Yoga is one of the best ways to counteract stress and anxiety. In fact, many studies have discovered a direct link between yoga and the reduction of cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone. While there are certain poses that are more restful than others as they encourage stillness and a greater focus on breathing and/or meditation the practice of yoga overall is relaxing in and of itself. Get your most comfy yoga pants or meditation pants for a relaxing stress-reducing session using the most restful poses listed below:
This simple pose stretches the lower back and relieves tension in the hips. You can add props, like weighted bags for a deeper stretch. To get into this pose, begin in the tabletop position. Then, move your big toes towards each other. Widen your knees to allow them to touch (or as close as you can comfortably get). After you do this, push your hips back toward your heels. Lower your forehead and chest to the floor as you walk your hands out in front. Take a deep breath and relax into the pose. If you need additional support to ensure comfort, add a pillow or block under your belly or forehead. Stay in this pose at least 10 deep breaths.
Standing Forward Bend With Open Shoulder
Forward bends increase exhalation and turn us inward. If you combine an open shoulder element, it can also reduce shoulder tension. If your body is experiencing the stressful “fight-or-flight” feeling that comes along with being anxious, this pose will help release the tension in your hamstrings, which is a common symptom. To do this pose, stand up and lift your arms behind and away from your back, interlacing your fingers. Bend completely over at your waist, going as low as comfortable. Hang in this position with as much freedom and movement as you need. Take several deep breaths and increase the stretch within your arms and shoulders by moving them further away from your body.
This is often the final pose of a typical yoga session and is sometimes referred to as a Savasana. To complete, simply lie down flat on your back with your legs and heels parted slightly. Hands and arms are out to your side, with your palms facing upwards. Create movement in your limbs until you find a comfortable resting position. You can fold a blanket under your head to serve as a pillow for added comfort. Stay in this pose for as long as necessary to enter into complete rest and relaxation before ending your yoga session.
There are many other helpful poses that offer stress relief and provide flexibility to your tense muscles. For example, the eagle pose, cat and cow flow reclining bound ankle, various twists and more are all wonderful poses, ideally suited to relieve anxiety and stress in the body. Wearing the right activewear clothing also helps you remain comfortable while trying these stress-relieving positions.