Let’s face it, life can be stressful sometimes. One of the best ways to relax and unwind is going to a yoga class. There’s something so soothing about taking an hour of your day to focus on meditation and your body while in a room with others doing the same. It’s a zen-like workout (because yoga can be really challenging) that helps put things in perspective. However, we don’t always have a full 60 minutes! It can be stressful just thinking how to squeeze a class into your day. So when you’re short on time, we come up with five great yoga poses for you to try. The set of five could take as little as five minutes or as long as 15 depending on how long you want to hold the moves. The poses are specifically designed to de-stress, relax and reconnect! Give them a try!
There is something so calming about Child’s Pose. It’s a chance to calm your mind, relax and focus on your breath. It also gives your hips, thighs and ankles a soft stretch. Steps: Kneel on the mat, place feet together, keeping knees wide, fold over bringing your stomach towards your thighs. Inhale and as you exhale release your torso long and your arms towards the front of the room (arms can also be placed next to your sides if it’s too much of a shoulder stretch). Practice breathing deeply in this pose. (Image via ShapeShifteryYoga.us)
Happy Baby pose is given it’s name because babies often grab their toes and show off their extreme flexibility! This pose opens the hips, realigns the spine and stretches your inner groin muscles. Steps: Lying flat on your back, bend your knees up towards your chest. Grab onto the outside arch of your foot with each hand and pull your knees down gently. Inhale and exhale here focusing on relaxing into the pose. You can also try gently rocking side to side. (Image via Myyogaonline.com)
Savasana is the ultimate relaxation. It helps clear your mind and releases tension and may even help with relieving mild depression. Steps: The goal is to get into a completely neutral position. Lying flat on your back, legs extended, arms down by your sides, turn your palms up to face the ceiling. Shoulders are down, face is relaxed. Breathing deeply into your belly and exhaling through your nose. Practice several deep breaths. (Image via FitSugar.com)
Cat Cow is a great pose to stretch the belly, release shoulder tension and strengthen the spine. It may also help improve posture and balance! Steps: Start on all fours, shoulders should be directly over your wrists, hips directly over your knees. Inhale, arch your back looking straight ahead or gently upwards, as you exhale, pull your abs in towards your spine, curl your back up, pressing down through your hands and looking down towards your abs. Repeat this several times synching the movement to your breath. (Image via Prevention.com)
If you’re like me, I hunch over a computer screen for a large part of the day. By the end of the day my shoulders are often left feeling tense, sore and curved inwards. This pose does wonders for releasing this. It’s personally my favorite! Steps: Lying flat on the mat, bend your knees bringing your feet together. Arms are relaxed down to your sides, palms face the ceiling, shoulds are down, face is relaxed. Bring your feet close to your seat. Inhale and exhale deeply. This pose may also be modified by adding a bolster or blanket as in the photo below. The blanket under the spine and neck can add an additional opening of the chest and shoulders. The block under the thighs gives support to the hips as they are gently stretching open. (Image via Prevention.com)
And that’s it! All five moves can be done on their own and/or in varying sequence. Try it out and see if you feel better afterwards. It’s a great, healthy way to take time for yourself to relax, unwind and de-stress!
Be sure to share some of your favorite yoga poses with us!