It sucks when office anxiety spills over into time you want to spend relaxing. In an attempt to combat post-work stress, I tried this quick yoga routine designed specifically to help you de-stress and it actually helped me feel super refreshed after a long day.
Before I gave the routine a go, I set up a relaxing atmosphere: Dim lighting, open window for a nice breeze, and comfy clothes. Then, I followed the routine outlined in the video above, which includes:
- Deep breathing: If you focus on one thing throughout this routine, this should be it. Breathe in deeply through your nose and exhale either through your nose or mouth. Try to feel your lungs and ribcage expanding for each breath in and contracting for each breath out. One reason I found this part of the routine to be so key is that it actually makes my skin feel tingly and renewed.
- Shoulder rolls: Put your hands at your sides and roll your shoulders up, almost touching your ears, and then back and down. This was great for me because I have terrible posture, especially when it comes to my shoulders.
- Back stretches: Interlock your fingers behind your back and gently move your hands upward to stretch your back and arms. Another back stretch is to "hug" yourself by crossing your arms in front of you so that your elbows line up horizontally and your hands are resting on the tops of your shoulders.
- Tree pose: This pose is all about balance, so take your time and modify it to match your comfort level. Distribute your weight as evenly as possible across your feet, bring your palms together in front of your chest and slowly bring one foot up to rest parallel either on your calf or thigh (don't rest it on your knee, this could lead to injury). If you have trouble balancing on one leg, instead of putting your foot on your calf or thigh, rest it on the ground near your ankle.
The key to this routine is concentrating on deep breathing so you can transition to a more relaxed mental and emotional state. You should also work through the poses and stretches in whatever way feels good for your body since the whole point is to feel better after the routine. I was able to fit this routine in right when I got home from work, which helped me leave the workday behind and focus on enjoying my evening, but you can do this routine whenever you need some stress relief.
Yoga for Stress Relief [Yoga with Adriene (YouTube)]