20 Yoga Moves for Inflexible Moms

You may have heard about the benefits of yoga and what a great workout it is, but dismissed the thought of it because you're not flexible. But you've gotta start somewhere, right? Just like other fitness activity, there will always be a beginner level with yoga. Check out these poses for yoga newbies or the inflexible!

Child's Pose: A great beginner pose, child's pose is a resting pose that you can hold for a couple minutes. Here's how.

child's pose

Mountain Pose: This basic pose allows for you to stand tall and connect with your breathing. Here's how to do it.

Downward-Facing Dog: This pose is challenging for beginners, but you can increase the distance between your feet for an easier time.

  • Step 1: From standing position, bend over, placing your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until both your hands and your feet are completely touching the mat. You should resemble a downward “v.”
  • Step 2: Take your legs out to shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers apart. Press through your palms and keep your hips pushed back. Keep your neck relaxed and hold this position.

Tree Pose: This pose requires you to balance on one leg. It builds your confidence and clears your mind.

  • Step 1: Shift your weight gradually from your left foot to your right foot and focus your awareness on your feet. With your eyes open, fix your gaze on a point a few feet away from you. It’s important to pick a point that is not moving, since gazing at this fixed spot with help you find balance and support you from falling.
  • Step 2: Shifting your weight slowly onto you right leg, keep it strong as you bend your left knee and raise your left foot off the ground. Place the sole of your left foot on your upper inner right thigh. Make sure your toes are pointing to the floor. You can use your hand to guide your foot if you want.
  • Step 3: Bring your hands towards your chest and press your palms together. On an inhale, if you are balanced, raise your arms above your head. Hold this position for ten seconds and return to the starting position.

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Bridge Pose: This energizing move opens the whole front of the body; the hips, abdomen, and chest will all be flexed. Here's how to do it.

Locust Pose: This pose is perfect for improving posture, and for many of us with weak upper back muscles (largely due to desk jobs) it works the upper back muscles.

  • Step 1: Lie on your belly and bring your legs together. Clasp your hands together as well behind your back, stretching the chest and drawing the shoulder blades together.
  • Step 2: Squeeze the glutes and use the core to lift the chest and legs off the floor. Reach the arms back farther as if someone is pulling on them. Continue to squeeze the glutes.
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Warrior 2: Embrace your inner warrior and hold this pose!

  • Step 1: Refer to Warrior Pose 1. Line up the front heel with the back arch and let the hips open to the side of the mat. Bend the front knee to about 90 degrees and lunge forward to the front of the mat. Still and strengthen the lower body by drawing the tailbone in and up toning the abdominal wall.
  • Step 2:Then float the arms up, one forward and one back, symbolically raising your sword. Maintain a soft gaze at the front hand’s middle fingernail as you soften the pose with awareness and strength. Hold for 5 or more breaths.
warrior

Thread the Needle: You'll give your hips a great stretch with this accurately-named pose!

  • Step 1: Begin on your hands and knees. Place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Place your shins and knees hip-width apart. Center your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
  • Step 2: On an exhalation, slide your right arm underneath your left arm with your palm facing up. Let your right shoulder come all the way down to the mat. Rest your right ear and cheek on the mat, then gaze toward your left. Keep your left elbow lifting and your hips raised.
  • Step 3: Allow all of the tension in your shoulders, arms, and neck to drain away. Hold for up to one minute. To release, press through your left hand and gently slide your right hand out. Return to Table Pose. Then repeat the pose on the opposite side for the same length of time.

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Plank Pose: You thought you'd get away without doing a plank, didn't you?

  • Step 1: Start by lying on your stomach with palms on the floor next to your shoulders, feet and legs together with toes down on the floor.
  • Step 2: Lift your body up until your arms are fully extended and hands are below shoulders. Weight should be balanced evenly between hands and toes, keeping your body in a diagonal line from head to feet. Engage core and do not let hips sag or butt rise above torso level.

Corpse Pose: Think doing nothing is easy? See how long you can hold this pose! Here's how.

Upper Chest & Back Opener: This is an especially great move if you sit at a desk all day. Click here for more info. (via Greatist)

upper chest back opener

Half Moon Pose: The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. Embrace your moon energy with this pose. Click here to see it done.

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Standing Forward Bend: This stretch will feel amazing in your back and hamstrings! Here's how to do it.

Chest & Shoulder Opener: Again, if you really want to open your chest, try this beginner move. You'll feel it in your shoulders too! Here's how. (via Greatist)

Seated Spinal Twist: This stretch will feel amazing on your back! It's an easy pose that you can do at your desk that yields a great back stretch. Check it out here. (via Greatist)

seated spinal twist
(Photo: Greatist)

Camel: Perfect for hump day, the camel pose will really allow you to stretch our your lower back!

  • Step 1: First kneel down with the toes flat on the ground, chest up and back flat.
  • Step 2: Slowly bend slightly at your knees so that your hands can reach your feet.
  • Step 3: Putting both palms on your feet, open your chest inhaling slowly and leaning backwards, relax your head.
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Standing Wall Twist: For one last back stretch, try this one out. If your back can stretch any more, this is when you'll find out! Here's how. (via Greatist)

Half Dog: If the Downward-Facing Dog from earlier was too difficult, this pose will be perfect for you. Check it out from Greatist here.

wall dog
(Photo: Greatist)

Seated Forward Bend Variation: Use a towel or a resistance band to get the most out of this move. Stretch your muscles to their limits! Here's how. (via Greatist)

Cobra Curl: Last but not least, let's finish strong with the cobra! You'll feel it in your back and shoulders, mostly.

  • Step 1: Lie face down with your legs slightly wider apart than your hips. Place your palms on the mat under your chest, fingers pointing forward. Press your elbows in close to your ribcage and squeeze your shoulder blades towards one another. You should feel your chest start to open.
  • Step 2: Inhale and use your back muscles (not just your arms) to lift your head and chest off the floor. Come to the tops of your toes and take deep breaths. Keep your neck elongated and in line with your spine. To help, find a spot a few steps in front you to look at. Hold for 10 seconds. Exhale as you return to the starting position.
  • Step 3: Hold for one deep breath and then repeat.
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