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A gentle asana practice to let go of mental stress and physical tension

Take some time to relax with this gentle asana practice to let go of mental stress and physical tension.

​Taking a more gentle approach in our yoga practice is needed to maintain a balanced body and mind. Especially so as we tend to live such busy lifestyles and experience stress often. Anytime we feel stressed, this will also transfer to the body. Then the muscles contract, the body becomes more cold, which leads to the joints and bones becoming more weak. In Ayurveda, we would call this as a Vata dosha aggravation, too much of the air and space element.

Often times, the body areas which are affected by mental stress tend to be the lower back, the shoulders, the chest and the hips. These are the areas of Anahata (heart chakra) and Swadisthana (the sacral chakra), both relating to emotional balance, adaptability, openness and joyfulness for life.

Therefore we can focus on these areas to gently open and release any physical, mental or energetic stagnation by slowing down in our practice to reduce all this tension and mental movement.

Start in a seated position and take a few deep breaths in, connecting to the rhythm of your breath. Then move on to doing some gentle rotations of the head and then the shoulders. Afterwards, practice Marjaryasana/Bitilasana (cat/cow) slowly a few times to bring some fluidity to the spine. We don’t want to warm up the body too much for this practice because it focuses more on the yin tissues, but it is still good to ease these areas into the practice because they can be very sensitive.



Hold for: 2-3 minutes on each side. Place a blanket under the back knee if needed.
Key areas: Hip flexors. Also helps to open the chest and shoulders.

Salamba Bhujangasana

Hold for: 3 minutes.
Key areas: Opens the chest and shoulders. Helps to relieve lower back discomfort.


Hold for: 2 minutes on each side.
Key areas: Hip extensors. Also helps to stretch the back if going further in the forward fold.

Uttana Shishosana

Hold for: 2 minutes.
​Key areas: Stretches the back and opens the chest and shoulders.

Utthita Balasana

Hold for: 4 minutes.
Key areas: Opens the inner thighs and stretches the back.

Supta Matsyendrasana

Hold for: 2 minutes on each side.
Key areas: Spine flexibility, stretches the lower back, opens the chest and shoulders.
Note: After practicing on one side, move directly to the next variation on the same side (as shown below). Then start on the other side.

Supta Matsyendrasana variation

Hold for: 2 minutes.
Key areas: The back muscles and the spine.
Note: Finish the practice with 10minutes in Savasana.