What To Do When You Can’t Relax In Yoga Class

Feeling stressed and anxious and you just can’t relax? Try these comforting yoga techniques…

You know the feeling…

You’re sitting in yoga class – or on your mat at home – and you just can’t relax. There are about a billion things running through your mind, and try as you might, it seems impossible to really let go and let yourself just be in your body.

This can be really frustrating.

After all, isn’t one of the main points of doing yoga to relieve stress and give you a little much-needed rest and relaxation?

But sometimes – especially when you’re feeling depressed or anxious – even just sitting quietly can feel overwhelming.

During these times, sometimes a more active and physically challenging yoga class can be just what you need to get you out of your mind and into your body for a change. However, if you’re still feeling stressed, or you just don’t have the energy for a strenuous session, here are a few other tips to try when you can’t relax:

Eyes Open: If closing your eyes in Savasana or any restorative pose causes agitation or brooding, try keeping your eyes open but with a soft focus.

Crocodile Pose: Sometimes lying on your back can make you feel exposed and vulnerable (see Anxiety, Yoga and the Front Body). So try lying on your belly in Crocodile pose (Makrasana) instead to see if that is more comforting. If your lower back curves too much in Crocodile pose, place a folded blanket (long rectangle) under your lower belly.

If you don’t find Crocodile comfortable, you could try a supported version of Savasana, as raising your torso higher than your legs might feel better than being flat on your back, or even a side-lying Savasana (see Corpse Pose Variations).

Supported Child’s Pose: Like Crocodile pose, Supported Child’s pose allows you to relax without feeling exposed or vulnerable. Many people actually find hugging their bolsters very comforting. You can turn your head to side and keep your eyes open if that helps; just be sure to turn your head to the other side for an equal amount of time.

Supported Inversions: because the Relaxation response is triggered by your physical position, supported inverted poses don’t require a mental focus. So you can keep your eyes open and even listen to music while you are practicing them and you’ll still quiet your nervous system. These are also great alternatives to forward bends, which cause some people to brood and others just find unpleasant. Of course, as with any pose, if you feel bad in an inverted pose, come out of the pose immediately. (See All About Supported Inverted Poses to find a supported inverted pose that’s right for you.)

Get More Tips at YogaForHealthyAging.com


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