Different postures can be beneficial at different times of your day. In this article, we are looking at the kinds of asanas, or postures, that are best for the end of the working day, when your body has not moved enough, and mental pressure has worn you out, despite little physical exertion.
The asanas described here combine stretching tight muscles and relaxing. Included are four simple exercises to refresh, reset, and relax the body.
Yoga Asanas for relaxation after work:
This is the most used yoga asana and for very good reason.
Lie on your back on a firm surface, with your arms by your side and your palms facing upwards, both legs slightly wider than hip-width apart and relaxed.
Close your eyes and focus on your out-breath, allowing yourself to relax more than you do during the rest of the day. Breathe in relaxation and breathe out tension. Let go of stress as it dissipates with each exhale.
This is a very gentle backbend and the inversion in this posture helps us to relieve any tension in our body or mind.
Kneel on your mat with your toes under so that you feel stable. Place your hands on your lower back, you will feel the curve of your spine. Breath in deeply through your nose, exhale and then push down into your hands as you breathe out again. You should feel the stretch along the top of your back and around to both sides of your neck. Your head should be looking downwards towards the floor with eyes closed.
Once you are comfortable in that position, continue to breathe deeply and evenly. Place your hands on either side of your head with the fingertips pointing towards the floor. As you exhale lift yourself up so that your shoulders come off the ground and press down firmly onto your fingertips. Your elbows should be slightly bent so that they form a right angle.
You may find that the muscles around your shoulder blades are very tight, so you might need to allow yourself to ease off slightly. If so, aim for a ‘modified cobra’ by keeping your head dropped down onto your mat and allowing it to act as a brake on your descent back down towards the floor. You can repeat this pose up to five times.
This is a great asana for stiff backs. If you’ve been sitting at a desk all day long and your hips are feeling stiff and painful, then this is also a good one to try.
Sit on the floor with your legs together and your spine straight. Bend your right leg so that you can put the sole of your right foot against the inside of your left thigh near the knee and hold in place with your hands. Bend your left leg and press the sole of your foot into the right side of your body. Lean a little to the left, towards your bent knee, and wrap your arms around it.
You can try this pose with both legs bent or you can choose to just bend one at a time. You should feel the stretch along the side of the torso you are leaning towards. You can hold this pose for between one minute and five minutes, then do the same on the other side.
Lie flat on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees, both feet pointing towards your head. Keep your legs together and relax so that they are heavy, with both feet staying firmly on the floor.
Place your right hand behind your head, turn your chin in towards the right shoulder, then use the left hand to gently lower the right shoulder away from you until you feel a comfortable stretch along either side of your body, just below the armpit. You should feel your stomach muscles working so focus on relaxation, breath deeply and evenly.
You can keep this pose for between one minute and five minutes before swapping sides.
Maintaining a healthy mind and body while simultaneously working in a demanding job can be really challenging. These asanas offer the perfect antidote to a busy working schedule, to invigorate, relax, and release the stress of the day.