Self-Love is easier said than done – and this is also true for yoga. Even though we enter class with high intentions we often end up comparing ourselves to others and focus more on what others think about us. That is why I put together 6 of my favorite Self-Love yoga poses that will help you to move your body mindfully and gently open your heart.
I encourage you to practice these poses by yourself in your sacred space and focus on your body.
I also recorded a Self-Love Yin Yoga Flow on my brand new Youtube channel. Watch it here!
Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana
Low lunge helps release tension in the hips, strengthens your hamstrings, quads, and groin, and helps build mental focus. It encourages a full range of motion in the lower body.
- From Forward Fold, with an inhale, step your right foot back, with the ball of your foot on the floor.
- Reach your right (back) heel back that your front knee forms a right angle. Adjust your stance if necessary.
- Let your thigh sink towards the floor. Touch your toe tips and reach your chest forward.
- If your neck feels comfortable, you can look up, otherwise, look down at the floor or straight ahead.
Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II
Warrior II strengthens the legs and opens the hips and chest. It also stretches the shoulders and improves circulation in the entire body.
- From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot to the inside of your right hand and spin your back heel down.
- Your back foot should be parallel to the back edge of your mat.
- Firmly press into the outside edge of your back foot.
- Let your hips sink towards your mat that you form a right angle in the front leg.
- Turn your hips and shoulders towards the left side and bring your arms to shoulder height.
- Drop your shoulders down and back and gaze over your right middle finger.
Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana
Forward fold stretches the hamstrings and lengthens the spinal column and back muscles. It can stimulate the digestive, nervous, and endocrine systems.
- From Upward Salute or Mountain Pose, with an exhale, bend the knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips with a flat back.
- Bend the knees as much as you need to bring the palms to the floor (or use blocks to bring the floor to you!).
- Relax the head and neck down and feel the stretch in your spine.
- Notice the position of the pelvis, it should be stacked above your ankles.
Supported Bridge – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bridge Pose opens the chest, heart, and shoulders. It stretches the spine, the back of the neck, the thighs, and the hip flexors (front hip joints). Because your heart is higher than your head in this pose, it is considered a mild inversion and holds all the benefits of inversions.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat.
- Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Lift your hips toward the ceiling and bring a block under your hip or lower back (whatever feels better). Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Do not squeeze your glutes or flex your buttocks.
- Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis.
- Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat.
- Reach your knuckles toward your heels.
- Hold for up to one minute.
Reclined Bound Angle – Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclined Butterfly or Bound Angle creates a passive, gentle stretch for the inner hips and groin. It can also help to relieve symptoms of stress, insomnia, mild depression, menstruation, or menopause. It helps to open and energize the pelvic region.
- Lie down comfortably on your back, bend your knees to bring the soles (bottoms) of feet together to touch.
- The outer (pinky toe) edges of your feet should be resting on the mat. Let the legs fall open and allow gravity to support the weight of the legs.
- If your hips and groin are feeling tight, take feet further away from the body; alternately, if you’re feeling more open, you can bring feet closer toward your body to deepen the stretch.
- Relax shoulders away from ears and allow the back body to sink more deeply into the mat.
Corpse Pose – Savasana
Corpse Pose reduces stress and releases tension at the end of a practice. It improves your senses and brings the mind, body, and soul in balance.
- Lie on your back and let the arms and legs drop open.
- Extend your arms to the sides, your palms face up.
- Gently tuck in your shoulder blades and center your head. Your neck is long.
- Close your eye, take a deep and slow breath in through the nose.
- Exhale and let your whole body become soft and heavy. Everything in your body should be relaxed: from your pinky toe, over your hips, your abdomen, your shoulders, your face to your tongue.
- Remain here for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes. Take time when you come out of the pose.
If you’ve liked this post, check out our summary of the Heat Chakra!