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5 Yoga Poses to Help You Relax

By: Bethany Barich (Follow on Instagram & Twitter) 

Need help falling sleep? Is there a lot of stress weighing you down, whether from life or work? Don’t worry. There’s a yoga solution for that. Even if you’re a complete beginner the moves being listed below are sure to help you feel less stressed, and possibly help you with sleep.

Here are 5 yoga poses to help you wind down and relax: 

Child’s Pose

The most basic of yoga poses, and yet, child’s pose does wonders. If you’re not sure how to get into child’s pose - simply get on your hands and knees, relax your body down onto your thighs, rest your forehead onto the mat, and either place your arms out in front of you (straight forward) or have them reaching behind you for some shoulder release. In general, child’s pose is perfect to do in between challenging yoga poses and is a great stretch for your spine. It opens the hips and your back, and is sure to help with calming any stress you have and prepping you for a nice evening or deep sleep. 

Thread the Needle

This is a pose that is so good for helping stretch the spine, shoulders, arms and neck. Don’t be threatened by the pose (if you’re currently looking it up to see what it looks like) because it’s a basic level pose. If you’re looking for a challenge in the pose, there are other variations and modifications that can be done. If you’re unsure on how to get into the pose, check out this tutorial by Yoga 101 Library on YouTube. Try adding this yoga pose into any vinyasa – it works the best if you lead up to it with Table, or a Cat/Cow.

Reclining Goddess Pose

Reclining Goddess Pose, or Reclining Bound Angle Pose, is personally one of my favorite poses ever. This pose definitely is one that helps with winding down and helping with sleep. If you’re not sure how to get into the pose, read up this step-by-step tutorial provided by Yoga Journal. If you’re having discomfort in your inner thighs, try raising your feet off the floor slightly – this can be down with a pillow, blanket or with a yoga block. This pose helps with stretching those muscles in our inner thighs and groin area, as well as our knees. It helps stimulate important organs, and helps with circulation.

Legs Up The Wall Pose

Good for anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and even menopause, this pose seems easy but actually can be challenging at times. It’s a basic pose, and with all of those benefits, there’s no reason to be intimidated. If you’re not sure how to prep or how to fully feel its benefits, here’s another step-by-step tutorial by Yoga Journal. This pose will also help relieve any cramping in your legs or feet, it gives a nice stretch to your legs and your back, plus it’ll help calm the mind. If you’re looking for a much deeper stretch, try a variation of this pose – you can spread your legs out to the side in a “V” shape. If you want to use any sort of yoga straps, pillows or blocks, you’re more than welcome to. 

Corpse Pose

The most relaxing pose there is in the yoga world, corpse pose will help you clear your mind and get you ready for the evening or sleep. You simply will lie on your back, keeping it flat against the mat, have your legs spread mat width and your arms straight with the palms up. Just follow your breath, and be aware of your body, let your thoughts come and go, and relax.

Whether you’re coming home from a long day at work, or prepping to go to bed, these poses are sure to help with. If you’re interested in a video to follow, check out this excellent article, that includes a video and other tutorials, on Elle.

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