MSN Health & Fitness:
The stress-reducing benefits of yoga are well known. And while a regular practice has been shown to work wonders on the body (hello, yoga abs) and brain, when you’re looking to relax, you don’t want to stress about perfecting your tripod headstand or struggling with your balance in crow pose. That’s why we tapped yoga expert Alexandria Crow for the best asanas that help you banish stress, reduce anxiety and leave you feeling
Because whether you’re dealing with post-Tax Day stress, or you’re just having one of “those” weeks, these rejuvenating poses are just what you need. Grab a yoga bolster (or rolled up towel), yoga blocks and a soothing playlist like this one to get started. Then, try one or all of these postures that help to banish stress.
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LEGS UP THE WALL
Place a bolster a few inches away from wall. Lie faceup with pelvis resting on top of bolster with tailbone hanging off the edge slightly. Lift legs straight into air, resting them against wall. Extend arms out to sides at shoulder height and bend elbows to create 90 degree angles with palms facing up. Remain in this position for three to five minutes.
RECLINING BOUND ANGLE
Place a bolster lengthwise along mat and sit in front of it. Lower torso to ground, so back is resting on bolster, and bring soles of feet to touch, while allowing knees to open to sides. Place yoga blocks underneath knees and a pillow or blanket underneath head, if desired. Rest arms wide to the sides of body with palms facing up. Remain in this position for two to three minutes. (You can also use pillows and blankets in lieu of yoga blocks if you don’t have access to those.)
PROPPED BOUND ANGLE
Sit tall with soles of feet together and knees open wide. Take a long, thinly rolled blanket and wrap it over tops of feet and loop it under knees. Allow spine to round and fold forward. Remain in this position for three to five minutes.
Place a bolster lengthwise along your mat and sit in front of it. Bend knees and place feet flat on mat. Now twist legs and torso to right, lowering both knees to the right until right leg is touching the mat. Chest should be resting on bolster. Place head whichever way feels more comfortable. Remain in this position for one to three minutes, then switch sides and repeat.
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PROPPED CHEST OPENER
Lie faceup with a long, thinly rolled blanket resting just below shoulder blades. Place arms to sides at shoulder-height with elbows bent, forming goal posts around head. Rest legs in a position that feels comfortable to you. Remain in this position for three to five minutes.
Lie faceup and place a thinly rolled blanket under knees. Legs should be extended away from body with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Rest arms out to sides in a “V” position with palms facing up. Remain in this position for three to five minutes.
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