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1. Garudasana / Eagle Pose

From standing, open your arms out wide with elbows bent. Keeping your elbows bent, cross your right arm over the left in front of your chest. Wrap forearms and wrists, and press your palms together. Draw elbows to the level of your shoulders, while pressing the forearms away from your face to feel a stretch in the upper back and shoulders.

Keep your upper body in this position and bend both knees like you’re sitting into chair pose. Feel your weight shift onto the right foot in preparation for balance. Draw your left knee up to cross your left leg over the right, crossing high at the thighs. Feel the legs squeezing together and keep your hips squared forward. You may be able to wrap your left foot around the right ankle. Balance and breathe. Repeat on the other side.

How this relaxing yoga pose relieves stress:

Garudasana helps to stretch the shoulders and upper back, areas where we hold a lot of tension when we get stressed out. This relaxing yoga pose requires coordination and balance— the focus needed for the pose can help draw our minds away from worrisome thoughts. Come out of this relaxing yoga pose feeling accomplished and refreshed!

2. Uttanasana/ Forward fold

From standing, hinge at the hips to fold your upper body over the legs. Take a gentle bend in your knees to ease the hamstrings. Let your head and neck relax fully. Arms can dangle down touching palms onto the ground, or you can hold your hands onto opposite elbows. Let your eyes relax closed and visualize tension and stagnant energy drawing out of your body and down into the earth.

How this relaxing yoga pose relieves stress:

This relaxing yoga pose helps to stretch the hamstrings, calves and hips. Folding inward and releasing tension of the neck and spine helps to calm the body and mind.

3. Viparita Karani / Inverted in action

Sit with one hip as close to the wall as possible. Draw the legs up against the wall as you lay your spine down onto the floor. Arms can rest away from the body with palms gently facing up. Or, place one hand onto your heart and one hand onto your belly to encourage connection to self and grounding. You can use an eye pillow scented with a few drops of lavender essential oil for an extra relaxing touch. Stay for several breaths, or 5-10 minutes if you can.

How this relaxing yoga pose relieves stress:

This relaxing yoga pose assists with circulation and regulating blood flow. It feels very restful and comforting. This restorative pose helps you take a break from the routines of life, leaving you nourished with grounding and support.

Written by: Manduka Ambassador & @yogablissla studio owner, Lara . Take one of her virtual classes online, sign up here!



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