Yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and heighten energy and mood. The controlled breathing, that’s a component of yoga, has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
If you’re seeking to specifically improve your strength, focus, and determination … try warrior pose. This popular yoga progression and its variations will re-energize and rejuvenate you, helping to alleviate stress. This movement brings variety to your routine, benefiting you both physically and mentally. This simple yet powerful sequence can be performed in a very short amount of time.
As with any exercise, be careful to stretch and warm up properly.
- Mountain Pose. Begin by coming to stand in mountain pose. Breath deep to bring the body to a neutral position.
- Warrior I. Step your left foot back and turn your toes out at a 45˚ angle. Bend your right knee over the ankle. Inhale and bring your arms up over your head. If possible, have the palms touching. Arch your back slightly. Hold this pose while breathing deeply for 5 seconds.
- Warrior II. Lengthen your stance as you open your hips. Looking ahead, turn your left foot out 90˚. Stretch out both arms, palms down, until they’re level with your shoulders. Swivel your right arm forward and your left arm back. Focus on the tips of your fingers as you stretch your arms. Make sure your right knee is still deeply bent over your right ankle, letting your hips sink toward the floor. Hold the position and breathe deeply for five seconds.
- Peaceful Warrior. Turn your palms upward. Lean back and slide your left hand down your left leg. Arch your back slightly, raise and curl your right arm over your head. Look up. Repeat entire sequence for the other side.