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The Best Yoga Poses for Self-Massage


Who doesn't want a massage? The brilliance of these yoga moves is that when you do them and breathe deeply within the postures, it's like getting a fabulous massage—all without leaving your house or paying a single cent. (Um, winning. Am I right?)

Do each pose for at least 10 to 20 deep breaths, or stay in them for longer if they feel particularly amazing in your body today. Take deep breaths and enjoy! You are welcome. (Wink.)

RELATED: 5 Reasons Your Yoga Class Might Be Stressing You Out


Elbows on Blocks
Opens shoulders, releases tension in neck

Kneel with two blocks in front of you on the highest height, and place elbows on the blocks. Press hands together in prayer position, then release head in between the blocks and reverse the prayer down back. Breathe here.


Half Seated Spinal Twist
Releases tension in spine

Sit with legs in front of you. Bend right knee and place right food outside left knee. (You can keep left leg long or fold it in like a half-cross-legged seat.) Wrap left arm around right leg and place right hand on the ground behind sacrum. Use each inhale to lengthen spine and each exhale to let stress and worries go. Breathe here. Switch sides to complete set.


Thread the Needle
Loosens shoulders and neck

Get on all fours. Reach left arm under body, allowing left shoulder and temple to release to the ground. Keep right hand where it is, or crawl it a bit to the left toward head. Breathe here. Switch sides to complete set. 


Eight Point Shoulder Opener
Opens shoulders, releases tension in neck and spine

Lie facedown on belly. Reach right arm out at a 90-degree angle from body with palm facing up. Press left hand away from the ground under left shoulder, bending left knee. If comfortable, reach left toes behind right knee as you rotate body. Reach left arm to ceiling, flex palm, and allow hand to fall toward the ground. Stay there as long as you like. Allow left hand to meet right in a clasp and breathe. (If head isn't comfortable, place a block under ear as shown.) Warning: This is a deep one, so come out of the pose slowly and mindfully. Switch sides to complete set.


Releases tension in hips

Get on all fours and place a blanket under right knee, just off the mat. (If you don't have a blanket, place knee on the ground.) Slowly allow right knee to slide away from body as you lower hips and then chest toward the mat. Make a pillow with hands for head (or use a block). Allow hips to sink to wherever is comfortable and breathe.


Half Happy Baby
Releases tension in hips and legs

Lie on back with legs straight. Bend right knee, hugging it in toward chest. Take outer edge of right foot in right hand, reaching right knee toward right armpit. Rock softly from left to right if that feels nice and breathe. You can also softly alternate lengthening leg and re-bending knee. Switch legs to complete set. 


Reclining Goddess
Releases tension in hips, legs, and back 

Sit with knees bent and feet on the ground. Place a yoga block where shoulder blades will rest and another where head will rest if you laid back. (Adjust blocks for what body needs right now. You can start with both blocks on lowest setting, increasing the shoulder block one setting at a time as body allows.) Gently release back onto shoulder block so shoulder blades are just above the block (it will be at middle back). Release head to second block so it is comfortable for neck, adjusting block height as needed. Once comfortable, take feet together and knees apart, allow arms to relax on either side, and breathe. 


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