Skip to main content

Let Go

Lesson 8 of 10

Stress Relief

Briohny Smyth

Let Go

Briohny Smyth

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

8. Stress Relief

Lesson Info

Stress Relief

Hi, Yogi. It's Bry. And welcome to this 30 Minutes stress relief practice where we're going to take that stress that we all have and relieve it through yoga. You'll need a bolster. If you don't have any bolsters at home, you can use some pillows. Ah, blanket, preferably a yoga blank. But any blanket works two blocks and a strong Let's get started. All right, Yogi, let's get started in child's posts. You can always have your knees together if you're looking for a little more support in this pose. If you're looking for more space in this practice, take the knees apart. Bring your forehead down your arms, forward or back, just depending on what is comfortable for you. Once the forehead comes to the mat, just allow the skin on your forehead to gently crease towards your nose. That is the first step to our stress release in this practice. The pressure point at the center of your forehead is key to actually releasing the tension from the facial muscles. Even the neck take a deep inhalation t...

hrough your nose. Open your mouths. I it out. Allow the weight of your body to be supported by the mat. Let the tension from your neck and your shoulders begin to melt. Away from the first step to any sort of change is observing and acknowledging we all have stress on. We all carry that stress around with us daily to a point where sometimes it could become habitual on. We don't even notice that we carry it in our physical body, sometimes in the neck and the shoulders, maybe even in the hips. So use this brief stillness here in child's pose to just observe your body. Observe where you store your attention. None begin to focus on your breathing as you inhale. Imagine that you're inhaling space into that tension. Then, as you exhale, open your mouth side out and let it go. Let's do that again together a couple more times. Take a deep, long inhalation through your nose, focusing on creating space in that area of tension in the body. A little deeper this time. Open your mouth. Let it go. Hopefully feeling just a little bit later, we'll do it one more time. Inhale Feli. I'm thinking about breathing space in towards the tension in my neck and my shoulders, sipping a little more air and an audible sigh this time, huh? Now most of my attention from stress tends to manifest in my neck and my shoulders, especially because I do a lot of inversions and arm balancing. But I also find this to be a commonplace for most of our attention to manifest. So we're going to start with some neck release. Inhale. Take your hands behind your back into lace your fingers, press the palms together and just rest your hands on your butt. Open the shoulders, so pull the shoulder blades together and slowly begin to rise up onto the crown of your head. Take a deep inhalation here, exhale out of your mouth and just push the hips slightly forward to draw your chin to your chest. Lift the shoulder blades away from the neck in him. Exhale, release down. Try to keep your head as neutral as possible. We'll do that again. Inhale, Rise up onto the crown of your head. Exhale side out, Aziz. You push the hips forward one more time in him on the exhale. Sigh it out. Push the hips forward. Let the chin draw to your chest, relax your job and release all the way back down onto your hips. Let's your arms fall by your sides. Just take a few breaths here. Remember that the release of relief of tension or stress from the body might not be permanent. It rarely is. But we can use thes moments of these deep exhalations to find that moment very small moment of release. And the more that we do that, the more that we're capable of actually doing that daily throughout our life. Reacting to things less, take your fingertips underneath your shoulders, inhale lift up to seated. We're going to stay in a madrassa in a position, which is how I'm seated now here on my shins with my heels underneath my. But if it's uncomfortable for you, elevate your seat just a bit. You can place a block underneath. Either the medium height or the low height was depending on your flexibility. Once you've found that comfortable seats, you're going to take your right hand behind you. Grab a hold of your right knee with your left hand and take a little twist As you inhale. Lengthen your spine as you exhale, open your right shoulder just working down the spine. Now releasing some tension around those thick muscles that support your spine. Twists are also really detoxifying in any time you work on detoxifying the body. It tends to have a detoxifying effect on the mind. Now inhale. Start to lean back, walk your right fingertips back, lift your right knee up and give your right knee a little. Pull up with your left hand. This is a great