I know that nobody needs a reminder, but it’s finals week and the end of the semester is upon us. It’s been hanging over all our heads, stressing us out, and all we can do is spend hours in Cook Library, buried in our computers and textbooks. If you’re feeling the anxiety and workload of the last couple weeks of this semester, yoga will help you feeling newly motivated and relaxed.

Yoga has all sorts of cool benefits – it boosts your immune system, can alter your gene expression, can improve your flexibility, and can help your mental health. Here are some great yoga poses that you can do to treat finals-induced stress:

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) 

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Stretches the neck and the back. Good for  when you have been sitting in front of your computer for too long.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cat-pose/

Cow Post (Bitilasana)

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Also stretches the neck and torso. Can be paired with cat pose to create cat-cow pose for a better flow. Also good for when you have spent one too many hours hanging out in Club Cook.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cow-pose/

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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Eases back and neck discomfort, stretches this hip and thighs, calms the brain, and helps relieve stress and fatigue. Good for relaxing after a marathon study session or taking a invigorating break.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/child-s-pose/

Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

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Reduces anxiety, aids insomnia, stretches back, thighs, and neck, and can even help lower blood pressure, treat depression, and cure headaches. Practice this pose when you’re feeling the wear and tear of finals week or before bed.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/legs-up-the-wall-pose/

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) 

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Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia. Also stretches the neck, back, and legs, aids digestions, and promotes deep breathing. Good for winding down after typing a ten page paper due tomorrow or cramming for an exam for four hours straight.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/bridge-pose/

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) 

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Stretches the back muscles, aids digestion, and decreases stress. Good for beginning your day or for a quick study break.

How to: http://www.pocketyoga.com/Pose/supine_spinal_twist

Corpse Pose (Savasana) 

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Calms the brain, relaxes the body, decreases headaches and insomnia, lowers blood pressure, and can treat anxiety and depression. Good for starting your day, ending your day, or taking a break anytime in between.

How to: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/corpse-pose/

While these yoga poses are great for practicing in your dorm or apartment, deep breathing or meditation is something that you can do in the library or even in class. Remember to take time for yourself and that mental health always comes before grades!

 

-Elena