CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

Easy Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief

Finding stress relief with yoga and breathing exercises.

Our jobs, family responsibilities, personal struggles and especially the current situation in this world can sometimes feel really challenging for us. Thankfully, there are some wonderful self-care practices that can help us coping with that. Yoga is one of them. It has lots of tools, you can use to relieve stress in your life, even if it just means taking a few moments in the morning or at the end of each day to practice a few poses.

When we create this space in our day to slow down, move and breathe, we train your body and mind to be able to cope with stress better and improve overall health and well-being.

Stress is when our bodies and minds flip into fight or flight mode, otherwise known as your sympathetic nervous system. This is when the heart rate quickens, the mind runs, and our breath becomes quick and shallow. This is not a state we can exist in for an extended length of time and so knowing how to calm your body and mind is a necessary tool that you can see great benefits from.

Our friend Paula Saalfeld is sharing sharing five yoga poses and one breathing exercise that can do individually or create a yoga sequence as a way to provide stress relief.CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief From Paula,

In order to get started with these basic yoga poses for stress relief, it is important to get into the right frame of mind, both physically and mentally.

  1. Find a comfortable and quiet place where you don’t get distracted.
  2. Start with finding your deep breath to become present and calm the mind.
  3. Slowing your breath down calms your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode) and stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).

This is one of my absolute favorite breathing-techniques:

Alternate Nostril Breathing – Nadi Shodhana

This is not only the best way to quiet your mind before beginning a meditation practice, but also for getting into a good state for your exercises. It is particularly helpful to ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or also if you’re having trouble falling asleep. The term Nadi Shodhana means “clearing the channels of circulation.”CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief Nadi Shodhana

How to

  1. Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is straight and your heart is open. Then relax one palm on your legs and bring the other hand in front of your face.
  2. The fingers you will be using are the thumb and ring finger.
  3. Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily. Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
  4. Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale. Inhale through the right side slowly. Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).
  5. Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side.
    Pause briefly at the bottom.
  6. Repeat this for about 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.

Then it’s time to start some exercises.

Child’s Pose – Balasana

A wonderful pose for stretching the low back and helping relieve tension through the hips, where we store a lot of emotions.

CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief Balasana

How to

  1. Starting from a table top position, widen your knees out to the sides. Start to slowly push your hips back toward your heels and walk your hands out in front of you as you lower your chest and forehead to the floor.
  2. Relax your whole body down.
  3. Start to follow your breath in and out and let go of any stress or tension.
  4. Stay here for 10 deep breaths.

If you wish, you can modify it for your body by adding any props like a pillow under your belly or a block under your forehead if you need some extra support.

Cat-Cow – Bitilasana Marjaryasana

This is a short exercise where you flow your body between 2 poses: Cat Pose – Cow Pose. These poses combined offer relief for the spine and all the muscles in the back. It also helps to steady your breathing as you move which assists in calming the mind.

CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief Bitilasana Marjaryasana

How to – Cow Pose

  1. From table top, knees under hips and wrists under shoulders, you start by engaging your deep abdominal muscles first.
  2. Then on an inhale start to sweep your chest forward opening up your throat and upper chest to the space in front of you while flaring your hips back behind and keeping the belly engaged.

How to- Cat Pose

  1. On an exhale start rounding the spine toward the ceiling and allow that movement to happen all the way down the spine.
  2. Navel towards the spine, you lift your upper, middle and lower spine and start drawing the crown of your head down toward the floor.
  3. Keep the belly engaged as you continue to flow through Cat and Cow, breathing as you move.
  4. Move through this flow as long as it feels good.

Downward-facing dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

This pose not only stretches your whole body, but brings oxygenated blood to your head, leaving you feeling energized and refreshed -it’s a real mood booster! Stay here for longer than usual today, let go of what is busying your mind. Stress can also be associated with back pain. Down dog stretches the entire length of the back helping to relieve tension associate with back pain.

CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief Adho Mukha Svanasana

How to

  1. From the table top position lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor.
  2. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Push the tops of the thighs back and stretch your heels toward the floor.
  3. Straighten your knees but don’t lock them.
  4. Pull your shoulder blades down your back and spread all 10 fingers in the earth. Breathe!

(Baby) Cobra Pose – Ardha Bhujangasana

It is said that this pose helps relieve depression as it strengthens your arms, shoulders, and upper back. It opens up the upper body (making it easier to take in deep, nourishing breaths) and can help to become more present.

CulturallyOurs Simple Yoga Poses For Stress Relief Ardha Bhujangasana

How to

  1. Begin lying down on your stomach with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Place your palms underneath your shoulders.
  3. Lengthen through your tailbone and start to pull your chest forward. Elbows stay close to your body and bent. Look up slightly.
  4. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths.

Corpse Pose – Savasana

This is the ultimate relaxation pose and perfect to finish your practice. Many people associate savasana with sleep which can be true, but the special thing about savasana is that it’s one of the few postures where our muscles are 100% relaxed (including our mind) which is untrue of sleep where our muscles are actually still working.

When was the last time you intentionally allowed yourself to relax without any kind of distraction? Probably not as often as you’d like. This is your chance.

Get yourself as cozy as possible so you can relax entirely into the posture.

How to

  1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Rest your hands with your palms up. Close your eyes.
  2. You may want to cover your body with a blanket.
  3. Let your breath occur naturally and allow your body to feel heavy on the ground.
  4. Relax your face, invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul. Stay here for five minutes at least.

If you try any of these practices let us know. Stay safe and healthy throughout these trying times and find some moments of self-care each day.

{Words and photos by Paula Saalfeld; Instagram: @plantifultaste}

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Easy Yoga Poses For Stress Relief By CulturallyOurs

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  1. Sinjana says:

    Some really simple yoga poses which can help stay fit and flexible. thanks for the list.