Stress takes a toll mentally and physically. Yoga's mind-body approach can reduce its impact.
To take a peaceful pause, sit comfortably with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. Establish a count as follows: five-count inhale, seven-count exhale and three-count pause. Take a minimum of 10 breaths in this manner, but ideally, try to build up to four sets of 10 breaths.
To release upper-body tension, from standing, clasp your hands behind your back and straighten your arms to the best of your ability as you look up, opening your chest, neck and shoulders. Hold the posture for a few breaths. Release and repeat.
Start in a kneeling lunge with your right leg forward and left knee down, with your left toes curled under. Place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh. Rotate your straight right arm behind you with your palm facing up. Turn your head to follow your right arm. Draw your right shoulder blade down to keep your shoulder from lifting and neck muscles off. Take three long, deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
If you want to feel powerful, strike an open-body power pose by standing with your arms overhead or outstretched or, even better, with your hands on your hips like Wonder Woman or Superman.
For an added sense of power, add a mantra or positive affirmation to your pose, like "I feel strong."
Lie down comfortably with a bolster or pillow under your legs and set a timer for a desired length of time; eight to 10 minutes is a good starting point. Close your eyes. Notice your breathing and the sense of release and comfort in your legs as they rest on the bolster. Remain committed to simply being in your body in your relaxed posture.