Every Day Yoga – Five Minutes, Five Postures

Posted by on Mar 8, 2011 in Fitness | 4 comments

It’s generally agreed that a regular yoga practice can keep your body limber, flexible, and pain-free, as well as preventing injuries. It’s also pretty widely recognized that life is busy, and it can be hard to find the time to do everything that you know you should do to be healthy (get enough sleep, eat well, get fresh air and exercise, have fun with friends and family…).

So, I’ve given careful thought to where we need the most work (knees, hips, lower back, shoulders, and neck is what I came up with), and what yoga poses are particularly good for those parts of the body, while still being relatively accessible (manageable by the typical westerner who spends way too many hours sitting at a desk). And this is what I came up with – a five minute yoga workout, consisting of five yoga poses focusing on those five key areas of the body. My recommendation – spend five minutes on this immediately after you wake up each morning, before you start your day. Also check out my other 5-minute yoga suggestions.

Pose 1 – Siddhasana ‘Perfect Posture’ (knees)
Siddhasana preparation

Siddhasana preparation

Sit on the floor, legs stretched out. Bending the left leg, place the left heel against the perineum. Then, bend the right leg and place the right heel directly above the left heel. Make sure to sit with your back straight, hips tilted somewhat forward so that your weight is on your ‘sit-bones’, and not on your tail-bone.

[Modification] If your current flexibility does not allow you to sit in Siddhasana, remain in Siddhasana Preparation pose instead.

Remain in this position for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

Pose 2 – Agnistambhasana ‘Double Pigeon’ or ‘Fire Log’


Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front. Bend your left knee, and bring your left foot under your right leg so that your left shin is on the floor, parallel to your shoulders. Bend your right knee, and place your right ankle on top of your left knee, so that your shins are one on top of the other.

[Advanced] If your current flexibility allows, reach your hands to the floor in front of you, and bend forward from the hips as you walk your fingers forward into a forward bend.

Remain in this position for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

Pose 3 – Ardha Matsyendrasana ‘Half Spinal Twist’
(lower back)
Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bending your right knee, bring the sole of your right foot to the floor on the outside of your left thigh, close to your hip. Bend your left knee, and tuck your left foot in near the right buttock.

Inhale and bring your left arm up near your left ear. Exhale and twist your right arm, bringing your left elbow to the outside the of right knee and your right palm to the floor, just behind your sit bones. Look out over your right shoulder, but don’t overturn your neck — the twist originates in the belly, not the neck.

On each inhale, lengthen your spine, and on each exhale, twist a little deeper.

Remain in this position for 30 seconds, and then switch legs.

Pose 4 – Adho Mukha Svanasana ‘Downward Facing Dog’ (shoulders)
Adho Mukha Svanasana

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Starting on hands and knees, curl your toes under, and push back raising your hips and straightening your legs. Keep your back straight, your shoulders back and down (away from your ears), and try to drop your upper body so that your head is between your arms (back and neck being held straight). It may help to move your feet back a little.
Pose 5 – Halasana ‘Plow’ (neck)


Lie down on your back, with a folded blanket under your shoulders. Your head and neck should be off the blanket. Using the abdominal muscles, lift your legs over your head until your toes touch the floor behind the head. Interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten your arms. Roll your shoulders under one at a time. Your hips should be aligned over your shoulders.

After one minutes, roll out of the pose slowly, one vertebra at a time.

[Modification] If your toes do not reach the floor, practice the pose at the wall so that your feet will hit the wall when they come overhead.

[most photos from yogajournal.com]
[most detailed instructions from yoga.about.com]


  1. One of the great things about the Siddhasana and Agnistambhasana postures is that you can do them while sitting at your desk at work! What a great way to loosen up those knees and hips!

  2. Amazing yoga poses! Thanks for sharing this article! 🙂

  3. I enjoyed watching your pictures and imagining myself doing that kind of stuff. It looks so weird but it has so many benefits for our body. I want to check it out and invite also my sister.

  4. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m
    not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say excellent blog!

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