Yoga can be a powerful way to remove stress from the body and the mind. Here are a few great poses to help you relax and relieve stress.
1) Balasana (Child's Pose)
Start by kneeling on the floor, bringing your big toes together, and separating your knees to the edge of your mat. Sit on your heels. Then lay your torso in between your thighs.
Allow your hands to be alongside your torso, palms up, and release your shoulders. Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis and life the base of your skull away from the neck.
This is a position that can be used any time you need to rest during a yoga class. However, it is also a great position to quiet the mind because it is good for the nervous system. It eases stress and anxiety. It is a nice back stretch too.
2) Salamba Balasana (Supported Child’s Pose)
This position is even better for rest and stress relief. If you really want to make it a gentle pose, use a bolster between your legs to stretch the shoulders as well.
3) Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Via Adrian Valenzuela / Flickr
Start by lying back, bending both of your knees hip-width apart by placing the feet flat on the floor. Place your arms alongside the body facing downwards.
Make sure the fingertips can lightly touch the heels. Inhale and lift up the hips and chest by rolling the spine off the floor.
This pose helps to reduce anxiety, fatigue, backaches, headaches and insomnia. It is a way to stretch the back and legs alleviating stress and tension at the same time.
4) Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)
Via Kellinahandbasket / Flickr
This pose is best done with supportive props like blankets or blocks. If you are more stiff, then the support should be lower like blanket and you should be farther from the wall. If you are more flexible the support can be higher and you and be closer to the wall.
Sit sideways about six inches away from the wall at the end of your block or blanket. Gently swing your legs up the wall and let your shoulders and head gently come the floor. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine and release your hands and arms out to your sides, palms up.
It helps to enhance blood and lymph drainage towards the heart. When you swing your legs up the wall, you are practicing relaxation and receptivity. It also eases back pain and congestion in the pelvic region.
5) Savasana (Corpse Pose)
via Kimberly Vardeman
Lie on your back with your arms and legs dropping open to the side, about 45 degrees from the side of your body. If your back feels tight, place blankets under your lower legs.
Close your eyes and begin to take slow deep breaths though your nose. Allow the body to totally relax.
The pose is designed to bring the body complete ease and total relaxation. This can lower blood pressure, and quiets the nervous system.
These are great to do anytime but consider doing them at night to help you get a restful restorative sleep. Enjoy!
Dr. Daemon Jones
This article was originally published on EmpowHer.com.