5 Easy Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress
Too often, our lives can feel endlessly busy and out of our control. And we tend to forget to take a break and care for ourselves.
The stress that builds up not only makes us feel anxious and worried but it can also lead to intense tension in the body if you don’t pay attention to your body’s needs.
Giving in to stress might look like forgetting to take care of our bodies when we need it the most!
No matter how busy you might be, it’s so important to intentionally make the time to care for yourself. Self-care is something we should all remember to make time for in our lives. And a great way to do that is through some stress relief yoga poses.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed (or if you just want some much needed you time), make a point to intentionally do these 5 easy yoga poses to relieve stress today.
1. Standing Half Moon Pose (Parsva Urdhva Hastasana)
Begin standing with your feet together firmly planted on your mat.
Inhale in and reach your arms toward the sky, touching your palms together at the top overhead. Take a few breaths in and out here. Remember to release any tension in your shoulders by dropping them down towards the ground as you continue to reach upward.
When you’re ready, move into half moon pose by bending your torso over to one side while your arms continue to reach overhead. Take a few deep breaths here, then bend over to the other side.
Repeat each side a few times. Remember to breathe deeply in this beautiful lengthening stretch.
2. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
Stand with your feet together or hip-width apart, whichever is more comfortable for you.
Fold forward and place your palms on the floor. Or grab your elbows and let your arms hang above your head.
Feel free to sway your torso, head, and arms from side to side or simply stay in place.
Let gravity help you release your torso further as you breathe deeply in this restorative position.
3. Half Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Beginning on your hands and knees, slide one knee forward and rest your hips on the floor or you might choose to use a yoga block, blanket, or pillow to place under your hips to support you as you rest into this position.
You can choose to keep your torso upright (seen above) or if you’d like an even deeper stretch, fold over your bent knee and rest your arms and head on your mat in front of you. You can also choose to use a block or pillow here as well to support your head in this pose.
Rest into this position for a minute or so and when you’re ready, switch sides. Remember to breathe deeply.
4. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Begin on your hands and knees. Bring your toes together and spread your knees out wide.
Slowly lower your hips back onto your heels and rest your head on your mat. Reach your arms as far as you can above your head.
If it’s too uncomfortable to put your head on the floor or if your head won’t quite reach, no worries! Grab a soft pillow or a folded up blanket and place it under your head for support, while still getting a beautiful stretch through your arms and all the way down your spine.
Let gravity bring you closer to the earth and feel the great release in this pose.
Rest here for a minute or so and breathe deeply.
5. Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
Lotus pose. Simple, yet refreshing and calming.
Begin seated on your mat with your legs crossed. You can choose to lift your feet onto your hips (as seen above) or you can choose to keep your feet on the floor as you cross your legs.
Place your hands wherever it’s most comfortable for you. Feel free to place your hands on your knees with palms facing up or palms facing down. Or maybe you’ll choose to bring your palms together in front of your heart.
Once you’re comfortable, take plenty of long, deep breaths. As you relax into this position, let your thoughts go. Anything you may be worried or anxious about. Let it go through your breath.
Let go of the world around you for just a moment.