Do you feel like your stress level builds up over the course of a long day? For many busy women, it can be difficult to find a healthy way to release stress effectively. Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and many yoga poses can reduce high levels of stress as well as anxiety. However, some poses promote a peaceful mind more significantly than others, and these are some great poses to do when you only have a few minutes of time available to practice. To make the most out of the poses, remember to hold the pose for at least 30 seconds and to breathe deeply. It often helps to close your eyes or to fix your eyes on a point in front of you while concentrating on your body and your breathing.
Cat and Cow Poses
These two poses, connected with breathing, can really give your body a nice release. Try to picture your spine as it moves through these poses.
With the cat’s pose, you will get down on all fours on the floor. You will slowly arch your back while dropping your head. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before maneuvering into the cow’s pose. With the cow’s pose, lower your back, and lift your head up so that you are looking at the ceiling. You can continue to alternate these belly and back movements slowly while breathing deeply.
Try to inhale as you move into cow pose and exhale as you transition to cat pose. Repeating the movement pattern 3-5 times in a slow fluid manner, can wake up the body and breath connection.
Child’s pose is a relaxing pose that can be added to any practice. To get into child’s pose, sit on your bended knees with your arms to your side softly touching the floor. Bend your torso forward, gently sliding hands along your mat until your hands extend in front of you on the floor and head touch the ground while keeping your knees on the ground. If this bothers your knees, try to separate the knees and create a space for the belly to rest between them.
Try holding this position for 3-5 deep breaths allowing your muscles to release and facial muscles to rest. Child’s pose can be added onto and yoga pose sequence as a resting space to allow the body to absorb the moment.
This pose is often done at the end of a yoga practice. Although it appears to be just a laying down position, it has powerful relaxing mind-body benefits. To assume the position, lay down on your mat with your arms resting naturally to your sides and legs extended along the floor. If this disturbs the back, try putting a yoga bolster to rolled blanket under your knees.
Focus on the breath filling up your entire body and as you exhale, let go of stress that may have built up over the day. This pose is traditionally practiced for 10 minutes allowing thoughts to drift in and out of the mind peacefully and letting go of any stressful thoughts that might come up as you exhale them away.
Each of these poses provide you with excellent stress-reducing benefits. You can sink into each pose more fully with each deep breath that you take. Allow your mind to focus on your body and your breathing, which brings you into the present.
Avoid rushing through the poses simply to be done with them, and instead, feel the tension melt away. Remember that it only takes a few minutes to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits that these poses can provide to you.