If you didn’t already know, yoga is a fantastic stress reliever as is most any type of exercise. Stress directly affects your muscles causing tension, stiffness and headaches. What’s great about yoga is many poses can help loosen up the areas where people tend to “hold their stress”, likely the shoulders, neck and even in the hips.
This is probably the first that comes to mind for me. If I have a stress headache or my neck and shoulders are feeling tight. It’s a simple pose and probably one that I do several times a day. For forward fold, stand with your feet hips distance apart and slowly bend over hinging at the hips, letting your head hang loosely towards the ground. Grabbing opposite elbows will give you more of a stretch in your neck, upper back and shoulders. Your knees can be bent.
For Gorilla pose you can go into this straight from forward fold, its very similar except you are putting your hands under your feet. With your knees bent as much as you need to slide your hands under your feet (palms facing up and fingers pointing towards you) until your toes touch your wrists. Once your hands are under your feet you can start to pull your upper body away from the floor, hands still in place. You should feel a nice stretch in your upper body and back.
This is one of my favorite back stretches. With your feet a little wider than hips distance- Come down to a squat, toes pointing out to the side, heels on the ground. From here you will bring your right shoulder down and up under your right knee twisting your upper body, with your right hand on the floor. I like to lift my left arm straight up twisting my upper body a bit more and repeat on the other side.
This one is to help loosen up the hips. Start on your hands and knees, walk your knees out as far as you can. Next, place your forearms and elbows on the floor. Hold for as long as you’d like, the longer you hold the looser your hips will become.
This one is pretty easy and great for just relaxing and clearing the mind. Come to your hands and knees, bring your butt back to sit on your feet or between them. Your hands and arms will stretch forward and relax on the ground. Allow yourself to relax completely.
Another good one for your upper back. Come on your hands and knees on the ground hips distance apart, place the top of your head on the ground, reach back with your hands to grab your heels. Next, you will round your back as much as you can and pull forward some to get a good upper back stretch.
Legs up the wall
This one is pretty explanatory. You literally lay on the ground with your legs against and up the wall. Scoot your booty all the way to the wall and lay back bringing your legs up.
Overall these are great poses to help alleviate headaches and muscle tension associate with stress. Remember to breathe and hold them as long as you feel comfortable. What do you do to relieve stress? Do you have go to yoga poses for stress? Feel free to comment below!
Share with a friend who may need a little de-stressing!