Yoga stretches are some of the most basic of all exercises. As the name suggests these exercises and poses help to stretch the various muscle groups and ligaments of our body, improving flexibility, promoting relaxation and reducing stiffness and stress. Our bodies comprise of numerous joints, and as with any piece of equipment these too need lubrication and movement for proper maintenance. Machinery that is not used and maintained with periodic lubrication will begin to deteriorate rapidly and this holds true for the human body as well. While the lubrication is achieved or acquired through our dietary intake of nutrients, the movements are best achieved through yoga. For this reason it is quite common for fitness enthusiasts to take up yoga and stretch themselves with a good yoga workout.
Almost all the poses or asanas that are included in the vast discipline of yoga act as balancing and stretching exercises. Yoga practice routines or sessions essentially comprise of physical postures or asanas and pranayams or breath control techniques. Meditation is also an important part of the discipline. Yoga poses require a great deal of flexibility, strength, balance and concentration, and consequently they also work on cultivating and developing these assets. Almost any pose therefore could also serve as an intense yoga stretch.
Yoga stretches for beginners would however need to be simpler, as advanced poses can be extremely demanding and rigorous. Attempting them when unready can be disastrous, resulting in serious injuries. As you must already be aware, yoga sessions do not comprise of separate exercises or poses practiced in isolation but instead in a flowing sequence, with one pose leading into the other. Any sequence or series such as your yoga stretching sequence should be preceded with simple warm up exercises.
Beginner yoga stretches are not necessarily complete poses, but may often be exercises that are often part of a warm up routine itself. The reason that they are part of a warm up routine is because they help stretch and loosen up your body in preparation for the rigorous workout tat ensues. There are a wide variety of stretches that you can try out as a beginner like the arm stretches or side stretches. Keep in mind however that at this stage you should not attempt a yoga practice unsupervised and unguided. Seek the personal advice of a yoga instructor for a practice plan formulated specifically for you.
Once you are more comfortable with the concepts of yoga you can include poses like the Tadasana or Mountain Pose, the Trikonasana or Triangle Pose, the Vrikshasana or tree Pose, and the Matsyasana or Fish Pose. These are just a few of the poses you can attempt.