Best Beginner Yoga Poses for Sore Muscles: Feel Better Fast

My Yoga Teacher



You hurt. Bad.

Sitting is a struggle. Standing isn’t any better. Lying down is...tolerable.

Ultimately, everything just hurts.

Maybe you overdid it at the gym. Maybe you haven’t worked out in a while and you decided to jump back into it. You know, full steam ahead. Or it could be you tried something new, and you used muscles you haven’t been using on the regular during your workouts.

Whatever the case, recovery yoga is your new best friend! Yoga is the perfect sweet relief for sore muscles. Especially if you’re a beginner.

Adding yoga for muscle recovery to your workout routine helps your body bounce back from the intense stress of hardcore workouts and helps to prevent injury.

Check out some of these muscle recovery yoga poses when you just need a break from those achy muscles.

1. Pigeon Pose

This pose helps release soreness in your hips and lower back by stretching out your hips, glutes, and even your outer quadricep.

If you need quick relief in those areas, this is the pose for you! Here are some tips for correctly practicing this pose:

1. Keep your hips square.

2. Rotate your rear leg to neutral position (not turned out).

3. Don’t collapse onto the hip of your front bent leg.

4. Use padding underneath your hip if necessary.

5. Avoid this pose if you have knee or hip issues.

This pose can be intense but in a good way! However, there should be no pain.

Half Pegion Pose

2. Reclined Strap Stretches

Release the beast that is tight, sore hamstrings and inner and outer thighs. Use this muscle recovery yoga pose right after an intense workout or the next day...or both!

Just lie on your back, legs straight out, and bend one knee into your chest. Wrap your strap around the ball of your foot. Straighten your leg while holding both ends of the strap. Pull the strap straight back, right and then left, gently releasing the muscles in your inner and outer thighs, and hamstrings. Don’t forget to breathe!

Tips for success with this pose:

1. Keep both feet flexed.

2. Keep both hips firmly planted on the floor.

3. The straight leg on the mat should remain in neutral position, not turned out.

4. Don’t overstretch! Modify as needed for comfort.

Runners often use yoga for recovery of calves, hamstrings, and even lower back pain. This pose is perfect for all of those!

Hamstrings Stretch with Yoga Strap

3. Reclined Twist

This pose is the best for relieving lower back pain. With proper technique, the reclined twist contributes to a healthy spine and also releases tight hip muscles.

Begin by lying flat on your back. Bring your knees to your chest and stretch your arms out in a T, palms up facing the ceiling. Inhale and release your knees over to one side as you exhale. Lengthen your spine down towards the ground. Press your shoulder blades down towards the floor. Hold this pose on each side for 5-10 breaths.

If the pose is too intense using both legs, try extending one leg out and down towards (or onto the floor). Or, if your bottom knee doesn’t reach the ground, try putting a block or blanket underneath it for support.

Supine Spinal Twist Pose

4. Straight Legged Forward Bend

The best yoga for muscle recovery isn’t always complicated. A simple forward bend stretches everything from your Achilles tendon all the way up to your cervical spine.

The best stretch from this pose comes when you relax and “dangle”. Let your head drop. Breathe. Just let everything go!

No need to worry about keeping your legs perfectly straight. Feel free to rest your hands wherever you feel comfortable; thighs, shins, or the floor. You can also use a block.

Just make sure your weight rests in the balls of your feet, not back on your heels!

5. Child’s Pose

There’s a reason why this is a common pose practiced at the beginning, end and even in the middle of many yoga practices.

It’s restful and easy while stretching out your upper and lower back, arms, and hips. It’s also good for digestion. But then again, all of these poses are!

Rest easy, friend, your muscles deserve a break! Spend some time in this pose just breathing, relaxing, and deepening your stretch.

Child’s Pose

As a matter of fact, it’s a good practice to hold each of these poses for 5-10 breaths, or longer if you can handle it. A common muscle recovery yoga practice is called yin yoga. A slow yoga practice where each pose is held for longer periods of time, sometimes up to 5 minutes each.

If you love holding these poses and feeling the exhilarating relief from your tired sore muscles, check out MyYogaTeacher’s Beginner class for free with your two week trial!

Or if back pain is the source of your woes, we are offering a Yoga for Back Pain program now! You can click here and sign up for more information!

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