The difference between regular stretching and yoga stretching is that the latter puts an emphasis on your body position and breath, while the first includes a static type of movement and/or a dynamic type, that can involve bouncing while stretching.

Types of Basic Yoga Stretches for a Daily Routine

Pelvic Tilts

This is among the best yoga back stretches. It's made out of subtle spinal movements that will strengthen the muscles around the low back, especially the abdominal muscles. It also gives your back a little massage and it can be done either lying on the floor or standing with the back against the wall. The latter type is a great option for people that are not comfortable on their backs or for pregnant women.

Pelvic Tilt

Cat – Cow Stretches

This type of stretch extends the movement of the pelvic tilt and awakens the entire body. You should also pay attention to your respiration because it's very important while making these exercises.

Stretch Your Hips and Hamstrings

Put the right foot forward next to your right hand, thus coming into a low lunge. Afterwards, you can start straightening the back leg if you want to work into the hamstrings, that run along the back side of the tights.

Straight Leg Lunge

You can slowly straighten the front leg as you bend over that leg. You should try to keep the front foot flat on the floor and not force it to come straight. Afterwards, try to go back and forth between a bent and straight front leg. While you are straightening the front leg, you can choose to use blocks under your hands if you find it hard to reach the floor.

Raised Arms Pose

Mountain Pose and Raised Arms Pose

Put your feet to the front of the mat until you stand in a forward bend. Then, you should bend your knees and slowly stand in mountain pose (tadasana). From this pose, take your arms out to the side and up to the ceiling. Press your palms together and this way you will come into a raised arms pose (urdhva hastasana) and slide your shoulders down, away from the ears.

Rest in Corpse Pose

At the end of your practice, you should spend a few minutes resting in corpse pose so that your body absorbs the benefits of your exercise. The body needs this final pose, Savasana, to understand all the information it has received throughout this type of exercises. Even if it is a resting pose, you should however stay aware and present during the 5 or 10 minutes of the final relaxation.

You might also find useful:
Restorative Yoga: Benefits and Poses
Sivananda Yoga: Health and Wellness Yoga

Photos: Thinkstock