As awesome as reading is for your mind, it’s not so great for your body. Getting comfy and relaxing, curled up with your favourite book is definitely something that should be done often, but sometimes when the book is good it’s easy to forget to move and thus, stiffness results.
Never fear dear reader, it’s possible to do yoga while reading that doesn’t involve you moving. Grab whatever you’re currently reading and get comfy in one of these yoga reading poses!
Top Reading Yoga Poses
You may want some props for these poses to make them extra comfy, but they’re not necessary. A block or two (a thick book will also work), pillows, and a blanket can all provide additional support and coziness in these yoga poses. No yoga mat is needed, a blanket, the floor or even your bed will do!
Do your best to hold each pose for 3-5 minutes, the equivalent of a couple of pages at least. You will get deeper into all of these poses with time, so don’t forget to breathe as you deepen into each pose.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
A favourite as a simple chest opener and for your lower back, sphinx pose is great for your spine and is one of the most simple yoga poses.
Begin laying on your stomach. Bend your elbows and bring them under your shoulders so that your chest is facing forward. Your forearms come to the mat, pointing towards the top of your mat. Spread your fingers wide. Push into your hands and forearms while also gently pulling them back to open your chest.
Allow your legs to be spread as wide as is comfortable and let your heels drop to either side, relaxed. Hold your book between your hands as there should be just enough space to hold a book. An option is to place a block or two under your forehead so your neck is completely relaxed as you read.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
A deep hip opener, pigeon pose is not typically one people love to hold, but can feel really juicy and be well worth the extra-long hold as it stretches your hips, those muscles that are typically contracted while reading.
Come to your hands and knees. Bring your right knee to your right wrist. Place your right shin parallel to the top of the mat, if possible. If it’s not parallel, that’s totally normal, don’t force it! Walk your left foot back until it stretches out long behind you and your left thigh is close to or touches the mat and your right bum cheek hovers or touches the mat. Untuck your left toes.
If your right bum cheek doesn’t touch you can place a block, pillow, or folded blanket under for comfort. Gently pull your right hip back and your left hip forward. Inhale to lengthen your spine, exhale to fold over your right shin to come on to your elbows. Hold your book between your hands. Remember to breathe deeply in this pose, it can be an intense one!
Don’t forget to repeat this pose on the other side.
Frog Pose (Mandukasana)
A very deep stretch for your groin, frog pose can be made extra comfy so it’s recommended that you use a pillow in this one and listen to your body.
Start on your hands and knees, facing the side of your mat (if using one), with your knees on the mat, and your hands off. If you have sensitive knees, it’s recommended that you do this on a blanket or fold your mat.
Gently ease your knees out in opposite directions, keeping your knees in line with your hips. Come to stillness when you get to a point where you feel a deep stretch, but not too deep, in your groin. Flex your feet, and have them directly in line with your knees. Your legs should make a 90-degree angle on both sides.
Place a pillow or a couple under your belly and/or chest. Place your book on the ground in front of you. Breathe deeply, this is a big stretch! Remember you can always ease out a bit if it feels too intense.
Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
The easiest inversion pose you can do in yoga, legs up the wall pose is uber comfy.
Grab a blanket or a pillow and place it against the wall. An option is to use nothing either if that’s what you prefer. Scoot your bum as close to the wall as possible and then lay on your back, with your legs extended up the wall. Allow your legs to relax, your toes rolling to the sides, your knees may be slightly bent if that feels good, and your feet can be as close or far apart as you’d like. Hold your book over your face and stay here for as long as you’d like!
Easy Pose with Forward Fold (Adho Mukha Sukhasana)
Easy pose with a forward fold stretches your back, shoulders, knees, and ankles while also releasing the back of your hips.
Sit down cross-legged with one leg in front of the other, not stacked. Inhale, sit up with a straight spine, exhale walk your hands forward as far as is comfortable, while keeping a straight spine. Some options include placing blocks to prop up your forehead and placing your book under your face, or resting your elbows on the ground with your book on the ground.
Keep your hips grounded (meaning they don’t peel off of the ground). Feel free to allow your spine to curl forward if that feels best once in the pose.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Butterfly Pose with a Forward Fold (Baddha Konasana)
A juicy pose that stretches your groin, inner thighs, hips, and knees butterfly pose is a great pose for improving posture.
Bring your feet to touch with your knees pointing out to either side. The closer you bring your feet to your groin, the deeper the stretch will be. Inhale, sit up with a straight spine, exhale, walk your hands forward with a straight spine.
Once you can so longer walk your upper body forward allow your body to curl. I recommend using a pillow to lay across your feet, under your upper body. Place your book on the ground just in front of your feet.
How to do Yoga Poses While Reading Video
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Recommended Yoga Props and Gear
While these props aren’t necessary for this yoga practice, they can assist you and make some poses more accessible, deeper, or extra comfy.