way to release tension that's in the top of your foot or on your ankle. I love it. It feels really good if you walk a lot or stand or even run for exercise. Really great tension Release Inhale and exhale release. We're just gonna take it to the other side, right hand towards the outside of the left knee, left fingertips behind you. If you're propped up on a block and you can't quite reach the ground, it can always use another block underneath your left fingertips. Inhale, lengthen your spine and exhale. Twist, pushing with your right hand into your left knee to revolve your left shoulder open, drawing the navel in really elongating the spine with your inhalations and exhale twist a bit deeper now. Twists are detoxifying, but actually, only after you untwist, right, because you kind of, um, cut off circulation just a bit while you're twisting. And then as you on twist, you feel that nice increases circulation of the blood from here, keeping your left hand behind you your right hand on your left knee. Just begin to lean back, can crawl the left fingertips back. Lift your left knee up off the ground using the pool of your right hand, lift the chest and just give the top of your left foot some space. It's wonderful. Stretch, inhale. Lift the heart. Maybe pull a little bit more and exhale. Release back into madrassa. Now back up towards our neck and her shoulders. Take your hands behind your head, interlace your fingers as you inhale. Lift your heart up, squeezed the elbows in as you exhale. Keep your chest lifted, draw your chin to your chest and press your elbows down towards the mat as you draw your shoulder blades down, lifting your chest up and pressing the chin to the chest. You begin to feel all of those tight muscles in your neck that support your big head. Well, I have a big head they begin to release deep breath in here. Open your mouths. I it out. Keeping your head down. Take your left fingertips down onto the mat, crawl your right hand over towards your left ear and just begin to pull your head sideways. So you're right here. Moves towards your right shoulder and you're stretching the left side of your neck. Draw your left shoulder blade down. Let your jaw hanging open. Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale, just give a little more weight into that right hand to pull the right year just a bit closer to your right shoulder. Inhale and exhale, drawing your chin back to your chest, interlacing your fingers behind your head one more time. Inhale, lift your chest up towards your chin and exhale out through your mouth as you press your chin to your chest, using the strength and weight of your arms moving to the other side, right fingertips down next to the right side of your body on the map. Take your left hand to your right ear and just gently begin to peel the right side of the neck open, drawing your left ear to your left shoulder. let your jaw hangs open here. Don't worry. Nobody's watching. Draw your right shoulder blade down. Inhale and exhale. Take that stretch just a little bit deeper in ham and exhale. Releasing your chin back to your chest without your arms, this time to such your arms. Fall by your side. Roll your shoulders up one time, pull them back and slowly inhale, lifting your chin up and your case. Great job. I feel a ton of stress relief already, but we're going to keep moving. Will get up off the ground in a second and really work on the entire body. Come into tabletop position. Take your hands underneath your shoulders. Your knees underneath your hips were just going to take to cat cows just to articulate the muscles around the spine. Inhale, Pull your chest through your arms. Let the sits bones rise slightly. Met the naval in, gaze up, then exhale round. Spread the shoulder blades wide. Draw your chin to your chest and your navel in. I can feel all of those muscles around my spine now from that cat position in the rounded position, just begin to waggle your hips back and forth. Great way to feel a stretch in those thick, thick muscles, then inhale to a neutral spine. Reach your right arm up towards the sky and exhale. Threat the needle, so take your right arm underneath your left, Ben the left elbow. Bring your right shoulder all the way down, turn to the right side of your head and just stay here. If that feels good, you should be feeling a nice stretch around the shoulder blade muscles of your right side. If you want a little bit more, you can reach your left arm up and grab a hold of your right inner thigh with your left hand that will open the left shoulder. And if it's still not enough and you want to take it a little bit further, take your left leg out towards the left and the further you crawl it, the more of a stretch you're going to get in the shoulders and even in the inter groins. So remembering that this yoga practice although I'm here as your guide, it's a practice for you, for