Gentle Yoga Poses Relieve Stress And Relax The Mind

Ican’t count the number of times that someone has tried to tell me how much better my life would be, if I only tried yoga.
“Good for the health, good for the mind, good for the soul,” trumpeted my yogini friends. For years, I resisted the lure, telling myself that I was going my own way, but actually just afraid of doing something dumb in a hot room full of strangers.
It’s a valid fear, but now, having finally tried yoga, I have to admit; all those enthusiastic vinyasa-goers might have been onto a serious lifestyle boost.
As we saw with these easy yoga poses you can do from the comfort of your own bed, it can be a very relaxing way to stretch out your muscles and get a bit of gentle exercise.
And, while some of those super-stretchy poses might not be so fun, studies have proven that gentle yoga can do amazing things for your stress levels.
We gave a few of them a try right here at Little Things; all it takes is a yoga mat and a rolled-up bath towel for a bit of extra support!
Which of these easy yoga poses would you try at home? Let us know in the comments below!
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Child’s pose is one of the most famous yoga poses around.
If you’ve ever taken an introductory yoga class, you’ve tried this restful pose, which is very relaxing, and helps open up the chest for deeper breaths.
To move into this pose, fold your knees underneath you and rest your rear on them.
Bend all the way forward, with your forehead on your mat or towel, and stretch your arms out in front, palm down, or behind you, palm up.
If the stretch is uncomfortable, try setting the towel between your rear and the backs of your legs.
If your knees hurt in this pose, skip it and move onto something more comfortable.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Half-Pigeon is a resting pose, as well as a deep hip opener, allowing you to flex all of the muscles around your thighs and pelvis.
To complete this pose, go on hands and knees and pull one knee up to your chest.
Slowly lower to the ground, with one leg stretched behind and the other folded up under your stomach or chest.
Lean forward as much as possible, and rest your bent knee on a towel if more comfortable.
This one can be tricky for bad knees, so skip it if you know that your knees give you trouble.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Bridge pose opens the chest and heart, and helps to stretch out the lines of the limbs, from the thighs to the spine.
For this pose, lie down flat, then bend your knees with feet flat on the ground.
Push up using your hips and thighs, until legs are propped up in a bow shape, and your weight is resting on your feet and shoulders.
Arms can stay down at the ground.
If you feel back pain from this pose, try supporting your low back with a rolled towel, a pillow, or a foam block.
Remember, no yoga pose should be painful, so don’t push your body to do anything uncomfortable!
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
One of the easiest and most comfortable poses around, Reclined Bound Angle is a great way to stretch your hips and your knees.
Simply lay flat on your back, then push your feet together so that the soles meet.
Let your knees fall open, until they rest on the mat, bending them as much or as little as is comfortable.
If it’s uncomfortable to touch your knees to the mat, try this pose with your towel under your knees, to provide a soft, elevated surface.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Some yoga classes will teach you how to do a shoulder stand, where you rest your weight on your shoulders and kick your legs into the air.
Legs-Up-The-Wall is the beginners version of that pose, and helps to stretch out the hamstrings, the achilles, and all the other tightly wound muscles and ligaments of the legs.
The how-to of this pose is right in the name; simply prop your legs up against a convenient wall.
Once your feet are up, scoot your rear as close to the wall as you can will still be comfortable.
You can use your towel to support your neck or low-back if either of those areas feel uncomfortable.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
If you feel the need to stretch out the muscles all along where the rear meets the thighs, then this is the pose for you.
This pose, where you hug your knees to your chest, is also a great way to administer a gentle self-massage to your back.
Simply lie on your back, and bring your knees in to your chest, and wrap your arms around them.
Once in this position, you can rock slowly from side to side to massage your back.
Feel free to use a towel to supplement your support and the massage effect.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
If your back feels sore and stiff, it may be time to stretch it out a little bit with a nice Spinal Twist.
To achieve this pose, lie curled-up on your side, then twist your top half so your head and shoulders are flat on the ground.
This pose has the effect of helping to stretch out the spine, and it will help to open the ribs and allow bigger, deeper breaths.
Avoid this pose if you have a bad back, and might have spasms from this movement.
Janine Ngai/Heeral Chhibber for LittleThings
Ah, finally, Corpse Pose! It might sound a bit morbid, but actually, it’s anything but!
Most people who practice yoga look forward to this pose as an opportunity to rest, reflect and breathe deeply.
In this pose, you may want to practice consciously relaxing all the muscles across the body, possible propping knees up on a towel for added comfort.
Take a few deep inhales and exhales here, and take a moment to count your blessings.
Make sure your eyes are closed so you can really enjoy the quiet relaxation of the moment.
If you like the idea of giving this mild, comforting yoga poses a try, make sure to let us know, and don’t forget to SHARE for any friends who deserve a little extra rest and relaxation!