5 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

If you need to release some emotional and physical tension and stress, then we have some yoga poses for you to try. Hit the mat now, have fun and see how much better you feel afterward.

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Breathing

Breathing is not the only core principle in yoga but is also one of the easiest, most effective ways to destress. Correct breathing is not chest-breathing or short, shallow breaths up in your chest. Breathing in yoga is taking deeper breaths into your lower belly, eventually to your rib cage, up into your chest until you exhale to let it all go. Remember this as you attempt all of the following poses.


#1 – Cat-cow

Begin in a four-point position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Contract your abdominal area. Round out your midback slowly and drop your head toward the floor. Then, alternate by bringing your head up and arching your midback. Repeat the movement, alternating directions.

Cat-cow

Start with one set of 5 repetitions. The intensity of this pose is light.


#2 – Child’s Pose

Begin in a four-point position, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Tighten your abdominal area. Shift your hips back to your feet while extending both arms out front. Drop your head to the floor, relaxing your midback area for a light stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Take a couple of deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement.

Child’s Pose

Start with one set of 1 repetition, holding for 10 seconds. The intensity of this pose is light.


#3 – Pigeon/Figure 4

#3A – Pigeon

Begin in a four-point position. Move into a straight arm plank position, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Lift one knee toward your shoulder and position your foot across your body. Lower your body into your leg and stretch your hip area, resting your forehead on your arms. Hold this position for about 10 seconds. Take a couple of deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

Pigeon

Start off with one set of 1 repetition on each side, holding for 10 seconds. The intensity of this pose is light.


#3B – Figure 4

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and raise both legs, holding your lower leg with both hands. Pull your knee closer to your chest to intensify the stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Take a couple of deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Relax, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Figure 4

Start with one set of 1 repetition on each side, holding for 10 seconds. The intensity of this pose is light.


#4 – Eagle Arms

Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor, with your legs crossed in front of your body and maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips. Cross your arms in front, wrapping at the elbows and wrists. Contract your abdominal muscles and pull your elbows away from your body and up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Take a couple of deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Relax, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Eagle Arms

Start with one set of 1 repetition on each side, holding for 10 seconds. The intensity of this pose is light.


#5 – Spinal Twist

Lie on your back on the floor, maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders, hips and legs. Place both arms at your sides. Bend one knee and then twist through your low back, pelvis and spine to move your bent knee across your body. Lower your knee toward the floor and turn your head to the opposite side. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Take a couple of deep belly breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Relax, return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Spinal Twist

Start off with one set of 1 repetition on each side, holding for 10 seconds.

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