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5 Simple Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

The semester is now in full swing, which means the tests, papers, and responsibilities are starting to pile up.  Quiet moments become harder and harder to fit in, but taking a few minutes each day to unwind is so important for your health and happiness. These yoga poses and flows are brief and easy ways to take a moment for yourself and breathe out some of that stress.

Child’s Pose

I love to start with child’s pose. It is one of the most restorative and relaxing poses, and is a great way to begin quiet your mind and just feel.

Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching and your knees at about hip width apart. Sit back on your heels and then fold forward, stretching your arms in front of you.  

Downward Facing Dog

This pose is great for stretching your hamstrings and increasing flexibility, calming your mind, and just giving yourself a moment to see how your body is feeling that day.

Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and your knees aligned under your hips. Spread your fingers wide and tuck your toes, lifting your knees off the floor. Straighten your arms and legs, but don’t lock your knees. Your body should be in the shape of an A. To get a deeper stretch, try and press your heels towards the floor.

Downward facing dog is a key part of Sun Salutations, a great and easy flow to introduce some gentle movements to your practice and get your muscles working after a long day or sitting in class.

Spinal Twists

Spinal Twists are my favorite yoga postures because they are a great way to stretch out and realign your back and shoulders after hunching over computers and books all day. Plus, chest openers like this help to decrease anxiety.

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Draw both knees to your chest and let them drop to the right side while keeping both shoulder blades on the ground. Extend your arms to either side and turn your head to the left. Hold for as long as you like, then repeat on the other side.

Reclined Bound Angle

Reclined Bound Angle is a restful posture and a gentle way to stretch out your hips and legs. This pose is about letting go of all the stress you’ve been carrying with you, so if you feel any strain, modify the posture by placing folded blankets under your knees.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and let your knees fall open while pressing your feet together. Roll your shoulders back and let your arms relax at your sides. The closer your feet are to the rest of your body, the more intense the stretch.

Legs Up the Wall Pose

A great twist on Savasana, ending your practice with a few minutes in legs up the wall pose helps to get blood flowing and relieve tension in your legs and feet. These moments in legs up the wall pose will introduce a moment of stillness in your day, which is a rarity in college.

Lie on your back close to a wall, then slowly swing your legs up onto the wall and adjust so the wall supports the length of your legs. Bend your knees slightly so your legs don’t lock, let your arms fall to your sides, and exhale.

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Emily Rodriguez is a sophomore English major and Business Economics minor at Notre Dame. She joined Her Campus during fall 2014 and loves to write about style, television, and movies. When not in class, she can be found singing with Halftime, contemplating going to the gym and ultimately not going, and thinking too much about Parks and Recreation.