Relieve stress and depression with yoga

Compassion is when you show others love and respect and kindness. This is certainly a wonderful thing but often we are less compassionate or caring with ourselves… and it takes its toll on our health and well-being.

When we hold onto stress and tension it can lead to feelings of depression, but today’s exercise — an easy breathing exercise and stretch combination — will help alleviate that. It only takes a few minutes and can be done in your office, at home or at the park. Just a few moments of self-care can relieve stress and make your days much better.

Breathing exercise to relieve stress

Stand up right with feet slightly apart, toes pointing forward. You want to achieve a good, solid, grounded stance; not gripping with the toes or resting back on the heels — but centered. It can help if you have a slight bend in the knees to help feel the weight pressing down through the feet and into the floor.

Open your fingers with palms facing forward and inhale, with an open throat to make a sound, lifting the chin to tilt the head slightly back. Then exhale again making a throat sound, while tilting the head down and turning the palms to face backward.

Follow along with Lauren the repetitions and details on the video.

Backward/forward bending series

From the breathing exercise you will follow into a backward and forward bending series that will help create energy in your body and relieve stress and tension.

Because of the motion you will also be supporting the thyroid gland. This will help with improving metabolism and lowering heart rate.

Stand upright with feet together and raise your arms up above your head. As you do this, lift your chest and chin and look upward. You can either hold up your arms with hands together or keep them at shoulder’s width apart.

As you exhale, bend at your waist to lower your body and arms to the side and down. Either place your hands on the floor or on your shins if less flexible.

From this position, remain in place as you inhale while lengthening your spine.

Now exhale as you fold downward again to stretch the legs.

Inhale again as you raise up tall again with hands above your head, as in the beginning. Then exhale with arms lowering to their sides.

Now repeat this sequence several times. Follow Lauren on the video for coaching and more details!


As we work on ourselves to become better human beings to create a more vibrant wellness lifestyle, developing self-compassion is a way forward. We must not neglect ourselves, our body and mind and spirit. Taking time for ourselves, doing breathing and stretching exercises like the ones shared today, allow you to be as kind to yourself as you are to others.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.