7 Stretchy Yoga Moves To Do While Watching Netflix
Yes, yoga can be a truly Zen experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the postures from your studio practice and use them in other ways in your everyday life. Take your evening chill time in front of the television, for example. Plenty of stretchy yoga poses can be enjoyed while churning through your latest Netflix obsession, benefiting the flexibility of your body while your brain unwinds. Give these seven poses a try instead of just sitting on your couch and see how much better you feel the next day.
1. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
This intense stretch brings relief to both the quads and the hips. Start in Downward-Facing Dog, and as you exhale, bring your right foot forward in between your hands. Place your right foot flat on the floor as you drop your left knee softly down to your mat. Widen or narrow your lunge until you feel a comfortable stretch along the top of your left thigh and rest the top of your left foot on your mat. Inhale as you bring your torso to an upright position and sweep your arms up by your ears so your fingers are reaching toward the sky. Add a slight backbend by tilting your head back and shifting your gaze up. When you’re ready to switch sides, simply reverse back to the starting position slowly and repeat with alternate legs.
2. Garland Pose (Malasana)
This fun squat works wonders on your ankles, groin and back. Start by turning your toes slightly outward in a plié position and squat all the way down so that your hips just hover over the floor. Try to keep your heels on your mat, but if flexibility isn’t working in your favor, just add a blanket under your lifted heels for additional support. Separate your thighs and knees wide so that you can lean forward slightly and fit your torso in between them. Bring your hands into a prayer position and press the outsides of your elbows against the insides of your lower thighs to create a sense of resistance. As you breathe, focus on extending your spine nice and tall and creating an opening sensation along your inner thighs.
3. Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
This pose feels amazing on your outer hips. From a seated position, bend both of your knees. Slide your left foot under your right leg until your foot peeks out to the side of your right hip and rest your entire leg on the floor. Then stack your right leg on top of your left in the same position. If this is already an intense stretch, just stay here. But if you’d like to go further, lean your torso forward over your legs, bringing your hands (or even forearms) down to your mat in front of your legs. Breathe into the stretch until you’re ready to switch sides, and simply reverse to the starting position to repeat with alternate legs.
4. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
This butterfly-like position can work wonders for stiff knees, and tight thighs and groins. Start in a seated position, bend your knees and let them drop to the sides of your torso down toward your mat. Press the soles of your feet together and move your heels in as close toward your pelvis as you can reasonably manage. Grab both big toes with your thumbs, forefingers and middle fingers, and sit with your spine long and tall. To add to the stretch, lean your torso over your bent legs, and press your bent elbows into the insides of your thighs to keep your legs firmly on your mat. Breathe here until you’re ready to move on, and then slowly reverse to the starting position.
5. Side-Reclining Leg Lift (Anantasana)
We all need a little Jane Fonda-inspiration in our stretching sometimes. Lie on your mat on your right side with your legs stacked on top of one another and your head lifted and supported by your right palm. Reach your left arm up and over your head so that it’s parallel to the rest of your body. Press through your right heel to keep the leg straight along your mat, and engage your core as you lift your left leg. Keep your left leg aligned with your right leg no matter how far you can or can’t stretch, and turn your toes toward the sky. Reach your left arm across toward your left leg and grab your big toe with your thumb, pointer finger and middle finger. As you breathe, gently stretch your left leg closer toward your torso with assistance of your arm strength. When you’re ready to switch sides, reverse to the starting position, roll over and repeat.
6. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Welcome to the best hamstrings stretch ever. From a seated position, stretch your legs out on your mat straight in front of you. Flex your feet and maintain a nice, long spine as you reach your hands toward your toes. If you can’t reach, just place your hands on the floor next to your shins. If you can reach, grab your big toes or the outer edges of your feet. Inhale to create length in your spine and exhale to bring your torso a little bit closer to your legs. Breathe here and feel your body slowly folding more and more forward. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, carefully reverse to the starting position.
7. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
This beginner backbend can be as easy or as intense as you want it to be. Start by lying down on your stomach on your mat with your legs stretched out straight behind you. Engage your thighs as you press the tops of your feet into your mat, and imagine lengthening your tailbone toward your heels. As you lift your torso, bend your arms so that your elbows are resting on your mat directly beneath your shoulders, and your forearms and palms are rooted into your mat. As you breathe, lightly draw your belly up and feel your spine elongate. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, slowly release your belly, torso and head down to your mat, and relax your arms down by your sides.