Stretching for Stress Relief

I have to be honest. I never thought I would do yoga. EVER. It sounded weird and well, “out there.” Then about a year ago, I found myself stressed out to the max, battling anxiety and tension, having trouble sleeping, and experiencing chronic pain. I was desperate. I first discovered this DVD at my local public library (which is a great resource if you’re looking to try yoga for free). I found the calming background music relaxing for my mind, as I loosened my muscles with the different stretches. The deep breathing helped to soothe my anxiety.

All the poses are simply stretches combined with deep breathing, from an either seated or lying on your back position. There are no super challenging poses that leave you wondering if your body was ever meant to move that way. It can be done to whatever degree you are comfortable with. The instructor says, “Just go where your body wants to go today.”

I also became a fan of this session because there are no strange spiritual or meditative parts to it. There is only one exercise I found a little bizarre at first: lion’s breath. It is a breathing exercise that releases built up tension in your head, jaw, and neck. After I did it a few times, I found it to be quite helpful! 

I usually choose to do this session right before bed. At the end of the 40 minutes, my body and mind are relaxed, and it has helped me sleep better at night. I’ve found it most helpful to do twice a week. 

This at home yoga video has become one of my favorite stress-relief tools. Whether you’ve never done yoga before or practice it regularly, this is a great one to try!


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