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7 YOGA POSES TO RELIEVE STRESS

7 YOGA POSES TO RELIEVE STRESS

Life is hard, and sometimes, it becomes completely overwhelming! Trust us, we're no stranger to the hustle and bustle of day to day life, and there are days where it's all just too much. Luckily there are these 7 yoga poses to relieve stress.

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Standing Forward Bend
From standing, exhale forward, focusing on lengthening the torso while bringing your palms to the floor. If you can't reach the floor, that's okay. Just grab your elbows, and allow your upper body to hang. You're using the force of gravity to elongate your spine here. If it helps visualize the space between each vertebrae elongating. Hold for a few breaths, then inhale arms out to your sides, and raise your arms and torso back up to standing.

This pose stretches the hamstrings, thighs, and hips to relieve stress and fatigue. If you want to take your hamstrings out of the equation, you can keep a bend in both knees, allowing you to focus on releasing any tension in the upper body, neck and spine. 

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Dolphin Pose
Start on all fours, lower forearms to the floor (you can make the number 11 position with both your forearms-as pictured- or you can clasp the hands as if you're squeezing a tennis ball. Make sure which ever position you choose with your arms, you can press firmly through the forearms taking any tension away from your neck and shoulders), tuck your toes under, and then lift your hips towards the ceiling. The most important part in this pose is to lengthen the spine, so it lift that tail bone high towards the corner of the ceiling and allow your head to hang freely. If your heels don't touch the ground without distorting the length in your spine- that's totally fine. Keep a nice bend in both your knees and work towards lengthening out the legs day by day until the heels touch. Believe us they'll get there one day! Hold for a few breaths before returning to table top.

This pose can help calm the mind and relieve any faster pace thoughts - it lengthens the spine, and relaxes the muscles around the neck and shoulders as well as firing up your core as you engage your lower belly throughout to protect the low spine. 

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Cat Pose
Begin on all fours (hands under shoulders, knees under hips) and exhale as you draw the belly in towards the spine. Round your back towards the ceiling and release the crown of the head towards the floor without forcing the chin to the chest, concaving the abs. 

This pose is great for releasing any tension across your back- especially the postural muscles, calms the mind as you focus on your breath and massages out the spine.

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Cow Pose
Begin in tabletop (hands under shoulders, knees under hips), inhale, and draw your shoulder blades through your chest opening across the collar bone, lift your gaze, and reach the tail bone high. Keep a level of engagement through those low abs throughout so that you don't dip harshly into your low back- especially you hyper mobile yogis! 

This pose gently warms up the spine, releasees any tension from the muscles around the spine, neck and shoulders, while focusing on the breath.

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Child's Pose
Kneel on your yoga mat with legs together or wider than hips- whatever is most comfortable for you, draw your tailbone towards your heels, hinging your upper body forward until it touches the mat, resting on your thighs and your head is resting on the floor. Relax the arms down by your side. Place your palms up, facing the ceiling. Hold for a few breaths. You can turn your head to the side as pictured if that's ok on your neck, otherwise keep the forehead pressing into the mat- allowing the pressure of your forehead on the mat to ground  your energy, your third eye, your inner intuition. 

This cooling pose, helps you calm and center your body and inner self, as well as continue to release any tension from your back. It offers great benefits to your nervous and lymphatic system. This pose can be really harsh on those with sensitive knees- you can place a blanket across the back of your calf muscles before drawing the tailbone towards your heels- or of course completely skip this pose! 

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Corpse Pose
Lie flat on your back with your legs out in front of you- where they naturally lay. Take as much movement as you need shuffling on the mat until you find a place of stillness. Close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Hold this position for about five minutes, bringing attention to each part of the body. Some of us at 30Fifteen like to scan our body from head to toe noticing every muscle, cell & vein of our body focusing on the breath nourishing the entire body. You can bring in any visualization here too if you have one you like. Maybe surrounded by golden light? 

This pose puts the body at ease- there is nothing to in this pose but breath. So it allows you to slow down, to relax and your body to fully rejuvenate.

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Legs Up The Wall Pose
Sit with your hips against the wall and roll onto your back, raising your legs up and resting your feet on the wall. (You might need to shuffle yourself a little so your bottom should be pressed as close to the wall as possible). You can hold this pose for as long as you like. If your feet or toes become tingly, bend your knees and bring your feet lower down to the pelvis.

This pose is great when you're feeling tired, totally stressed or just endured a long flight - I mean or all of the above! It helps your body relax and improves circulation by pushing your blood back towards your heart. 

Next time you're feeling stressed, or like you need to re-center yourself, try some of these poses. We think you'll find yourself feeling much more relaxed. Do you have any favorite yoga poses for stress relief? Let us know in the comments!

 

*Please note these instructions are very basic guides. If you are new to yoga, pilates, or any of the fitness moves pictured above, please find a local studio near you and take a couple of classes before attempting to practice alone. We cannot be held responsible for an injury caused by following these instructions. 

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