When you’re stressed, do you ever feel tension, pain or tightness in your muscles and body? Many of us do. In fact, the back, shoulders and neck are the typical places we carry that tension. Did you also know that prolonged sitting can contribute to even more tension?
Stretching and yoga can be helpful low impact exercises for managing stress and the tension we carry in our bodies. Both help the muscles slow down, relieve tension, and let go of where they are carrying stress. When we relieve physical tension, mental and emotional tension tend to dissipate because the mind and body are so connected.
Yoga works similarly, but is different from stretching because it involves breathing that is in sync with movement (movement that is mostly different poses and stretches). This combination of breathing and movement can help us enter a meditative state that reduces stress. In yoga, you move from focusing on your worries to focusing on your body and your breathing.
Here are 10 stretches and yoga poses to start with or create a routine from. See if these make a
difference in helping your body relieve stress and tension.
- Child’s pose
- Forward fold
- Seated spinal twist
- Lying glute stretch
- Warrior poses
- Right and left shoulder stretch
- Cat cow
- Downward facing dog
- Bridge pose
- Back bend or Cobra pose
Pick one of the yoga stretches to do each morning when you wake up or each night before you go to sleep for the month. See if you notice a difference in how you feel.
By: Katie Talarico