3 calming yoga postures to relieve stress and overwhelm (suitable for beginners)

3 calming yoga postures to relieve stress and overwhelm (suitable for beginners)

29th August 2018

Yoga has many benefits, one being that it’s great for calming, slowing down and quieting the mind whilst releasing tension and soothing the body. This is something that most of us have a need for from time to time, so today I’m sharing my 3 favourite postures for when I’m feeling a little stressed or anxious.

These postures can be practiced by absolute yoga beginners, anywhere you have a little bit of space to yourself. For all of the postures, I recommend holding between 1 – 3 minutes, but please come out before this time if you need to. If you’re unsure how to practice these postures safely for your body, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help 🙂

Standing Forward Fold – dangling variation (padahastasana)

This posture feels so soothing and I find myself doing it all the time. I even used to come into this forward fold in the toilet cubicles in an old office job, but ssssssh!

Getting into the posture
1. Start standing, with your feet hip width apart, your legs straight and your knees unlocked.
2. With a straight spine and your hands on your hips, slowly fold forwards on an exhale, with your weight evenly distributed through your feet.
3. When you can fold no further, clasp your elbows with opposite hands, allowing your arms, head and shoulders to be loose.
4. Gently swaying your upper body from side-to-side here can feel nice and comforting also.

Releasing the posture
5. Let go of your elbows, bend your knees slightly and on an inhale, slowly roll up to a straight standing position.

Key benefits
– Relieves stress and has antidepressant effects when held for longer periods of time.
– Quietens the mind and improves concentration.
– Reduces tiredness and boosts vitality.
– Helpful for relieving menstrual cramps.

Child’s Pose (balasana)

One of the more well known yoga postures, child’s pose is highly restorative. Be sure to close your eyes whilst resting in this position to feel the full nurturing effects.

Getting into the posture
1. Come to sit on your shins. Lengthen through your spine and lift through you chest.
2. On an exhale, slowly fold forward, until your forehead rests on the floor. Gently melt your hips towards your heels.
3. Place your arms alongside your body. Alternatively they can rest out in front of you, to gently stretch into your shoulders.

Releasing the posture
4. On an inhale, engage your core muscles and gently lift your torso back up into a seated position.

Key benefits
– Soothes and rests your whole body, whilst allowing your mind to slow down.
– Wonderful for ‘cooling off’ and relieving anger.
– Brings about a sense of peace and connection to yourself and others.

Seated Forward Fold (paschimottanasana)

Can you see a theme? Forward folds are so calming for both the mind and mody. This posture is particularly good to practice at the end of the day, to help you slip into a restful sleep.

Getting into the posture
1. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you and your toes pointed up towards the sky. If this is challenging, sit on the edge of a cushion or folded blanket.
2. Lengthen through the spine and on an exhale fold forward from the hips, leading with your chest.
3. When you can fold no further, bring your hands to your thighs, shins or feet, depending on where is accessible to you. Practice inhaling and lengthening through your spine slightly and on the exhale, see if you can fold a little deeper.

Releasing the posture
4. On an inhale, engage your core muscles and gently lift the torso back up, into a seated position.

Key benefits
– Relieves tension by gently stretching through the whole of the back of your body.
– Helps to manage mild insomnia when practiced for longer periods of time.
– Aids against constipation by massaging the digestive organs.

I really hope these postures help you feel a little more calm and relaxed in your day to day life. If you give them a go then please let me know how you get on by leaving a comment below 🙂

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