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The 8 Best Yoga Positions

We have all been there, stressed out of our minds, needing some way to relax our brains before conquering the next chapter of our textbook while pulling an all-nighter. So how do you let go for a few minutes and quiet your brain? Yoga! Below are some of the best positions to do anywhere (including the PCL at 4 a.m.).

 

1. “Happy Baby Pose”

Yes, that is really the name of this position. You simply lie on your back, exhale and bend your knees into your stomach. Then inhale, grip the outsides of your feet with your hands and open your knees a little wider than your torso. Bring your feet toward chest. Position each ankle (still held in your hands) so your calves are perpendicular to the floor. Then push your feet into your hands to create resistance. While doing this simply breathe and focus on the task at hand (instead of biology).

 

2. Touch Your Toes

“Wait, what? This is so easy!” That is very true, but it still really helps get the blood flowing in your tired body. Simply stand up at your full height, and reach for your toes. Bonus points if you then reverse this and stretch toward the ceiling on your toes.  

 

3. High Lunge

First, bend your front leg forward, letting your back leg  go out in a lunge position. But do not go to the ground, stay more up so your thigh is perpendicular to the ground on your front leg. Then keep your back straight and reach toward the ceiling. Stay in this position for about 15-30 seconds, while breathing deeply in and out. Then, reverse your legs.  

 

4. Sphinx Pose

You will need to lie on the floor for this one, so find somewhere relatively clean. Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you. Slowly raise your torso up. Next, place your arms out in front of you, so you end up on your elbows, which should remain parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and stretch for 15-30 seconds. Breathe in and out, making sure to  relax your mind.

 

5. Legs-Against-the-Wall Pose

For this you will need a clean floor and a wall where you can rest your legs. Start out by laying on your back with your legs resting up against the wall. Make sure your legs are lying perpendicular to the floor and your torso is perpendicular to the wall. Put your arms directly out from your body and breathe in and out as your stretch your back and legs.

 

6. Warrior II Pose

Start standing up with your feet together. Put your right foot forward, and bend it at the knee so your thigh is perpendicular to the floor. Meanwhile, with your left leg, put it out directly behind you, similar to the High Lunge position. Twist your torso so that it is facing to your left but keep your head facing forward. Then, slowly lift your arms so they are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then switch feet.

 

7. Downward Facing Dog

For this, you will basically end up looking like a two-sided-triangle. First start by standing up with your feet together. Separate your feet, keeping them in line with your elbows. Then bend down and at the waist and place your hands out in front of you. You are basically making a tent with your body. Stay in this position for as long as needed breathing deeply.

 

8. “Talk to the Hand” Pose

Start by sitting on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Cross your left leg under your right one, like you are about to sit criss cross-applesauce. Bring your right leg up and stick it behind your left (crossed leg). You should immediately feel the stretch. Place your right hand behind you and lean into it while bringing your left hand up to rest on your bent right knee. Extend your hand like you are telling someone to talk to the hand. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds.

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