. Keep your head, butt, and heels in a straight line. Press into your hands and feel the strength of your core.
From plank, flip your toes over so that the tops of your feet are on the floor and drop your lower body toward the floor, keeping your knees off the ground. Shoulders stay over the wrists; send the top of your head toward the ceiling. This lengthens the front of your body.
From up dog, lift your hips back to a down dog and then walk your feet toward your hands. Keep a soft bend in your knees and fold at the waist. Let the top half of your body be heavy. Holding your opposite elbows over your head, sway gently side to side to lengthen your hamstrings and release your back body.
Mountain With Side-Body Stretch
From rag doll, walk your feet together, release your arms, and roll up to standing one vertebrae at a time. Feel your feet firmly on the floor. Lift your arms straight over your head. Clasp one wrist in the opposite hand and lean gently to one side, lightly pulling on the wrist. Feel your side body lengthen as you breathe. Repeat on the other side.
Keep one foot firmly on the floor and place the other at your ankle, calf, or thigh (never on the knee). Bring your hands to prayer in front of your chest and tighten your belly. Focus on a point in front of you and balance. Repeat on the other side.
Knees to Chest
Drop down to the floor and lie on your back. Hug both knees into your chest. Feel your lower back lengthen and your hip flexors soften.
Grasp the outer edges of your feet with your hands. Pull your knees to your armpits and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Rock gently side to side, massaging your lumbar spine.
Let your legs be straight and long. Let your arms be straight and long with the palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe normally. Relax every little thing from the tips of your toes to the crown of your head.
Then let us know how you feel.
Yoga selfies by Becca Looney. Get inspired by her practice when you follow her at @theyogadarling.