Yoga Flow for Stress Relief – Free PDF
I am happy to be sharing another printable yoga sequence today! This yoga flow is perfect for stress relief because the poses have you slowing down. You will enjoy different twists and chest openers. Plus, there are some challenges poses to get your mind focused on yoga and away from your stressors. Take a breath and enjoy this yoga flow for stress relief.
I absolutely love my friends, because they keep me accountable to my yoga practice. When I get a crazed look in my eye and it looks like I haven't combed my hair in days, they know I'm needing yoga. They won't ask, "are you stressed?" Nope, they'll ask, "Goodness, when was the last time you did some yoga?"
"Yoga provides us the tools and techniques to lead a stress-free and a tension-free life." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Life gets stressful. We are trying to juggle dozens of things at one time and trying to convince ourselves that we are good at multi-tasking (I'm currently watching TV as I type this...). It sometimes feels like it is impossible to slow down and relax. But wait, there's yoga! Thank the heavens!
I love doing a quick flow when I am feeling exceptionally stressed out. If I can force myself to stop what I am doing for 10-20 minutes and hit my mat, I am sure to feel better. Not only that, I perform better when I have given myself a break to really breathe and connect with my body.
This is a basic seated pose with crossed legs. Sit comfortably with the spine long, pressing the tailbone into the floor and lifting the top of your head towards the ceiling. Hands can rest palms down or palms up on the knees.
Easy Pose with Twist
Starting in seated pose, twist over to the right side, bringing your left hand to the right knee and your right fingertips to the floor behind you. Continue to lift through the top of the head, keeping the spine tall. Optional bind - reach the right hand around to the top of the left hip crease.
Cow Face Pose
Start seated with your legs out in front, then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Then cross your right leg over the left, stacking the right knee on top of the left, and bring the right foot to the outside of the left hip. Bring the hands to heart center. Option - reach the right hand high and then tuck the back of the hand on your upper back. Reach your left hand around to the lower back. The aim is to bring the fingers together for a bind, allowing the chest to open as the shoulder pull back.
Cobbler or Bound Angle Pose
Start from seated position with your legs out straight in front of you. Bend into the knees and bring the souls of the feet together, allowing the knees to fall out to each side. Pull the heels as close to the pelvis as comfortable, keeping the hands wrapped around the ankles and lift your chest forwards. Hold here for a couple breaths. Then walk the fingers forwards and allow the head to drop, rounding into the back.
From table top (hands and knees), walk the hands towards the front of the mat while keeping your tailbone lifted towards the ceiling. Lower your chest and forehead to the floor, continuing to reach through the ceiling and arch your tailbone towards the sky.
Standing Forward Fold Variation
Start standing with the feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. On an exhale, hinge forward at the waist with a straight back and bring your hand towards the ground. You can keep a slight bend in the knee if the legs are tight. Grab the opposite elbows and allow the head and shoulders to hang. Feel free to sway side-to-side a bit.
Downward Facing Dog
From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.
One-Legged Downward Facing Dog
Starting in downward facing dog, reach the right foot off the ground behind you. Energize the leg by pressing through the heel and making sure that weight is evenly distributed between both hands.
High Lunge Pose
From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Staying on your left toes, press into the left heel to straighten and strengthen the back leg. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat. Lift the chest forward and pull the shoulder blades back.
From standing, step or jump your left foot back, about 3.5 to 4 feet apart. Reach both arms out to the side, actively reaching through the fingers with the palms facing downward. Turn the right foot towards the front of the mat and angle the left foot at ninety degrees. Bending into your right leg, try and get the thigh to be parallel with the ground and the knee directly stacked on top of the ankle. The left leg will remain straight and strong. Continuing to reach through the fingertips, pull the shoulder blades back and lift into the chest, gazing at your right fingertips. The torso should be stacked directly above the hips, not reaching forwards or backwards.
Start in mountain pose and step your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Turn the right foot towards the front of the mat and turn the left foot out to a ninety degree angle, heels in line. Reach forward into the right hand, extending the torso, and drop the right hand onto the right shin or ankle. Extend the left hand up towards the ceiling. Keep the body in the same plane, as if pressed into an imaginary wall behind you and do not let the chest fall forward.
Yogi's Squat or Malasana
Start from standing in mountain pose. Step the feet wider than hip distance, turning the toes out and the heels in. Squat down and reach your tailbone as close to the floor as possible. Aim to keep your heels on the floor if possible, walking the feet further out or closer together to accomplish this. For balance, keep hands on the floor in front of you or on block. If balance, bring the hands to prayer at heart center and press the elbows into the knees to open the hips.
Seated Forward Fold
Start seated with both legs straight in front of you (staff pose), making sure to be seated up on the tailbone. On an inhale, reach both hands overhead and fold forward on the exhale. For an active pose, grab your feet or ankles and gently pull yourself forward throughout the pose. For a yin version, fall forward and release the hands, shoulders, and head, allowing yourself to simply hinge forward and hang there.
Lying on your back, bend the knees and place the feet on the floor, close to the tailbone and about hip distance apart. Place the hands palms down on both sides of the hips. On an exhale, lift the hips and the buttock up towards the ceiling. Try to keep the thighs parallel to the floor and roll the shoulder blades underneath. Option is the clasp the hands together below the lower back, continuing to pull the shoulder blades together.
Shoulder Stand Pose
Lying on your back, place your hands on both sides of the hips with the palms down and bend the knees, placing the heels on the mat close to the tailbone. On an exhale, lift the feet off of the floor and bring the knees up towards the chest. Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Binding your elbows, bring your hands the the lower back to support the body. Raise the pelvis above the shoulders, lifting the feet up towards the ceiling, and continue using the arms and shoulders for support, walking the hands higher up the back as needed.
Legs Up (use a wall)
Start laying on your back, bring your legs up onto the wall and scoot your tailbone as close to the wall as is comfortable. Allow the arms to rest out to the side, palms up. This allows the shoulders to rest back. Use this pose as your final savasana. Relax into this posture. Allow the weight of the body to be fully supported by the ground and wall. Release control of the mind, the breath, and the body. Enjoy this pose for as long as feels good (suggest more than 10 minutes).
Don't skip this one! This may not seem like it, but it is the most difficult yoga pose that you can accomplish. Laying flat on your back, bring the arms to your side with the palms up, allowing the shoulders to roll back. Allow the toes to fall out to the side and tuck the chin in slightly to make sure the back of the neck is straight. Relax the body as much as you can and rest here for 3-5 minutes.
Let's enjoy some down time and step away from stress for a moment. Keep this routine nearby you by printing out this one page PDF.
Questions about the routine or other ways relieve stress? Comment below and let's keep the conversation going! I am happy to help in any way I can.