Free one month yoga challenge to manage stress

The best part about this is you do not need to pay for a class, all of these poses can be completed without any fancy equipment and in the privacy of your own home. So what have you got to loose? Apart from a bit of stress?!

If you managed to complete the 2 week yoga challenge I hope the routine helped you feel a little more nimble and flexible, but more so that you have enjoyed taking some time out in your busy day just for you.

This one month yoga challenge builds on the prior two positions that helped to stretch our backs, shoulders and hips.

Begin the yoga challenge

As well as practicing the forward bend and yogi squat each day for one month, try adding these 4 poses to your practice. Each pose is beneficial to relieve stress placed on our bodies and minds throughout our daily lives. You can complete in the following sequence:

1. Seated side stretch

Sit either cross legged or in a chair and slowly raise your right arm overhead. Stretch your upper body over to the left, reaching across as far as you comfortably can. Hold and stretch for five deep breaths. Be mindful you are not scrunching into your shoulders or neck, but rather focus on lengthening up and out of the side of your body with your arm stretching directly over your head. Repeat across to the right, stretching your left arm up and over.

2. Head and shoulder roll

Stand up straight, sit in a chair or sit cross legged on the ground and roll your head around in a clockwise direction. Repeat for three full rolls then switch to roll in the other direction. Remember to breathe deeply in and out your nose while completing this exercise. Take this chance to also close your eyes.

Next, roll your shoulders back and around three times, then switching to roll shoulders in the other direction three times.

Hint: This exercise can be done at work at any stage during the day without anyone even suspecting that you’re practicing yoga!

3. Hip roll

Stand up and position your feet slightly wider than hip distance. Roll your hips circular in one direction 4 times, switch to roll in the other direction.

Hint: Don’t be afraid to look like Mr Bean doing this. It is a perfect way to gain movement back in the hips after being seated for so long.

4. Tree pose

yoga tree pose

Great for balance, stability and creating a sense of calm

Tree pose is all about finding a sense of calm allowing you to balance on one leg.

Centre both feet into the ground and slowly shift your weight onto your left foot as you raise your right foot. Place the base of your right foot into the inner part of your left thigh (see image). It doesn’t matter if your pose looks a little different to the picture, just ensure that your foot is above your left knee joint.

If you find this difficult you can start by raising your right foot and pointing it out in front of you. You will still be practicing your balance.

Breathe in and out slowly holding the pose for up to 10 breaths. Repeat with the left leg.

Eventually you can start to challenge your balance by raising your arms above your head and even closing your eyes.

Hint: If you need to hold onto a wall at first this is a great starting point too. 

5. Forward bend

6. Yogi squat

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