Yoga improves fitness, flexibility and your sense of well-being and helps reduce chronic low-back pain. Basic yoga routines are easy and can be done at home using a mat or a soft rug. Wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement and is breathable, such as cotton or bamboo. Basic yoga uses a variety of arm poses. A form-fitting stretch top or tank top will allow for the most freedom of movement.
Sun Salutation Routine
Sun salutes warm up your joints and energize your body. This is a quick and easy morning routine. The starting pose is called mountain pose. Stand with your feet together, tighten your thigh muscles, open your chest by pressing your shoulder blades back and keeping your head straight, and let your arms hang at your sides. Inhale and bring your arms over your head, touching your palms together. This is the upward salute. Exhale and go into a standing forward bend by bending your body at the waist and dropping your hands to the floor. Inhale, lift your head and extend your spine into a standing half forward bend. Exhale into the plank pose by moving your feet backward. Exhale into four-limbed staff pose by lowering your chest closer to the floor. Inhale up into the upward-facing dog pose by raising your chest and head so you are looking upward. Exhale into downward-facing dog pose by raising your hips, keeping your legs straight and bending at the waist, extending your arms forward and head downward looking at the floor. Exhale and bend your knees between your arms, inhale and return to the forward bend pose. Exhale and return to a standing upward salute pose. Inhale and return to mountain pose.
Conscious Breathing Routine
Another basic yoga is done in the seated position. The first part is the breathing pose. Sit comfortably with your legs crossed. Place one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your rib cage. Slowly inhale through your nose, filling your stomach and then your rib cage with air. Exhale slowly from your stomach and then the rib cage. Place you hands on your knees and continue the breathing exercise. This is a beginners routine that will help you learn how to control your breathing during yoga exercise.
Seated Twist Routine
Sit comfortably on the floor or your mat. Stretch your legs out in front of your body. Exhale, bend your knees and pull your heels together into your pelvis. Keep your back straight, breathe slowly and hold the pose for one to five minutes. This is the bound angle pose. The next pose is the staff pose. Exhale and stretch your legs out in front of your body. Make sure your back is straight. Sit against the wall if you are having trouble keeping your back straight. Place your hands, palms down on the floor at your sides. Hold this pose for one to two minutes. Exhale and move into the Bharadvajasana pose by shifting your body onto your right glute, bending your knees and swinging your legs to the left. Place the left ankle on the right arch. Inhale and straighten your back. Exhale and twist your torso to the right. Put your left hand under your right knee and place your right hand on the floor next to your right buttock. Continue to twist your torso and hold for 30 seconds. Exhale and return to a sitting position.
Shoulder Stretch Routine
This basic routine warms up the arms and upper body. The hero pose is done seated on your mat or rug. Sit with your knees together and your feet spread behind you wider than your hips. Place one foot on each side of your buttocks. Roll your calf muscles outward, and make sure you are not sitting on them. Rest your arms at your sides, palms facing downward. Inhale and raise your arms shoulder height with your palms facing down. Exhale and rotate the arms so your palms are now facing up. Inhale and stretch your arms overhead, interlocking your fingers. Exhale and turn your palms upward. Push upward from your stomach into your chest and shoulders. Exhale and bring your hands outstretched to shoulder level. Next, bring your arms back behind your body, interlocking your fingers and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Inhale and bring your hands back to the starting position. Repeat this routine two or three times.
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.