Basic Yoga Poses for Better Flexibility

Have you ever looked at a true born "yogi" and thought, that could never be me? It's often believed that flexibility is something you're born with. While that's true to a certain degree, it can also be learned. Practicing just a few basic yoga poses everyday can help you lengthen and stretch your muscles safely, leading to increased flexibility and relief from muscle soreness and tightness.

September is National Yoga Awareness Month, and what better time to learn basic yoga poses for better flexibility? Keep reading to find out more!

Why Try Yoga?

There are many reasons to try yoga, the very least of which is increased flexibility. Even practicing the most basic yoga poses for 20 minutes a day can provide solutions for a long list of health issues and everyday discomforts. Some potential benefits of yoga include:

  • More restful sleep
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Relief from tight muscles and achy joints
  • Stronger and more toned muscles
  • Improved digestion
  • More energy and feelings of alertness
  • Improved respiratory health
  • Help manage a healthy weight

Yoga is starting to sound pretty cool, right? So, here are five poses that you can try today that won't require you to stand on your head!

5 Basic Yoga Poses

1. Downward Facing Dog

(Photo: Skinny Mom /

You've probably heard of this one before. Downward facing dog is a basic yoga pose that is revisited over-and-over during a practice due to it's unbeatable full-body stretching capabilities. For those out of practice, this pose may seem daunting and uncomfortable, but when done correctly, it will begin to lengthen your limbs, distribute your weight evenly, and make you feel lighter and more open. It is achieved by getting into a push-up position with your entire body and then raising your hips up in a triangle position, with your head in line with your outstretched palms while looking at your feet.

2. Child's Pose

(Photo: Skinny Mom /

This basic yoga pose is known as a resting pose, but don't let that fool you, it is a great stretching pose and a great chance to regulate your breathing. Child's pose is done by coming down on your knees and walking your hands out to a reclining position (with your knees tucked under your hips). This motion provides a gentle stretch to your hips, thighs, ankles, and back. As you settle in, your muscles will begin to relax and your breathing will become more balanced.

3. Big Toe Pose

big toe pose
(Photo: Shutterstock)

This is one of the best basic yoga poses for those of us who suffer from tight hamstrings. The Big Toe Pose calls for your legs to remain completely straight as you lean over and hook your fingers under each big toe. If you're not flexible, however, you might want to start by using a resistance band (or similar workout strap) under the balls of your feet. You'll be able to get the same effect by pulling up on the strap with your hands. You should feel the stretch right there on the back of your lower thighs and calves.

4. Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose

recliing hand to toe pose
(Photo: Shutterstock)

This one is similar to the Big Toe Pose, except that instead of standing, you'll be lying down on your back. Again, for those who aren't that flexible, a resistance band can come in handy here. You'll feel the stretch from this pose in your hamstrings as well, but it can also target your lower back and hips.

5. Bound Angle Pose

bound angle pose
(Photo: Shutterstock)

It's simple, but this is one of the most cathartic basic yoga poses out there. The Bound Angle Pose will not only stretch your hips, knees, and thighs, but it will also bring healthy blood flow to the abdominal organs, including your ovaries, kidneys, and bladder. Women suffering from uncomfortable periods or menopausal symptoms might find a lot of relief from this pose. It is achieved by carefully bending your knees, pulling your heels in, dropping your knees out to the sides, and lightly pressing the soles of your feet together.

If increased flexibility is what you're after, you'll definitely find it with these basic yoga poses, but we hope you'll find much more than that.

Bonus: Yoga may also help strengthen the body's immune system. Intrigued? (Try out more advanced yoga poses here!)


Practicing yoga is truly a great practice for keeping the mind, body and spirit healthy and happy. Seriously, how often do you see an enraged, stressed out yogi? Goals, here people. Try it for yourself and see if it's right for you!

What basic yoga poses for better flexibility have you tried? Share in the comments!

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