Welcome to our second blog for Stress Awareness Month!
When we are stressed or anxious, this can often manifest as physical tension in the body. These 5 yoga poses are a lovely way to re-connect with your body to reduce physical tension, and by taking some time out of your day to focus on yourself, this can have wonderful benefits for your mental wellbeing too.
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is a true resting pose, so it can be held for long periods of time (or a couple of minutes – whatever you have time for!) and has a wealth of benefits. This pose elongates the lower back, so if you’ve been sitting at a desk all day then taking Child’s Pose to can reduce lower back pain by reversing the splaying of the tailbone. It also opens up the hips which can tighten when spending long periods of time sitting, and (perhaps most importantly) it’s super calming on the mind so it’s a perfect pose to treat yourself to some ‘me time’.
Start on all fours, with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Widen your knees and bring your feet together so that your toes are touching. As you exhale, pull your hips towards your heels and bring your forehead down towards the floor. You can keep your arms stretched out in front of you, or bring them along the side of the body with your palms facing up – whichever variation you prefer. Breathe slowly and deeply, enjoying this relaxing pose.
2. Puppy Pose
Come onto all fours and walk your hands forward, keeping your hips stacked over your knees. Keep your arms active or let them sink down towards the ground - whichever feels good for you. Drop your forehead to the floor or to a blanket and let your neck relax. Feel a nice stretch along your spine.
Lie down with your knees bent. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop out to the side, making a diamond shape with the legs. If you'd like more support, you could place blocks or cushions underneath your knees.
This is a lovely restorative pose which also stretches out the hips.
Start by lying flat on your stomach. Place your elbows under your shoulders, then begin to lift your chest. Draw your shoulders down your back and press your forearms down. Look forward and allow your chin to drop slightly.
Sphinx pose helps to stretch the abdominal muscles, open the chest and shoulders and strengthen the spine.
Also known as Corpse Pose, Savanasa is traditionally taken at the end of a class.
Lie down on your back and let your entire body rest on the floor. Extend your arms and legs outward from the torso evenly and symmetrically. Mentally scan the body from head to feet, gradually releasing each body part and each muscle group; take time to notice all the places where the body is making contact with the floor. With each exhalation, imagine each limb getting a little heavier and spreading out a little more.