Stressed, anxious, losing it? We’ve all been there. Here’s my go-to yoga poses for instant calm.

  1. Breathe deeply

Although there’s nothing more annoying than someone telling you to take a deep breath when you’re angry – there’s actually truth in it. Find some space by yourself either in the car, in the work bathroom or outside and breathe deeply. Fill your lungs to the top and exhale out slowly. Repeat.

Need more? Do your deep yogic breathing (into the belly). Engage your diaphragm and inflate your belly like a balloon on the inhale and let it deflate on the exhale. Repeat

Still not enough? Try alternate nostril breathing. Bring your right hand up to your face with index and middle finger between your eyebrows, thumb on the right nostril and ring and pinky finger on the left nostril. Exhale, close the right nostril and inhale through the left. Close left nostril and exhale right. Inhale right exhale left – you get the picture, keep going just focusing on the sensation of the breath.

Nadi shoduna

 

  1. Get upside down

Going upside down can really shift your perspective and flush your brain with fresh blood. It triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) and can also release tension in the neck or upper back. Uttanasana (standing forward fold) is great for this. Bring your feet to hip-width distance apart, bend your knees and rest your belly on your thighs. Drop your head and shoulders down and grab opposite elbows. Shake your neck our and breathe deeply for a few minutes.

uttanasana

Uttanasana

Need more? Try Padottansana (wide leg standing forward fold), it’s a deeper release for the spine and legs. Hang out here for a minute or two.

padotanasana

Padotanasana

Still not enough? Try Headstand (but only if it’s part of your regular practice).

Monica-5

Head stand

  1. Get down to the ground

Literally ground yourself, get your head and body to the floor. Try Balasana (child’s pose) as this rests your third eye chakra (space between eyebrows), helping to calm the mind.

relaxation brisbane

Child’s pose

Need more? Try Anahatasana (melting heart pose). Similar to child’s pose but the hips are lifted above the knees bringing more stimulation to the third eye chakra.

anahatasana

Anahatasana

Still not enough? Try Sasangasana (rabbit pose). Start kneeling, tuck your chin into your chest and bring the crown of your head to the floor. Grab onto your feet and lift the hips up (careful not to place too much weight in your head). Great pose to feel grounded and empty our mind out.

rabbit

Sasangasana

 

  1. Fold forward. Forward folds are very calming and soothing on the nervous system. Try a supported forward fold with a pillow under your knees and let your body weight slump forward. Breathe and hold.
sidepaschi

Paschimottanasana

  1. Viparita Karani – legs up the wall. Rest your legs up against the wall, close your eyes and breathe. Stay here for up to 15 minutes or until you feel more relaxed.
Eliza waterfall  colour

Viparita Karani

Do these poses work? Let me know in the comments below.

Monica x