June 07, 2017

How Restorative Yoga Will Save Your Body and Mind

It’s no secret that sitting all day at work is horrible for your body. Slouching over your laptop could lead to soft abdominal muscles, which exaggerates the arch in your spine. Tightness in the hips also could develop, therefore decreasing your flexibility, which can be seen even just while walking. These are just some of the least grave hazards that you should be worrying about.

The sad truth is that we can’t help but stay immobile in our cubicles all day. Some of us don’t even have the time to spare to go to the gym at least once a week. That’s where restorative yoga comes in. It’s a more relaxed type of yoga that’s meant to return your body to its natural state. Not only does it benefit you physically, it can also restore your peace of mind as you meditate while doing the poses.

Another great thing about it is that it can take just ten minutes and all you need is a yoga mat. So before you sleep, try some of these poses to help ease your mind and body into tranquility.

#1 Child’s Pose

child's pose

This is one of yoga’s simplest moves, so much so that even a child can do it. This stretches almost all problem areas in the body, from the neck, legs, hips, and spine. Go on all fours, making sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Gently sit back onto the soles of your feet so that your torso touches your thighs and try to have your forehead on your mat. Feel free to empty your mind and just focus on your breathing.

#2 Happy Baby Pose

As the name suggests, you’ll surely feel like a carefree newborn while doing this pose. First, you lie down on your back and bend your knees so that you can reach the soles of your feet. Your knees should be open wider than your torso to stretch your groin area. You can gently rock from side to side or slowly straighten your legs, pulling them up and down to massage your spine.

#3 Cat-Cow Pose

This move includes two poses that targets the spine area. Go on all fours just like you did with child’s pose and push down as you curve your spine. Let your head naturally fall back just a bit and feel the stretch. Spend a few seconds in this pose and then pull your spine upwards, rounding out. Repeat this move a couple of times till you feel satisfied with you feel the tightness fade.

#4 Reclining Big Toe Pose

This pose is perfect to get rid of the tightness from keeping your legs bent all day. In this more relaxed version, while on your back, extend one leg in the air but keep the other one bent. Loop a strap or folded towel on your foot and hold both of its ends with your hands. Slowly extend your bent leg while still pulling on the ends of the strap. Do the same in the other side. You should be able to feel a good stretch here, especially in your hamstrings. Did I mention it can also relieve period pain?

#5 Pigeon Pose

This is an intermediate pose that is super effective in removing the tenseness in your hips. It can get a little intense at first but with a bit of practice, you’ll feel less uncomfortable and more satisfied with the stretch. Go on all fours and place your knee forward in between your hands. Lower your knee so that your shin is diagonal to your hands. Slowly sink your hips and straighten your back leg, feeling a deep stretch in the hips and in the buttocks. Stay in this pose for a couple of seconds and with every exhale try to sink your hips a little bit lower. Repeat on the other leg.

#6 Universal Spinal Twist

Ever feel strangely satisfied with cracking your bones? You might hear a few bones crack in your spine with this move but it feels absolutely amazing. Lie down straight on your back and pull both of your knees to your chest. Stretch your arms out on either side and slowly lower both knees to one side, feeling your hips and spine twist as well. Turn your gaze to the opposite hand to stretch your neck too. Repeat on the other side. In stretching your abdomen, you also get to increase the flow of bloodin your digestive track, therefore improving your overall digestive system.

#7 Corpse Pose

What better way to end your yoga session by simply just lying down? But it’s important to keep your legs hip-width apart and have your palms facing up while at your sides. There’s a reason why this pose is named as it is. It’s because you’re supposed to close your eyes, relax, and be dead to the world for just a few minutes. Doing so surprisingly has a lot of benefits such as reducing headaches, fatigue, and even lowering blood pressure.
Photos courtesy of NDTV

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beauty, exercise, Preen, Preen.ph, restorative yoga, wellness

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