10 Yoga Poses to Relax & Refresh
Take a step back, take a breather, and relax and refresh your body and mind.
Today we’re taking a break. We’re taking a step back, putting our responsibilities on the back burner for at least 20 minutes, and allowing ourselves some much needed and well-deserved time to relax and unwind. Busy schedules can cause us to carry around a lot of tension and stress in our bodies, but today we’re putting our foot down and showing our mind, body, and spirit some loving. One of the best ways to relax and unwind is through yoga. There are countless yoga poses that are gentle on your body yet effective enough to rid yourself of trapped, unwanted stress. Often times we carry around tension in our lower back and upper shoulders, so it’s important that you try out some poses that target those specific body parts. So today clear some time in your busy schedule and try out these 10 Yoga Poses to Relax and Refresh. It’s most effective to start your day off with these poses first thing in the morning to get your blood flowing, but as long as you can sneak this sequence in your day somewhere that’s good enough!
Corpse pose is probably one of the best ways to relax and refresh your mind and body. Simply lay flat on your bag with your arms out at your sides and allow your feet to naturally fan out. The goal of this pose is to relax your mind as much as possible to relieve any stress you may be feeling. Lay in this position for at least 10 breaths.
Cat & Cow
To do the cat and cow sequence begin on your hands and knees. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders and your knees are underneath your hips. On an inhale arch your back, pushing your belly down to the ground, and look straight with your chin slightly lifted. On an exhale draw the belly up to your spine and round your back, looking down towards the ground. Repeat this sequence for at least 10 inhales and 10 exhales.
Begin by lying on your back in corpse pose. Extend your arms out to your sides in a T with your palms facing down. Bend your knees, bring them to your chest, and on an exhale slowly lower them down to one side of your body. Keep your shoulders down on the mat as much as possible. Turn your head to face in the opposite direction than your knees. Stay in this position for 10 deep breaths. On an exhale engage your core to bring your knees back to center, and then repeat this pose in the opposite direction, holding again for 10 breaths.
Standing Forward Fold
Bend forward at the waist with your knees slightly bent. Fold as much as you can while still feeling comfortable. Let your neck and head relax with arms either hanging down to the ground freely or bent with your hands placed on opposite elbows. Remain in this position for at least 5 deep breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
For downward facing dog you can begin by laying on your belly. Tuck your toes underneath and bend your arms placing your palms on the ground on either side of your body. Take a deep inhale in and as you exhale push down in your hands and toes to bring your body up off the ground, ending up in an inverted v position. Allow your head to hang freely and push your heels down to the ground as much as possible while still being comfortable. Take the time to make some small movements in your body if you wish to, such as taking turns to bend your knees or swaying back and forth. Do whatever movements make you feel good in this position and hold it for 10 breaths.
Begin in tabletop pose with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale deeply and as you exhale sit back on your heels with your belly resting on your thighs and place your forehead down on the mat. Reach your hands out in front of you or reach them behind you, your choice. You can also choose to bring your knees out to the width of the mat with your big toes touching each other if you’d like a deeper stretch in your hips. Stay in this position for at least 10 deep breaths.
Begin this pose by lying on your back in corpse pose. On an inhale lift your arms up, clasp opposite elbows, and rest them on the ground over your head. Begin to bend your knees, bring the soles of your feet together, and allow your knees to relax open. Try to relax any tension you feel in your hips or shoulders. Remain in this pose for 10 breaths.
Begin in plank position on your forearms. Step one leg up to the top of your mat placing your shin down on the mat with your heel close to the opposite hip. Flex the foot of your bent leg while relaxing the foot of the black leg. Remain in this position for 10 breaths and then, while engaging your core, bring your bent leg back to meet your other one. Then repeat this pose but with the opposite leg.
Wide-Leg Standing Forward Fold
Start by opening up your legs as wide as you can bring them while still being comfortable. Make sure your toes are facing straight forward. Bend forward at your hips while keeping your legs straight and place your elbows on the ground with your hands clasped. Try to keep as much pressure as possible on your heels rather than your elbows and forearms. Allow your head to fully relax and hang in order to relieve tension in your neck. Remain in this position for 10 breaths.
Legs Up the Wall
Lay on your back, left your legs straight into the air, and bring your body as close as you can to a wall so your legs are flat against it. Keep your arms down at your sides. While in this position take at lest 10 deep breaths.