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  • Writer's pictureTash Sekar Goodman

Unwind Your Mind: Yoga Poses for Mental Exhaustion Recovery

Do you sometimes get overwhelmed by all the pressures and expectations in your life? Modern life demands a lot from us, but we often expect too much from ourselves. This can exacerbate

the pressures we feel from external sources such as work, studies, relationships etc and may lead to mental exhaustion from time to time.

Here are some yoga postures that I’ve been doing to help unwind my tired mind. I’m finding that even just taking the time to do one posture for two to five minutes is making a difference to my overall energy levels and mood. Give them a try and let me know what you think :)

Badda Konasana ~ Butterfly Pose (Supported or Unsupported)

Baddha Konasana, also known as Bound Angle Pose or Butterfly Pose, can help to open up your hips and groin area, and it can also be a good pose for relaxation and meditation.

  1. Begin seated on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you.

  2. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out to the sides.

  3. Grab hold of your ankles or feet with your hands.

  4. Sit up tall and lengthen your spine, imagining a string pulling the crown of your head up towards the ceiling.

  5. Fold forwards with a rounded spine, allowing the head and neck to be heavy.

  6. Option to have support with bricks, bolster and blanket (see below).

  7. Take slow, deep breaths and relax your body as much as possible.

Seated Cat-Cow

Seated Cat-Cow is a gentle yoga flow that can help to loosen up your spine and relieve tension in your neck and shoulders. It's also a good way to tune in to your breath and bring some mindfulness to your practice.

  1. Begin seated on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your hands resting on your knees.

  2. Sit up tall and lengthen your spine, imagining a string pulling the crown of your head up towards the ceiling.

  3. As you inhale, arch your back and push your chest forward, bringing your shoulder blades together and looking up towards the ceiling. This is the "Cow" position.

  4. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin in towards your chest, pulling your belly button towards your spine. This is the "Cat" position.

  5. Repeat the Cat-Cow sequence, inhaling into Cow and exhaling into Cat, for several breaths.

  6. Move slowly and smoothly, letting your breath guide your movements.

Uttanasana ~ Standing Forward Bend (Supported or Unsupported)

Uttanasana, also known as Standing Forward Bend, is a gentle yoga pose that can help to stretch your hamstrings, calves, and lower back. It can also be a good pose for calming your mind and relieving stress.

  1. Begin standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with your feet hip-distance apart and your hands resting at your sides.

  2. On an exhale, slowly fold forward from your hips, keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent.

  3. Bring your hands to rest on the floor in front of your feet. If you want to make it more supported with props, you can use 2x blocks or bolster to support the upper body (see below).

  4. Relax your neck and let your head hang heavy.

  5. If it feels comfortable, you can straighten your legs a bit more, but don't force it.

  6. Take a few slow, deep breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your legs and spine.

Neck Rotations

  1. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed.

  2. Slowly tilt your head forward so that your chin moves toward your chest.

  3. From this position, slowly roll your head to the right, bringing your right ear toward your right shoulder.

  4. Continue rolling your head back so that you are looking up at the ceiling.

  5. From this position, roll your head to the left, bringing your left ear toward your left shoulder.

  6. Finally, roll your head back down to the starting position with your chin toward your chest.

  7. Repeat the circle in the opposite direction, starting by rolling your head to the left.

Remember to go slowly and gently, and don't push your neck beyond its comfortable range of motion. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Supta Baddha Konasana ~ Supported Bound-Angle Pose (Supported or Unsupported)

  1. Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat or comfortable surface. Option to have a bolster behind the torso to support the spine (see below).

  2. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall out to the sides.

  3. Gently draw your heels in toward your body, bringing them as close to your hips as is comfortable.

  4. Place your hands on your belly or let them rest at your sides.

  5. Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly as you allow your body to relax into the pose.

  6. You can stay in this position for as long as is comfortable, taking slow, deep breaths and allowing your body to sink deeper into the stretch over time.

  7. To come out of the pose, gently bring your knees together and roll over to one side, using your hands to push yourself up to a seated position.

Remember to listen to your body and go at your own pace. If you feel any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose slowly and gently.

Supta Baddha Konasana

Try them out and see what you think :)

Tash x

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