I tried this seven-minute yoga routine and it immediately reduced tension in my hips and shoulders

Is seven minutes enough to relieve muscular stiffness? One writer puts these simple stretches to the test

Woman doing yoga on mat with a cat in front of her
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are a few areas of my body, such as my shoulder, lower back, and hips, which are stiff and achy almost all of the time, especially during the working day when I spend a lot of time sitting down.

Francine Cipollone, better known online as Yoga With Bird, recently shared a yoga routine that piqued my interest because it only takes seven minutes, but promises to immediately relieve muscle tension.

I find it hard to make the time to stretch properly, but seven minutes of yoga feels very doable, so I decided to give it a go during my lunch break. 

Plus, the routine is completely equipment-free, so it's easy to do at home with a yoga mat or a towel.

Watch Yoga With Bird's seven-minute yoga routine

One of the many benefits of yoga is that it can help with your mobility and flexibility, and that's certainly what I found with this routine. 

The routine starts with a 'happy baby' pose, which felt great in my hips, opening up the joint and taking some pressure off my lower back. We then moved on to some cat-cow movements, which are ideal for flexing and extending the spine, followed by one of my favorite stretches: thread the needle. This is a stretch I go back to whenever my upper body feels stiff as it's a fantastic way to mobilize the shoulder joints and open up the chest.

The routine ended with a downward dog, followed by a child's pose. My muscles still felt tight during these, but the longer I held them, the more I felt my body relax. By the time I finished the routine, I noticed I was feeling less stiff, particularly in my shoulders and hips.

I'd recommend this yoga routine as a quick way to mobilize joints like the hips and shoulders, as well as stretching out some of the major muscles for quick relief.

However, I did notice later in the day that my stiffness returned, which is probably due to an overall lack of mobility, so I know it's important to incorporate routines like this one into my life regularly to change how my body feels day-to-day.

Want more routines like this one? Try doing these beginner yoga stretches, or have a go at this short 15-minute yoga routine

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.