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The Top 5 Yoga Poses

Yoga is well-known for its many benefits. After even a quick workout, you’ll not only feel lighter mentally—as yoga has been shown to relieve stress, combat anxiety, and boost your mood—but you’ll also feel better physically. Flowing though those poses loosens up your muscles, combats aches and pain, and makes you feel more open overall.

While there are many different yoga workouts online, it can be hard to choose which one to start with—especially if you’re short on time.

Yoga instructor Anna Farkas, an online trainer for Ten Spot, recently led a virtual fitness class, and these are five of the best yoga poses for those days you want to get that full-body relief in a hurry.

The Best Yoga Poses for When You’re Short on Time

Cat-Cow

  1. Get into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders.
  2. Tuck your toes and drop your belly down.
  3. Inhale as you gaze up and arch through the spine. Hold, then exhale as you untuck your toes, round your spine, and draw your chin in toward your chest.
  4. Do two more rounds.

Low Lunge

  1. Get into a low lunge position with your front knee at a 90-degree angle, back knee on the mat with your toes untucked, and your hands framing your front foot to stabilize you.
  2. Keep your hips sinking toward the front of the mat as you bring your hands to your front thigh. You can also raise your arms overhead.
  3. Take a few deep breaths, then bring your hands back down.

Downward Facing Dog

  1. Begin in a tabletop position.
  2. Tuck your toes and lift your body so you’re in an inverted "v" shape.
  3. Press your chest toward your thighs. Make sure your ears are in line with your upper arms, and straighten your legs without locking your knees.
  4. Deepen the stretch by bending your right knee and lengthening your left leg.
  5. Take five deep breaths, then switch sides.

Standing Straddle

  1. Stand in a straddle with your legs wide, toes slightly turned in, and fingertips touching the floor in front of you. Be sure your hands are directly under your shoulders. You can slightly bend your knees, if that feels better.
  2. Fold forward, letting your back, arms, and head hang. Gently nod your head "yes,” then shake your head "no.” Shimmy your shoulders.
  3. Lengthen the spine walk your hands back underneath your shoulders.

Child’s Pose

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Widen your knees about as wide as the mat and bring your big toes together behind you.
  3. Sink your bottom back to your heels and reach your arms forward.
  4. Hold the pose and take deep breaths.
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