7 Grounding Yoga Poses to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Yoga doesn't look a certain way; it feels a certain way.
Image Credit: Natalia Tabilo/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

The 30-Day Yoga Challenge progresses from foundational poses to more complex asanas with variations and modifications for every body. Get all the details on the challenge here.

If you've been avoiding yoga because you're intimidated by all the Instagram pictures you see of thin, beautiful people doing handstands on the beach, let us try to change your perception of what yoga can be. Because yoga is for everybody and every body.

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That's why we tapped Natalia Tabilo, yoga teacher, creator of Yoga for All Bodies and host of our 30-Day Yoga Challenge, to share seven grounding yoga poses, plus variations and modifications in each video below to make them even more accessible. You'll move, stretch, strengthen and relax in a way the feels good for ​you​.

If you're following along with the 30-Day Yoga Challenge, aim to hold each pose for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing in and out through your nose, at least twice a day. But you can do any of these yoga poses as part of a regular practice or on their own whenever you'd like.

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Start in a comfortable seated position with your legs crossed.
  2. Take this as an opportunity to check in with yourself. Let your thoughts come and go without expectations or judgment.
  3. Breathe naturally for as long as you'd like to remain in this pose.

Variations

Perform this pose seated on a folded mat, bolster or chair.

2. Seated Spinal Twist (Bharadvajasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Inhale and sit up tall, engaging the pelvic floor and lifting the breast bone while being mindful not to hyperextend your back.
  2. On an inhale, reach your arms up overhead.
  3. With an exhale, twist to the left by turning your ribcage, shoulders and head and look over your left shoulder. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand behind you.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Variations

You can do this pose sitting in a chair or on your mat.

3. Shoulder Strap Work

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Stand holding a yoga strap with one end in each hand a little wider than shoulder-distance apart.
  2. Hold your arms out in front of your chest, then circle your arms overhead and behind your back.
  3. Only go as far as your shoulder mobility allows. Whether it's slightly in front of you or back behind you, honor the way your body moves.

Variations

You can do your shoulder strap work seated on your mat or in a chair or while standing. You can also stretch without a strap if that's more comfortable.

4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Lie facedown on your mat and place your palms on the floor in line with your shoulders. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes.
  2. Press into your palms to raise your torso toward the ceiling and arch your back.
  3. Hold, then slowly bend your arms to lower back to the starting position.

Variations

Perform baby cobra by only lifting your chest up part way. Or do this pose while seated with your forearms on a bolster or folded blanket.

5. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Begin kneeling, rooting your knees, shins and the tops of your feet into the floor. If you don’t have the back flexibility, flex your feet to lift your ankles higher.
  2. Engage your core and shift your hips slightly forward, reaching behind you to set your hands on your heels.
  3. If your neck is flexible, release your head back. Otherwise, look forward.
  4. Place your hands on your lower back and rise slowly back to the starting position.

Variations

Try placing your hands on your lower back, putting a bolster on the tops of your calves and reaching for that or positioning blocks at the sides of your ankles.

6. Seated Eagle Arms (Garudasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Start seated with your legs crossed, right leg over left.
  2. Hold your arms out and cross your left arm over your right, intertwining your arms so your palms touch in front of your face.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Switch sides. Your left leg should be over your right, and your right arm should be over your left.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds.

Variations

Grab opposite elbows or hug yourself.

7. Seated Wide-Leg Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)

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Skill Level All Levels
Activity Yoga
  1. Sit on the mat with your legs spread wide.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, reaching your arms between your legs. Place your palms on the mat.
  3. Hold here, relaxing into the pose.

Variations

If sitting with your legs spread wide is enough of a stretch, skip the forward fold. You can also stand a bolster between your legs and use it to support your upper body.

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