For some of us, post-pandemic life and transitioning back to the ‘new normal’ has not been easy. Between juggling responsibilities and ticking off never-ending to-do lists, finding time to switch off can be challenging. Some people go for a walk to destress; others read books. Some listen to podcasts, while others do yoga to relax.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a mindfulness guru or yoga expert to guide yourself through some yoga moves. We are here to help you put self-care into practice with some simple and quick yoga poses that will help you switch off.
Why Does Yoga Help With Stress?
Before jumping into this thousand-year-old tradition, it’s important to understand why yoga is good for you and how it may help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
The combination of mindful breathing (pranayama) and yoga postures (asanas) activates your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as our most relaxed state, your “rest and digest” mode.
One of its functions is to control the body’s ability to relax, sending signals and releasing hormones to different parts of your body - lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, helping you feel grounded and focus on the present moment.
Every detail counts when it comes to stress-relieving yoga. Before you start, make sure you find a quiet place, wear comfortable clothes and get a mat or towel.
Lighting up a candle can also help create a cosy atmosphere, together with wearing P.E Nation’s yoga range, perfect for seamless movement while being super versatile and stylish Now, take a deep breath; it’s time to learn yoga.
5 Yoga Poses to Relax
1. Sukhasana - Easy Pose
Let’s start this sequence with sukhasana, one of the most accessible poses in yoga. This pose allows you to begin to slow down and connect with your breathing, allowing you to shift to a more meditative state. It’s a conscious relaxation practise through which you focus on your breath and clear your mind.
How to do Easy Pose:
Sit down in a cross-legged position, with hands facing up and resting on your thighs. Make sure you’re sitting up tall and that you are feeling comfortable.
Then, start focusing on your breath. With deeper inhales and exhales through your nose, bring awareness to how your body is feeling.
2. Marjaryasana to Bitilasana - Cat-Cow Pose
After activating conscious breathing, let’s bring movement to your body with the Cat-Cow pose. Marjaryasana to Bitilasana will get you into a flow, allowing you to guide your actions through your breath.
How to do Cat-Cow:
Start in a tabletop position and place your hands and knees on the floor. Shoulders should be positioned on top of your wrists, with your hips over your knees.
As you inhale, drop your belly, lift your tailbone and head upwards - turning your gaze towards the ceiling. As you exhale, pull your stomach in, rounding your back and taking your chin towards your chest.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward Facing Dog
The downward-facing dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a mild inversion that promotes blood flow to the brain and other parts of your body. It also stretches the hamstrings and calves while relieving tension from the back and neck.
How to do Downward Dog:
Starting at the cat-cow pose, spread your fingers wide and lift your knees off the floor, straightening your legs and taking your pelvis towards the ceiling. Gaze between your legs, and relax your neck.
Press the floor with your arms and bring your shoulders towards your back - creating space between your neck and shoulders. Your body should come into an upside-down ‘V shape’.
4. Balasana - Child’s Pose
Balasana is an asana that you can always return to during practice if you feel your body is too overwhelmed and your breath is disconnected from your movements.
The Child’s Pose stretches the muscles alongside the backside of your body, which becomes tense when you are stressed. It is a restorative pose that helps you relax, easing tightness and tension.
How to do Child’s Pose:
Rest your forehead and chin on the floor, and bend and spread your knees wide in a ‘V Shape’. Big toes should be touching, and rest your bottom on your heels. Extend your arms, and lengthen the spine. Stay in this position while doing some deep breathing.
5. Savasana - Corpse Pose
Savasana is the traditional final pose for every yoga practice. Let go of any tension or stress you hold, and focus on your breath. This restorative pose allows your body to absorb all the benefits of the practice by simply laying down on the floor.
How to do Corpse Pose:
Lie on the ground with legs open wider than hips, allowing your feet to fall outwards. Open arms wide, at a 45-degree angle, with palms facing up.
Close your eyes, continue breathing and allow your body to relax. And that's how to do Savasana. Simple, quick, but very effective.
Explore The Benefits of Yoga
Remember that physical movements are just one type of yoga. There are various ways of connecting with your breath and relaxing, such as Yoga Nidra (bedtime yoga) and calming breathing exercises.
Find the style that works best for you, wear a stylish P.E Nation outfit and experience the benefits of a relaxing yoga routine.