4 Discreet Yoga Moves for Stress and Anxiety Relief

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While there always isn’t time for a full-length yoga class when things feel a bit crazy, taking some time out of your busy day to channel your inner yogi can be a great way to calm your mind while giving your body the attention it deserves. (A number of studies have shown that yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety and enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being!) So whether you’re a master at vinyasa or a yoga newbie, try these four simple poses and exercises when you’re feeling wound up and short on time:

Tea Time (Breathing Exercise)
Even we Rockettes need to take the occasional breather! Put down whatever you’re doing and take a seat. Sit up straight with feet planted on the floor, and sip tea for a couple of minutes. Feeling relaxed yet? Good, because it’s time to take big, deep breaths-in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let your shoulders drop and feel the day’s stress melt away. Keep at it for approximately three minutes before getting back to work. Productivity, here you come!

Stretch and Shine (Mountain Pose)
This pose is an instant mood-lifter and stress-melter. Start by sitting up as straight as possible in your chair. Then, entwine your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you. They should appear parallel to your chest. Remain in place for several seconds before turning your palms toward the ceiling as you lift your arms up over your head. Now, hold that stretch for approximately one minute before releasing. Believe it or not, this quickie move has been shown to improve digestion, stretch shoulder and arm muscles and realign your spine.

Relief Rolls (Neck Roll)
After a post-lunch crash, it can be impossible to get productive again—unless you strike a good yoga pose, of course! Best of all, nearly anyone can get this move right. Start by ditching that slouch in favor of an erect, upright back. You’ll be tempted to lean against your chair, but hold out if you really need relief. Close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out (Remember: in through your nose and out through your mouth). Let your chin fall toward your chest and rotate your neck around shoulder blades at a leisurely place. After completing five cycles, switch direction.

Calm and Conquer (Restorative Pose)
Sometimes even the most dedicated workers long for a nice long nap, but it’s possible to beat fatigue with an effortless move. While seated, cross your arms and place them on a stable surface in front of you. Then, let your head slowly fall in front of you until its rests atop your arms. Hold your position for three to five minutes and rise feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the afternoon!