Yoga’s health benefits seem endless, making it a great low-impact exercise to keep you healthy and lean. Not only does practicing yoga help you drop pounds and build muscle, it can also reduce pain, boost mood, lower blood pressure and encourage sleep.
What makes yoga so effective and simple is the fact that it’s a low-impact exercise, manageable for people of all ages and body types—those with different ailments, aches and pains, as well as varying levels of stress or motivation.
Anyone can perform basic yoga poses, even if it requires making minor adjustments. If you are just starting out, don’t push yourself too hard to go deep into your stretches to start. You can work your way there. Yoga should be soothing and nurturing to your body. It definitely shouldn’t hurt.
On the Nutrisystem program, we recommend 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Consider adapting a yoga practice to shed some pounds, take care of your body and create some peace in your life. We know once you give it a try, you will become a believer just like us! There are so many options when it comes to yoga for beginners. It’s as simple as breaking out the yoga mat and running through these yoga videos on The Leaf. Every move has step-by-step instructions on how to execute the low-impact exercise.
Here are seven yoga moves you should try for your low-impact exercise routine:
1. Butterfly Pose >
For the ultimate hip stretch in a soothing and peaceful move, look no further than the Butterfly Pose. This is a great pose for deep stretching in the hips, thighs, groin and knees. Sink into this simple stretch with feet pressed together and knees pointing out to the sides, creating butterfly wings with your legs. Make it a go-to pose for hitting those areas of your hips that are often overlooked, nurturing fatigued muscles, relieving stress and even potentially reducing pain associated with PMS and menopause! Try it here >
2. Cobra Pose >
Snake into this low-impact exercise to strengthen the shoulders, abdominals and glutes. It can even open and stretch the chest and back. Cobra Pose may help sufferers of asthma and sciatica, provide comfort for overworked and stressed muscles and improve flexibility. Breathe through the elongating and soothing stretch, with care not to overextend your back, which can lead to injury. Try it here >
3. Downward Facing Dog >
This is a classic pose that even non-yogis know and love. It’s a great standby to slip into for a quick midday stretch at the office, an unwinding routine after a long day or post-workout relief. Targeting the back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and calves, this simple and blissful pose is a finger to toe stretch that has the power to help relax your entire body, calm anxiety, increase energy, soothe digestions, improve your mood and more! Try it here >
4. Cat and Cow Poses >
The cat and cow pose combination is a fabulous stretch to soothe and strengthen the chest, back and neck, while helping to reduce stress and aid in the flow of the digestive system. Performing these poses together is also associated with improved posture over time and lengthening of the spine. Once you get your groove of smoothly transitioning from one pose to the next, you’ll slip into back, neck and chest soothing heaven. Try it here >
5. Chair Pose >
Spending all day in the car… or at a desk? You need a low-impact exercise that will undo this burden on your body. Add Chair Pose to the routine. This yoga for beginners move will reactivate those leg muscles without any rapid movements or heavy weights. Just squat and rise to your toes. You’ll better your balance over time, so don’t feel silly if it takes awhile to ace the pose. Try it here >
6. Warrior II >
Welcome a low-impact exercise that actually has an impact, because this pose might have you feeling a bit like a warrior. Warrior II is a fantastic way to ignite and stretch all of the muscles in your body. Legs to arms, you’ll definitely feel it. Extend one leg back and bend the other forward, as if performing a lunge. Just remember to keep your knee at a right angle to the floor to avoid straining your joints. Stretch out your arms, and keep your gaze forward. Try it here >
7. Modified Side Plank >
Want to tone your tummy? Modified Side Plank it is! Yoga for beginners is turned on its side with a low-impact exercise that targets your belly regions. As the name implies, Modified Side Plank is a pose that requires raising off of the floor and balancing on one side. Our quick video demonstrates it all in less than a minute, but you’ll feel yourself hitting muscles you’ve forgotten you even have. Even if you do crunches all day (a massive strain on your neck by the way), you’re not getting that laser focus on your sides. If you’re targeting a whole muffin top region, you’ll want to get it all! Try it here >
*Always consult a doctor before beginning any exercise routine.