This Back Bend Equals Instant Stress Buster


Marc RoyceFrom Health magazine

Its a fact: Crazy-busy days can make us feel tense. Yoga is one of the best calm-down tricks, and you can easily do it at home. Go for back-bending poses: they create space in your chest, allowing more oxygen to flow to your lungs.

When that happens, your heart doesnt have to work as hard, and your heart rate and blood pressure go down, making you feel much more Zen. One of the simplest yet most effective back bends is Bridge Pose. Try it the next time youre on edge—you should begin to feel more serene right away.

How To: Lie on your back with your knees up and feet flat on the floor hip-distance apart. Let your arms rest by your sides as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Tuck your tailbone slightly, and draw your belly button in toward your spine.

Once you feel comfortable, interlace your fingers underneath you and gently wiggle to move your elbows and shoulders together, opening your chest. Press down with your hands and feet to increase the lift. Hold 5–15 breaths, then release. Repeat 3–5 times.