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We’re all a bit too stressed out these days, but we’ve got a whole list of yoga poses for beginners to promote relaxation to de-stress.
Being stressed out is not fun. Not only is it a bummer emotionally, but stress can cause some serious physical health issues.
Stress is everywhere. We feel it at work, in the car, at home, online; every place we go, there it is. If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to hit the mat and start a yoga practice.
Yoga will help you chill out, and there’s loads of science to back that claim up. Studies show that it changes your brain by helping it make a neurotransmitter called GABA that will give you all the feels.
GABA calms you down in a way that’s similar to alcohol, without all the nasty side-effects. Scientists believe that the combination of breath, stretching, and meditation in a yoga practice are what causes you to release more GABA.
Not all yoga poses promote relaxation, though. They’re all going to contribute to your well-being, but certain poses do different things.
You can do poses that are going to help with strength, balance, flexibility, and even to give you extra energy. There are also many that are designed specifically to help you decompress.
1. Child’s Pose (Mudhasana)
After an intense yoga practice, sinking into Child’s Pose feels like heaven. It’s an incredibly nourishing pose that has so many yummy benefits, including how comforting and relaxing it is to hold it.
It’s great for digestion because it massages the belly as you breathe in and out. It also opens the hips and stretches the lower back.
It’s one of the primary resting poses used in Hatha yoga because it gives you a moment to take a break and recharge your batteries. Child’s Pose is a lovely reminder to relax and just breathe.
Here’s how you do it:
- Sit back on your heels from a kneeling position, with the knees close together. If this is uncomfortable for you, it’s perfectly fine to spread the knees apart. Do what’s comfortable for you.
- As you lengthen through the spine, take a nice, deep breath in.
- Exhale as you move your arms in front of you and bend down toward the floor, eventually resting your forehead and chest on your thighs.
- You can also place your arms by your sides, palms resting by the feet and facing upward.
- Hold the pose for as long as you’d like.
2. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This passive, supported pose is another great one for calming the mind. It’s also a super approachable pose that’s easy for beginners. No pretzel twists here!
Legs Up the Wall Pose stretches out the back of the legs and gives tired feet a lovely rest. It’s also great for draining excess fluid and increasing circulation.
It helps negate the stagnant effects of sitting in a chair all day long.
Here’s how you do it:
- Find a wall where you can make a cozy space with your yoga mat or a blanket, then lie down and shimmy your hips as close to the wall as possible.
- Walk your feet up the wall until you’re in an L-shaped position. Your tushy doesn’t need to be right against the wall. If you find that your legs are too tight to have them straight, then move your body away from the wall until you’re comfortable.
- You can put a folded towel or small pillow under your sacrum for comfort and to help with circulation.
- Place your arms at your sides or gently rest your hands on the belly, and breathe.
3. Supine Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Jathara Parivartanasana)
When we get stressed, most of us hunch our shoulders like Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s a natural reflex to want to protect our heart space when bad things happen.
There are lots of spinal twist poses in yoga, but the Supine Spinal Twist is the most relaxing of the bunch. It’s easier to chillax when you’re lying down.
This pose is going to open up your shoulders and chest while elongating the back muscles. It can also help with digestion because of the “wringing” motion of the pose.
Here’s how you do it:
- Lie down flat on your back on the floor.
- Bend your right knee up and lift it toward your chest to about hip height, while keeping the left leg relatively straight.
- Cross your bent knee over to the left side as far as you can comfortably go while keeping both shoulders rooted to the floor. Use your left hand to put gentle pressure on your knee.
- This can be a difficult pose for some people, as the chest, abdomen, and front shoulder muscles can be extremely tight! We’re always hunched over keyboards or our phones nowadays. It’s important to take a few moments to focus on the breath in this pose.
- Repeat on the other side.
4. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
The Reclining Bound Angle Pose, sometimes called Cobbler’s Pose, is a delicious hip and abdomen opener that is incredibly relaxing. You have no idea how much tension you store in your hips until you’ve let it all go.
If you sit at a desk all day, this pose will feel yummy after a long day at work. It improves digestion and can also ease menstrual cramps.
If things are a little blah in the bedroom, it can help sexy time get fired up again by opening your sexual center. This juicy pose helps get you in touch with your sensual side.
Here’s how you do it:
- Lie down on your back. Some people really enjoy using a pillow under their spine to help open the chest and hips. You can also use a pillow under your next. This pose is meant to make you feel like you’ve just had a week-long vacation, so make it comfortable.
- Bend your thighs and let them fall naturally to the sides. Make sure that you’re not putting pressure on your lower back when you do this.
- You can use yoga blocks under your knees if your inner thighs are really tight. Check out this video for how to use yoga props in this pose.
- Once you’re settled into place and cozy, have a nap or meditate.
If you liked these poses for beginners and are feeling a little lost about how to start a regular yoga practice, you should check out our Yoga Fat Loss Bible for Beginners!
It’s a great solution around for those looking to lose weight, get more flexible, and relieve aches and pains with a calm yoga practice. It also comes with a free meditation guide for beginners that will help you let go of your worries and relieve stress and anxiety.
It has detailed instructions and beginner modifications for your practice + a 6-Week Workout Plan any beginner can start with!
Always remember that the most difficult part of doing yoga SHOWING UP. Make sure to show up today and give your best to this workout. You deserve it!
If you enjoyed this article on yoga poses for beginners to promote relaxation or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below!