Yoga Poses to Reduce Holiday Stress
When you are on holiday you have all the time in the world, feel care-free and fully relaxed - right? Whilst this is the ideal, the reality is often very different.
As travel and wellness experts, our Exotic Yoga Retreats team cares deeply about ensuring you get the rejuvenation and relaxation you need and deserve whilst being on holiday. We curate fulfilling travel experiences that focus on this. One of our key ingredients in restful, healthy and fun holiday (see our full list here) is restorative yoga! Through restorative yoga you not only calm your mind and detoxify your body, you also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is exactly what you need on a cellular level to counteract the negative effects of stress hormones. Try these five yoga poses that accommodate all levels of yoga experience to reduce holiday stress the next time you’re on vacation:
Viparita Karani - Leg up the wall pose
You will need a wall for this! Place your mat in a straight line away from the wall. Sit down with your bum as close to the wall as possible, and then twist around to get your back flat on the floor and your legs up the wall. You will need to shift and wriggle your bum to get it as close as possible to the place where the wall meets the floor. Check your spine is straight. Then relax your legs (bent knees are OK) and place your hands over your lower rib cage, or on either side of your head, as if to frame your face. Close your eyes and follow the rhythm of your natural breath cycle. It is safe to stay here for up to 10minutes.
Balasana - Child pose
Get a large cushion and towel/blanket. Tucking your feet underneath you and bending your knees, place the large cushion under your belly. Then fold the towel/blanket and place it under your head, so there is a soft support for your head on the floor. If you experience knee problems, remember to place another towel/blanket under your knees, or if this still gives you pain, roll it up and place it behind your knees, then ensure the height of the cushion beneath you is increased. Each time you exhale say quietly to yourself “I release”. Stay here for 5minutes.
Supta Bhada Konasana - Reclining bound angle pose
Sitting on your mat, place a large cushion on the floor just behind you. Then, bring the soles of your feet together - don’t strain to have the feet close to your pelvis. Take two towels/blankets and roll them up so they’re the exact same height, then place one under each thigh. Recline back onto the cushion behind you. Place your hands over your pelvis or belly. Close your eyes and stay here for 5minutes. If your groin muscles feel tired or strained, place extra padding under each thigh. Say on each inhalation, “Just”; and on each exhalation “breathe”.
Patchimotanasana - Sitting forward bend (supported)
Sitting on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you, place the large cushion over your legs, and tuck it up close to your belly. Take a towel and roll it up with enough width to place under both softly bent knees. Take the second towel and roll it up to place under your forehead as you lean forward over the cushion. Let your spine and neck bend naturally. Close your eyes and stay here for 5minutes. On each exhalation say to yourself “I am relaxed”.
Savasana - Corpse pose (with guided meditation)
Lie on your back, flat on the mat. Your legs should be hip width apart or wider, fleet splayed outward. Your arms should be flat on the floor, hands comfortably away from the body with palms facing upward. Take a moment to gently tuck your chin in and lengthen your neck ever so slightly. Close your eyes. This is the ultimate relaxation pose! Stay here for 10minutes or as long as you need. Some people like to place a cushion or towel under their knees, and a folded blanket under the back of their head. Wherever you feel you need a cushion or blanket to feel more comfortable, use it. Why not listen to this short free guided meditation from Exotic Yoga Retreats yoga instructor, Nina Butler, to help you de-stress in Savasana.