The movement, breathing and relaxation that comes with a gentle yoga sequence can really help us to reduce and manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
Carrie recommends eight easy poses for stress relief.
Sit in a cross-legged position with your hands resting on your legs. Check that your spine is tall and your shoulders and jaw are relaxed. If there is pain in the knees, back or hips, sit on a cushion or two. Take a few big deep breaths and with every exhale feel your body relax.
This pose is done on all fours. Breathe in and drop the belly. Lift the back of the head towards the tailbone and look up. Breathe out and round the centre of the spine towards the ceiling, bringing your forehead towards your belly button. Do several rounds connected to your breath, as fast or as slow as feels good to you.
From all fours, tuck the toes under, push through the hands, and with a big breath in, lift the knees and send the hips high. Keep a bend in the knees if you like. Move around your space and peddle out your legs until you find the position that feels most comfortable for you. And breathe! Like a big yawn for the body.
Start with your feet slightly separated and let your torso hang over your legs. Keep a slight bend in the knees and either let your arms dangle down and hold onto opposite elbows. As you breathe in, feel your body fill up, and as you breathe out, feel your body sinking deeper into the pose. A wonderful pose to let go over any stress or tension. Try a big sigh on the exhale!
This is a wonderful balance pose for everybody. Keep your standing leg strong and when you feel ready bring the toes of the other leg off the floor. Level one, big toes touching the floor and heal resting above the ankle of your standing leg.
Level two, foot against the inside of your shin. Level three, foot against the inside of your upper inside leg. Hands can be in prayer pose or reaching up to the sky. Big breaths and when you’re ready, be sure to do the other side.
A wonderfully restorative pose and a great posture whenever you need some TLC. From kneeling, allow your tummy to come towards the top of your thighs and reach your arms out in front of you. Lower the forehead towards the floor, or rest it on your hands or a cushion. Take a big breath in and as you exhale, feel everything sinking towards the floor. Stay as long as you like.
A wonderful pose to open up the hips and relax the back and neck. In seated, bring the soles of the feet together. The further away from the body the easier it’ll feel on your knees, hips and lower back. If you have a little more flexibility, bring the feet slightly closer to the body.
Take a big breath in, and as you exhale lower forward and let your head and neck relax. Stay as long as you like, and come up slowly, bringing your head up last.
Every yoga practice should finish with savasana. A conscious relaxation to allow the whole body to let go! Lie down on your back, legs and arms relaxed and palms facing the sky. Make sure you are warm and cover yourself up with a blanket. Try to stay focused on your breath and relax. Stay for as long as you like.
Join Carrie and The Frog Project today and experience how a regular yoga practice can really help to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. Our classes are totally accessible and for all levels.