There are many different kinds of workouts to meet the needs of different people. Some people choose high-intensity workouts to lose pounds and gain muscle mass quickly. Others take a more relaxing approach to their workouts.
Yoga is one of the most popular kinds of relaxed workouts that you can do. It helps to relieve both mental and physical stress. It has also helped many people find calmness within themselves and reduce the noise from outside influences that can often interrupt our daily activities.
There are many different yoga studios in every state. You can also do a little research of your own. Take some time to read about yoga for beginners and other articles online. These sites can provide you with some background information and answer any questions or concerns that you may have before taking a yoga class.
One of the nice things about yoga is that you can practice it almost anywhere.
Here are a few ways that you can use yoga as a relaxation workout technique:
- Practice in a safe, quiet space. Practice yoga in a quiet space that is free from interruptions and distractions. Find a room at the office in your home with a door you can close to block out any unnecessary light or sound. Turn your phone off or put it on silent mode.
- Keep your body warm. You should never practice yoga on a cold floor. This is bad for the kidneys. Heat the room first, or put down a blanket or two to maintain a good body temperature. Wear socks if you want.
- Don’t practice yoga on a full stomach. You should begin your yoga workout either before or well after you’ve eaten. Trying yoga poses with a full stomach can make your attempts more difficult. Give your body time to properly digest your meal before exercising.
Here are a few relaxing yoga poses that you can do that are rather easy for people at any skill level.
The first one is the cat pose, also known as majaryasana:
- Kneel down and put your hands on the floor. You should be on all fours.
- Check your wrists and hips to make sure they are properly aligned with each other. Make adjustments if you need to.
- Tuck in your tailbone and pull in your abdominal muscles. Arching your back slightly until you find a comfortable position should do the trick.
- Lower your head slowly towards the floor. Do this gradually. Don’t worry if your head isn’t exactly touching the floor.
- Take a deep breath. Take a few moments and breathe in deeply, then exhale deeply and repeat.
The cat pose helps you stimulate better blood flow in your wrists, fingers and arms. It also helps to relieve tension in your back and neck as well as improved breathing. Use this pose if you’ve been sitting at a desk or working at a computer terminal all day to relieve stress.
The second yoga pose is called bhastrika:
- Relax your shoulders. Feel free to let them drop a bit if you’d like.
- Take a few deep breaths. Take some time to breathe deeply into your abdomen.
- Exhale deeply through your nose. You can count for a few seconds as you inhale and exhale deeply as well.
- Inhale deeply. Continue to breathe in and breathe out deeply.
- Keep your shoulders, head and neck still. When you are inhaling and exhaling deeply, the only movement should be from your diaphragm.
- Continue this process for 5 to 10 rounds. Many yoga instructors recommend doing a series of 5, 10 or 20 rounds of deep inhales and exhales, but you can do whatever amount works best for you. After that, start breathing normally for a while.
- After this, finish around of 20 to 30 breaths. Again, you can do as many repetitions as you’d like. You may want to start with a smaller number of repetitions and work your way up to more repetitions.
- Repeat this as often as necessary. Take a few more repetitions of deep inhales and exhales and then breathe normally for a while. Repeat this process for as long as you’d like. As you’re doing this, pay attention to how your body responds to breathing forcefully with deep inhales and exhales and how it responds to breathing naturally.
Bhastrika is a great way to energize your breath and reduce stress. It’s a relatively easy technique that you can practice anywhere you’d like.
The third yoga pose is called yoga nidra. This is effective for improving relaxation, especially as you prepare your body for sleep in the evening:
- Lie flat on your back, with your arms outstretched. Add a blanket or pillow underneath your head for support and another one under your knees for added support if you wish.
- Choose a clear intention in your mind. It could be well wishes for a loved one, a goal that you want to achieve or anything else that’s important.
- Close your eyes.
- Repeat this intention. Think of the intention and repeat it either out loud or just to yourself several times.
- Take several deep breaths. Make sure to inhale and exhale deeply each time.
- Rotate your awareness of all parts of your body, starting on the right side. Begin with your right arm, fingers, and hand. Move on to your right leg, toes, knees and so on.
- Be aware of your body as a whole. Think about your body as a whole. Be aware of all of you moving parts at the same time.
- Repeat the awareness of all parts of your body, but this time begin with the left side. Begin with the right arm, fingers and hand. Move on to the right leg, toes, knees and so on. You can wiggle your toes, move your arm or leg slightly or perform other gently body movements if you need to.
- Continue with your full body awareness. Realize your body awareness and the space surrounding it. You should feel a calmness and peace.
- Repeat your initial intention. Remember the intention you initially set. Repeat it out loud or silently several more times. Again, feel free to move your hips, hands, arm, neck or other parts of the body if you want to.
- Prepare yourself mentally to return to ordinary consciousness. You are now ready to emerge from this pose after experienced full body consciousness. You should feel comfortable and relaxed as a result.
Yoga nidra is often used at the end of restorative yoga sessions to help you become more aware of your body and help you feel more relaxed. It’s a great way to wind down a busy exercise session.
These are just some simple ways to incorporate relaxing yoga poses into your workout routine. There are many more that you can try. It all depends on your interest and intentions.
Yoga is a very low-impact workout and it’s often effective for reducing stress and pain. It can help you get back to feeling like your confident, determined self in no time.