In the hustle and bustle of modern life, wellness and self-care can fall to the bottom of the pile. Not only is this bad for our mental health, but it can also harm other areas of our life. If we go to work with a cluttered mind, we’re likely to be far less productive and achieve less throughout the day. Putting on our yoga pants each day can help us to function better and feel happier in the process. So, what yoga poses should we use to relax the mind? Here, we explore yoga: relaxing the mind and giving peace.
Reliving muscular tension, Supported Child’s Pose is a great asana for relaxing the mind. Before practising the posture, make sure that you have a blanket or large pillow to hand. To begin the asana, kneel on your mat with your pillow laid out in front of you. Next, sit back on your heels and straighten the spine as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly walk your hands out in front of you until your chest is resting on the pillow. Finally, place your forehead on the pillow and rest your arms down by your sides. You are in Supported Child’s Pose. Hold the pose for around 5 minutes, or as long as the posture feels comfortable.
Another restorative asana, Legs Up the Wall Pose works to release tension in the neck. In addition to giving peace, the posture works to relieve a headache. To practice the asana, place the shortest side of your yoga mat against a wall. When your mat is in place, sit down facing the wall. Gently lie back on the mat and extend both legs up the wall. Make sure that your bottom is almost touching the wall and that your legs are close together. You can either rest your hands on your stomach or on the mat – whatever feels most comfortable. You are in Legs Up the Wall Pose. Hold the pose for up to ten minutes with your eyes closed.
The next asana on the list is Supported Heart Opener. Before beginning, make sure you’ve got a comfortable blanket or towel to hand. Once you’re ready, fold the towel or blanket to create support along the length of your spine. Next, lay down flat with your torso resting on the support. Keep your legs extended as you move your feet hip-width apart. If it feels comfortable, allow your arms to fall to your sides with your palms facing up; alternatively, rest one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach. You are now in Supported Heart Opener Pose. Feel your chest open as you allow your body and mind to relax. Hold the pose for at least 5 minutes, making sure to breathe deeply throughout.
Supported Side-Lying Savasana also uses a towel or blanket as support. Alternatively, you can use pillows if you find them more comfortable. To start, lay on your side with a blanket, towel or pillow underneath your head. Next, place your other support lengthways in front of your torso. Bending your top leg, gently place your knee on top of the support. You are in Supported Side-Lying Savasana. Allow your eyes to close and take a few minutes to relax, remembering to breathe deeply throughout.
Forward Bend is loaded with mind relaxing benefits. To begin the pose, stand tall with your feet directly under your hips. Gently hinge forward at the waist and begin to lower your upper body toward the floor. To ensure pressure on the lower back is minimized, remember to bend your knees generously throughout the pose. Next, take hold of your ankles and let your body hang naturally toward the floor. You are in Forward Bend. Hold the posture for 1 minute whilst breathing deeply. To increase the stretch, gently sway your torso or head from side to side.
Bound Angle Pose is another great posture for relaxing the mind and giving peace. To practice the asana, begin in a seated position. Bending your knees out to the sides, bring the soles of your feet together and interlace your fingers around the toes. As you inhale, press your pelvis down into the mat and extend your spine. Draw your shoulders down and back and move your chest forward. Finally, press your knees down into the mat to increase the stretch. You are in Bound Angle Pose. Hold the asana for 5-8 breaths before releasing.
To practice Supported Bridge Pose, you’ll need a yoga block or a rolled-up blanket. To practice the asana, begin on your back with your knees bent. Keeping the soles of your feet on the floor, relax your arms and let them drop to the sides of your body. Next, tuck your chin into your chest and lift your hips off the mat. Finally, slide the block under your lower back and bring your hips back down. You are in Support Bridge Pose. Hold the asana for around 5 breaths before removing the block. For a deeper stretch, practice the pose with a larger block.
Begin Supported Half Frog Pose on your stomach with a blanket placed to the right of your body. Next, stack your hands and place them under your head. Bending your right knee, move your right leg out until it is in line with your hip. The inside of your right thigh should now be resting on the blanket. You are in Supported Half Frog Pose. For a deeper stretch, draw your knee towards your armpit. Hold the asana for 5-8 breaths before repeating on the opposite side.
Allowing the body to completely relax, Corpse Pose is a great way to end a yoga routine. Thankfully, it’s super easy to practice! To perform the pose, simply lie down on your back with your legs stretched out. Finally, rest your arms down by your sides. You are in Corpse Pose. Take this time to concentrate on your breathing for as long as you feel happy doing so.
So, there you have it – yoga: relaxing the mind and giving peace. To relax the body and mind, put on a cosy yoga hoodie and practice the asanas above. For ultimate relaxation, you could even dim the lights and use a scented candle or incense stick.