Imagine how much stress you could relieve if you did a quick and easy yoga routine right when you got home from work. Whether you sit at a desk all day or are constantly on your feet, these moves will help you decompress from the work day.
For 3,000 years yoga has introduced us to relaxation, meditation, and multiple health benefits. From reducing stress to fighting disease, yoga has grown in popularity, and new studies are finding out just how beneficial it is.
While you may not have the time every day (or every week) to attend a local yoga class, or even do your yoga before you start your day, there is little reason not to practice a few yoga poses when you get home from work.
Stress from the day and what lies ahead for the rest of the evening builds to a crescendo about the time we get home from work. Not only has the workday burdened your mind and body, now you have to plan dinner, help with homework, do chores and get ready to start again in the morning.
Taking a few minutes to relax with a few yoga poses will help to clear your mind, enjoy your evening at home, and sleep better through the night.
Here we offer 7 relaxing yoga poses you can do at home when you get off work.
The most basic and integral poses, Sukhasana is designed to relax the body, open the hips and align the spine.
To enter this stress relieving pose:
- Sit on the floor on the edge of the mat, or on a block with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Start with your left leg and cross your legs in front of you at your shins.
- With wide knees, place each foot below the opposite knee and bring your legs towards your torso.
- Place your hands on your knees. Your palms can be facing up or down. Alternatively, you can place your hands at your chest in prayer pose.
- Balance your weight evenly, aligning your hips, spine, and head.
- Relax your neck and shoulders while looking directly ahead, or closing your eyes.
- Stay in position for 1 minute and then release the pose.
- Begin the pose again, starting with the right leg crossing over first.
The cat stretch helps to elongate the spine, relieving stress and pressure. This pose is also used to help with posture which protects the spine and hips.
To perform the cat stretch:
- Begin on the floor or mat on your hands and knees. Often called Table Position, your arms should be straight, head forward and your back aligned and parallel to the floor.
- Ensure that your hips are directly over your knees and your shoulders are over your wrists.
- Inhale deeply and smoothly as you lift your hips and shoulders away from the mat, allowing your belly to fall towards the ground. Hold the pose as long as you are inhaling.
- Exhale slow and controlled while reversing the body position; your shoulders and hips should fall to towards the mat while your belly raises up towards your spine.
- Keep your belly drawn in and your back curved upwards while you exhale.
- Repeat the sequence three to five times.
The supine twist is an excellent pose to remove stress build up and wring your torso like a sponge. This will stimulate and detoxify your organs, allowing you to feel near-instant benefits.
To enter supine twist:
- Lie on your back with your knees together and feet flat on the floor. Your arms should rest at your sides.
- Exhale and slowly bring your knees to your chest, wrapping your arms around them.
- Extend your left leg straight out on the floor, keeping your right knee to your chest.
- With your left arm, press your right leg over your left, trying to touch the ground with your knee.
- Your right arm should be on the floor straight out from your side, face your right hand and breathe ten to 20 breaths.
- Slowly bring yourself back to your knees at chest position, and begin again, this time with your right leg out, twisting to the right.
- Return to the knees to chest position and slowly straighten both legs out to exit the pose.
Child’s pose is meant to stretch the spine and legs releasing stress and anxiety.
To enter child’s pose:
- Sit on your heels with your knees together in front of you.
- Exhale as you collapse over your knees, pushing your arms out over your head, pushing your palms to the floor.
- Hold the pose for ten to twenty breaths.
- Return to the sitting position.
Standing Forward Bend
To stretch your back, legs and shoulders, standing forward bend is the perfect relaxing pose.
To enter standing forward bend:
- Stand straight with your feet and knees together.
- Slowly exhale as you bend forward at the waist pushing your palms to the floor.
- Take slow deep breaths as you hold the pose for 1 minute.
- When standing, first bend the knees and support your spine while rising.
Head to Knees Pose
This stretching pose works on your thighs and butt as well as your back.
To enter Head to Knees pose:
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Ankles and knees together.
- Slowly exhale as you bend at the waist extending your hands over your feet and placing your head on your knees.
- Go as far as you can and let gravity pull you down. If you can’t reach your knees, just go as low as your body will allow.
- Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths. Inhale as you return to the sitting position.
Corpse pose is the final pose as it allows your entire body to relax and feel the releasing effects of gravity.
To enter corpse pose:
- Lay flat on your back, legs and arms straight.
- Your arms and legs should be comfortable, normal distance from your body.
- Close your eyes as you lay flat and release all the tension from your mind.
- Allow gravity to pull you into the floor, relaxing every muscle.
- Hold this post as long as you like. When you are finished, slowly pull yourself to a sitting position and then stand.
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