There’s no getting around it: Stress is really, really bad for us. When we're in a chronically stressed-out state—and stress is at an all-time high for Americans—our body systems just aren't able to function as efficiently. The adrenal glands work overtime, the body is in a constant state of preparing for fight or flight, and our digestion and sleep are negatively affected.
The good news? Yoga can counteract the negative impact of stress, and even just a few minutes of restorative yoga can be extremely helpful. Relaxation and breathwork activates the parasympathetic nervous system (also called the rest-and-digest system), which slows the heart rate, relaxes the gastrointestinal tract, and lowers the blood pressure.
So no matter how busy you are today, if you're feeling stressed out, take a few minutes at the end of your day to practice these poses. Make sure to take long inhales and exhales in each.