Yoga, implying ‘union’ in Sanskrit, explains an Indian approach that looks for to unify the body and mind with regulated breathing and physical postures. The postures, or asanas, of yoga can enhance your strength, flexibility and balance while lowering your blood pressure and improving circulation and digestion, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Get an upper-body workout by choosing poses geared toward the muscles of your arms, chest and back.

Downward-Facing Dog

The downward-facing dog position works the muscles of your upper back as well as your triceps muscles. Enter a plank position as if you’ll lower yourself into a push-up. Your hands should be aligned with your shoulders and your feet extended behind you, forming a straight line with your body. Exhale as you push your hips back and up, developing an inverted V with your body. Keep your back straight as you push down with your palms and feet, driving your heels toward the floor. Inhale while you go back to the push-up position.

Upward-Facing Dog

The upward-facing pet dog pose stretches your chest, back and abdomen while boosting your lower arms, arms, shoulders and spine. Lie face-down with your forehead on the ground, your hands beside your ribs and the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you extend your arms to raise your chest and upper legs from the floor. Exhale as you lower your body back to the floor.


The cobra, similar in look to upward-facing dog, works your upper back, arms and shoulders while extending your chest and abdominal areas. Lie face-down with your feet extended behind you and your toes pointed backwards. Position your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked in toward your body. As you breathe in, extend your arms, lifting your chest and abdominal areas off the floor. Keep your hips and legs in contact with the ground. Exhale as you lower pull back.


The personnel works your back muscles while enhancing the stability of your core abdominal and lower back areas. Sit on the floor with your legs together, extended in front of you. Point your toes toward the ceiling, and sit upright with your back perpendicular to the floor. Start with your shoulder blades pulled back and your hands resting alongside you on the floor. Inhale while extending your arms out to your sides and up above your head, palms dealing with each other. Return to the beginning position as you breathe out.