Doing yoga from your backyard is a great way to relax and relieve your stress after a long day. In addition, it can help massage the spine, which helps stimulate the digestive system and release toxins from the nerve endings of spinal discs.
Yoga twist poses can increase blood flow to all parts of the body, so they’re beneficial after sitting at a desk or in front of the TV for too long. This is because twists are one of the most common types of poses, so it’s no surprise that you can do most of them right in your backyard.
You can set up your yoga mat on the grass, but you can just as easily create a space on the patio if you want. This can be the best opportunity to invest in motorized retractable awnings so that you can do yoga on your patio without the extra worry of the sun.
That said, here are five yoga twists and poses that you can do from your backyard:
Seated Spinal Twist
This first yoga twist pose is a great way to stretch your spine after you’ve been sitting at your desk all day. It’s easy to do from almost any chair, so it works as an antidote for those who find themselves tied to their office chairs or cubicles.
Here’s how you can do it: sit tall with both feet flat on the floor, stretch your right leg out in front of you, and keep your left leg bent with the sole of your foot pressed into your right inner thigh.
Inhale as you lift to a seated position, then exhale as you twist toward the right side, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Gaze over your right shoulder as best you can. Take five deep breaths and then switch sides; repeat for up to five minutes.
Hug the Right Knee
The next yoga pose also helps release tension in your back, especially if you hold stress and tension in your upper body. It’s a great counter pose for seated twists because it stretches your spine in the opposite direction.
Here’s how you can do it: start by sitting tall on your mat with both legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you reach your right arm across your left knee, placing it so that your palm meets your inner thigh.
Then exhale as you hug this arm closer to the body, letting the weight of it sink into your hip. Keep your left arm straight up and breathe for five long, deep breaths. Switch sides; repeat for up to five minutes.
Seated Forward Fold
Another simple pose that is very effective at decompressing the spine is the seated forward fold. It’s even better after you’ve done a seated spinal twist because it stretches out the entire spine.
Here’s how you can do it: sit tall on your mat with both legs extended in front of you. Take a deep breath as you lift your arms over your head, palms pressing together. Then, exhale and hinge forward at the hips until you feel a nice stretch down your spine and through your back muscles.
Press down firmly through your toes to avoid locking the knees. Take five deep breaths and then release; switch sides and repeat for up to five minutes.
This is great for releasing tension and stress in the back of the body, especially if you sit hunched over a desk or carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Here’s how you can do it: start by lying down on your left side with legs extended and feet stacked, right foot on top of the left thigh. Place both palms flat next to your hips, fingers facing up. Inhale as you lift your arms over your head and then exhale as your twist to the right, bringing your right elbow down to rest on the outside of your left knee.
Your gaze should at least be looking toward the ceiling if you can’t bring your head all the way around. Take five deep breaths and then switch sides; repeat for up to five minutes.
Seated Tree Pose
The seated tree is an excellent pose for helping you sit up taller and stronger. It also helps strengthen your core, which will help with back pain that can result from long periods of sitting at desks or in front of TVs.
Here’s how you can do it: start by bringing both legs together in front of you with the sole of your right foot against the inside of your left thigh. Inhale and raise arms overhead, then exhale as you bend forward over your legs and lower hands to rest on either side of your right ankle.
Keep chest lifted and belly pulled in tight to feel this stretch deep through the glutes, hips, and thighs. Take five long, deep breaths and then switch sides; repeat for up to five minutes.
If you’re interested in making some tweaks to how you sit at work or want relief from back pain that is caused by too much sitting, these easy yoga twists will help make it happen. So keep practicing them regularly because soon enough, they’ll become second nature to you.