Go with the flow to alleviate the anxiety, fear, and cabin fever caused by the coronavirus. These 6 yoga poses are perfect for everyone from newbies to experienced yoginis to increase calm and relaxation, enhance health and wellness, and provide natural pain relief if you’re dealing with your period in isolation or recovering from illness.
Child’s pose (Balasana)
The perfect posture to open, end, and take a break during practice, child’s pose is comfortable and comforting, like a big warm hug.
Strike a pose: Sit with your knees on the floor, fold forward, stretch out your arms, and sit on your backside as low as you can comfortably go. You can keep your knees together or spread them apart for a more relaxed pose.
Benefits: Balasana opens up your back (especially your lower back) to give it a good stretch. If you have period cramps, it also gives you a gentle massage, thanks to the subtle pressure of your knees on your stomach. Take deep, belly breaths to swaddle your mind along with your body in deep relaxation.
Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
This traditional pose is simple, but the mental and physical benefits of this position are profound.
Strike a pose: Stand up straight, bend at the waist, and lean down to touch the ground. If that feels too much, grasp either elbow and hang there gently.
Benefits: Uttanasana helps alleviate mild depression, tension, tiredness, and insomnia, all while giving your lower back, abdominal, and reproductive muscles a wellness-boosting stretch.
Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
Similar to the standing forward bend, the seated version also gives your hamstrings, head, and back a delicious stretch.
Strike a pose: Start in a seated position and stretch out both legs in front of you. Lengthen your spine and then bend forward slowly, reaching for your toes. It’s less about how low you can go, and more about letting go.
Benefits: Paschimottanasana helps relieve menstrual cramps, digestion issues, and headaches. Speaking of your head, it also works wonders for your mind by helping alleviate anxiety and mild depression and restoring vital energy.
Reclining spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Just like the satisfaction of wringing out a sponge and watching all the gunk go down the sink, reclining spinal twist acts just like that.
Strike a pose: Lie flat on your back with your arms spread in a T-shape, palms flat on the ground. Bend your left knee, and bring it down to your right side. Look to your left, and if it feels comfortable, use your right hand to gently press your left knee closer to the ground. Repeat on the other side and say ahhh.
Benefits: Supta Matsyendrasana releases toxins from your digestive and reproductive organs while stimulating your circulation and giving your back and hips a satisfying stretch.
Bound angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
Just like the butterfly for which this pose is also named, you can find transformative relief with this reproductive health supercharger.
Strike a pose: Sit on the floor, bend your knees, and then drop them to your sides. Hold the soles of your feet together, and pull them towards your pelvis. Don’t force your knees to the floor — if it feels uncomfortable, you can add support (like a block or a small pillow) under each knee. Take a few deep belly breaths and let the stress fly away.
Benefits: Baddha Konasana opens your hips and can even decrease sexual frustration and tension. (A big plus right now!) It also brings relief to your digestive system, alleviates period cramps, and gives you a zing of energy. Mentally, sitting up straight with your spine aligned calms your mind, and diminishes anxiety, mild depression, and stress.
Reclining bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Flip a butterfly on her back, and you get a goddess — the other name of this uber-effective PMS- and stress-fighting position.
Strike a pose: Starting from Baddha Konasana (butterfly pose), gently lay back on your hands first, then forearms, and lower down to the ground with the soles of your feet together.
Adjust your thighs and pelvis as you relax into the stretch. If this is feeling stressful on your lower back, you can use props under your knees for extra support.
Benefits: Supta Baddha Konasana is a popular restorative pose that kicks cramps, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia in the asana. All while unleashing your inner goddess.
Namaste to our Cleo Community — stay strong, safe, and sane from inside and inside out.