I see you, girl. I see you beneath those purple liquid mesh butt-accentuating yoga pants. But I don't know you. Have you been doing yoga your whole life? Are you a poser? You've been strutting around in incredible leggings for years now, but no one's ever seen you in their sweaty afternoon Bikram sesh. These days, owning leggings has little to nothing to do with yoga. Athleisure is just comfortable. So if you want to continue rocking your leggings and keep the people guessing about why you're so put together, do you. But, if you're looking in your closet and wondering how you got 50 pairs of yoga pants for an exercise you maybe tried once in high school, I'm here to provide you with some easy-to-do, beginner yoga poses that will totally justify all those leggings you have.
Still on the fence? Georgina Berbari, certified yoga instructor, lays out all the benefits of whacking on those leggings and making a go of it: "Yoga is form of movement that works with your body rather than against it – nourishing every muscle and nerve from head to toe. The movements strengthen your muscles and joints and lengthens your body, which builds muscle and increases flexibility (leading to better posture, pain relief, and an overall strong and balanced body)."
Well, you can't argue with that. Here are some beginner yoga poses so you can not only look like a yogi, but feel like one too.
The Floating Pretzel
If you master this pose, you'll look like a chill monk who just reached the next level of enlightenment. Wear your galaxy-print leggings for this one. I fell a lot the first few times, but after you gain some balance, this is the coolest pose to show your friends. Balance on one foot and place the other across your knee. Hold your hands in prayer position in front of your chest. Balance for as long as you can. Maybe even close your eyes if you feel like falling a mile to the floor and dying.
This is a yoga pose I'm pretty good at even if I still can't pronounce it. You probably haven't sniffed the floor before, but now you will. Similar to child's pose, Balasana has you tucked in a ball bent over your knees, forehead to the floor. Your arms rest beside your legs. Really feel those back and butt muscles stretching out. Your butt is going to look so nice in this one, so if you'd like, you can do this one in public, right on the floor of your office.
This is another legitimate yoga pose and it looks best with your shiny metallic leggings. The effect of this pose is more internal rather than physical and external. Sit on your knees, butt resting on your heels, hands folded in your lap. You should look like the most patient kid in a game of duck-duck-goose. Close your eyes. Time your breathing and exhale all the stresses of your everyday life. I find this pose difficult because it's entirely relaxing... but that's the purpose. Your body is still, therefore, you have to focus on clearing your mind.
The first step of this pose is learning how to pronounce it so your friends think you're dope. Looks best with Superman leggings. Begin by lying on your stomach, place your hands on either side of your face like you're about to do a pushup, then just raise your upper body into the air. This hurt my lower back at first, but if followed by downward dog, you complete a yoga flow and it provides good balance.
This is another pose to do right in your office. Wear some leggings with this you love your butt in (although you should always love your butt). Begin in a pushup position, and simply lift your butt upward until you're shaped like an arrow. The entire backside of your legs will stretch beautifully. I like to go back and forth from Bhujangasana to Downward Dog. This is called a flow motion. If you time your breathing, you'll feel like an ocean wave and it's simultaneously invigorating and relaxing.
This pose is perfect to finish your yoga session. It's extremely difficult, but worth it at the end. Ready for this? Lie down on your back and… close your eyes. Maybe even fall asleep to top it all off. After all, sleeping is your special skill. Breathe and sink down, become the earth.
For most of these, you don't even have to leave your bed. But you'll want to anyway, because your friends and coworkers will be beyond impressed to see you in your nice leggings, completing a legit yoga pose in front of them AND being able to tell them its crazy name. Except maybe the Floating Pretzel, it doesn't sound very yogi and you may want to come up with a cooler name for that one.
At the very least, you'll never feel bad again about buying all those amazing, fun leggings because you're an expert in yoga now. Right? Well, you're a lazy girl expert, which means you've perfected looking like an expert, which is half the battle. And if you're super lazy, here's a pro-tip: Learn how to pronounce these poses and you're good to go, that, in itself, is a mouth workout.
Welcome to No Sweat: an exhausted girl's guide to squeezing in fitness. This content package is for the woman who wants to find an exercise routine that doesn't feel like a chore. No Sweat isn't changing the shape of your body; it's about feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Because working out doesn't mean you have to break a sweat.