Basic Yoga Stretches and Poses

These are the basic yoga stretches and poses we commonly cover in a Beautifully Broken Yoga class.

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Simple Sitting Pose

How:

  1. Sit comfortably, knees bent, either feet crossed or sole touching opposite shin.

  2. Knees soft and hips open.  

  3. Keep spine long & lengthened, sitting bones rooted to the mat.

  4. Shoulders back and down.

  5. Heart open.

  6. A blanket may be used under hips for comfort.

  7. Take a few deep breaths.

Benefits: 

  • Calms mind

  • A perfect pose for surrender

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Downward Facing Dog

How:

  1. Press hands into mat, fingers wide.

  2. Lift hips up and back toward the ceiling.

  3. Soften knees.

  4. Press heels to the floor, only as much as is comfortable for your body.

  5. Drop crown of head toward the floor.

  6. Shoulder blades back and down away from ears.

  7. Soften heart towards the thighs.

Benefits: 

  • Stretches the shoulders, hamstrings, calves, arches, and hands

  • Strengthens the arms and legs

  • Improves digestion

  • Relieves headache, insomnia, back pain, and fatigue

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Warrior II Pose

How: 

  1. Feet apart, hips facing forward.

  2. Turn front foot forward, back foot is at 45 degree angle.

  3. Bend front knee 90 degrees directly above ankle.

  4. Arms out to sides reaching and lengthening.

  5. Center the body.

  6. Soften tailbone.

  7. Relax shoulders.

  8. Open heart.

Benefits: 

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles

  • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

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Standing Forward Bend

How:

  1. Start in Mountain.

  2. Inhale arms up to Heaven, exhale and fold forward, floating arms down to ground.

  3. Knees are soft.

Benefits: 

  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys

  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips

  • Strengthens the thighs and knees

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Child's Pose

How: 

  1. Start in Tabletop.

  2. Send hips back towards heels.

  3. Arms stretched long forward.

  4. Forehead to mat.

  5. Take knees out wide/big toes touch for a deeper stretch.

Benefits: 

  • Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue

  • Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.

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Mountain Pose

How:

  1. Stand tall, lift crown of head.

  2. Weight is even over the four corners of each foot.

  3. Soften knees.

  4. Tailbone softened.

  5. Ribs knitted in.

  6. Shoulders back and down, heart open.

Benefits: 

  • Stretches the belly

  • Improves digestion

  • Stretches the shoulders and armpits

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Upward Facing Dog

How:

  1. Lie on belly, fingertips in line with shoulders.

  2. Press palms down, lift upper body slowly.

  3. Lengthen up as much as is comfortable for your body.

  4. Thighs may remain on floor or you may engage and lift them, pressing tops of feet into mat.

Benefits: 

  • Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen

  • Firms the buttocks

  • Stimulates abdominal organs

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Extended Triangle Pose

How:

  1. Legs apart in a wide stance.

  2. One foot points forward and other points straight.

  3. Hips face front.

  4. Arms out to sides.

  5. Reach front fingertips forward, drop hand slowly to thigh or shin, and then floor if possible.

  6. Lift opposite arm high, option to gaze up at hand. 

  7. Hold and repeat on other side.

Benefits: 

  • Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles

  • Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs

  • Helps relieve stress

  • Improves digestion

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serving El Dorado, Sacramento and Placer Counties