I Love This 9 Pose Yoga Circuit For Stress and Anxiety
What if I told you that you could relieve your stress and calm your mind by simply adding in a few movements into your everyday life. Stress can creep into your life and can often be hard to shake, but it doesn’t have to be.
Yoga has shown to have a calming effect on the body and many poses have a stress relieving effect. Dating back well over 5000 years, yoga is the oldest defined practice of self-development. The methods of classical yoga include ethical disciplines, physical posture, breath control and meditation.
Overview of Yoga and Stress Management
Many of the popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga!
- Controlled breathing
- Physical movement
- Mental imagery
Other Benefits to the body:
- Reduced stress
- Sound sleep
- Reduced cortisol levels
- Improvement of many medical conditions
- Lowered blood pressure
- Spiritual growth
- Reduced anxiety and muscle tension
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Yoga Circuit for Stress Relief
Let’s start out in Childs pose, it is very simple to do. Start in a kneeling position on a mat or other cushioned surface legs together, sitting back onto the heels. Hinge forward until the chest rests on the thighs; forehead on floor. Curl your shoulders forward and let the hands rest palms up beside the feet. Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
Now, we are going into bridge. Come up from child’s pose and lay flat on your back, bend your knees and place the feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Press into arms and shoulders to lift chest and engage legs and buttocks to lift hips higher. Hold this for 4-8 breaths, then release on exhale, slowly rolling the spine back onto the floor.
Stand up and we are going into a forward bend. From standing exhale forward and bend knees enough to bring the palms down to the floor as well, making sure your head is pressed against the legs; do the best you can! If you can’t get your head to your legs do not work about it.
Feel your spine stretch in opposite directions, as the head pulls down and in, then press the hips up, and when you can straighten the legs to deepen the stretch. Hold this pose for 4-8 breaths, bend the knees, inhale your arms out to your sides, and raise your arms and torso back to standing.
Eagle Pose, eagle pose is one of my absolute favorites! Begin in a standing position with your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and balance on right foot and cross left thigh over right, then hook top of left foot behind right calf; balance for one breath. Extend your arms forward and drop left arm under right arm. Bend elbows, raise forearms perpendicular to floor, and wrap arms and hands, pressing palms together.
Square your hips and chest to front wall and draw your belly in and up like a corset. Gaze at the tips of your thumbs. Hold for one minute, then gently unwind your arms and legs; repeat to opposite side.
Lower yourself onto all fours, and we are going to go into Dolphin Pose! Lower your forearms to the floor, tucking your toes under and lifting the hips towards the ceiling. Place your hands shoulder-width apart with fingers spread wide.
Press forearms, fingers and palms into the floor and press hips up and back while keeping a straight spine. Keep your feet hip-width apart with toes facing forward; press your heels into the floor. Let the head and neck hang freely. Remain here for 2-6 breaths and then return to table pose on all fours.
From table pose it will be easy to move into cat pose! Begin in table, drawing the belly to the spine. Round your back towards the ceiling. Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but do not force the chin to the chest.
I like to alternate between Cat and Cow Pose, so from cat slowly lift your chin from your chest, gazing up and toward the ceiling. Broaden your shoulder blades and draw shoulders away from ears.
Alternate between Cat and Cow for one minute feeling the differences in the stretches.
Now, Lie Flat on your back with your legs together but not touching, arms at your sides with your palms up. Close your eyes and relax your face; breathe deeply. Bring attention to each part of the body starting at the top of the head. Hold this position for as long as you like typically between 3 and 5 minutes.
Slowly sit up, extend legs in front of yourself and cross your legs at the shins. With knees wide, place each foot beneath the opposite knee and fold legs in toward torso. Place hands on knees, palms down.
Balance your weight evenly across your sit bones, aligning the head, and spine, then gaze ahead with soft eyes. This is what we call easy pose! Hold for one minute, then release and change the cross of the legs.
You can do this Circuit as many times as you would like, or just do the individual poses. You will find yourself feeling better, with less stress in no time. Namaste’!
Written by The Rebel Pharmasist