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8 Back to School Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress

Hang in There Rag Doll

From a standing position, bend forward at the waist like a Rag Doll. Allow some flexibility in your knees. Cross your arms placing opposite hands on your elbows with arms crossed. Let the weight of your head release tension in your neck. Circulate your head to release tension in your neck and shoulders.

Salut the Sun

Do several rounds of Sun Salutations. Start with your hands above your head, bring your hands down to your ankles, do a brief plank, and then rest your body on the mat with head up to the ceiling; curl back in and stand up with hands clasped next to chest. This whole body movement promotes concentration, grounding, and self-worth.

Chill in Chair Pose

Stand with your feet width distance to your shoulders. Bring both hands up above your head as you squat as if sitting in a chair. This pose promotes feeling grounded through the legs and releases nervous energy while building positive self-worth and courage.

Fly Like an Eagle

Bend both knees, lift your right foot, and slowly wrap your right thigh over your left. Then curl your right foot behind your left calf, and hook it there. Reach both arms out in front of you and wrap your left arm over your right, crossing the left elbow over the right upper arm. Slide your right hand toward your face, cross your forearms, and press your palms together, raising your elbows to shoulder height. Stay here for five deep breaths, feeling the stretch in your upper back. Eagle pose allows you to be in your Wise Mind and to have the confidence to enter new territory.

Be A Butterfly

Sit upright and place the soles of your feet together so you make butterfly wings with your legs. Let your sits bones press down to the floor and arch your back slightly. Take deep breaths in and out and let your upper body lift on the in breath and stretch your torso toward your legs on the outbreath. This pose will help you stay present and sit still in class.

Bend it Like Beckham

Here is a pose you can even do at school! While sitting in a chair, scoot to the front edge with feet wide and bend forward, allowing the spine to release fully and head to dangle. Hold opposite elbows so the weight of your arms can help your spine release. Take a few breaths with long exhales. This pose will refresh your concentration and focus.

Ride the Wave in Savasana

Lie down on your mat with your body flat to the floor. Practice riding the wave of your breath in and out as you imagine yourself sinking deeper into the floor. This is great for stress release and deep relaxation. Set a timer for just 5 minutes to start, and let all of your thoughts leave your head as you focus on your breath coming in and going out.

Let ‘Um Drift

Mindfulness practice can help students handle worries and obsessive thoughts. When you have an anxious thought like “Why is my friend talking to her and not me?; What if this teacher is super hard?; What if I don’t make friends?, What if I say something and everyone laughs at me?” Notice these as simply thoughts and not facts; they are not the truth about you. Imagine you are writing them on a sticky note crumpling them up and throwing them down a stream, watching them drift into the distance. Practice this at home or at school; the more you practice, the easier it becomes!


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