Yogis are aware that the advantages of doing yoga frequently are numerous. Also, since there are various types of yoga and poses, it is not difficult to find a routine that agrees with what you we’re looking for, whether it is to invigorate or to wind down.

If you are looking for energy, you may want to do a sequence that has a lot of backbends. If you want to get your heart pumping, doing a few Sun Salutations may help. Most people who do yoga know how to get their heart rate up and their bodies sweating.

When you need to take your energy levels down and quiet your thoughts, there are yoga poses that are meant to bring you peace, stillness, and ease.

The Benefits of Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is good for preventing stress and anxiety because it provides physical and mental balance. The use of props allows you to hold poses longer and relax even deeper with access to deep passive stretching.

  • Benefits from full and deep stretches
  • Increase your flexibility safely
  • Boost your immune system through deep relaxation
  • Balance your nervous system
  • Quiet your mind
  • Recover from illness
  • Heal emotional pain
  • Carve a path towards a meditation practice

This special restorative yoga sequence is designed to be calming and relaxing. It uses bolsters, pillows, straps, blocks, etc. to support your body in a full, long, and comfortable stretch. You can stay in each pose for as little as a few minutes or up to 15 minutes.

Relaxing Yoga Poses to Calm Your Body and Mind

Additionally, be sure to listen to your body and modify each pose as necessary. You can do a full yoga sequence or just pick a couple of poses next time you need to relax. Also, listen to your body and modify each pose as necessary.

Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)

Cobbler’s Pose is a great option if you’re looking for a bigger stretch than what you get in Easy Pose, but you still want to be able to stay relatively still.

The stretch in your hips will be more intense the closer your heels are to your body.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin in a seat with both of your sitting bones rooting evenly into your mat
  • Lengthen your spine and reach the crown of your head up high toward the ceiling
  • Join the soles of your feet together and open your knees, encouraging them toward the mat
  • Bring your hands either to your calves or the inner arches of your feet
  • Maintain length in your back body – if you feel your back beginning to round, ease out of the pose by moving your heels farther away from your body

If you’re having trouble keeping your knees down in this pose, try placing yoga blocks under your knees. This will remove the space between your knees and the mat. If you don’t have yoga blocks, pillows will work too.

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

Yoga poses that are inverting, or where your heart is higher than your head, are known to be relaxation-inducing.

Let’s try it:

  • Take a wide stance standing on your mat. You can always adjust your feet later, but a good rule of thumb is to take your arms out to your sides and align your ankles underneath your wrists
  • Align the outer edges of your feet with the short edges of your mat. Another option is to turn your feet in slightly
  • Place your hands on your hips, and with a flat back, hinge forward. Maintain a long spine as you fold
  • When you’ve folded forward as far as you can, bring your hands down to the mat, yoga blocks, your ankles, or your shins – wherever they comfortably reach
  • Release tension from your head and neck, letting them hang heavy

If you’re experiencing low back pain, try pausing halfway down in a wide-legged lift while relaxing your head and neck.

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

This yoga pose is often used as a way to relax and de-stress. It is a time to bring your focus inward, away from any outside distractions, and reconnect with your daily intention.

Let’s try it:

  • Starting on hands and knees, sit your hips back toward your heels
  • To make this a hip opener, separate your knees to the outer edges of your mat, bring your big toes together, and extend your arms out in front of you
  • Alternatively, bring your legs together and reach your arms alongside you, reaching your hands to your feet
  • Rest your forehead on the mat
  • To stimulate your Third Eye Chakra (the space between your eyebrows), gently massage your forehead back and forth on your yoga mat

If your forehead doesn’t reach the mat when you’re doing a yoga pose, you can place a yoga block or blanket underneath it, or stack your palms and let your head rest there.

Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana

Parivrtta Sukhasana (Easy Seated Twist)

This process helps cleanse your system, while also toning the abdominal muscles. The benefits of twists include detoxification and compression of organs. Twists also restrict blood flow throughout the body, helping to cleanse the system and tone abdominal muscles.

That doesn’t sound beneficial, does it? The twist provides fresh blood to the organs, increasing circulation and helping the body get rid of waste when you release it. That’s when the yoga magic happens.

The benefits of twists come from both the physical and spiritual aspects. On the physical side, twists help to get the energy moving and flowing. This can help to break up any stagnation in the body. On the spiritual side, twisting can help to release any anxieties or worries that you may be holding onto. This can help to create a sense of peace and calm in your life.

Let’s try it:

  • From a cross-legged position, inhale to sweep your arms up over your head
  • As you exhale, bring your right hand to your left knee and your left hand to the mat behind you
  • Extend your left arm long to help you to sit up tall – imagine this arm functioning as a second spine
  • On your inhales, sit up taller
  • On your exhales, twist deeper
  • After a few breaths use an inhale to return to center
  • On your next exhale, twist the other way

If you don’t feel comfortable sitting with your legs crossed, you can do this exercise with your legs extended in front of you or by lying on your back and twisting from that position.

Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge)

This yoga pose can be either invigorating or calming, depending on how it is done.

When you use a prop to support you in a backbend pose, it takes away much of the active component of the pose. However, you will still get a slight backbend and the benefits of an inversion.

