Sometimes it can be hard to unwind, especially after a long day at work (and especially when you’re Type:A). But our motto is work hard, relax hard and after a long day of multi-tasking, remember to take some time for yourself. Taking a mental time out, for even just a few minutes, can do wonders for your emotional state. And what better way to take a time out than with some simple yoga poses you can do at home?
Take five minutes and try these poses to stretch your muscles and unwind after a long day - no props necessary! All you need to perform these easy yoga poses is a soft surface, like your bedroom rug, and a few minutes of peace and quiet. We recommend holding each pose for at least a minute but do what you can and simply focus on your breath - breathe in, breathe out, and let the stress melt away.
Relax Your Mind: One of the easiest of all yoga poses, Sukhasana is as simple as crisscross applesauce (hence why it’s also called Easy Pose). Sukhasana is a great pose for opening your hips, strengthening your back and most importantly – relaxing your mind. Simply sit on a comfortable surface, like your rug, cross your legs and place your hands on your knees. To maintain spine alignment, make sure your back is straight - you can do this on your own or sit with your back against a wall. Pro tip: If your hips are tight, which is most likely the case if you’ve been at a desk all day, then support your hips by sliding pillows or blankets underneath your knees.
Calm Your Core: Also known as the thunderbolt pose, Vajransa is an interesting pose because it’s recommended that you hold this pose after a meal (while most other yoga poses are performed on an empty stomach). Life stressors can turn your stomach into knots, so you can use this pose to increase the blood flow to your digestive organs and aid in digestion. To hold this pose, you’ll need to get on the ground in a kneeling position with your feet touching, sit up straight with a tall spine, engage your core and lift and open your chest while resting your hands on your knees. Caution: Do not try this pose if you have a knee injury.
Rest Your Tired Legs: It’s easy to transition from Vajrasana to Virasana, or Hero Pose, and it’s one of the best yoga poses for tired legs at the end of a long day. Stay in a kneeling position and separate your legs so they’re outside your knees and slightly wider than hip width. Your hips will sink down and, if you can, you’ll rest your bottom on the floor. If you can’t (no stress!) you can still get the benefits of this pose - just slide a pillow or blankets under your seat. In addition to giving your legs a good stretch, Virasana increases flexibility and blood flow to the legs and feet.
Stretch Your Lower Body: We all know Child’s Pose, and look forward to it after a long, hot yoga session, but it can also do wonders for you after a long, hot day at the office. Child’s Pose is great for stretching your lower body and it’s been known to calm the brain (even one that’s still running around after a crazy day). You can get into Child’s Pose from the Virasana position by lifting your hips back onto heels (while still kneeling), opening your knees to hip distance apart, folding your torso over your thighs and leaning all the way over until your forehead touches the floor.
Melt Your Stress Away: While Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, is a yoga pose that’s meant to be held while awake and relaxed, there’s absolutely no harm in holding this pose at the end of the day, in your bed, under the covers (and in pajamas). Just lay flat on your back and spread your arms out a 45-degree angle away from your body. Close your eyes and allow your body to become soft, taking the tension out of each muscle and relaxing them one at a time. Let go of your day, and your worries, and just focus on your breaths. Shavasana is one yoga pose you’ll want to hold for as long as you can, and if it sends you off into dreamland, even better. Goodnight and Namaste!
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