Stressful Day? This 5-Minute Yoga Flow Helps Separate Work From Rest Time

·3-min read
. (Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich.)
. (Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich.)

You’re reading Move, the nudge we need to get active, however makes us happiest and healthiest.

Sometimes, it’s hard not to let a crappy day spill into your evening, especially if the source of your stress is work and you’re currently WFH.

But shake it off, dear reader, because it’s already taken up enough of your time. The evening ahead is yours for the taking. Your free time is sacred. Enjoy it.

To help, Liz Joy Oakley, head of wellbeing at MoreYoga, has created a quick, five-minute workout for HuffPost UK, designed to be completed as soon as you down tools for the day. It’ll help separate your working day from your evening, says Oakley, and boost mental wellbeing.

Yoga can help us feel “more relaxed, more present and gives us the space to unwind at the end of a busy day,” she says. “Yoga can help you to reconnect with your body and release stress, anxiety and muscle tension. Long-term stress can lead to mental health issues and yoga has the ability to ease the impact stress can have on the body and the mind.”

Dedicating just five minutes of your day to a yoga practice can make a big difference. So, what are you waiting for?

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)
(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)

Bring your big toes together and open your knees as far apart as they need to be to help you settle comfortably and be able to breathe deeply in the posture. Sink into your hips and begin to walk your fingertips out in front of you, stretching through the arms. You can keep the arms extended out or bend the elbows and bring your hands to the back of your neck to stretch into the shoulders. Bring your forehead to rest on the ground or a blanket and you can roll your forehead from side to side on the ground to give yourself a mini facial massage if you’d like. Take five deep breaths in this pose, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.

2. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)
(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)

Come to lay flat on your front with your legs extended, bring your feet and legs close together with the toes untucked. Slide your arms forwards with palms facing downward, bringing your elbows to rest under your shoulders. Taking a deep breath in, slowly lift your head, chest and ribcage while keeping your navel and lower abdomen on the floor. Roll your shoulders back towards each other and take five breaths in the pose before slowly lowering your abdomen, chest and head back to the floor.


3. Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)

(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)
(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)

Take a seat with your spine long, lifting through the crown of your head. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. You can keep your hands wrapped around the feet or you can thread the forearms underneath the lower legs to deepen the pose. Take five long, deep breaths letting your head feel heavy and slowly unravel up the spine to come out of the posture. Stretch the legs out and take a few deep breaths.


4. Reclining Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)
(Photo: Maria Nakhmanovich)

Bring the soles of your feet back together and let your knees fall open, you can extend the legs a little further away to make this pose gentler on the hips and draw the heels closer towards the body if you would like a deeper stretch. If you have a bolster or pillows at home, bring them behind you to support your spine and lay back towards the ground. Relax your face and close your eyes. Take 10 deep breaths in this pose and imagine any stress from the day drifting away on your exhale.

Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)
(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

Related...