Let yoga help you loosen tight muscles through self-administered massage!
It’s not a secret that yoga offers a lot of benefits. In general, yoga increases flexibility, soothes the mind and alleviates anxiety and stress, improves posture, and lessens chronic pain such as back and joint pain.
Aside from those benefits, another thing that makes yoga a favorite to many is the fact that it relaxes your body, much like giving your muscles self-massage!
This is good news if you always find yourself caught in the busyness of life that it takes a toll on your muscle health and overall fitness. But if not, who doesn’t want a massage anyway?
Tip for doing these yoga poses:
- Stay in each pose for at least 10 deep breaths.
- Perform the poses using slow, steady motion.
- Stretch your muscles to the point of mild discomfort. Release if you feel pain. Never go beyond your limit.
Half-seated Spinal Twist
This amazing yoga pose releases tension in the spine and stretches the neck, shoulders, and hips.
- Sit on a yoga mat with legs extended out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot outside of the left knee, flat on the ground.
- Bring your left arm outside the left thigh, twisting your spine, and place your right hand flat on the ground behind your hips.
- Take deep breaths, lengthening your spine on each inhale and releasing on each exhale.
- Switch sides.
The rabbit pose opens up the spine, stretching and releasing tension in the neck, shoulder, and spine. It also stimulates digestion and blood circulation, bringing fresh blood and oxygen to the brain.
- Kneel on the mat and sit on your heels.
- Exhale, then grab your heels with your hands, palms facing in.
- Brace your core and slowly bend your neck and upper chest to place the top of your head on the mat so that your forehead touches your knees.
- Lift your hips up so that your arms are straight and elbows are locked.
- Hold the position and take deep breaths.
Cow Face Pose
A seated yoga pose, the cow-face pose deeply opens the hips and knee joints. It stretches and releases tension in the arms, shoulders, chest, and ankles and triggers digestion and elimination.
- Sit on a mat in a cross-legged position with your right foot back by the left hip and the left knee stacked on top of the right and the left foot by the right hip.
- Raise your right arm toward the ceiling, then bend the elbow to bring your hand to the back of the neck.
- Bring the left arm out to the left side, bending the elbow and bringing your left hand at the center of the back.
- Clasp your hands behind, bracing your core and keeping your head neutral.
- Take deep breaths. Switch sides.
Also known as Mandukasana, the frog pose is a simple pose that alleviates back pain and releases tension in the hips.
- Get down on all fours on a mat, then place a blanket under your right knee for protection.
- Gently slide your right knee away from the body while simultaneously lowering your hips then chest toward the mat.
- Rest your head on a yoga block or on your hands.
- Take deep breaths, allowing your hips to sink in as low as you can.
Happy Baby Pose
The Ananda Balasana or commonly known as the happy baby pose is great for opening the hips and stretching the inner groins and back. It releases tension in the legs and hips.
- Lie on your back with legs extended and arms by the sides.
- Bend your knees toward the chest, opening them wider than your torso.
- Grab the outer edge of your feet with your hands so that your thighs are parallel to your body and the floor.
- Take deep breaths as you gently rock yourself from left to right.
Tired legs? Alleviate tension in the legs from a day of walking or standing with the hero pose. Also known as Virasana, this pose is excellent for strengthening the arches of the foot and stretching and increasing circulation in the thigh, knee, and ankle.
- Kneel on the mat with knees together and directly under the hips. Rest your hands on your knees.
- Keep your feet apart wider than hip-distance apart, then firmly press the tops of your feet on the mat. Your toes should point outwards with soles facing the ceiling.
- Slowly lower your hips down until your sitting on the mat. Make sure your hips are positioned between your heels.
- Brace your abs and take deep breaths.
After a tiring, stressful day, we often find several aches in our body that we hope for a massage once we get home. Yoga comes to the rescue when you don’t have enough time to go out for a massage. What’s better is that you don’t have to pay a single cent!
Which pose is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below and share this post with a friend who badly needs a self-massage!