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The Hidden Benefits Of The UK’s Favourite Yoga Poses

yoga instructor teaching Bird dog pose

The pandemic caused the UK to reassess not only our exercise routines but also how we incorporate wellness and mental health into our daily lives.

Yoga has subsequently had an impressive surge in popularity with nearly 400,000 people in the UK practising it weekly. 

The living room exercise mixed with its focus on mindfulness has helped many people stay healthy both physically and mentally over the past few years, with some yoga poses having made their way into the hearts and regular routines of yogis in the UK. These popular poses have positive impacts on participants both emotionally and physically. 

Reebok has researched and revealed the UK’s top 10 favourite yoga poses.  Incorporating these poses can help with an array of issues from correcting posture to fighting fatigue.

  1. Child’s Pose

The stretches in this pose affect you from your head to your toes… well ankles. Through the tranquil pose, tension is released throughout your body and can put you into a state of relaxation and helps to relieve feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

Physically, blood flow is directed to your head, increasing brain function and the pressure your knees place on the stomach also aids digestion. 

  1. Cobra 

As part of the sun salutation sequence, the cobra was bound to be high up the list and with the associated health benefits, there is no surprise.

Emotionally, the benefits of the pose are relieving symptoms of depression, improving self-esteem and even helping with disrupted sleep.

Physically, lower back pain can be relieved, inflammation reduced and the extension of the spine improves posture.

  1. Downwards facing dog 
Young woman practicing yoga, standing in Downward facing dog pose, adho mukha svanasana exercise, beautiful girl in grey sportswear, leggings and bra working out at home or in yoga studio

Although the blood draining to your head may be disorientating, our red faces are a sign of the blood being pulled to our brains and helping circulation in the body.

Increased circulation helps to spread oxygen around the body, boosting our energy. The weight-bearing element of the pose helps to strengthen our upper body and core, and stretching the feet helps to strengthen them, protecting them from injuries.

The downwards facing dog also causes us to open up our chest and shoulders, improving our posture. 

  1. Tree pose

This iconic pose is often found as a symbol for yoga classes and studios but is not just beneficial for branding.

Your feet are being stretched and strengthened as you balance in this one-legged pose.

Balancing helps not only to work on your posture and stability but helps to strengthen your core as you practice. 

  1. Bridge pose

High blood pressure can be relieved when the heart is higher than the head which is helpful for calming the nervous system and promoting serenity.

Relief can be found for those with respiratory issues, the pose opens the chest and airways making it more comfortable to breathe.

Flexibility, strength and posture again are all worked on and improved in the bridge pose. 

  1. Lotus pose

This seated pose is known for the calm it brings to people. The stretching of the legs and the elongation of the spine support the strengthening of the body.

Good news for people with periods – circulation in the lower body is increased in the lotus pose which can comfort menstrual cramps.

  1. Cat cow stretch

The Cat-Cow pose compresses and stretches our internal organs repeatedly. This massage and increased blood flow to the intestines boost digestion.

During the movement the spine is also contracting and expanding, increasing blood flow to the area which can help relieve pain especially from sitting at desks all day. The linked movement with breathing is also beneficial for stress relief.

A great pose for shaking off the workday.

  1. Bow pose

Emotionally, practising the bow pose increases confidence and feelings of empowerment. This pose is also great for fighting fatigue.

The backbend helps to activate the adrenal glands on the kidneys, causing us to wake up. Simultaneously stretching the front of our body whilst strengthening our backs is great for posture and counteracting our days spent in desk chairs.

  1. Mountain pose 

The mountain pose targets your posture by engaging and aligning the body.  Not only does it aid in helping improve your balance, but also strengthens your legs, arms, stomach and back.

By practising the pose people who suffer from sciatica can find some relief from the pain. Emotionally, a sense of calm and focus are found to be outcomes of this pose.

As a more subtle pose than others, You can practice this in any spare moments throughout your day.

  1. Triangle pose 

The triangle pose helps to increase digestion and reduce the effects of constipation. The spine is lengthened, lessening feelings of stiffness, and stretching the lower back which is said to be beneficial for releasing stress and lowering anxiety.

Our cores are working to keep us upright in this position, helping with improving balance and stability.