When we are under duress we can feel overwhelmed and unsure how to move back to feeling like our normal selves. For some of us, this can create anxiety and panic attacks, which can be debilitating when it comes to executing our everyday activities. There are different ways that we can manage our stress, talking to some, journal, mindfulness activities, and physical activities. Yoga is a great way for us to unload and come back to our center. Below is a short yoga sequence that can help you calm your body and mind.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Child’s pose is our go-to during a yoga practice when we are feeling overwhelmed. Its benefits include calming the mind, reducing stress, and lessening fatigue.
- Sit on your heels with your shoulders above your hips
- Bow forward and gently place your chest on you thighs.
- Rest our forehead on the floor, soften your face.
- As an option, bring your arms forward. Walk your fingertips forward and away from shoulders.
- Relax your arms to the floor.
- Hold for 10-15 breaths
Gentle Variation: Follow instructions but use a bolster to support your torso adjust as needed. Separate your knees to accommodate the bolster.
Cat-Cow is a union of two poses. It is great for spinal flexibility. Its benefits include reducing stress, energizing the mind, and relieving mild depression and anxiety.
- Come to all fours with your wrists directly underneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale and lengthen from your hips to your armpits. Spread your fingers and root down through your hands as you draw from the floor up into your shoulders. Bring the shoulder blades onto your back.
- Exhale, press your hands into the floor, and round your spine up toward the ceiling. Tilt your pelvis down and scoop your tailbone. Lower your head.
- Inhale move your spine in the opposite direction. Creating concavity in your spine. Tilt your pelvis upward and lift your head.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 5 to 10 breaths. Push back into child’s pose and rest for a few breaths.
Staff Pose (Dandasana)
Dandasa helps to strengthen the upper back, abdomen, and chest. Practicing this pose can improve focus and reduce stress.
- Sit with your legs extended. Engage your thigh muscles and flex both feet. Your heels may come up off the floor.
- Stack the shoulders directly on top of the hips. Release your shoulders away from your ears.
- Exhale, press your hands down and lengthen the sides of your body upward.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine.
- Try to stay for five deep breaths with the legs fully active.
Gentle variation: Follow the steps but place a bolster or folded blankets under your hips.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Seated forward bend is known to alleviate high blood pressure. It also soothes the nervous system and relieves stress and anxiety.
- Come to Dandasana (see the previous pose)
- Inhale and bring your arms up over your head.
- Exhale, bend forward and grasp your big toes with your index and middle fingers using a firm grip. Bend your knees if you need to find grip.
- Inhale and lower your body towards your legs. Slide your hands ot the outsides of your feet. Exhale, widen your elbows out. Lead with your heart than your head to find length in the spine.
Knees to the chest also known as wind releasing pose is great for improving digesting and releasing unwanted gas. It has a relaxing effect on the body.
- Lie on the floor with your legs extended.
- Bend your knees toward your chest and separate your knees.
- Draw your knees together and wrap your arms around your legs.
- Roll to your right, followed by your left. (Repeat Several Times)
- Rest in Savasana
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Corpse pose calms and centers the mind. It helps reduce insomnia and alleviates stress and anxiety.
- Lie flat on your back
- Relax your legs and allow your toes to out towards either side of the body. Move your arms 12 to 15 inches away from your sides with your hands on the floor and your palms face up. Soften Completely into the floor.
- Remain in this pose for 7-10 minutes.
Gentle Variation: Follow the above steps but place bolster under knees to support the lower back.