Top 5 Yoga Poses to Help Destress

One of my absolute favorite things to do is yoga. I’m able to meditate, exercise, and focus on me for as long as I need to. The best thing about it is that you have the ability to go at your own pace and you can do it anywhere. While being home the past few weeks I’ve been doing A LOT of yoga to keep my brain sane, whether that’s in my room or on the beach on a nice day out. If you’re anything like me, you can use some yoga to destress after a long day of social distancing. Here are five of my favorite poses that help put my brain at ease!

  1. 1. Extended child pose 

    This pose is a classic because it helps you to begin your practice and allows you to focus on your breathing and be in the moment. To do this pose, you want to put your big toes together in the middle of your mat and extend your knees to the outside of the mat. Next, in a seated position, breathe in lengthening your torso and exhale while draping your torso in between your thighs. Your arms can go straight out ahead or rest next to you.

  2. 2. Cat/cow pose 

    This one helps to get your breathing aligned with your movement. It’s one of my favorites to do to begin any practice. To do this you’re going to want to get in a table top position making your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your wrists. Once you’re where you need to be, when you inhale you drop your stomach and lift your head and heart up to the sky, cow pose. On your exhale, round your back and drop your head for cat pose. Repeat doing this as many times as you’d like and add in any extra movements to get your juices flowing. Have fun with it!

  3. 3. Forward fold

    The forward fold is a full surrender to your practice and your day. It helps to stretch out your body and make you feel at ease. This version of forward fold that I am sharing is slightly different than the classic form of it because it incorporates a nice shoulder stretch along with it. Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and clasp your hands together at the base of your spine. Next, slowly fold your body forward, bending your legs as much as you need to no shame in yoga, and raise your arms up along with you. You want your chest near your legs and to hold here for at least five breaths. If you cannot clasp your hands as I’m saying, don’t even worry! Just do what you can and what feels good.

  4. 4. Shoulder stand/plow pose 

    A nice shoulder stand is something that I can personally hold for so long. I love this pose. You’re going to get on your back and lift your legs up with your full back sinking into the mat. When you’re comfortable here and ready to move forward, you’re slowly going to raise up your butt, and lower back so you are balancing purely on your shoulders. Try not to scrunch your neck while doing this. You can stay here, or if you’d like a deeper stretch you can push your legs so they go over your head and get your feet on the floor behind you for plow pose. Don’t strain yourself here and do what your body needs.

  5. 5. Corpse pose 

    This pose is the pinnacle of relaxation. Once you’ve completed your practice, you should put your entire body on your mat and truly sink in while closing your eyes. Stretch your legs out in front of you and your hands can go by your side or one on your belly and one on your heart. Keep in mind that if you want to gain something from the universe to keep your palms up or if you want to feel more grounded to put your palms down facing the earth. Stay here as long as you need and truly feel yourself fall deeper into meditation.

Those were just some of my personal favorites that have been keeping me sane throughout the journey of social distancing. They are some amazing poses to begin your day or to end it before going to sleep. If you want a more structured class while home, my personal favorite yoga instructor is Yoga with Adriene on youtube, she has so many great and different practices for all types of yoga whether you’re just starting out or have been practicing for years. If you want to check her out I’ll add the link in here Happy practicing and namaste.