8 Yoga Poses to Ease Stress

We are in college, living the “best years of our lives,” right? Of course! And yet somehow, there is always something to stress about. Either midterms turning into finals, a paper you just can’t seem to finish, or meetings filling up your schedule - suddenly getting to the weekend feels like finishing a marathon! 
 
One of the best, and healthiest, ways to deal with stress is through yoga. Practicing yoga is about getting in touch with every part of your body, including your breathing. Each pose is intended to target certain body parts, all while you are concentrating on your breathing and meditating, so by the end of your yoga session your mind and your body feel rejuvenated.
 
Most of us don’t have time for a full yoga session during our crazy weeks, so here are eight of the best poses to quickly calm down and refresh yourself when you are stressing out. 
 
 
1. Child's Pose
 
 
Kneel on your knees and sit back (so you are sitting on your ankles), then put your head on the ground with your arms extended above your head.
 
2. Tree Pose
 
While standing, lift one leg and rest that foot right below your knee on the opposite leg....like a flamingo! Raise your arms above your hands and hold them straight while balancing.
 
3. Cat Pose
 
 
 
Get on all fours, with your back straight. Alternate between curving your back upwards (like a cat) with your face downwards, and pushing your stomach towards the ground with your face looking towards the ceiling. Make the movement between the two positions slow so your body adjusts to both positions.
 
4. Corpse Pose
 
Corpse pose is self explanatory - just lie flat on your back with your legs and arms any way that is comfortable and let your back relax into the ground while focusing on your breathing.
 
5. Downward Dog Pose
 
 
Make your body into an upside down “V” with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart and your heels off the ground. As always, remember to breath!
 
6. Easy Pose
 
Sitting cross-legged, keep your back (from the top of your head to your hips) in a straight line and your hands resting on your knees. 
 
7. Half Moon Pose
 
Standing, place your hands together above your head and lean your upper body either to the right or the left, staying there until you alternate to the other side.
 
8. Cobra Pose
 
 
Laying on your stomach with your legs extended straight, push your upper body off the ground. Make sure your neck and head are extended as you breath in and out slowly.
 
The key to all of these exercises is to focus on your breathing (in-out, in-out, slowly), which will allow your whole body to relax into the pose. If you find that you enjoy these easy positions, there are plenty of yoga videos you can download or buy so you can do yoga on a daily basis, even if you aren't stressed out; yoga is great workout for your body, so don't feel like you have to wait until you're on the verge of a mental breakdown to do some yoga.
 
Now, keep calm and yoga on!