I am a yoga teacher but also a busy mum of three. When you factor in COVID-19, being in and out of lockdown like a yo-yo, and trying to juggle running my business and homeschooling you better believe I need my yoga for stress more than ever at the moment!
The first thing I would say is don’t think about your yoga practice like ‘exercise’. Yoga is not an exercise routine. Instead, it should be seen as a mindful moving meditation that will move you into a calmer, less stressed frame of mind.
Sound too good to be true? When it comes to yoga for stress, all you need is 7 minutes, yes 7 minutes! I am willing to bet even the most stressed-out busy mum can find that in her day. This is a wee bit of a trick for the mind – I guarantee you will want to linger longer on your mat and this is where a longer yoga practice starts to build.
So, here are my top seven yoga for stress poses for strung out mums.
Yoga for stress poses
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
This is my go-to pose for relieving tension in the upper back and shoulders and can even be done with just the arm bit, sitting down in a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed. You can add the legs in if you want a bit of a balance challenge! The balancing part can really help to unwind a stressed mind.
Balasana (Childs Pose)
If you can manage to find a quiet spot to do this pose without a small child launching themselves on your back then it can be blissful! It lengthens and stretches out the back and shoulders and relieves fatigue.
Uttanasana (Forward Fold)
Forward folds in yoga are amazing for calming the mind. Standing forward fold is said to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. It calms the mind and soothes the nerves and relieves tension in the spine, neck, and back.
Catur Svanasana (Dolphin Pose)
Dolphin Pose strengthens and stretches the shoulders, arms, upper back, and legs. It helps bring flexibility to the spine, hamstrings, calves, and arches. It can also bring relief from headaches, insomnia, fatigue, mild depression and relief from stress and anxiety.
Marjaryasana- Bitilasana (Cat Cow flow)
These two postures linked together into a wee flow are amazing for relief for menstrual symptoms such as cramps. It can also really aid lower back pain and sciatica.
Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose)
This is a highly restorative pose that really helps with lymphatic drainage and relief from headaches and lower back pain.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
This is not just lying down! Though a lie down as a busy stressed out mum sounds like bliss eh? Carve out five minutes to lie in corpse pose and you will feel so different after. In a lot of ways ‘just lying down’ can be one of the most difficult poses because so many of us have such difficulty switching off. This pose trains you to listen to the subtleties of your body and really calm your mind.
So next time you’r feeling strung out or overwhelmed why not try out some yoga for stress reduction with the above poses?
Annie Perry is a YogaBellies Teacher based is Glasgow, teaching prenatal yoga, pregnancy yoga, fertility yoga, yoga for Mum & Baby, YogaBellies Luna, CorePlay and Nurture. During lockdown you can attend her classes online via zoom. For more information visit https://yogabellies.com/teachers/annie-perry/
YogaBellies offers yoga for women at all stages of their lives, such as during pregnancy, after birth and the menopause. Launched in 2008 by yoga elder, Cheryl MacDonald, there are teachers across the UK. To find your nearest class visit www.yogabellies.com.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.