4 Poses to Reduce Stress
Did you know that the Mayo Clinic lists yoga as one of the top daily practices to reduce stress? We recognize that stress is a common concern for people of all ages. Here are our 4 favourite yoga poses to reduce stress. Please make sure you are warmed up before you come into any of these poses, and always remember to breathe while you are holding the poses.
1. Chest stretch
Opens up your hips and chest (where you carry a lot of stress). Start on hands and knees in table position, toes tucked under. Lift one leg up and bend at the knee and reach back with your opposite hand. This pose helps you to find your balance and become grounded into the present moment.
2. Bridge pose
this pose can be challenging or relaxing depending on what you need. Lying on the floor, bend your knees and place your feet parallel to one another on the floor with heels close to your hips. Lift the hips on an exhale; firm your shoulder blades into your back and press arms and tops of shoulders into the earth. Let your heart reach away from your knees as you open through though the torso. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute and then release slowly down to the floor on an exhale.
3. Low lunge
Relieves stress through the hips and upper back caused by long hours of sitting at work. From a standing forward bend, step the left leg a nice step back. Drop the right knee down to the ground and point the toes. Watch that the front knee stays above the front ankle. Inhale as you lift your arms up overhead and interlace the fingers. Let the hips sink towards the earth as you lift your heart toward the sky. Look forward or gaze upward. Hold for 5 breaths and then switch sides.
4. Childs pose
this grounding pose is great for your hips, knees and back. It helps to find stillness and is very calming, and rooting. Sitting on your heels with knees on the floor, release the upper body down between your thighs. Stretch your arms out and rest your forehead on the floor or on your hands stacked together. Stay in this resting pose anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Give these a try and let us know how you feel!