It’s the middle of your day, you’ve been busy with work or running errands with your kids. Things are getting stressful as you check off your long list of things that need done. But there’s something missing from your to-do list: a time out to breathe.
How many days do we have where we go through the day stressed and tense, looking for a moment to relax but not feeling like we have the time for it? Too many! People are busier and often more tense and don’t take the time for moments of relaxation and calm.
When you feel overwhelmed and stressed, take a few minutes out of your day to do some deep breathing and stretches. If you don’t have a place to do these, take some time instead to sit down, close your eyes, and breath deeply for a few minutes. This has a huge impact on stress and it’s important to take the time each day to be mindful of our stress levels and breathing patterns.
5 relaxing yoga poses to reduce stress
For this yoga sequence, try holding each pose for 5 breaths and take the time to really breath deeply and evenly. If you feel like you have more time, go through it again or hold each pose for 10 breaths. Sometimes it helps to close your eyes so you can focus on relaxing and breathing.
This quick routine makes an awesome yoga sequence before bed, too. It only takes a few minutes to go through these poses, but you will feel a positive difference in your day when you take the time to relax a bit.
Knees to chest: Knees to chest is a great stretch in your low back. Your knees will likely come a bit closer to your chest if you have good flexibility. I have limited range of motion in my hips due to FAI so my knees won’t make it to my chest. Do what you can do!
Legs up the wall: this is an awesome relaxation pose! If you have a wall, it’s better to use it, but if you don’t have access to a wall, you can create fists under your hips to support your hips so you can relax your legs. Using an actual wall is a bit more relaxing, but this works too if you aren’t near a wall.
Reclining Butterfly: One of my favorite stretches! This is a wonderful stretch for your inner thighs. If laying in this position seems to bother your low back, you can place a rolled up blanket under your feet to relieve pressure on your low back.
Reclining cow face: Here’s another great stretch for the side of your knees and the outside of your hips. Cross your legs at the knees and gently draw your feet outward. If there is pain in your hips or knees, skip this stretch and do the reclining half lotus instead.
Reclining half lotus: Another one of my favorites, the reclining half lotus helps to release any excessive tightness on the side of knees and a bit into the hips, so it’s good stretch for tight IT bands. Make sure that you’re feeling a stretch and no pain in your knee joint. If you need, lower your foot down to make this more comfortable, and work on bringing your foot closer to your hip as your flexibility improves.
Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker
If you’re interested in improving mindfulness and working to reduce your daily stress, then there’s a new wearable on the market that can help! Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker tracks your breathing patterns and your activity and alerts users when they need to take a break for thoughtful breathing.
The Spire device can be worn either on your bra or your pants. I decided to wear it on my bra, and I wasn’t sure at first how comfortable it would be. After wearing it for a few minutes I barely knew it was there! It is comfortable and hardly noticeable, plus it stays in place.
The Spire wearable tracker has some cool features:
- It integrates with your calendar to give you insights on your breathing patterns during events on your calendar
- It tracks your steps, active minutes, and calories and allows you to set activity goals
- It tracks your breathing rate and gives you a guided breathing exercises to help you become more mindful of your breathing patterns
- It acts as your “trainer” for mindful living
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.