10 Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress and Tension
1. Hero Pose with Wrist Rolls
Start by sitting on your shins in a hero pose. If you feel tightness in your wrists, grab a strap or a hand towel for support. Begin by rolling out your wrists in big circles, first in one direction and then in the other. This gentle movement helps to increase blood flow and release tension in the wrists.
2. Child's Pose
Separate your knees wide and walk your hands forward, allowing your upper body to surrender down onto the mat. Rest your forehead on the mat or stack your wrists if more comfortable. Take three deep breaths in and out through your nose, allowing each exhale to deepen the stretch.
3. Side Body Stretch
Extend your right hand off the right side of your mat and place your left hand on top of your right hand. Feel the lengthening sensation in your left side body as you breathe into the stretch. Repeat on the other side, extending your left hand off the left side of your mat and placing your right hand on top.
4. Wrist and Forearm Stretches
Return to a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Turn your hands around so your fingertips point towards your knees and gently rock front and back to open up the undersides of your forearms. Then, flip your palms up and place the tops of your hands on the mat, fingers pointing towards your knees. Continue the rocking motion to release tension in your wrists and forearms.
5. Yogi Hands in Cat-Cow
Spread your fingers wide and grip through your whole hand, using the pads of your fingers. Inhale to drop your belly, lift your chin, and arch your back for cow pose. Exhale to round your spine, tuck your chin, and tuck your tailbone for cat pose. Repeat this movement, focusing on maintaining a deep breath throughout.
6. Downward-Facing Dog
Curl your toes under, send your hips high and back, and press your chest towards your thighs. Use your yogi hands to grip the mat and create a strong foundation. Take a few moments to find any movement that serves you in this pose, such as bending your knees or tucking your tailbone.
7. Forearm Plank and Dolphin Dog
Lower down onto your forearms for a forearm plank, keeping your forearms parallel and your fingers spread wide. Walk your toes forward to lift your hips high, coming into dolphin dog. Press your chest towards your thighs and tilt your tailbone up to intensify the stretch. Remember to maintain a deep breath throughout.
8. Sphinx Pose
Lie down on your belly and rest on your forearms, resembling a sphinx. Lift up through your heart, pulling your body forward and feeling a stretch through your chest and core. This pose helps to release tension in the lower back and open up the front of the body.
9. Thread the Needle
From a tabletop position, thread your right arm underneath your body, lying down on your right shoulder. Use your breath to massage the space between your shoulder blades and along your upper back. Repeat on the other side, threading your left arm underneath.
10. Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the mat and your knees bent. Lift your hips up into a bridge pose, interlacing your hands underneath your body for support. Press your pinkies into the mat and lift up through your chest and hips. This pose helps to strengthen the back and release tension in the hips.
Finish your practice with a few moments of relaxation in Savasana, lying flat on your back with your arms and legs extended. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, allowing any remaining tension to melt away.
Congratulations on completing our 7-day yoga challenge. We hope these poses have helped you relieve stress and tension, and that you feel stronger, happier, and healthier. Remember to listen to your body and modify any poses as needed. Make yoga a part of your daily routine to continue reaping the benefits of this practice.