5 Easy yoga poses to get out of your head

When we let life run its course, our minds never really get a day off. We’re either dreaming about the future or mulling over the past. When you’re often feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed it takes a toll on your overall health and well-being.

Whatever mental struggle you’re dealing with right now, you can trust yoga to help you get out of that state of mind. Whenever you feel like your mind is running on overdrive, try these five easy yoga poses to calm your mind. This simple series is suitable for beginners and seasoned practitioners.

 

  • Child’s pose
We don’t know anyone who doesn’t like this pose. Child’s pose feels so yummy because it opens your hips and stretches your lower back. It helps you relax and get rid of fatigue. 

How to get into this pose:

  1. Sit on your heels, leaving a gap between your knees (at least as wide as your hips)
  2. Walk your hands forward, extending your upper body
  3. Rest your forehead on the mat, a cushion, or a block, and let your belly fully relax between your legs
  4. Close your eyes and take 10 to 20 long, deep breaths

 

  • Cobra pose

Cobra pose does require some effort, but it’s well-worth feeling your shoulders,  belly, and chest open up while strengthening your spine. This pose is quite the opposite from our typical “sitting” position which is why it feels so good! 

Cobra yoga pose in natureSource: Tabitha Turner via Unsplash

 How to get into this pose:

  1. Lie flat on your belly, put both hands under your shoulders.
  2. Slowly lift your chest. Be gentle, especially in the morning.
  3. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, press your hands into the mat. Don’t lock your elbows.
  4. Look forward, keeping your chin parallel with the mat.
  5. Option to close your eyes. Take 5 to 10 breaths here.

If this pose feels too strong for your (lower) back, you can transition into sphinx. Sphinx pose is the same as cobra but resting on your forearms. Another option to release tension in your lower back is to open your feet as wide as the mat.

Both these poses will boost your mood and energy level. Remember to always move mindfully and with respect for your body.

 

  • Warrior 2 pose

Warrior II is great to release tension - especially in your legs and hips - because it is such a grounding pose. Practicing this pose allows you to tap into your inner strength to stand strong against whatever life brings your way.

Source: Marcus Aurelius via Unsplash

 How to get into this pose:

  1. Start at the front of your mat, feet hip width apart (mountain pose)
  2. Take a big step back with your left foot, point your left toes slightly in
  3. Bend your front leg, but keep both legs firm
  4. Press your feet into the mat
  5. On an inhale raise both arms parallel to the mat. Reach your hands to opposite sides
  6. Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths. Then, step your back foot back to the front and repeat warrior II on the other side



  • Lizard pose

This is another juicy pose to open up your hips and hip flexors. There are many different ways to get into this pose. We suggest starting from mountain pose.

How to get into this pose:

  1. Start from mountain pose (top of your mat, feet hip-width apart).
  2. Step your left foot back into a lunge. Gently lower your back knee to the mat. Untuck your toes.
  3. Bring both hands to the inside of your right foot, and let gravity shift your hips forward and down.
  4. Rest on your hands. If you want to go a bit deeper, you can lower down onto your forearms. Use blocks under your hands or forearms whenever needed.
  5. Close your eyes and take 10 slow breaths. After, press up slowly through your hands, lift your knee and step to the front of the mat again. Repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.

 

  • Seated forward fold

Forward folds calm your brain and relieve stress. Breathing deeply and with awareness will also stimulate your liver and kidneys while enhancing your digestion. Make yourself as comfy as possible, keep a bolster or cushion nearby to lay over your knees, and rest your head on.

Seated forward fold
Source: Marcus Aurelius via Pexels

How to get into this pose:

  1. Sit in the middle of your mat with your legs stretched out front
  2. Remove the flesh from under your butt cheeks
  3. Take an inhale and slowly let your back round into the forward fold (Note: this way of practicing the pose is different from in a Vinyasa class where the focus will be on hinging from the hips with a straight back).
  4. Close your eyes and take 20 or more deep breaths

 

CONCLUSION

Your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Making time for this short and simple practice before bed, or at any point in the day, will empower you to cope with life in a different way. 

Especially when you feel like you don’t have time, you’ll benefit even more from taking some time to quieten your mind.

BMF’s inside tip: try these poses outside for even more benefits. How do you get out of your head? Let us know in the comments below.

 

By Stephie Hennekam


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