Yoga is widely recognized as an antidote to stress.
But in mass media, it’s common to see the practices demonstrated by young athletes who have had years of conditioning. Unintentionally, these images can make Yoga seem reserved for a rare group of people.
Meera Kerr, a curvaceous yogi and creator of Big Yoga, knows that Yoga’s stress-relieving poses can be practiced by (and benefit) anyone. “Yoga is about a feeling of wholeness and contentment—not washboard abs or buns of steel,” she explained.
Recently, her world took a turn when her son was suddenly killed. Though she was faced with grief and stress, she found refuge in the healing practices of Yoga. The event helped her gain an intimate understanding of which practices helped to relieve stress and also agreed with her body. “My yoga practice has allowed me to connect deeply with my body, and to love and appreciate it, during all the variables and miracles of life.”
Meera shared a few of her favorite practices for tackling stress—practices that are perfect for any body type.
#1) Sukhasana (Practicing naadi suddhi)
Directions: Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position, aligning your spine and head. Make a gentle fist with your left hand, and extend your thumb and pinky. Take a deep breath, and close the left nostril with your thumb, exhaling the breath fully out of the right nostril. Then inhale through the right nostril. Use your pinky to close the right nostril, exhaling deeply out of the left nostril. Repeat the process 10-12 times, very gently and slowly.
#2) Forward Bend (with a chair)
Meera prefers using a chair or the wall when it’s possible. “To me, the fewer props to have to deal with, the better.”
#3) Half Dog (with a chair)