Yoga for Inner Peace: 8 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief - Yoga Journal

Yoga for Inner Peace: A Stress-Relieving Sequence

Colleen Saidman Yee demonstrates 8 poses for stress relief.

Last week I crumbled in the shower after I dropped the razor and broke off the handle. I could barely breathe as I sat down in the shower with my head in my hands. I didn’t even have enough energy to cry. What the heck? I had endured a lot in my life and a broken razor was taking me down? It had been a stressful week of deadlines that weren’t met, disappointing people that I felt were counting on me, family bad news, a broken phone, and I felt like I couldn’t even spare a couple of hours off for date night with my husband. I was running as fast as I could but was coming up short on every realm. My fuse was spent and the trigger just happened to be the razor. Can any of you relate?

Stress demands all of our energy. When our batteries are so depleted, we can’t deal, and anything can push us over the edge. It's like being stuck in semi-panic mode, where there is very little exhale, and the neck, head, and shoulders are likely to be tense. Yoga gives us tools to cope. When inner peace is nowhere to be found, it's time to tune into the body. One technique is to notice where stress or panic lands in the body, and take our mind and breath there. Eventually, we want to get into a forward bend, which increase the exhalation, leading to the relaxation response. Forward bends are also restorative and move the needle of our battery back to the black. The following forward bend sequence can help address the symptoms of stress.

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8 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

YOU WILL NEED 2 blocks

In Yoga Journal's online course Yoga for Inner Peace, Colleen Saidman Yee—acclaimed yoga teacher and the wife of yogi Rodney Yee—offers three yogic practices a week for 12 weeks to transform your body, mind, and heart.

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