6 Yoga Poses that Quickly Reduce Stress

As much as you want this time of year to be all about peace and joy, the holidays can be stressful. That’s why now is the perfect time to practice yoga! Whether or not you’re a frequent yoga-goer or new to the practice, these six easy poses can help banish this year’s holiday stress. Do them at work behind a closed door or at night when you need to wind down—all you need is a mat or soft surface. While doing the following poses once can help, try to fully relax by doing each posture two or three times.

  1. Downward Dog: Start out on all fours. Raise hips up towards ceiling while simultaneously straightening your legs and pushing your head and neck between your straight arms. Spread out your fingers, creating a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Attempt to lower your heels to the ground, relaxing your head. Hold for 10 seconds.
  2. Standing Forward Bend: This one’s simple: Just start in a standing position and bend forward, keeping your arms and legs straight (try your best to touch your toes). Tuck your chin in and relax your shoulders, extending the top of your head towards the ground. This one may burn a bit in your hamstrings, but try to hold for five seconds.
  3. Child’s Pose: Lower yourself down to your knees and bend forward. Bring your arms out in front of you and lower your forehead down to the ground, breathing deeply. Stay here for at least 10 seconds. 
  4. Bridge Pose: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift your back and hips off the ground. Hold this pose for 10 seconds.
  5. Head-to-Knee Stretch: Sit on the ground, stick your left leg out straight (with your right leg tucked) and stretch both arms to your left toes. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides. You can also try with both legs straight.
  6. Legs on the Wall: Lie on your back with your legs straight up a wall. Relax your arms at your side and close your eyes for as long as you want to decompress. If this becomes painful, bend your legs slightly.

Which pose is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.

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Photo credits: kellinahandbasketArmy MedicineAnne Wu

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  1. I enjoy the legs on the wall. It’s fairly easy to do and it not only helps me to relax, it especially helps me with a bout of vertigo I experienced a few months ago.

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