Racing from work to home, grabbing that ‘quick’ coffee with your friends, before hitting your evening classes. Life is non-stop, and sometimes you just need a moment to yourself. We’re here to help you relax with the best yoga poses for meditation that can help you unwind at the end of an exhausting day.
Prepare to relax
Stress isn’t just something in your head; it affects your body too. Tension is especially common in your face, neck, upper and lower back, and just because the bustle has stooped for the day, doesn’t mean it’ll automatically disappear.
Before you can clear your mind with meditation, you’ll need to bring your body into a state of tranquility and let go of that tension. These are our top yoga meditation exercises.
Yoga poses to prepare for meditation
Target zone: the face
That tightness across your forehead, those sleepy eyes, that never-ending headache that isn’t bad enough for painkillers, but is nonetheless annoying. That’s facial tension.
To release it, just scrunch your face up tightly. Tense those muscles. Take a deep breath in, hold and release.
Target zone: the neck
Having a sore neck is one of the most common modern complaints, we tend to store our tension around the cervical area, so it’s no wonder after a tough day, we have aches and pains.
Unwrap your cervical pain with the Fish Pose. Lie flat on your back with your hands by your sides. Then arch your upper back and neck area, tilting your head lightly back. Draw a deep breath, hold, release and repeat.
Target zone: the upper and lower back
Our ever-increasing screen time causes our upper backs to become stiff and tense, causing tightness to travel down into the lower back. While massage is one effective method of releasing that built-up tension, it can be expensive. The Extended Puppy Pose, otherwise known as the Melting Heart Pose, can be of assistance in helping your release your tension safely at home.
Kneel on your mat with your feet placed under your bottom, then take a breath and lean forward, stretching your hands as far in front of you on the mat as possible. Hold for five deep breaths and release.
Top 3 best meditation poses in yoga
Now that your body is prepared, it’s time to kick your mind out of gear with the best yoga postures for meditation.
A kneeling pose that focuses on keeping your back straight and your mind clear. Kneel on your mat with your feet tucked under your bottom, for extra comfort you can also use a cushion to place in the space between your legs and backside.
Now, rest your hands on your lap, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths – in and out. Try to clear your mind, and focus only on your mantra.
2. Full Lotus
A traditional yoga pose for meditation; the Full Lotus requires flexibility, concentration, and dedication to get it just right.
To bring yourself into the Full Lotus, sit on your mat with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your first leg and place your foot on the opposite thigh, then repeat with the second leg.
Draw a deep breath and bring your hands together in the prayer pose. Focus your mind, concentrating only on breathing, and your mantra for what you would like to achieve through meditation.
The Full Lotus is an advanced pose, so you may only be able to hold it for a short period of time. As your legs tire, try switching them around with the opposite leg on the bottom to extend your meditation.
3. Burmese Position
An adaption on the Full Lotus pose, the Burmese position, lets your body relax so you can employ full concentration on your mind.
Also known as the Sukhasana pose, to get in this position, take a spot on your mat. Your legs should be at angles to one another and your feet gently crossing in the middle.
Place your hands lightly on your thighs, and take a deep breath inwards while focusing on how it fills your body up with oxygen, then breathe out again. Repeat this process for as long as you need to while keeping your mind set on your meditation goals.