Posted on March 31 2021
By: Baylee Maust
Springtime brings warmer weather, longer days, and bustling new activity. It's easy to let new responsibilities and work cloud our minds. But if we aren't careful and don't focus enough on self-care, the busy atmosphere that springtime brings can catapult us into experiencing stressful and undesirable feelings.
A simple and quick activity to practice to bring back your focus is yoga. Yoga is the practice of combining physical stretches with mind exercises to put your body in a state of relaxation. You don't even need a yoga class or yoga instructor! There are thousands of poses that range from easy to challenging, so it is truly an activity for anyone!
These 5 calming yoga poses are fairly simple and perfect for any beginner. You can practice these stretches after work in the gym or right in your own living room! Help set the relaxation mood by dimming the lights, lighting a candle, or playing your favorite music to begin your stress-relief journey.
One of the most seemingly simple yoga poses to do also requires a lot of focus. Start the tree pose by standing up as straight as you can. Slowly bring one of your feet to the inside of your calf or thigh so you are balancing on your other leg. You can hold your hands in front of you in prayer position. To balance more efficiently, pick a spot in your home to focus on and do not let your eyes divert from it. You can also close your eyes and try to enter a state of meditation.
The act of meditation also sounds fairly easy; you must simply practice routine deep breathing and try to remain present in order to reach a state of mindfulness and relaxation. However, if you are feeling a lot of stress or anxiety, it may be hard to tune out your racing thoughts. This is why combining simple yoga poses with bits of mindfulness can help you little by little to remain calm and focused through all your busy responsibilities.
Some yoga poses can be as simple as lying down on the floor! You will need to make sure you have a sturdy wall for this yoga pose. Start by lying flat on your back and place your legs up in the air against the wall. Continue to keep your legs as straight as you can make them, resting them against the wall for as long as you desire. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing to get your blood pumping adequately all through your body.
This pose requires a bit more stretching, but most people can still do it. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Pull your left foot into your right inner thigh. Bend forward and reach your arms out toward your right foot and hold for as long as possible. Without hurting yourself, try to move your face as close to your knee as possible. Switch and repeat with your left leg. You should feel the stretch in the back and inner thigh muscles, and your spine.
This is a great yoga pose to practice regularly if you are standing or moving around on your feet all day. If we are busy at work or school, we sometimes do not realize the strain we put on our legs and feet, so it is vitally important to regularly stretch them with this restorative yoga pose so they do not give out.
If you're following along, all you have to do for this next pose is sit in a cross-legged position while keeping your back straight. Then place your left hand on your left knee and your right hand on your right knee. That's it! While remaining in a posture with your back as straight as you can make it and your palms resting on your knees, this pose is perfect to focus on your inhale and exhale synchronization to release any feelings of anxiety.
Our final pose will bring us to a powerful stance. The warrior pose is similar to doing a lunge. You will stand up straight and then move your left leg in front of you and slightly bend at the knee so that you will feel a stretch in your calf and upper leg. Then, hold your head high and extend your arms straight out, one in front of you and one behind you.
The warrior pose is effective at straightening your back, while stretching hip muscles and those sore legs. This yoga pose is great if you typically sit at a desk or computer for most of the day, where your body may be used to slouching. Switch to the other leg by bringing your right foot forward instead and bending the knee while your back leg remains straight.
As you can see, you don't need a fancy yoga mat or deep breathing knowledge in order to get in the yoga flow! You can easily become your very own yoga teacher using this guide. Any small stretches or mindfulness breathing techniques that you are able to practice will help you improve your physical and mental health astronomically. Once you've mastered these beginner poses, you can move on to more difficult exercises and watch as your flexibility and mental wellness grow.
When you begin to master the art of staying present and remaining peaceful, you will see an improvement in a boosted mood, how you handle work, and how you balance responsibilities. Soon your regularly overwhelming tasks won't feel so stressful!