Try these calming Yin Yoga poses for instant stress relief whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.
Hey friends, Nina here, your Yoga & Meditation guide at Your Super.
How are you feeling today? Have you taken the time to check in with yourself lately? Sometimes creating space for yourself to calm down really goes a long way.
In today’s article, I want to share 4 calming Yin Yoga poses for stress relief with you. These simple asanas (physical yoga postures) allow you to unwind and calm down the nervous system, even if you’re short of time.
Yin Yoga is a slower-paced yoga style that really helps to work into the parasympathetic nervous system, also known as our 'rest and digest' mode.
While most forms of yoga focus on building muscle strength and increasing flexibility, yin yoga centers on stretching the deep connective tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, and deep fascia- the tissues that surround the muscles.
This deeper connection is why yin yoga is often called ‘yoga of the joints.’
So while you’re practicing, try to focus on whether you’re clenching your jaw or holding on to any tension.
The following asanas have a soothing and calming effect on our nervous system:
- Caterpillar pose
- Swan pose
- Child’s pose
- Legs up the wall
1. SEATED FORWARD FOLD (Caterpillar)
How to do caterpillar pose:
- From a seated position, legs outstretched in front of you, fold forward from the hips, allowing your spine to round. (A micro bend in the knees is fine.)
- Relax your legs and allow your feet to naturally fall outwards or inwards.
- Lengthen your spine on the inhale and on the exhale slowly drape your chest over your legs.
- The aim here is not to have a straight spine but to keep a soft rounding through your spinal column.
- To bridge the gap between your thighs and upper body and to give you more support, place a bolster or pillow on your legs and gently rest on the support.
- Remain in this pose anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
Benefits of Caterpillar Pose:
- Stretches the spine and the hamstrings.
- Soothing effect on your nervous system.
- Stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Massages the digestive organs through breath and compression.
2. SWAN POSE
How to do the Swan pose:
- From all fours, slide your right knee forward, more or less behind your right wrist.
- Avoid stressing your right knee: bring it inwards or towards the edge of the mat to avoid any discomfort.
- Place your ankle in front of your left hip and flex your foot.
- Tuck your left toes under and slide your foot towards the back as far as you comfortably can. Make sure that your left leg is in line with the upper body and rest on the top of the foot with the toes tracking backward.
- Stack your arm bones on top of each other and allow your body weight to sink down.
- You are looking for a stretch in your hips, hip flexors, and mild stimulation of the sacral region.
- Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
- And then repeat on the other side.
Benefits of Swan Pose:
- Increases toe mobility and strengthens the ankles.
- Stimulates the spleen, gallbladder, liver, stomach, and urinary bladder meridians. And, increases hip mobility!
- Stretches the hip flexors. Strong physical and emotional release through the hips.
- Stimulates the liver, kidney, and spleen meridians through the front body extension.
- Stimulates the gallbladder meridian through hip rotation.
3. BALASANA (Child’s Pose)
4. LEGS UP THE WALL
About Nina: With a degree in social work and psychology, Nina has been interested in the studies of the human mind and behaviour from an early age. She is a certified yoga, meditation & breathwork teacher, has trained in Hatha/Vinyasa and holds additional certifications in Restorative, as well as in Yin Yoga. "Mindfulness is every being's birthright" is Nina's 'above-all' approach in interaction with others. Follow Nina’s mindfulness journey here.