The Yoga Picnic

Naomi Sturdy Yoga Shoot

Yoga for Stress Relief

April 28, 2024
St. Laurence's Gate
Allow yourself to unwind and release tension with a calming yoga practice specifically designed to alleviate stress and promote deep relaxation. Find a quiet space where you can move freely and comfortably, and let's begin. 1. **Child's Pose (Balasana):** Start in a kneeling position, then slowly lower your hips back towards your heels as you extend your arms forward and lower your forehead to the mat. Rest here for several breaths, allowing your spine to lengthen and your breath to soften. 2. **Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana):** Come to a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Inhale as you arch your back, dropping your belly towards the mat and lifting your gaze towards the ceiling (Cow Pose). Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin towards your chest and drawing your belly button towards your spine (Cat Pose). Flow smoothly between these two poses for several breaths, allowing the movement to be slow and gentle. 3. **Forward Fold (Uttanasana):** From tabletop position, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back into a downward-facing dog pose. Then, slowly walk your feet towards your hands, coming into a standing forward fold. Allow your upper body to hang heavy, and grab onto opposite elbows if it feels comfortable. Relax your head and neck completely. 4. **Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana):** Sit on the mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale as you fold forward from the hips, reaching towards your feet. You can hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet, depending on your flexibility. Relax your head and neck, and breathe deeply into the stretch along the back of your legs and spine. 5. **Supine Twist:** Lie down on your back with your arms extended out to the sides in a T position. Bend your knees and draw them towards your chest. Slowly drop both knees to one side, keeping your shoulders grounded on the mat. Take a few deep breaths here, feeling the gentle twist in your spine and the release of tension in your lower back. Repeat on the other side. 6. **Corpse Pose (Savasana):** Extend your legs out in front of you and allow your arms to rest comfortably by your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and take this time to completely relax your body and mind. Focus on your breath, allowing each inhale to bring a sense of calm and each exhale to release any remaining tension. Stay in Savasana for as long as you like, allowing yourself to soak in the benefits of your practice and emerge feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and deeply relaxed.