Let’s try it:

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat to the mat, close to your sitting bones
  • Place your feet about hip-width apart and align your thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Push down through all four corners of your feet to lift your hips off of the mat and slide a yoga block under your sacrum (the top of your pelvis)
  • Rest your arms long by your sides with your palms facing the ceiling

If you don’t have a yoga block, you can use some folded towels or blankets, a pillow, or a book (or a couple of books, depending on their thickness) instead.

Easy Pose or Sukhasana

The asana known as Sukhasana, or Easy Pose, is a fundamental seated yoga position. The name derives from two Sanskrit words: sukha, meaning ‘easy, comfortable’, and asana meaning ‘pose’. Some of the earliest images depicting ancient yogis in India show them in this pose, some of which date back at least 2,000 years. Sukhasana is intended to be a tranquil and peaceful pose.

Sukhasana, or easy pose, is a staple in many meditation and breath work practices (referred to as pranayama). If you’re struggling with tightness in your hips, Sukhasana can be especially helpful, though you’ll want to prop yourself up on a block to ensure your hips are higher than your knees. With consistent practice, your hips will begin to open and your spine will align correctly.

This position strengthens the back and stretches the knees and ankles while also opening the hips, groin, and outer thigh muscles (abductors). sitting upright with your spine aligned also reduces stress and anxiety. It calms the mind and is known to be therapeutic for stress.

How to Get Into Easy Pose/Sukhasana

  • Sit on the edge of a blanket or block (if you have tight hips). Extend your legs in front of your body and sit up straight (Seated Dandasana or Staff Pose). Beginning with the left leg, cross your legs in front of you at the shins.
  • With your knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee. Fold your legs in toward your torso.
  • Place your hands on your knees. Palms can be down on the knees, up facing the ceiling, or at the chest in Anjali Mudra (pictured).
  • Balance your weight evenly across your sit bones. Align your head, neck, and spine in one column. Lengthen your spine towards the sky, but soften your neck. Relax your feet, hips, and thighs.
  • Gaze straight ahead with soft eyes or close your eyes.
  • Stay in Sukhasana for up to one minute or the duration of your meditation or pranayama practice.
  • Release and change the cross of your legs.

Cat (Marjaryasana) and Cow (Bitilasana)

The Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana, is often paired with the Cow Pose, or Bitilasana, as a gentle warm-up. These two poses, when practiced together, help to stretch the body and prepare it for other asanas.

Cat-Cow is a series of poses that warms the body, bringing flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also opens the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep. The spinal movement of the two poses stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands. Coordinating this movement with your breathing relieves stress and calms the mind.

The following sequence also helps with posture and balance. It helps to keep the spine in proper alignment and can help to prevent back pain when done regularly.

How to Get Into Cat and Cow Pose

  • Start in a tabletop position, and take a moment to find yourself on your mat. Ensure that the shoulders are aligned over the wrist, and hips over the knees.
  • As you inhale, press the mat away from you as you lift your chest and tailbone towards the sky. Let the belly sink towards the earth. Lift your head to look forward. You are now in Cow Pose.
  • As you exhale, round the spine, and continue pressing the mat away as you tuck the chin towards your chest and tailbone in. Keep the belly drawn in and spine curved towards the sky. You are now in Cat Pose.
  • Repeat this sequence 3 – 5 times.

Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana helps to relieve stress and is often practiced later in a sequence when the body is warm.

This pose is often called “Seated Forward Fold” in English, but its Sanskrit name, “Paschimottanasana,” actually translates to “Intense West Stretch.” This name comes from four Sanskrit words: “Paschima” (west), “Ut” (intense), “Tan” (to stretch), and “Asana” (pose).

The ancient yogis would practice stretching their bodies by facing the sunrise and doing the Paschimottanasana. This pose can be intense, but it is important to never force it or push too hard. The more you can relax in this pose, the deeper your stretch will be.

Paschimottanasana stretches the spine, shoulders, pelvis, and hamstrings. And while traditional yoga texts say Paschimottanasana can cure disease, modern-day yoga teachers agree with its many other benefits, which include:

  • Relief from stress
  • Improved digestion and appetite
  • Relief from menstrual pain and symptoms of menopause
  • A calmer mind
  • Reduced anxiety and fatigue
  • Improved sleep and relief from insomnia

This is a great way to improve your health and relieve stress. It is known to lower blood pressure, improve fertility, and treat sinus problems. This pose is also believed to help with obesity.

How to Get into Seated Forward Fold

  • Sit on the edge of a firm blanket with your legs extended in front of you in Staff Pose (Dandasana). Reach actively through your heels. Beginners should bend their knees throughout the pose, eventually straightening the legs as flexibility increases.
  • Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side, and then up overhead, lengthening your spine.
  • Exhaling, bend forward from the hip joints. Do not bend at the waist. Lengthen the front of your torso. Imagine your torso coming to rest on your thighs, instead of tipping your nose toward your knees.
  • Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet — wherever your flexibility permits. You can also wrap a yoga strap or towel around the soles of your feet, holding it firmly with both hands.
  • Keep the front of your torso long; do not round your back. Let your belly touch your legs first, and then your chest. Your head and nose should touch your legs last.
  • With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, fold a bit deeper.
  • Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, draw your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift your torso.

 

You're Invited to the Free Masterclass

Reach Your Ideal Body Weight and Feel Great About Yourself, Without Restrictive Diets

REGISTER NOW FOR IMMEDIATE ACCESS

Join the Group ...

About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

Learn More About Elegant Eating and How to Get Started

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!