Yoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps

Learn the correct moves for doing a simple Sun Salutation.
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  • Want to tone up, feel happier and improve your RealAge? Try yoga. Here's why: First, yoga makes you more flexible. Your muscles aren't static tissues; they move, expand and contract. The more flexible your muscles are, the better your range of motion. Secondly, yoga makes you stronger. The weight-bearing moves count as resistance training -- and that builds strength as well as bone density. Finally, research shows yoga, with its deep breathing and tension-reducing poses, can help boost your mood and relieve anxiety.

    Still not convinced? Try this easy, 12-step Sun Salutation. We'll bet you'll be hooked in no time. 

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  • Sun Salutation
    Sun Salutation

    Sun Salutation

    1. Stand with both feet touching. Bring your hands together, palm to palm, at the heart. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed. Exhale.

     

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  • Raised Arms Pose
    Raised Arms Pose

    Raised Arms Pose

    2. Raise your arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head. Relax your neck. Inhale.

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  • Standing Forward Bend
    Standing Forward Bend

    Standing Forward Bend

    3. Exhale while you slowly bend forward until your hands are in line with your feet, touching your head to your knees, if possible. Press your palms down, fingertips in line with toes (bend your knees if you have to), and touch the floor.

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  • Lunge
    Lunge

    Lunge

    4. Move your right leg back behind your body in a wide lunge. As you inhale, keep your hands and feet on the ground, with your left foot between your hands, and raise your head.

     

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  • Plank
    Plank

    Plank

    5. Bring your left foot together with your right foot.

     

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  • Push-Up
    Push-Up

    Push-Up

    6. Exhale as you lower your body, keeping your elbows by your side.

     

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  • Upward Facing Dog
    Upward Facing Dog

    Upward Facing Dog

    7. As you inhale, lower your pelvis to the ground and raise your head and bend backward as far as possible, while straightening your arms.

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  • Downward Facing Dog
    Downward Facing Dog

    Downward Facing Dog

    8. Putting your hand on the ground and keeping your arms straight, raise your hips and align your head with your arms. Exhale.

     

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  • Lunge
    Lunge

    Lunge

    9. Slowly inhale and bend your right leg to take a wide forward step. Keeping your hands firmly on the ground, place your right foot between your hands and lift your head up.

     

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  • Standing Forward Bend
    Standing Forward Bend

    Standing Forward Bend

    10. Keeping your hands in place, bring both feet together. Straighten your legs but keep your waist bent and upper body lowered. Touch your head to your knees, if possible. Exhale.

     

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  • Raised Arms Pose
    Raised Arms Pose

    Raised Arms Pose

    11. Slowly rise, straightening your back into a standing pose. Bend backward, stretching your arms above your head as you inhale.

     

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  • Prayer Pose
    Prayer Pose

    Prayer Pose

    12. Return to position number 1. Exhale.

     

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Yoga Poses in 12 Easy Steps