While some people seem born with the ability to pop into the splits at any given moment, others struggle to even straighten their legs (raises hand). But just because you can’t touch your toes, doesn’t mean you’re not a yogi!
“Yoga is more about balance, the balance between flexibility and strength,” says Briohny Smyth, creator of DailyBurn’s Yoga Made Simple program. And there are plenty of modifications you can make to each pose until you advance in your practice, Smyth notes.
Deep stretches can also be a great way to de-stress your body and mind (regardless of how goofy you look while doing them). “When we get in touch with our body we’re out of our head,” Smyth says. “Through breathing and moving, yoga allows you to focus on something else for that movement in time. It’s releasing the physical stress, which is giving you more mental space.”
These three moves from Yoga Made Simple each offer up an amazing stretch that will leave you feeling stronger all over. Do the individual moves here, or join a Yoga Made Simple workout for the full flow.
3 Yoga Poses to Stretch Your Entire Body
1. Runner’s Lunge
How to: From a forward fold, place your hands on the ground and step your left foot back, placing your left knee down on the ground and bending your right knee to a 90-degree angle (a). Heel-toe your right foot to the right side of the mat and angle your right toes out to the front corner of the mat, coming on to the pinky-toe edge of your foot, so you can see your arch. Keep your toes lifted (b). Extend your chest forward as you inhale (c). Bring your elbows down onto the mat, or rest them on top of a blanket (d). Hold in this position, or for a challenge, tuck your left toes under and lift your knee off the ground (e). Move back and forth from the tips of your left toes to the ball of your left foot (f). Keep your tailbone drawn towards your left heel, and your belly pulled in towards your spine. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.
2. Eagle Pose
How to: From a forward fold, place your hands on the ground and step your right foot back, placing your right knee down on the ground (a). Inhale and reach your arms straight up over your head, then bring them back out in front of you to chest level (b). Pull your shoulder blades back, and wrap your right elbow underneath your left. (c). Try your best to place your right fingertips to the palm of your left hand. Then, press your hands away from your body and lift your elbows up, drawing your shoulder blades down your back (d). To challenge your balance even more, lift your elbows and lean back over your shoulder blades. Inhale and exhale, then unwind your arms down to the ground. Repeat on opposite side.
3. Flip Your Dog
How to: Start in downward dog. Inhale and lift your left leg up and back, bending your knee to open up your hip (a). Rise onto the ball of your right foot, then spin onto the blade edge of your right foot, shifting your right shoulder over your right wrist (b). Drop your left foot behind you, and then flip your left arm over your head, so you’re looking at the ceiling (c). Inhale, stretch your left arm up and as you exhale, come back into one-legged down dog. Repeat on opposite side.
Ready to try Yoga Made Simple? Head to DailyBurn.com/YogaMadeSimple to sign up for a free 30-day trial.
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