Yoga is a mind-body practice that's considered one of many types of complementary and integrative health approaches. Yoga can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.
Yoga often includes poses, also called postures, combined with controlled breathing exercises and meditation or relaxation. These are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility.
If you have injuries or if you're concerned about exercising, consult with your health care provider before starting a yoga program.
In this pose, you stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders up and back, lift your chest up, and pull your chin in toward your neck. Look straight ahead and raise your arms beside your head with your palms facing in. Inhale and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Exhale and bring your arms slowly to your sides.
In a child's pose, you kneel and sit on your knees. Lean forward, bringing your arms in front of you with your palms down, and keeping your buttocks on your heels. Rest your forehead on the floor. Bring your arms next to your legs with palms facing up. Inhale and exhale for at least eight breaths.
In a cat/cow pose, you kneel on the floor and put your hands on the floor in front of you, with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees below your hips. Inhale deeply while curving your lower back and bringing your head up, tilting your pelvis up to mimic the shape of a cow. Then exhale deeply and bring your abdomen in, arching your spine and bringing your head and pelvis down to mimic the shape of a cat. Repeat several times.
In this pose, you reach and place your hands flat on the floor so that your hands and feet are on the floor. Raise your hips high and keep your arms straight. Help straighten your back by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your head down and look at the floor.
Standing forward bend
In this pose, you stand tall with your legs together. Inhale and raise your arms beside your head with your palms facing in. Exhale and bend forward from your hips. Make a straight line with your arms and upper body. Bend forward and grab your ankles or calves. Hold this pose for about a minute. Breathe slowly and deeply. Then inhale and slowly come back up, keeping your arms and head hanging, until you're standing.
In this pose, you start by lying on your back with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Start with your hands at your sides, palms down, on the floor. Inhale and push your hips up. Keep your head, neck and shoulders flat on the floor. Place your hands on your back, pointing your fingers toward your lower back and keeping your thumbs on your sides. Breathe deeply. Then move your arms to your sides on the floor and lower your hips.
In this pose, you first bring your feet wide apart, pointing your left foot toward the left and keeping your right foot at an angle. Turn to the left and bend your left leg, with your knee in alignment with your ankle. Keep your right leg straight. Raise your arms beside your head with your palms facing in. Then try the pose from the other side.
Seated spinal twist
In this pose, you begin by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your arms behind your back. Put your hands on the floor behind you with your fingers facing away from you. Take your left foot and place it flat on the ground on the outside of your right knee. Inhale and bring your right arm up. Exhale and place your elbow on the outside of your left leg. Turn your chest, head and eyes to the left and hold the pose for about a minute. Breathe. Slowly bring your head first and then your chest back to center. Repeat on the other side.
In this pose, you lie on the floor on your stomach with your legs straight and your toes pointed. Put your hands next to your chest on the floor. Inhale and keep your hands lightly on the floor. Lift your head, shoulders and upper back. Squeeze your buttocks and engage your core to help support your back. Hold for five breaths. Then exhale and bring your body back down to the floor. Repeat.