Practicing yoga regularly helps build both strength and flexibility. The stretching incorporated in a regular yoga practice increases your range of motion and elongates tense muscles and joints. This inherent flexibility increases your stability and overall level of functional fitness—allowing your body to perform better during activity.

Incorporate these 6 poses into your weekly workout routine and you’ll reap the benefits of strength and flexibility.

Bound angle pose (hold for 2 to 4 minutes)

  • Start by sitting with your legs straight out, sit bones planted on the floor and spine tall
  • Draw your heels toward your groin, soles of the feet together and the knees wide
  • Leave space between the groin and heels to decrease tension
  • Hold ankles and breathe deeply into the stretch
  • Hold 2 to 4 minutes

Extended triangle pose (60 seconds per side)

  • Begin standing with feet in a wide straddle position, toes pointed forward
  • Raise arms parallel to the floor and move feet apart until each ankle is stacked under each wrist
  • Turn palms down, drawing shoulder blades into back and activate your core
  • Turn your right foot towards the right and point them in the same direction as the fingers on your right hand
  • Extend your torso to the right, bending from the hip joint, not the waist
  • Press the outer heel of your left foot firmly on the floor and begin to extend the right hand forward
  • Hinge at the right hip bring right hand to thigh, below the knee to the shin or to the floor, while keeping the front of your pelvis facing forward
  • Reach your left arm up towards the ceiling while keeping your shoulders back and down, and your head in a neutral position
  • Hold for 60 seconds before repeating the movement on the opposite side

Garland pose or masala (2 to 3 minutes)

  • Step feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, toes turned slightly outward
  • Squat down as far as you comfortably can, while still planting both heels on the floor
  • Open your thighs slightly wider than your torso
  • Place elbows above knees for support or bring your palms together at heart centre and elbows to the inside of knees to encourage knees outward
  • Remain tall and allow hips to drop down towards the ground

Head to knee forward bend (60 seconds per side)

  • Begin sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of your body
  • Bend your right knee, drawing the heel of your bent leg towards inner thigh
  • Exhale and turn your torso to the left until your navel is aligned with the center of your left thigh
  • Exhale and fold yourself into a forward bend until your stomach touches your left thigh
  • Hold this position for 60 seconds before repeating the movement on the opposite leg

Pigeon pose (2 to 3 minutes per side)

  • From downward dog, bend your right leg and bring it forward towards your right wrist and place it down on the mat
  • Place right heel in towards groin
  • Plant your right hand just outside of your knee and your left hand on the floor directly underneath your left shoulder
  • Extend your left leg behind your body with your knee touching the floor
  • Intend your hips towards the front of your mat
  • Option to place a block underneath the right hip
  • If right knee is looking for an alternative, drop into right hip and bend back knee to 90 degrees
  • If you would like to intensify the stretch, feel free to come down to your forearms, or bring your forehead to the ground and extend your arms overheard
  • Hold for 2 to 3 minutes before bringing your right leg back into a downward dog
  • Switch sides and performing the stretch on the opposite leg

Upward plank pose or incline plank pose (20 to 30 seconds)

  • Begin seated with both legs extended straight in front of your body, feet flexed
  • Plant your palms securely on the ground several inches behind your hips, fingertips pointed towards your toes
  • Draw shoulder blades down and lift your chest
  • Point your toes and press into heels, lifting hips off floor
  • To alleviate pressure in the shoulders and wrists, plant soles of feet on floor, hip-width apart and press into soles of feet, lifting hips to sky
  • Keep head in neutral position
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then release your hips back down to the mat