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Essential Yoga Poses

The 3 Essential Yoga Poses to Do Every Day

Regularly attending 90-minute yoga classes can be a lot to ask of a busy schedule. But since a little yoga is better than none at all, here are three poses to do every day — and it will only take you three minutes! Each pose helps strengthen and stretch major muscle groups, and after a week of doing these daily poses, you'll definitely notice a difference in your body. While poses are traditionally held for five breaths during a full practice, when only doing the three, hold each movement for one minute.

Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward Facing Dog

It's a classic yoga pose for a reason, so holding yourself in an upside-down V-shape will simultaneously strengthen arms and abs while stretching oh-so-tight hamstrings and calves. Relaxing with your head down below the heart is a great way to destress and can also relieve headaches and congestion. Check out these tips on how to do Downward Dog, and be sure to avoid these Down Dog mistakes.

Keep reading to find out which other yoga poses you should be doing every day.

Baddha Konasana: Butterfly

Give your upper body a break and sit down to stretch your hips and lower back in Butterfly Pose. Sit up if your hips are supertight, or, for a more intense stretch, fold your torso over your thighs. You can also use your elbows to press against your inner thighs for an even deeper sensation. Keeping your hips open with this daily stretch is one way to relieve chronic back pain.


Urdhva Dhanurasana: Wheel Pose

This backbend you probably sprung into as a kid is just the pose you need to reduce the adult-sized tension in your shoulders. It'll also stretch your abs and chest, strengthen your upper back and arms, as well as increase flexibility in your spine. Here are details on how to do Wheel Pose and some tips for what not to do. If doing Wheel seems too advanced, then start with Half Wheel.

YogaGrrrlll222 YogaGrrrlll222 4 years
As a yoga instructor, I'd like to say that it's quite dangerous to attempt wheel or even half wheel without the proper warm up. I'd recommend against it entirely actually and find that this article is quite misleading. You'd be better served to do a few sun salutations - and you get the same benefit of a backbend by doing Bhujangasana (Cobra) or upward dog without the risk to shoulders and low back. There are risks - and injury is inevitable if you are just "popping up" into Wheel. I'd love to know if the writer of this very misguided article actually practices yoga, and understands the risks and benefits. Stay safe yogis.
jlsander07 jlsander07 5 years
Thanks for these suggestions - I agree with @GirlinTheRaw\u00a0I seem to do these when I'm stretching as well - but good to know I'm getting more out of it than a good stretch!
GirlinTheRaw GirlinTheRaw 5 years
Wow, every time I stretch I do these three poses intuitively, I simply have the need to stretch my back, hips & hamstrings.
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