Yoga is widely prescribed as a means of reducing stress and instilling calm. This is true if practiced gently, synchronized properly with breathing and performed mindfully. If done in the right manner, it is a gift beyond measure, reducing and preventing almost all lifestyle related disorders. An elixir for abounding health and happiness.
Here, we’re sharing a few of the best Asanas for relaxation. You can add them to your existing routine or practice them independently by holding them for longer durations. Remember to keep your breath long, deep and gentle as you perform them.
Cow’s Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Gomukhasana is one of the best poses to induce deep relaxation. Practice for 5-10 minutes for relief from stress or anxiety. Additional benefits include relief from backache, sciatica, stiffness in shoulders and neck and reducing cramps in legs. Avoid this if your hips are injured or too stiff.
- Sit with your legs bent so that the right knee is directly above the left knee.
- Stretch your left arm back and then fold it behind the back.
- Raise the right arm up and fold it over the right shoulder.
- Clasp both hands behind the back.
- Keep your spine erect and head facing up.
- Take long, deep and gentle breaths.
Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
Padmasana is a meditative posture and has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. It also helps stimulate the digestive process. Do not perform this Asana if your knees are injured or weak or if you suffer from sciatica.
- Sit with legs straight in front of you.
- Fold both legs one by one and place the feet on top of the opposite thighs.
- Keep your spine comfortably erect.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Probably the most loved postures of all Yogis, Savasana is the ultimate pose for relaxation of the body and mind. You can practice with some relaxing music or play a relaxation audio along.
- Lie down on your back with the arms by the sides of your body and feet slightly apart. Keep your palms facing up and head in the center.
- Let your whole body be comfortable and leave it loose.
- Relax your body part by part starting from your toes to the head.
- Bring your attention to your breathing and then gently to your body.
- Wriggle your toes and fingers. Cup your palms over your eyes and gently open your eyes. Remove the palms.
Child Pose (Balasana)
Balasana is the most popular posture used by yoga teachers to relax in between a yoga sequence. It relaxes the body quickly with a mild stretch, helping to alleviate aches and pain in the back and legs. It also helps to alleviate mild anxiety. Avoid in case of severe knee problems.
- Sit with your legs folded, knees together and hips rested between your heels.
- Inhale and raise your arms. Exhale and fold forward placing your forehead on the mat and arms rested beside your body.
- Relax in this posture for a few long breaths.
Intoxicating Bliss Pose (Ananda Madirasana)
This a meditative posture and can be practiced for longer durations for spiritual purposes. It calms the mind, relaxes the nervous system and refreshes the body. It also helps to remove tiredness or pain in the legs. Avoid in case of severe knee problems.
- Sit with your legs folded and hips rested between your heels.
- Place your palms over your heels, under your hips. Fingers should face down and face each other.
- Keep the head and back straight, close your eyes and relax.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Ruchi Phool. Ruchi holds a diploma in Yoga Vidya, a Diploma in Naturopathy and a Laughter Yoga Teacher Certification. Her skills include Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Laughter Yoga, Diet & Nutrition, Shuddhi Prakriyas (Cleaning of Mind, Body, Psyche), Pranayama and various Mindfulness, Meditation & Relaxation techniques.