I’ve been feeling a lot of stress lately. I mean, a lot.
You might remember reading about my family’s recent health crisis, aaaaaaaaaaaaand how I’ve been treating myself like crap lately.
I admit, I’m still doing some stress eating and I haven’t started running again (which would be awesome, if only I weren’t in a hospital so many hours a day).
However, I have started practicing yoga again. Sort of.
You see, depending on the poses and sequences, you can practice yoga just about anywhere–including a hospital room, hallway, parking lot…
I’ve focused on stress-busing yoga postures, and this isn’t an all-inclusive list but it does include my five favorite yoga moves for stress.
[DISCLAIMER: Because the illustrations and explanations are so thorough, I’ve linked each pose to a page on Yoga Journal. Please note I don’t have any affiliation with Yoga Journal other than being a regular reader.]
5 Yoga Poses for Stress
1. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
I wish I could explain why the extended triangle pose works so well for me, but I can’t. I simply started doing it one day last week, in the hospital hallway, and now I randomly do it any time I feel stressed or the need for a good side and hamstring stretch. (Yoga Journal Demonstration)
2. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
Deep breathing combined with rounding my back during cat pose helps relieve tension in all areas of my back (including those pesky shoulder blades where I always tend to carry stress). (Yoga Journal Demonstration)
3. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Not only does the cobra pose reverse the rise and arch of the cat pose; it also works to stretch and relieve tension in your legs, arms, and belly. (Yoga Journal Demonstration)
4. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
One of my yoga instructors told me she found downward-facing yoga poses actually intensified any sadness or depression she felt; however, when it comes to stress, the child’s pose has the opposite effect on me. I feel both rested and safe, which isn’t too surprising given child’s pose is a pose for relaxation. (Yoga Journal Demonstration)
5. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Despite its name, the corpse pose is probably my favorite yoga pose for stress–ever! It’s by far the most physically relaxing pose (in my opinion, of course), and it’s just as mentally relaxing once you learn to acknowledge your thoughts and let them go, rather than, you know, checking off your to-do list. (Yoga Journal Demonstration)
Keep in mind, asanas (yoga postures or poses) comprise just one limb of the eight limbs of yoga. Self-discipline, breathing, meditation and contemplation–there’s so much more to beating stress with yoga than just a few poses.
What are some of your favorite yoga poses for beating stress?