Stress affects all of us. If we create conditions and space for our body, the body will have the ability to self-heal. To relieve stress, we let everything be, we tune in to our breath and just let it flow. Everyone should find his own way how to deal with stress. Yoga is one of the way that helps calm the nervous system and relieve fatigue of body and mind.
By asanas we are purifying our body. When practiced regularly, they can help you relieve stress by releasing tension that has built up in your body. We can start Sun Salutations, slow down and add forward-bending poses.
Easy Pose – Sukhasana
Find a comfortable seat with the right leg in front of the left. Your spine is tall and straight. Relax the shoulders back and down. Pull the belly in slightly. Keep the chin parallel to the floor. Rest your hands on the knees.
Child’s pose (Balasana)
Draw the hips back to the heels and relax upper body over thighs, dropping the forehead towards the floor. The arms slide back by the sides of the body or over your head. There is an option to separate your knees to create more space for the torso. Neck muscles are completely relaxed to give a rest to nervous system. Relax the entire body to force of gravity. Focus on the breath. Notice how your torso rising with each inhale and releasing with each exhale. If needed, put a blanket or cushion under your forehead or under the ankles to relieve pressure.
Come onto your hands and knees, hips over the knees, shoulders over the wrists. Spread the fingers wide. As you inhale, open the chest, lift the head, drop the belly, move the tailbone back and up, and allow your back to arch. As you exhale, round the back, tuck the tailbone under, and bring the chin towards the chest, move the belly in. With each inhale, open up, and with each exhale round in. Repeat this movement several times, allowing the breath to lead the movement.
Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This is the starting pose for the Sun Salutation routine.
Stand straight with your feet together or hip distance. Lift and spread the toes as wide as possible, then release them back. Feel the three corners of the feet root into the earth, maintaining a lifted energy. Keep your arms by your sides. Stretch up through the crown of the head while distributing the weight equally over both feet. Legs are active, arms are straight but released. Roll shoulders back, open chest. Feel the activation rise up the legs. Relax the neck, all the muscles of the face and feel the crown of the head stretch up to the sky. Close your eyes to create a deeper awareness of the posture and build more strength in the pose.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie flat on the stomach, feet together, palms nearby lower back, forehead on the ground. With inhalation raise the head, chest and abdomen. Focus on the breath, strive to concentrate the mind on one point. Hold for 30 seconds. With exhalation lower the abdomen, chest and head. Relax.
Keep the chest closer to the floor to reduce the intensity of the back bend. Open the feet width and turn the toes slightly in to take pressure out of the low back
Bridge pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
This pose is good for opening up your heart and removing all the stress in your chest area.
Lie flat on the back, bend the knees and bring the feet to the floor close to the buttocks, hips width apart. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel and in line with hips. Pressing the feet and arms actively into the floor, inhale, lift your hips upward toward the sky. Gently walk the shoulder blades closer to one another.
Lift the hips only a few centimeters from the floor. Place a block or the hands under the sacrum for support.
Thunderbolt Pose – Vajrasana
Kneel on the floor with knees close together. Bring big toes together and separate heels. Lower the buttocks onto the inside surface of the feet with heels touching the sides of the hips. Place hands on the knees, palms down. The back and the head are straight. No tense. Eye closed, breath normally.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
This posture balances the nervous system. It tranquilizes the mind, relives mental and emotional stress.
Lie down on your back, arms parallel to the body with the palms facing down by the hips. Press the arms strongly into the floor to roll the hips and spine up and stack the hips directly over the shoulders as the toes move towards the head, legs parallel to the floor. Bend the elbows and take support of the lower back with the hands, fingers pointing towards the hips. Walk your hands up your back towards the shoulders without letting the elbows slide away from each other. Lift the legs up straight in line with the hips using the core. Push the chest against the chin. Keep the face relaxed. Try to stay in this pose for some time.
Lying on your back with the sit bones and legs against the wall. Allow your arms to extend out away from the body and rotate the palms up. Feel your entire spine supported by the floor. You can place a blanket under the head for a proper support. You can also put blanket or bolster under the back directly under the sacrum.
Butterfly pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Begin by lying on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together, allowing the knees to gently release outward. Place your arms out to your sides, with the palms turned out, or reaching one hand on the belly and the other hand on the chest. Relax the shoulders down.
Corpse pose (Savasana)
By a deep relaxation, the body returns to balance. Imagine tension melting away from your body…you can discover more about Savasana in my other article