As magic and exciting as the end of the year can be, it can also be pretty stressful. Lucky for us, we have yoga and meditation to keep us grounded and supported through the most chaotic season. Follow these poses and relaxation tips to not only survive, but thrive through potentially stressful situations!
Before you move, take a moment to focus on the present. Bring awareness yourself, not on what needs to get done next. Even if you just take a few minutes, you need to remind yourself to come back to your breath and listen to your body. Your body will speak to you, and when you listen there is a potential to ease the tension. Everything is a cycle, when you relax one area, it’ll have a positive impact on another area. Yoga reaps benefits for our minds, and during this stressful time trying to cram everything in does no good.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Try this pose to alleviate stress and reduce lower back pain all while stretching your upper back.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Reach your tailbone towards toward the earth to maintain your posture, then fold at the hips and tuck your chin toward your chest.
- Once you’ve bent over, reach for opposite elbows or bisceps.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Come into Bridge to get a front body stretch while releasing tension from in back.
- Remember to breathe deeply to fully engage and open your ribcage.
- Engage the muscles in your chest, core, and your thighs.
- Lay on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet directly beneath them.
- With your arms at your sides or under your back, lift your back up so that only you shoulders and feet are supporting your torso.
Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
This restorative pose relaxes the entire body, removing the weight from walking all day on our feet and legs, giving them some much needed rest.
- Hold the pose for 5 minutes, or however long you would like to reap the maximum relaxation benefits.
- Consider wearing an eye pillow to block out light.
- Play some light music, or relax in silence and focus on your breathe. Simply focus on clearing your mind from anything else going on.
- Get into the pose by laying down with your hips about six inches from a wall (or headboard, or other vertical surface), point your legs upward and rest them vertically on the wall.
- For a less intense stretch to the hamstrings, move your buttocks further from the wall.
Stress relief can be as simple as focusing on breath and taking a few yoga poses. You don’t always need a full 60 or 90 minute class to reap the benefits of yoga. Take these poses anytime you need to relieve stress. The power of yoga is in it’s accessibility — for anyone, anywhere!
About the Author
Amber is a YogaClub University Ambassador completing her B.S. in Geosciences, while working as a research student. She had the opportunity to practice yoga during a field course, where her passion for exploration flourished. Follow the journey of two passions colliding on Instagram at www.instagram.com/ayypeaches.