Relief Through Yoga

Local pro shares tips for stress reduction through yoga poses.

With 200 hours of yoga training under her belt, UpLift Fitness yoga instructor Jill Mazanec starts each of her classes helping students quiet their minds and set an intention for practice.

One pose she recommends for relaxation is the easy seated pose (sukasana) with Sami Vritti Pranayama breathing techniques incorporated. With legs crossed and hips higher than the knees on a mat, folded blanket or block, “focus on the evenness and smoothness of each inhalation and exhalation,” Mazanec says. “Continue this focused breathing for three to five minutes and then let your breath return to normal, noticing any changes from the beginning of practice.”

Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is also great for stress release. Mazanec says it’s often done at the end of a yoga class, and is often referred to as one of the most difficult yoga poses. “Savasana brings the body into a meditative state, allowing the body to surrender into the moment,” she says.

You don’t need a full class to take advantage of yoga’s stress-relief elements. “Taking just a few minutes during the day to practice simple yoga poses can help us find the body, mind and spirit connection,” Mazanec says.