5 Yoga Stretches For Stress Relief

5 Yoga Stretches For Stress Relief. You feel it. You’re in the car, waiting to pick up the kids and your scalp feels so tight it’s ready to tear off your skull.  Just got finished getting yelled at by your boss, and your neck is kinking one direction, then another.


Instead of taking out your rage on your kids they pile in the car, or murdering your boss and running him through the office shredder to hide the evidence,(Editor’s note: can you do that?  Is it possible? Hmmmm…) try 5 quick yoga stretches that pull everything back into alignment.  These are all easy–trust me: I’m the one to trip over my own feet, they have to be easy.  You’ll feel 300% better and doing these regularly will keep us from getting that “mean old lady hump” as my girlie Wendy calls it.  You know, when your back starts hunching over from stress and finally stays that way?  No one wants to be Mean Old Lady!


Cross-Legged Lower Back Stretch


1. Sit a few inches from the wall with your legs crossed. 2. “Walk” your fingers up the wall, stretching from the lower back. 3. Broaden your shoulders by separating and lifting your shoulder blades. Keep your throat and neck soft. Don’t tense your shoulders, just lift them. 4. When you think you have gone as high as you can, rest for a moment while your body adjusts to the pose, then walk your fingers a little higher. 5. Rest and repeat several times.

Upward Arm Stretch

1. Sit in a chair facing the wall. Place your hands as high on the wall as possible and walk your fingers higher up the wall, stretching from your lower back. 2. Broaden your shoulders by separating and lifting your shoudler blades. Keep your throat and neck soft. Don’t tense your shoulders, just lift them. 3. Once you think your fingers are as high as they can be, rest for a moment in that position so your body can adjust, and then walk your fingers higher. 5. Rest and repeat several times


Chair Lower Back Stretch

1. Sit in your chair and widen your legs so they are wider than hip distance apart. 2. From the hip crease, bend forward and allow your entire body to relax. Drop your head and completely relax your neck. 3. If you are not completely comfortable, try putting a rolled blanket or towel at the hip crease and lean over again. 4. Hold this pose as long as you like. With each exhalation, allow your body and mind to relax a little bit more


Downward Facing Dog

1. Place the back of a chair against the wall. 2. Kneel 2 to 2 1/2 feet in front of the chair seat, and place your hands on the edge. 3. Come up onto your toes, straighten your legs, lift your buttocks, and angle your torso downward. 4. Work on straightening your arms and legs, and lengthening your back as much as possible. 5. Think about moving the front of your thighs toward the back of your thighs. Having a friend pull the top of your thighs back can help you get the full benefit of this pose, by taking the weight off your arms. 6. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. 7. If this is too easy, place your hands on some thick books or directly on the floor instead of on a chair.


Knees to Chest

1. Lie on your back, bring your knees into your chest, and hug them. 2. If you like, you can gently rock from side to side. 3. Breathe deeply into your lower back and with each exhalation, allow your entire back to relax just a little bit more. 4. If this position hurts your knees, roll up two washcloths and place one behind each knee.

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