Stress is something that affects all of us. In fact, we all need a bit of stress in our lives to help us evolve, grow and get off our butts and to things done! But when we are overloaded with stress, it becomes overwhelming and detrimental. Ultimately, too much stress affects our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. That’s why making time to practice yoga poses for stress is so important to incorporate into our daily lives.
Yoga has the perfect tools to help us deal with that overload. The following yoga poses can be used to help relieve stress and allow us to move through our day in with more mindfulness and calm:
Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety
1. Childs pose (Balasana)
This pose has an immediate calming effect and so it wonderful for stress. It allows the mind to turn inwards away from outside distractions.
Come to a kneeling position with the knees wide and big toes together.
Place a bolster place coming from between your thighs, then fold forward from the hips and rest your chest and head down. At least rest the head on the floor or a yoga brick. Arms stretched out in front.
2. Crocodile pose (Makrasana)
This prone position makes it is very easy to get connected with your own breath, helping you to turn the mind inwards.
Lay on your belly. Make a pillow with your hands and rest the head upon them. Your legs are out straight behind you, the feet turned outwards. Focus on the breath down in the belly. Feel it pressing the floor as you inhale and soften back on the exhalation.
3. Supported Bound Angle Pose (Supta baddha konasana)
The detrimental effects of stress often occur because we are needlessly holding onto unnecessary thoughts or feelings. This poses teaches us how to let go.
Lay on your back, place the soles of the feet together and the knees resting apart. A bolster can be placed underneath from the lower back up to the back of the head. Extra support can also be placed under the thighs.
4. Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
This inverted position gives time for you to turn being ‘on-the-go’ on it’s head. It is instantly calming and introverting.
Sit with the side of your pelvis against the wall. As you lay down pivot your legs to swing up the wall so you spine is lengthening away from it. A bolster or low brick can be placed under the back of the pelvis for more comfort.
5. Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
Immediately calming for a restless mind.
From a seated or laying position. Inhale and place the index fingers in the ears to block them off. Exhale and let our a low sounding humming vibration.
6. Savasana: The Ultimate!!!
Lay out your back, the spine in a straight line. The feet and legs roll out from each other and the arms roll out from the sides of the body. Tuck the chin a little towards the chest. A bolster or cushions can be placed under the knees to relieve tightness in the lower back. Now, just breathe normally and relax.
We explore these and countless other relaxing yoga poses in my weekly Yoga for Stress & Anxiety class, LIVE every Sunday at 6 pm GMT!
This class will incorporate gentle breath work as well as both restorative and Yin-style poses to harmonise the body and mind and help relieve stress and anxiety. It’s the perfect way to help you to unwind from your week, let go and achieve tranquillity.
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