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It is no secret yoga is an excellent way to build muscle tone and increase flexibility, but yoga is also a great way to reduce stress. There are several simple yoga poses that are known to reduce muscle tension, calm the mind, and promote relaxation. They are perfect For best results, hold each of the poses for at least one minute repeating as often as you like.

Knees To Chest

This simple pose helps to stretch your back and ease tension in the spine. While lying on your back with legs and arms extended, exhale as you draw both knees slowly toward your chest. Keep your back flat on the mat, as you clasp your hands over your knees. Relax your shoulder blades downward, and draw your tailbone toward the mat to lengthen your spine.

Reclined Angle Pose

This pose relieves tension by stretching the hips and inner thighs. To do this you will need to lie on your back with arms and legs extended outward. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together. Next, bring heels toward your pelvis, allowing both knees to drop toward the floor. Allow your arms to relax at your side, palms up.

Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a kneeling pose that is often used as part of a cool down routine and for relaxation purposes. Start by kneeling on your mat, tucking your knees under you, and placing the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Slowly lean forward, extending from the hips, until your forehead rests on the floor. Arms may be placed palms up on each side, or to extend the stretch, reach them above your head.

Standing Forward Bend

This pose will help relieve tight muscles in the legs, back, and shoulders. Begin in a standing position with feet together and arms at your sides. Pull abdominal in, as you slightly bend your knees. Slowly lower torso and arms toward the floor by bending at the waist. To return to an upright position bend knees slightly and place your hands above your knees to support your back as you stand.

Legs up the Wall Pose

With this simple pose you can relax tired legs and feet. Lie on your back with your hips close to the wall. Then, extend your legs upward toward the ceiling, placing your heels and the back of your legs against the wall. Place arms at your sides with palms facing up. If you feel a strain in your hamstrings, move hips slightly away from the wall.

Corpse Pose

Corpse pose is one of the most popular poses for relaxation. Lie on your back with legs and arms extended. Your feet should be placed about hips width apart, and your arms should be extended slightly outward with palms facing up. Next, roll shoulders back and lengthen your neck. With your eyes closed focus on relaxing any tense muscles throughout your body, while taking deep relaxing breaths.

For an effective way to relax and reduce stress, try any of these simple yoga poses. You can use them individually, or mix and match the poses to provide the most relaxing experience for you.
James Christopher, Creative Writer