5 simple yoga poses to help you relieve stress, tension and fatigue
Stress, tension and fatigue are pretty common complaints these days, in fact if you’re not stressed, tense and tired then you may be considered lazy or unambitious, how crazy is that?!
While we certainly don’t promote stress here at Beginner Yogi, we do know that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by life and everything that is expected of us in this modern world. So if you do find yourself stressed, tense and fatigued try the below yoga sequence to help your body and mind calm down, find peace and relax. Going about your day feeling calm, peaceful and relaxed is so much more productive and beneficial for your mental and physical health, don’t ya think?!
Everyones favourite! This posture calms the brain and encourages deep relaxation. It relieves headaches, tension, fatigue, exhaustion and regulates the adrenal glands.
Pose Instructions: Sit on your knees with your heels apart and your spine straight, gaze looking straight ahead. Begin to lower your trunk to rest on your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor. Try to keep your buttocks as close to your heels as possible. Your arms can stay along side your body or you can extend them along the floor in front of you or stack your hands under your forehead if your neck needs it. If you are looking after your lower back, separate the knees out to the sides. Once comfortable, inhale and exhale through the nostrils. Stay here for at least 8 breaths.
MOUNTAIN POSE (DOWNWARD FACING DOG)
Not only does this posture help to relieve and prevent stress, it is also an all over body strengthener and toner. Mountain pose is an inversion (head is lower than the heart) and it increases oxygen and blood to the brain, which in turn helps to relieve stress and fatigue.
Pose Instructions: From childs pose, extend the arms out in front of you (if they aren’t already) and bring the elbows up off the mat. Tuck your toes under and begin to lift the buttocks up into the air, come up high onto your toes, straighten your legs, lift your hips up and lower your head between your arms and gaze between your legs. Lower your heels towards the mat, but don’t aim for the heels to touch the mat, you want a straight spine, so if this means your knees are bent and your heels aren’t touching the floor then that is perfect. Try to distribute the weight evenly between your hands and feet. Stay in Mountain for 8 breaths. Finish in childs pose.
No, we don’t really know why it is called animal relaxation pose…but we do know it is a restorative pose that helps to balance the nervous system and promote calm.
Pose Instructions: From childs pose, come to a seated position with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bend your right knee and place the sole of the foot against the inside of the left thigh. Bend the left knee and place the left heel on the outside of the left buttock. Turn your torso to the right, resting your hands on the right knee. Inhale, and raise the arms above the head about shoulder width apart. Exhale, as you bend forward over the right knee, bringing the forehead towards the floor. Continue to breath as you relax into this pose, stay here for 5-8 breaths and then change sides.
Half fish pose makes people feel happier. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! It’s crazy but it works. Along with encouraging deep breathing (which helps to release tension and stress), it is a great winter posture to build up immunity. For those with thyroid related conditions, this pose will help to regulate this area if practiced regularly.
Pose Instructions: From your seated position, bring your legs together and extend them out in front of you. Lean back, bending your elbows and lowering them to the mat, your fingertips are near your buttocks and your palms are facing down. Lift your chest up and with care, drop the head back. Stay here for 5-8 breaths. Gently bring the head back up, release the elbows and rest your arms along side your body.
Everyone’s other favourite pose! All you have to do is lie down and relax while this pose works its magic by developing body and mind awareness. It is a good time to relax and let go, letting any thoughts and mental impressions to float by without analysing them. Practicing corpse pose for 3 minutes a day can lift energy and help to relieve stress, tension and fatigue.
Pose Instructions: Lie on your back, with your body in a straight line, chin slightly tucked, arms at your sides and slightly away from the body, palms facing up, feet apart and toes hanging out to the side. Close your eyes and mouth. Feel your body begin to relax and melt into the floor. Inhale, and fill your body with a cleansing breath, exhale and feel yourself letting go of tension and/or stress. Continue breathing and stay here for 3-5 minutes.
This yoga sequence is perfect to do before bed or first thing in the morning if you have time. For those short on time, pick one and just hang out for for a few breaths. Every breath counts when it comes to stress, tension and fatigue so the sooner you lay down in Corpse pose the better!
The above postures are instructed, as taught to Tash by Ashram Yoga.