Whether you’re an avid yogi or have never even attempted a yoga class, there are some simple stretches that have great benefits beyond simply relieving stress. Here’s a rundown on 4 simple yoga poses that have huge benefits.
Begin by sitting on your knees. Allow your feet to turn in towards each other until they are touching and let your knees fall out wide. From here, simply drop your torso forward reaching your arms in front of you. You will end with your torso in your lap, sitting back into your hips and your arms reaching straight in front of you.
Child’s Pose can be a great restorative posture, so allow your arms to relax and just breath into it, slowly sitting deeper into your hips as your body acclimates.
- Passively stretches the hips and thighs
- Back and neck pain relief
Standing Forward Fold
Feet can be together, hips distance apart, or even a bit wider. This will depend on what feels best for you as you fold. I love standing with my feet at least hip width apart for this one. Simply allow your upper body to fold over your lower half with legs as straight as comfortable. Arms can reach towards the floor or you can interlock your hands at your elbows to let gravity pull you deeper. If you feel any discomfort in your lower back by doing so, allow your arms to reach for the floor.
Be sure to focus on releasing your neck in this posture. Often times, people will fold forward and then hold all their tension in their neck. Think “no neck wrinkles”. If you can feel any wrinkles in the back of your neck, you are not releasing fully. Your gaze should be towards your knees, not your toes.
- Helps to relieve headaches and insomnia
- Helps lower blood pressure
Lying on your back, bend your knees to place your feet on the floor hip width apart. Pressing through your feet, lift your hips up into a bridge. You can interlace your hands underneath you or use them for gentle support under your lower back. You can also use a block to assist you into this posture if needed.
Note in the picture how she is lifting her chest. This is often missed when people attempt bridge pose. Press your shoulders down to lift your chest up towards your chin.
- Opens the chest and stimulates the thyroid
- Provides relief to tired, achey legs
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Anyone who has ever taken a yoga class will know this one! This is the pose that we often spend 55 minutes working towards. Simply lie on your back, allowing your feet to fall out to the sides and your arms to relax completely, palms facing up and remain still. Always a fan favorite!
If this causes any discomfort in the lower back, you can also bend your knees and, with your feet toward the edges of your mat, allow your knees to fall in towards each other, taking any pressure off your lower back.
- Allows the entire body to completely relax
- Allows the mind to quiet
- Helps to lower blood pressure
You clearly don’t have to be a yoga fanatic to experience the benefits of these great, yet simple yoga poses. Each of these postures is an easy to do, very passive way to gain relief, whether it be from mental stress or physical pain.