Nowadays, we try our best to balance our hectic work schedules, our family and personal lives and possibly our hobbies, but it is no surprise that most of our lives are filled with the negative impacts of stress and anxiety. This article seeks to provide you with five easy restorative poses to help relieve stress and anxiety.
Before we proceed, I want to make sure that we are on the same page. You do not have to be flexible to do Yoga. Flexibility will come as you progress, so do not worry too much about not being able to embrace a specific pose as you see others do it.
Keep in mind that each person’s body is unique and different so do not push yourself beyond your means. The only thing you should push and stretch when it comes to Yoga is your BREATH as it fuels and aids your flexibility.
1. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold
This pose works almost instantly as you fold the upper half of your body over your lower half. Make sure you do this pose with your knees slightly bend to avoid pulling your hamstring. Uttanasana stimulates a reverse in your blood flow that helps to calm the brain and relieve stress and anxiety. It also stimulates the liver, kidneys and improves your digestion. Physically, it stretches the hips, hamstrings, and calves; and it helps to improve posture over time. Another benefit of this pose is that you can practically do it anywhere, even in the middle of your day to get a quick relief!
2. Balasana – Child’s Pose
One of my favorite restful poses after an intense flow, as it releases tension in the back, shoulders, and chest while stretching the hips, thighs, and ankles. Simultaneously it helps to calm the brain down, restabilize the breath and calm down the fire built up during a fierce flow. It’s one pose I always look forward to in a fierce Yoga practice.
3. Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose
The English translation says it all, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want to be taken back to a time when they were as happy and stress-free as a baby? I sure do. Not only does this pose stretch your hips and inner groin (an area that doesn’t see a lot of sunshine I’m afraid), it also lengthens the back of your thighs and glutes as you pull your knees towards your armpits bringing awareness to the hip joints.
4. Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclined Cobbler’s/Goddess’ Pose
This is a real hip opener which requires little to no effort as gravity basically does the job for you by weighing your hips down towards the ground. It is the perfect pose to release and surrender any tension in the hip area as it promotes the opening of the hips and groin. A benefit of doing this pose outside is the unlimited beauty of the sky above you, which I believe can help to revitalize your mood.
5. Savasana – Corpse Pose
Total relaxation, total surrender and total submission to peace as you lay flat on your back while the Earth supports you. It is a heart opening pose that increases flexibility in the spine and strengthens the muscles surrounding the lower spine. This pose requires nothing but your breath, but do not be fooled by the easiness of this pose. If your thoughts are loud and proud, this may be a hard pose to settle in. This is usually the final pose of a Yoga practice, where all that is no longer serving you, comes to die. Hence the name ‘corpse pose’.
I hope you enjoyed this short article. Here’s a video to one of my favorite Yogis and a fitting video for this topic.
Yoga With Adriene