original article by Kaley Hall, Four Green Steps.com
Hold each one of these asanas (poses) for a few moments to relax your body and open your mind when you get stressed. Be conscious of your breath and let yourself focus on the present and where you are right now and not what’s going to happen later today.
1. Warrior II
This asana gives you the power needed during a time of stress. It opens up your lower body and strengthens your arms.
Directions: Stand up straight with arms at your sides and feet together. With an exhale, jump your right leg a few feet forward into a lunge almost and pivot your left foot sideways and flatten it. Make sure your front leg is bent at a 90 degree angle and your back leg is completely straight. Turn your upper body leftwards and lift your arms to be parallel to the ground. Turn your head to look at your right finger tips. Hold for a few slow breaths. Try again with the other foot.
2. Child’s Pose
This is a restful pose that will relax your body and mind. The comfort will warm you and allow you to ease your mind.
Directions: Kneel down with your knees hip width apart and your big toes together. Slowly lower your upper body down until your forehead reaches the mat. Place your arms comfortably beside you or straight above your head on the mat. Try to hold this pose for a few minutes.
This asana stretches your entire body which is helpful when feeling stressed. Anywhere your body tends to be tight when you are tense will be targeted during this pose.
Directions: Standing straight with your arms beside you and feet together, step your right foot forward straightening it. Pivot your left foot sideways and flatten it. Turn your upper body leftwards and place your right hand on your right shin or on your matt to the right of your right foot. Lift your left hand straight up towards the ceiling and look up at your finger tips. Hold this pose for a few breaths and focus on your breath. Do the other side as well.
4. Upward dog
This pose allows you to stretch your spine and open your chest, opposing the usual hunched position we tend to get at work. By allowing your body to open up in a way it isn’t usually allowed to, you may find yourself opening up your mind as well.
Directions: Start by lying on your mat face down with both your hands placed down beside your shoulders. Press your hands firmly into the ground and use your arm power to lift your entire chest and thighs up to the point where your arms are completely straight. Keep your arms inward and straight and make sure your pelvis is tucked in. Hold this pose for a few moments and breathe consciously.
Savasana is a pose to completely relax your body however what makes this pose difficult is staying still. Being able to hold it for 5-10 minutes will give your body and mind the calmness they deserve.
Directions: Lie on your back with your legs comfortable apart and your arms out beside you. Breathe deeply into each part of your body, relaxing it with each breath to remove tension.