Life can be a bit stressful…
In one of our most recent posts, we spoke about how yoga can improve your mindset in numerous ways. (Check that post out here)
But did you know that one of the key benefits of yoga is stress relief?
There are so many things that inundate our day to day life… juggling our responsibilities and pushing forward as fast as we possibly can in the race that is modern life. When it all gets to be too much, or you get to be a little too stressed, turn to yoga.
Not only does it refine your practice of turning your mind off, but it also helps you to center yourself, have a few moments of pure peace and solidify your intentions for the day.
Here are a few poses to practice when you need a bit of stress relief…
Click the title of each pose for a quick instructional on them and the benefits of each.
This pose is often practiced at the beginning or end of a yoga flow sequence and it is an excellent way to ground the body while tapping into the joyful expression waiting in the heart:
- Start from a seated position with the legs crossed.
- Arrange the padding under your sitz bones so that your hips come above the knees.
- Bring one heel toward the groin and the other may rest on your lap.
- Root the sitz bones down into the earth allowing your spine to rise out of the pelvic area.
- Position the shoulders over the hips and slide the shoulder blades down your back to open the chest.
- Place your hands on your lap or on your knees with the palms facing up in an open and receiving position. Prayer position is also fine.
- Keep the crown of the head rising toward the ceiling. Keep the back long and not rounded.
Releasing from the pose is done by allowing the back to round as the legs are uncrossed. If you sit in this position for a long time, remember to switch the legs.
Easy Pose with a Twist
After completing the easy pose, take the next step to twist over to the right side, bringing your left hand to the right knee and your right fingertips to the floor behind you. Be sure to life through the top of the head, keeping the spine tall.
Downward Facing Dog
From the easy pose position, move to your hands and knees and place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders
Engage your right thigh muscles and draw your right femur into its socket. Extend your right hand toward the front, keeping your right hip tucked. Lower your right hand down onto your shin or ankle. The left shoulder stacks on top of the right one as you open your chest, reaching your left fingertips toward the ceiling while keeping your left shoulder rooted in its socket. Turn your head to look up toward your left fingertips. Repeat the pose with your left leg forward.
Lying on your back, bend the knees and place the feet on the floor, about hip distance apart. Place the hands palms down on both sides of the hips. On an exhale, lift the hips and butt up towards the ceiling. Keep the thighs parallel to the floor.
This is the ending pose of a yoga practice. It’s important in this pose to ensure that the body is in a neutral position, so you may use blankets or folded towels wherever there is pressure or the need for support. Typically, under the knees and neck and sometimes under the lower back.
- Starting from a lying position, face up on your mat, arrange the supports you need to get your body into a neutral state.
- Slowly raise one leg, extend it and then allow it to lower gently to the floor. This ensures that the legs are long.
- Relax the legs completely, allowing the feet to fall outward away from the center of the body.
- Relax the groin and pelvic area and soften the lower back into the mat or a support.
- Reach the arms toward the sky and extend them, then allow them to gently lower to the floor as well. Turn the palms face up in an open and receiving position.
- Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor and spread the collarbones.
- Soften the tongue, the face and nose, and the ears to give a full release to the face.
Stay in this pose for 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of your yoga practice. To exit out of the pose, deepen the breath and roll gently over onto one side. Take a few long deep breaths and use the hands to push the torso up, dragging the head after.
What pose helps you to relieve stress? Want to take your stress relief to the next level? Come to Anamaya to escape, relax and rejuvenate. Join us.