Yoga pose for acute stress

With this Hatha yoga sequence, you can quickly relax your neck and shoulders and thereby reduce stress in your body.

Breathe in and bring your hands together in front of your sternum as you exhale. Lift your left arm and bring your left hand to the right side of your head. Let your head sink to the left carefully and with just the weight of your hand. Be extremely careful here and don’t pull on your head. Stretch your right arm down and to the side and bring tension into it all the way to your fingertips. Pause and breathe. Draw small circles in the air with your right hand. Change the direction of the circles. Then briefly bend your right arm before once again stretching it down and to the side, maybe even a little further than before. Find a pleasant stretching sensation on the right side of your neck and breathe.

Then remove your hand from your head and gently return your head to a centred position using gentle pressure from the fingertips of your left hand. Repeat the exercise on the other side. Then breathe and pause to take stock of how you feel.

Sit in a consciously upright position. It might help to pull your buttock muscles forward beneath you in order to better ground your sit bones. Then place your feet far apart and lower your torso down between your knees. Grasp the opposite elbow of each arm and gently move left and right and rock upwards and downwards. Give your head and neck completely over to gravity. Then lift yourself up a little and cross your hands behind your head. Rock gently up and down. Then pause briefly and gently pull your head further back between your feet with your hands. Release the position, place your hands on the floor and allow your head to hang for a moment longer. Shake out your shoulders, stay in this position for a moment and then roll yourself back up, vertebra by vertebra, into an upright seated position. Place your hands on your thighs with your palms facing upward, breathe and take a moment to take stock of how you feel. Bring your hands together in front of your heart to end the exercise.

 

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