simple relaxing yoga pose
to relieve stress
yoga is meant to be a balance of strength and ease
When things get stressful or go awry, you may have the tendency to “bury your head in the sand.” This phrase comes from the myth of ostriches that allegedly stick their heads in the sand when they sense danger and cannot run away.
While avoiding problems doesn’t offer a lasting solution, there is a yoga pose that can relieve stress almost immediately: Uttanasana . Known in English as Standing Forward Fold, this simple yet powerful pose can calm the mind, combat depression and anxiety and reduce fatigue.
To get into the pose
The pose has a number of physical benefits too. It improves digestion, strengthens legs, increases flexibility, increases blood flow and can reduces headaches.
By spending one minute in Uttanasana, you can significantly relax your sympathetic nervous system. The pose is available for all bodies to do and yoga clothes aren’t even required. I often recommend this pose to my health coaching clients to practice at the office during busy times.
1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain) with feel hip distance apart, chest open and spine long.
2. Breath in deeply and bring your hands to your hips.
3. Breathe out fully and hinge forward from your hips. Keep your spine long and supple as you move. (Your knees may be slightly bent depending on flexibility and hips are pressing up to the sky. )
4. Release any tension in your neck by shaking your head ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
5. Relax and allow the blood to circulate through your head.
6. Keep all four corners of your feet evenly pressing into the ground. Rotate your legs inwards and upwards.
A key element of the practice is not to push yourself to where you “should” be, but rather to slowly relax into the pose and let it take shape.
*This pose is not suitable for those with back injuries or serious pain in legs. If you’re in your third trimester, Uttanasana is not advised (nor would you likely be able to get there with your belly!)
Remember, yoga is meant to be a balance of strength and ease.