This is the third of a four part mini series on yoga for stress, check out the rest by visiting the resources page for subscribers.

This again is another really simple yoga therapy technique which has a multitude of benefits.

In yoga, opening the chest allows the heart and throat chakras to open, leading to increased confidence and ability to speak your mind.

Uttanasana (forward bend) releases the lower back and shoulders, relieving much of the tension found in westerners due to their seated positions during the day and stress levels (hunched up, over a computer all day are you?). Inverted postures (where your head’s upside down) also work really well to help you gain perspective and see things in a different way. It sends blood and oxygen to the face and brain giving you a mini face lift and revitalising and rejuvenating the mind.

• Stand firmly but relaxed with the feet hip width apart, tail bone tucked in, shoulder blades back and down, arms comfortably by your sides, toes spread.

• On your next inhale, raise your arms our to the sides and over your head, bringing the palms together if comfortable.

• Take another breath and gently lean backward, opening the chest and the throat. (If you have neck issues or a bad back skip this part – listen to your body).


• On the next exhale, sweep the arms gently down past your sides towards the floor. Bend the body forwards from the waist. The aim is to keep the back nice and straight, not hunch over to try to reach your toes!

• Bend to wherever is comfortable (if you have blood pressure issues, don’t take your head past your waist), then take your hands either to the floor by your feet or holding the opposite elbow.

• Relax in this position. With every inhale, lengthen the body, with every exhale, relaxing and releasing the arms gently down.

• Take 3 breaths like this then, on the next inhale, look forward, sweep the arms out and around, back to over your head.

• Do three rounds (or as many as comfortable), then bring your palms together in front of your chest, closing your eyes and bringing awareness to your body, scanning it for any residual areas of tension and releasing these. Open your eyes.