15 Yoga Poses That Can Change Your Body

Yoga has been known for centuries and research has proven that a regular yoga practice can significantly improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health, include flexibility, fitness, balance, muscular strength, and spinal mobility.

We at Bright Side care about your health and we’ve chosen a few basic but highly effective poses that will work incredibly well for everyone, from a beginner to an expert.

1. Downward facing dog

This pose is working, stretching, and strengthening the entire body and it’s one of the main poses in most types of yoga.

Get on all fours. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes under, press your hands into the floor and straighten the legs to come up into downward dog. If you need, keep the knees slightly bent. Hold in this position for about 5 breaths.

2. Plank

While this is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core, it actually works your whole body. The trick is control your breath and this really helps.

There are a few types of plank exercises, you can choose which one suits your level. Your shoulders should be directly over your elbows, your back is straight, if you can—lift your legs up, otherwise stay on your knees. Either way, it’s crucial that you keep the straight line from the top of your head to your feet or hips.

3. Upward plank pose

This is a very good pose for stretching your upper body, as well as, increasing the strength of your arms, legs, and core, and improving balance

Start by placing your hands behind you as you face toward your feet. Lift your hips, extend one leg, followed by the other leg with the toes pressing to the floor.

4. Extended side angle pose

This pose is designed to work on the sides of waist and strengthen the legs, stretch the hips, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest, and spine. It also opens up the lungs, improves digestion, and helps relieve stress.

Start by stepping your feet one leg-length apart and reach your arms wide. Turn your right foot out 90°. Rotate your hips toward the back and reach your right hand forward. Start bending down and put your right hand down on your ankle, shin, knee, or the floor while stretching your left hand to the sky, keeping a straight line from the right hand to the left. Repeat on the opposite side.

5. Tree

If you are a new to the world of yoga, practicing this pose is a good place to start. It will improve your balance and teach you how to breathe. It also strengthens and tones the leg muscles, ankles, and inner thighs.

Start with your feet together, then slowly lift your left knee up, grab it, place the left foot on your inner upper thigh or inner lower calf (being careful to avoid your knee area) and lift your arms up to the sky, palms together. Hold for 8-10 breaths, then switch sides.

6. Warrior 1

This pose is also one of the main poses in many yoga practices. It’s essential for improving the strength of the core and the entire lower body, it’s also great for stretching hips and thighs.

Take a big step back with your right foot, place the foot flat on the mat. Roll your shoulders back and lift your chest. Lift your arms up with your palms together. Hold for 8-10 breaths, then switch sides.

7. Warrior 2

Another highly important pose, this stretches the hips and inner thighs and works very well on improving balance. It may help to improve digestion and also relieve backaches.

Stand with your feet one leg-length apart. Turn your left foot out 90° and your right foot in 45°. Bend your front knee and stretch your arms out to your sides, gaze over your right hand. Hold for 8-10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

8. Seated forward bend

This pose is very good for stretching the lower and upper back and hamstrings, it opens the entire body, teaches you to breathe while in an uncomfortable position, helps with headaches and anxiety, and reduces fatigue.

Begin seated with your legs together and start to hinge forward from your waist, reaching forward. Once you achieved your maximum stretch, breathe for 8-10 breaths. Make sure that you keep your back straight.

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