In recent years, scientific studies on yoga proved it to be useful in the treatment of some mental health conditions. The studies prove that Yoga has an effective role in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843960/).
I know, I know - the last thing you want to do when you are feeling frazzled is to get yourself ready for anything. Often when we feel stressed - energy is low and motivation is even lower.
Enter - pyjama yoga for stress relief
Try this Yoga sequence for times that you need to cultivate calm + stillness.
It can be practiced in pyjamas so you don't even need to change into yoga gear (in fact, pyjamas are encouraged for maximum comfort).
Hold each pose for 5-10 breaths.
1) Malasana (Yogi Squat)
Come to sit on a bolster or a stack of cushions. Bend the legs and take the feet mat-width apart - take the knees wide and bring the elbows to the inside of the thighs. Option to bring hands to namaskar mudra. Breathe for 5-10 breaths.
2) Uttanasana (Forward fold)
Take the feet about hip-width apart (wider if that feels more comfortable). Bend the knees and let the upper body fold. Option to dangle the arms or take hold of elbows. You can also rest your arms on a bolster or a chair if you like the support.
3) Supine Twist
Come to lie down on your back and take hold of elbows above the head. Bend the legs and bring the soles of the feet on the mat. Shift your hips over to the left slightly as you drop both knees over to the right. Option to have a blanket/cushion in between the knees for that added support. Repeat on opposite side.
4) Legs up in the air
Lengthen both legs up towards the ceiling. Option to have a generous bend in both legs. You can stay in stillness or bring some movement to the feet + ankles (e.g. flex and point the feet, circle the ankles).
5) Supported Anahastasana (puppy pose)
Come to hands and knees. Pad the hands forwards to the top of your mat and sink down through the head and chest. Let your head rest on the ground. Option to have a bolster/cushions under the elbows and arms to intensify the stretch in the armpits and chest.
6) Caterpillar Pose (with support under the knees)
Come to a comfortable seat and extend the legs forward. Slide a bolster or cushion(s) under the knees and then start to hinge forwards from the hips. Let the head hang heavy and allow the spine to round. Option to rest the head on a cushion or blanket. Rest the hands where feels most comfortable for your body.
Please remember to take a nice long Savasana relaxation at the end of the session with extra blankets/jumpers and cosy socks.
Take it easy and remember to be extra kind to yourself (and your body) in times stress.