Overwhelmed? Here Are Some Yoga Poses To Calm You Down! (The Basics)

Hello, fellow stressed-out student! Glad to have you here. As you would have already guessed, I am here to demonstrate some yoga poses that might help to get you in a relaxed mindset. For me, doing yoga in the evening has the greatest effects, but really anytime during the day that suits you the most should work!

In order to get the full benefits of the practice, it’s important to clear your head of all anxieties and preoccupations as you step onto the mat. I’ve found that slowly getting into your poses and becoming more and more focused on what you’re doing at that moment helps with concentration. It’s a natural progression, I think, because as you do these poses, your heart rate rises and your mind subsequently eases down a bit. At the end, if successfully tapped into a calming flow, you should feel amazing after! It really is all about mindset as the baseline for yoga.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some poses that can be done individually for quick relaxation or combined for a mini yoga flow! 

#1: Begin with sitting criss-cross on your mat with your hands resting on your knees or in prayer pose. This is the perfect time to regulate your breathing, taking deep breaths in and out for about a minute. It also helps with getting you in the right mindset.woman doing yoga

#2: This next pose is a little more complex than it looks. You bend over and touch your toes, trying to keep your legs straight. Then, try to suck in your belly while squeezing it into your upper legs, rounding out your back only slightly. It sounds complex, I know, but this pose helps so much with warming up your body. woman doing yoga

#3: After that, you can lift your upper body from the bent-over position, straighten your back and hold. Repeat 2 & 3, holding pose 3 and releasing down to pose 2 a couple more times. woman doing yoga

#4: Then, you can go immediately into a downward-facing dog and pedal out your feet, if you are still a little stiff. The key to this ~classic~ pose is to keep your legs as straight as possible, run your shoulders down your back-keeping your back straight-lean into the hips and keep your neck very loose. It’s a really restorative pose once you get the hang of it!

#5: Lunges are next. For each side, from your downward dog, lift one leg high up, holding the position and keeping your hips parallel. After holding this for a few seconds, bring the lifted leg back into your chest, bending your leg and squeezing in the abdominals. Then, from there, place your foot down on the mat into a lunge position. Hold this for a few seconds.

#6: After doing one side, it’s important to do the other to balance things out! Chaturanga, which I will show in a collage, is the perfect transition. From the above position, step the front foot back into a plank. Then slowly lower yourself down until your stomach is flush with the mat. From here, go into an upward-facing dog, then curl your toes under and rise into a downward-facing dog. Rinse and repeat, and complete the sequence on the other side. woman doing yoga

#7: When you’ve finished both sides, you can continue the entire flow a few more times if you want the practice to be more lengthy. Once you feel you’ve reached a good stopping point, make your way into a child's pose, which is probably one of the best poses ever. There are a slew of great cool-down poses to do; but each yoga session usually ends with you back where you started--sitting criss-cross. This is a time to reflect on the practice and restore your breathing.

And that’s it! Obviously, these are just a few in a sea of great yoga poses and flows. I hope that even if you are fidgety or just find it hard to take time out of a busy schedule to sit down and zen out, these simple poses bring you closer to state of mental clarity. It does take effort, but the great thing about yoga is its accessibility; you don’t have to be an expert to feel its impact! So next time you figuratively hit a wall, hopefully your mat will be there to catch you.