Stress builds up in the body even when we sit for long hours at a desk, reading or working on the computer as we tend to slouch our shoulders and spine thus accumulating tension in the muscles supporting the framework.
Most forward bends have the ability of reducing tension thus relieving stress. Forward bends increase exhalation and take our sense of perception inwards which is an effective way of relieving stress.
We discussed about certain seated yoga poses which give almost instant stress relief. Certain standing postures can be practiced almost anytime, anywhere to release stress and bring one into a calm space quite quickly.
A simple standing forward bend is by coming into standing with the feet hip distance apart, hands clasped behind the back with the palms pressed together. Lift the arms off your back and hinge forward at the hips to release the head towards the floor with the spine nice and long. Keep the arms lifted, rotating them at the shoulder girdle to open and release the tightness in the shoulders.
Press firmly through the flour corners of the feet as you lift your kneecaps keeping the quadriceps engaged. Allow the body to be relaxed as you breathe deeply with special attention to the outbreath. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
Slowly lift your head, unclasp the hands, bringing your palms to your waist with the thumb supporting the back and four fingers facing forward. Slowly lift yourself up into standing setting the shoulders over the hips.
This is a very useful standing forward bend [utanasana] with a variation of the arms being lifted and clasped behind the back to open the shoulders and release tension around them.
So, practice this forward bending posture to release stress immediately as it also is like an instant energy boost as the blood gushes to the brain!