5 Poses For Healing And Reducing Stress

1. Shavasana or the Corpse Pose is very simple. Just lay down on your back, on your yoga mat, feet width of mat distance apart, palms relaxed, facing up towards the sky.  

Start to scan your body and release any tension you might be feeling. Allow yourself the time to really go through every area of your body. Start with your feet and work your way up. Start to engage the Ujjayi breathing. This is the victorious breath. This breathing, is so important and too many people breathe improperly, most of their lives. Yes, it's true. How can this be? Everyone breathes or they would be dead? However, most people breath is shallow. The Ujjayi breathing is deep inhaling and exhales through the nose. If you are a beginner, start with a count of 3, 4 or 5 in, and the same out. Gently, not with any force, however, start to feel purposeful in your intention. It's important not to get dizzy doing this breathing. Keep the mouth shut and pretend your inhalations and exhalations are like the ebb and flow of the ocean. We are 80% water, just like the earth. When we connect to the breath, we connect to the Earth and the healing energy available to us. Take as long as you wish in this pose. 

2. Reclined Pigeon Pose

Before getting into the pose, gently bring your knees into your chest and wrap your arms around them, like you're giving yourself a big hug. Keep your shoulders pressed to the floor, allowing for a nice stretch in your back. Always listen to your body. Never go into pain to acquire a pose. If something hurts, ease back. If your knees won't come to your chest, then perhaps just start on your back with your legs bent feet on the floor, hip width distance apart, and gently bring them side to side. If your knees are on, or close to your chest, then also go ahead and gently rock from side to side. This allows for a massage of the lower back. Then bring your feet back down, hip-width distance apart and cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Then gently lift the left foot so your knee is coming towards your chest, but your right knee is pressed outwards. (see photo below) Breathe deeply, 5 deep breaths on each side. 

3. Child's Pose is always a great pose to come to if at anytime you are feeling tired and need a rest or recovery. This is "The" recovery, restorative pose any time you are ever doing a yoga class. It is always fine to go into this pose, if you are ever feeling like you need a break. Take 5 deep breaths. 

4. Forward Bend

This can be a very difficult pose to do depending on your flexibility. In yoga, there is never a competition. There are also modifications for every single pose, so don't be afraid to do them. We all must listen to our bodies always. If necessary, Forward Bend can even be done, even sitting in a chair. 

5. Back to Shavasana

Relax, breathe, enjoy the music!