It’s so important to take the reins on your self-care routine – especially after making it through another crazed week. Trust us: Your stress levels will thank you. A super easy way to fold some chill-out time into your day is by giving your evening routine a little upgrade. This can include grounding yoga poses that are meant to calm you down and ease your mind.
Hold these poses for as long as you need to unwind. If a specific one feels so relaxing that you drift off into a meditation session or rest your eyes, let that be. The main goal is to unwind from the stress that bounds you up over the course of the day. These poses are meant to bring you out of that world and into a restorative state. All of these poses bring the good stuff: reduced decreased tension and reduced stress.
This one looks pretty much like you are lying down on your back about to take a snooze. There’s a little more to it, however. The main point is to restore and rest. No crazy moves needed to relax. According to research in the International Journal of Physical Education, legs should be about 1-2 feet apart, toes pointed outward (heels facing together), and your arms a bit away from the body with palms facing upwards. Your neck can fall to either side or stay at midline. It’s important to focus on releasing all muscles groups (including that clenched jaw) to really reap all of the benefits of this grounding pose.
Precautions: Those with back problems: You can place a bolster under your knees to increase lower back support and stability.
You need one prop for this one: a wall. As the name implies, you will scoot your bottom toward the wall and bring your legs straight upward with the wall as a support. You can even place a pillow under your lower back for more comfort in this position. Make sure your bottom is flush up against the wall and your arms are out to the side (either in a T formation or straight out to either side).
Precautions: Those with back or neck problems: You can slide the soles of your feet together and bring your knees outward with your feet coming closer to your pelvis as a modification.
This ultra-grounding pose helps lengthen the spine and release the lower back, which ultimately unlocks a ton of tension. To complete this pose, sit back onto your heels with your upper body resting on your thighs. Rest your forehead on the mat and bring both arms next to your body with palms facing up.
Precautions: Those who are pregnant and/or have digestion or knee issues.
As the name implies, this pose is supposed to evoke feelings of childlike happiness. Lie down on your back, bend your legs so that you catch each foot with your arms (holding on the outside of each foot). Your head and neck should remain on the ground relaxed (no straining in happy baby!). Push your feet into your hands. If your lower back is popping up off the ground, lower your hold on each leg to either your shin or hamstrings for best form.
Precautions: Those who are pregnant and/or have knee or back issues.
Stand up tall and slowly let your upper body sink to the floor with your arms dangling. You can sway back and forth, fold your arms together, or even shake your head yes and no for a cervical stretch. Bend your knees so that they aren’t locked out. You can even widen your stance. The goal is to feel an overall release and let gravity stretch and lengthen your neck and back.
Precautions: Those with back issues. You can bend your knees more to increase stability and support for the back.