Yoga has been around for a long time. No one really knows how long, but some people say the practice originated in India around 5,000 years ago. That’s quite a history! It’s just one of those things that survived the test of time, and it looks like this is set to continue well into the future.

Some Benefits of Yoga

You don’t have to get wrapped up like a pretzel – not in the beginning anyway. The great thing about yoga is that it’s an excellent and gentle way to increase strength, flexibility and balance. You’re probably not going to get ripped from doing yoga (although, like pilates, you can develop some serious core strength) but you’re certainly going to gain strength in a myriad of muscles that other workouts don’t hit.

And of course, there are the psychological benefits too: there’s no doubt that consistently doing something as chilled as yoga is going to make you a calmer, more relaxed person (at least, that’s what they tell us, right?)

And who can forget this inspiring story?

Talk about inspiring! It just emphasizes the fact that we should never give up. If you want it bad enough you can get it. It doesn’t matter how you do it; Arthur (above) did it with yoga.

Bottom line: yoga is good for ya. Increase strength, get flexible and unwind. Win!

16 Awesome Yoga Poses

1. Child’s Pose

This is a great restorative and relaxing pose, stretches the thighs and is also good for relieving back, shoulder and neck strain.

2. Warrior 1 Pose

Very good grounding pose; great for strengthening the legs, back and ankles. Increases flexibility in the hips and helps relieve back pain.

3. Downward-Facing Dog

If you’re feeling fatigued and need to wake up, then this is the pose for you. Not only that but it’s a great pose for boosting your circulation.

4. Cow Face Pose

Quite a deep stretch pose which targets both the shoulders and hips, so it’s great for increasing flexibility and releasing tension in those areas.

5. Butterfly Pose

So named because it kinda looks like a butterfly flapping its’ wings. Helps you to stretch your lower back, also a good hamstring stretch – a nice relaxing pose.

6. Boat Pose

As you can imagine, this pose is going to be awesome for building core strength. In addition to this it stretches your hamstrings and also works well in helping to calm your mind because you have to put your full attention on the pose to maintain it.

7. Cat-Cow Pose

Really love this stretch, which is technically a movement flowing between two separate yoga poses. Great for stretching and strengthening the spine, also stretches the hips, abdomen and back – exactly what you need if you sit at a desk all day!

8. Plank Pose

Now we’re talking! You already know how much we love the plank (and variations) and here it is again! Great for building core strength.

9. Forward Fold

An intense stretching pose, great for boosting circulation to the brain for a change! Also stretches the hips, hamstrings, calves and relieves tension in your spine, neck and back.

10. Bridge Pose

Another pose we love! If you’ve already seen our ultimate butt workout then you already know why (if not, why not?!) So not only is it good for building your booty, but it also stretches your neck, spine, hips and chest.

11. Locust Pose

Good pose for building lower back strength as well as increasing your flexibility in this area too. In addition it’s good for strengthening your arms and shoulders.

12. Chair Pose

Woo, talk about a killer! Isn’t this some form of punishment? This is a fantastic pose for building leg strength (as well as hip flexors, ankles, calves and back).

13. Garland Pose

The first squatting pose on the this list! Good pose for strengthening the thighs, but it’s great for opening up your hips and groin. A nice, simple pose, and great for those of us who sit at a desk most of the day.

14. Puppy Pose

Great pose, so named because it looks just like a cute puppy stretching. Really gentle, nice pose for stretching the spine and shoulders – a great feel-good pose for relieving the stress of the day.

15. High Lunge

Like the Warrior 1 pose, the high lunge is great for strengthening legs and thighs. It also helps to build core stability, while lengthening the spine.

16. Dolphin Pose

Really nice pose for opening the shoulders, and a more gentle alternative to the downward dog (putting less strain on your wrists).

So there you have it, enough poses to keep you busy for a long while. And of course, how else would we end this epic yoga post, but like the yogi’s and yogini’s do: namaste!

Do you do yoga? What are your favorite poses? Let us know in the comments below!

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