6 Simple Yoga Stretches That Melt Away Muscle Tension
One of the reasons yoga is so valuable for stress relief is that it incorporates dynamic, or moving, stretches. Moving stretches activate your range of motion, circulating blood and oxygen and delivering nutrients to tissues. This powerful combination is incredible for melting away muscle tension. What's more, Harvard University research has found that activities like yoga that combine deep breathing and active stretching can help reduce stress, tension, and inflammation in the body.
Here are six basic yoga poses that specifically target tense muscles in the neck, upper and lower back, and hips, which tend to get tight and strained during times of extreme stress (or even after sitting at a desk all day). And bonus: You can do these stretches for free at home, no fancy yoga studio or equipment required. They're low-impact and beginner-friendly, so you can work them easily into a daily fitness or stretching routine. "These poses will help relieve and release muscle tension and the stresses and pressure of daily life, while you become stronger and more mind-body connected," says Laura McDonald, ACE certified personal trainer and. McDonald recommends holding each yoga pose for four to six deep breaths to soothe your muscle tension.