Yoga for Fitness, Wellness, Mental Health & a Flexible Body

Low-impact exercise can help improve wellness.

Low-impact exercise can help improve wellness.

The typical gym scene includes complicated machines without instructions and the ever-present scent of sweat; there is another way. Yoga could be the solution for you that you can practice in the comfort of your home with only one piece of equipment -- a mat. According to the "Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology," yoga can help lower anxiety and increase your outlook on life. The best part: no registration and monthly fees are required.

Stand on your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Allow your arms to hang at your sides. Look straight ahead. Practice deep breathing for 10 breaths.

Step forward with your right foot. Raise your arms forward and over your head while bending your right knee. Practice deep breathing for 10 breaths. Straighten your right knee and rotate your arms back down in front of you. Bring your feet together slowly. Repeat this with your left leg.

Step out your right foot beyond your shoulders. Take a deep breath and raise your arms to your sides. Exhale, and as you do, bend forward at your hips. Bring your arms together over your head. Practice deep breathing for five breaths. Roll your body upward as if you are stacking your vertebrae. Return to a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Wait for normal breathing to return.

Items you will need

  • Yoga mat

Tip

  • Soften your knees and don't lock them.

Warnings

  • Talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
  • If any of the pose causes pain, stop. Straining is not a part of gaining flexibility.
 

About the Author

Rachel Johnson is a writer and educator based in Des Moines, Iowa. She has a Master of Science in kinesiology and health promotion from Iowa State University.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images