When a full yoga session just feels like too much, you have to get creative. Squeezing exercise, especially yoga, into your day can support a healthy lifestyle. But if you just don’t have the time, energy, or motivation to break out a mat and go for it, doing a little here and there is better than doing nothing at all.
Casual yoga poses could be easy enough to fit in while you’re at your desk at work, sitting in traffic, or getting ready in the morning. Just a little stretch and exercise, even if it’s a little bit at a time, can help you feel better and be more flexible.
Try out these casual, easy yoga poses that are possible to fit into any schedule.
Child’s Pose As you’re waking up or right before you go to sleep, child’s pose is an easy pose that feels comfortable and can help you wake up or start feeling more relaxed. You’ll just get on the ground, bring your toes together, knees apart, and bend to reach your hands forward.
Cat-Cow Stretches Another way to relax your back and stretch out for the day or night is with cat cow stretches. You’ll get on all fours, arching your back and dropping your head for the cow pose, then do the opposite as you lift your head and drop your belly for the cat pose.
Standing Pelvic Tilts You can do pelvic tilts any time you’re standing. A good time might be while you’re brushing your teeth in the morning. This pose can help relieve lower back pain and help with stiffness and feeling limber. All you need to do this pose is rock your hips forward and backward.
Standing Forward Bend An easy pose to do when you’ve been sitting at your desk and need to get your body in motion, standing forward bends can stretch your legs and help you feel more balanced. You’ll stand straight up, then bend down to touch your hands to the ground. Stand up slowly, then fold your hands behind your back for a light stretch.
Chair Pose Another pose to try when you’ve been sitting, this pose actually mimics sitting in a chair, but offers some stimulation. You’ll work your arm and leg muscles as well as your core. Stand, then bend your knees as you put your body weight backwards and let your legs take a right angle. Hold your arms up to help with balance, then hold the pose for up to 30 seconds and release.
Tree Pose Feel like just standing around? Maybe you’re waiting in line and want to make things interesting. Tree pose can add an element of challenge to any period of standing. Stand, then bend your knee and place your foot on your opposite inner thigh. Reach up and touch your palms together, then hold for up to 10 breaths before gently releasing and repeating with the opposite leg.
Legs Up The Wall Pose At the end of the day, it’s nice to take a load off. This pose couldn’t be more simple. Just lay on your back with your legs up against a wall. This can help with circulation and alleviate swollen, sensitive feet. This might be too involved for the office, but it’s easy enough to squeeze in for a couple minutes before bed — even if you’re just doing it on your mattress.
These yoga poses are easy for all levels, and many can be done practically anywhere at any time. Think about how you can squeeze yoga into your regular daily routine, even if it’s just in small pieces at a time.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life — sometimes expertly, sometimes not.