5 Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress

restorative-yoga

Hi friends and happy yoga #TipTuesday! The past month has flown by and earlier today I found myself in utter disbelief that it’s already mid-October. Where does the time go? This last week has been particularly stressful as I’ve been working on new projects, both blog wise and at my full time job. Thankfully the weather was absolutely gorgeous over the weekend and I was able to spend some much needed time outdoors on Saturday, followed by a super relaxing Sunday full of self love and care (i.e. green juice + yoga + coconut oil hair masks).

During my more stressful moments, I’ve been trying to incorporate more restorative yoga into my practice. Vinyasa will always be my practice of choice but there’s something to be said about turning on relaxing tunes, lighting some candles and slowly moving through a few gentle hip and back openers after a long day at work. I’ve read all the listicles out there on yoga poses that are meant to de-stress and I’ve narrowed down my favorites to the following five poses. Why you may ask? Well for one, they’re simple – meaning anyone can do these. Second, they are comfortable to stay in for long periods of time (think 5-10 min each). No discomfort, no increased heart rate, just slow and steady stretching.

If you’re having a particularly stressful day/week, I encourage you to try these poses out! Don’t be afraid to do them in bed… seriously, no judging. I do it all the time and it’s divine.

Child’s Posechilds-pose

Sanskrit name: Balasana

My Favorite Benefits: 

  • A great way to relieve stress and fatigue
  • Such a gentle way to open up your hips, thighs and lower back
  • Reduces neck and back pain

Yogi Tips: Stay in this pose for 5 full minutes and simply focus on your breathing. It’s a great way to get grounded and really feel out what areas of the body are holding the most tension. Inhale deeply and practice extending the spine further; exhale and sink your hips further down.

Leg’s Up The Wall Poselegs-up-the-wall

Sanskrit name: Viparita Karani

My Favorite Benefits: 

  • Gets rid of mild headaches or muscle cramps
  • Calms the mind and makes you feel relaxed
  • Gently stretches the back and neck

Yogi Tips: Stay in this pose for 10 minutes and try out different shoulder opening stretches. Cactus out your arms to the side, lengthen your arms over your head, or simply place your left hand on your belly and right hand over your heart. For an inner thigh stretch, open your legs into a wide ‘V’ shape and allow gravity to pull your legs down the wall.

Cat Posecat-pose

Sanskrit name: Marjaryasana

My Favorite Benefits: 

  • Feels so good on the spine
  • Stretches the back and the neck
  • When combined with cow pose, is a great breathing exercise

Yogi Tips: This pose should be combined with cow pose in order to create a slow rhythmic flow. Keep your shoulders stacked directly above your wrists and your hips above your knees. As you round upwards exhale slowly out the mouth, counting to five before inhaling as you come into a neutral position or straight into the next pose. I like to do this a total of 10 times per session.

Cow Posecow-pose

Sanskrit name: Bitilasana

My Favorite Benefits: 

  • Provides a great stretch for your chest and neck
  • Opens up the lower back
  • Gently massages the spine and preps you for deeper backbends

Yogi Tips: As mentioned previously, this pose is really beneficial when combined with cat pose in a gentle flow. Focus on inhaling as you arch your back, taking care not to strain your neck. After you take a long inhale (count to 5) and then slowly round your spine coming into cat pose while exhaling for the same count.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

reclining-bound-angle-pose

Sanskrit name: Supta Baddha Konasana

My Favorite Benefits: 

  • Such a wonderful inner thigh stretch
  • Gently opens up the hips
  • Helps to relieve stress (obviously) and removes the tension that is often carried in our hip flexors

Yogi Tips: Ease into this pose and place a blanket underneath your feet for extra comfort. Allow gravity to pull your legs down towards the ground or have a partner slowly press onto your thighs for a deeper stretch. Keep your hands by your sides with palms face up or place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. If you want an extra stretch, place a block (or sandbag/pillow) underneath your upper back, allowing your pelvis to sink back down to the ground.

I think the red thread that ties all these restorative yoga poses together is that they really allow you to calm your mind and bring your attention back to your breath.

Image result for quotes about stress

I hope you all find these poses to be helpful on days when the stress is really getting to you. Above all else, be mindful that this stressful time will pass. Keep breathing, don’t be too hard on yourself, and embrace the hardships. Every trial you face is meant to make you stronger and more resilient. You’ve got this. 😘

With love and light.

hahandlips-cutout-small

 

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