4 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief
We've all been there. Stressed, overwhelmed, and needing a break from our day-to-day activities. The moment that we can tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, our rest & digest system, is the moment that our brains can tell our bodies to relax. Our heart rate slows down and blood pressure starts to lower. Our bodies and our brains are able to be at ease. Since we no longer need to deal with the stress from foraging for food, battling weather conditions, or running from predators, our sympathetic nervous system response, the fight or flight system, awakens with day-to-day stress. Maybe it's financials that have you stressed, issues at work or at home, troubles with relationships or children. Whatever the cause may be, there is a solution.
Try these 4 Yoga poses for 1-3 minutes each. Clear 8-12 minutes of your busy day for a little self-care :)
Wear comfortable clothing, roll out your yoga mat in a quiet space, and turn on some relaxing music if you choose.
1.) Child's Pose or Balasana
Begin in a tabletop position or all 4's, then plant your hands firmly as you spread your knees wide and bring your toes to touch. Gently begin to press your hips back toward your heels. Allow your arms to be long and relaxed. Feel your spine lengthening with each breath in and your hips relaxing with each breath out.
2.) Happy Baby Pose or Anada Balasana
Roll to your back and bring your feet up toward the ceiling. Bend your knees and flex your feet as if you were to walk on the ceiling. Bring your arms up inside of your knees and then reach for the pinky edges of your feet. Bend your knees as much as you need here and let your shoulders and head resting on the floor. For tight hips, try bending one knee toward your chest as you inhale and lengthening the other leg as you exhale. Switching sides as you continue to breathe here.
3.) Supine Butterfly or Supine Baddha Konasana
On your back, slowly bend your knees and bring the bottoms of your feet to touch. Wiggle your shoulders together under you and let your arms spread wide and relax. Wiggle your fingers and let them relax. If needed, you can place pillows, yoga blocks or blankets under the knees for support.
4.) Corpse Pose or Savasana
Lie down on your floor or yoga mat and stretch your heels long. Let your ankles relax and your feet splay out to either side. Then wiggle your shoulder blades under your body. Set your head evenly between both shoulders and rest here. Try to lay with arms long beside you with palms open but lay however you are comfortable. For lower back support, place a yoga bolster, pillow, or a rolled blanket under the knees to prevent any pain in the lower back. Connect with your breath and focus on the space between the eyebrows, your third eye centre.