5 yoga poses to relieve stress

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Like most people, stress has probably been a regular part of your daily life. Whether it’s because of work, school, or relationships, there are experiences and events that can really trigger our fight-or-flight response. The fight or flight response is your body’s physiological reaction to perceived danger or threat. This response causes our body to release and activate certain hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, causing the heart rate to speed up and digestion to slow down.

While a little dose of stress is healthy, experiencing it on a constant basis can put a toll on your health. It can increase your risk of getting sick and it can negatively affect your focus, productivity, and problem-solving skills.

Practicing yoga is a great way to manage stress. It can ease away tension while helping you regain a sense of calmness and balance. There have been several medical and scientific studies performed that show practicing yoga can help to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. And for some, yoga can even help to increase overall happiness, and who wouldn’t want more of that?

Here are the best yoga poses to help you melt away your workweek stress:

#1 Child’s Pose

This is one of the best positions for you to rest and recover. It’ll help you drift away as you enjoy a sense of peace, serenity, and quietness.

How to do it:

Begin by taking an all-fours position. As you exhale, allow your hips to sink back towards your heels. Reach both of your arms along the floor and lower your hips as far as your body can go. Allow your upper torso to rest over your thighs.

#2 Legs Against the Wall

After a hard day at work, the Leg Against the Wall pose can give your body the calmness and relaxation it’s looking for. Reducing the pressure off of your neck and spine, it can also boost circulation.

And guess what?

This pose is great for relieving physical stress such as when you’ve just finished an intense workout. It can aid in recovery by helping drain fluids that pool in your lower extremities while giving your hamstrings a good stretch.

How to do it:

Lie down and place your bum up against a wall in a perpendicular position. Extend both of your legs up and open your arms to the side. Relax and just keep still for a few minutes.

#3 Easy Pose

The Easy Pose is the best for cultivating groundedness. When life is getting a little bit challenging, it can provide tranquility and stillness.

How to do it:

Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed. For stability, you can sit on a folded blanket or towel. Elongate the spine and sit up straight.

As you roll your shoulders down to your chest, feel your head lifting upwards. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Maintain the position for as long as you feel comfortable.

#4 Corpse Pose

The Corpse pose, or Savasana, is one of the most restorative poses in yoga, which is why it is performed at the end of a class. It helps to restore calmness and can help to cool the body down. Although this pose seems simple in its nature, it can be powerful when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety.

How to do it:

Position yourself on the floor and lie comfortably on your back. Keep your legs straight and extended. Arms are by your side or slightly away from the body, making sure to keep your palms facing upwards.

Close your eyes and just breathe naturally. Relax every part of your body and let go of any tension.

#5 Reclined Goddess Pose

The Reclined Goddess Pose is a must-try for people who are constantly experiencing feelings of anxiousness. It’s a great pose for releasing trapped emotions, while bringing awareness back into your system.

How to do it:

Lie down on your back and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to drop out on your sides. If your hips are feeling a bit tight, slide your heels further away from your body.

Stress is something we can’t easily avoid. However, there are things we can do to make sure it doesn’t cause damage to our well-being.

Yoga is highly effective, easy to incorporate into your daily routine, and you can practice it anywhere! So, when feeling stressed out, give these poses a try and see how they can dramatically change your mood and sense of balance throughout your busy work week.

Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mother. She’s the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali). To learn more, visit her Retreat Guru page.

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