This may seem redundant but there are certain poses that are more relaxing than others. The below have proven helpful for me.
My absolute favorite stress reliever is Child’s Pose. It’s an easy pose to get in to: kneel on the floor (chins on the ground, knees and feet touching), fold your torso over your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor. I like to separate my knees hip distance apart and stretch my arms out in front of my head but you can also lay your arms along your sides with your palms facing up. I love the combination of stress reliever and slight stretch it offers – I do this every morning before I wake up after getting out of bed.
Savasana (or corpse pose) is done at the end of almost every class. In Bikram we are told that it is the hardest pose – new practitioners often laugh. But it is true – you are meant to lie perfectly still and in this world of Twitter, Instagram and the interwebs, that is quite hard to achieve.
Above, I am attempting to get in to Lotus Pose. My most interesting take away from the day long yoga class I took at Yoga Vida was that the main point of all of these postures (the asanas) is to prepare the body for meditation. This pose is the ultimate expression of that. Asanas are meant to open the hips and prepare the body to sit in a meditative state for long periods of time. For seasoned practitioners, one can meditate in this pose. For people like me, this can help us get there.
The relief of stress benefits many other aspects of life. Stress can lead to sleep deprivation, lack of focus and poor eating habits. Stress also just makes you an unhappy person in general. This is why I try to get people in to yoga. Not so they can bend themselves in to pretzels, but for the emotional and mental benefits. Next time you’re super stressed, try to take a moment to yourself, maybe get in one of the above poses and see if a few deep breaths don’t help. It can’t hurt.