your body. So take my guide as a suggestion and stop where you feel good deep breath, inhale Big sigh, Exhale first, take your left hand down underneath the left shoulder, pushed through your left hand. Bring your left knee back towards the right and then rising all the way back up, stretching the right arm up. Inhale and exhale right hand down onto the ground. Now moving to the other side. If you feel a bit restricted when you lift your left arm up and open, you can always come up onto the right fingertips. That'll give you a lot more spaces you inhale. Exhale left arm underneath the right bend the right elbow bringing your left shoulder down. Turn towards the right so the left side of your head comes down. Now From here, you can stay here even reaching the right arm forward to feel a bit more of a stretch. Or you can reach your right hand behind your back, grabbing a hold of that left inner thigh to help you peel your right shoulder open. And if you did it on the other side, the right leg can reach out towards right, and the further you reached out to the right more of a growing stretch you'll get. Everybody is different, although we all harbor some of the same tension and stress related tension. Everybody is different to make sure that you're choosing the things that feel good for you. Inhale, open the right shoulder a bit more. Reach your right arm up. Linda. Exhale right hand or right fingertips comes down underneath the shoulder. Pull your right knee back in and pushed down. Reach your left arm up. Open the just exhale, bringing your left hand down both hands flat in that tabletop position, tuck your toes under inhale. Exhale downward facing dog, just making sure you have a nice, solid foundation in the hands. Look forward, making sure your hands or shoulders distance and parallel to one another. Have your index fingers forward instead of your middle fingers, just inviting a little more space into the shoulders. Relax your head, ensuring that your feet or hips distances. You inhale. Rise high to your toes. Exhale, bend your left knee Street on your right leg, doing your best to keep your right heel heavy towards the mat. It's okay if it doesn't quite touch. Inhale back to the balls of your feet. Exhale, Bend your right knee. Send your left heel down. Inhale back to the balls of your feet, nice and high and exhale, pressing both heels heavy towards the mat. Deep inhalation. Here, pressing the outer hips back the inner thighs back, spreading your shoulder blades and exhale. Walk your hands back towards your feet. Put a little bend in your knees. Inhale to a flat back. Take your feet just one step wider and exhale. Fold. Grab a hold of opposite elbows. Let your head relax towards the mat and just begin to sway your torso from side to side, bringing your attention back to your GED breath if he lost it, allowing the swaying motion to just release tension from all of the muscles around the torso, the obliques, the rector's que oh, we're just all of that tightness. Intention. Been coming to stillness it center. Shake your head out. Say no first and then yes, take a deep inhalation through your nose as you side it side out. Just let your arms relaxed down towards the mat. Put the deeper bend in your knees and just begin to bounce your hips up and down. Just allowing any of that tension in the low back to release and then stopping that bouncing and slowly sitting down just a little bit so you can roll up softly, gently vertebra by vertebra all the way up to standing. Allow the shoulders to peel. Open the chin lifts well. Let your eyes lift last. Take a deep inhalation through the nose. Stick out your tongue, sigh it out. Walk to the front of your mat. Hopefully feeling really rejuvenated. I feel terrific. Even just a few minutes into the class. Bring your feet to hips distance in that mountain posts. Roll the shoulders up and back a few times, just feeling that full range of motion of the shoulder blade than forward and down. Coming to stillness with the shoulders rolling your head first to the right. Lots of cracking going on, then to the left. Imagine if we could do something like this every day you can. Now we're going to step your right foot out, paralleling your feet wide legged standing, prosecute apart. It's on us and on the map. I'm going to start with the right leg, so turn your right foot towards the back of your mat. Line your feet up. He'll toe arch and bend into your right knee. grab a hold of your block, place it to the inside of your right knee the tall way and take your right hand down onto the block, bending deeply into the right needs to. The right thigh is parallel to the mat. You're going to use your elbow to push the right knee out. Now we're moving in towards that tension that lives in our hips. Everybody is really different, of course, So your inner groins might be tie. Your outer hips might be tight. Maybe it's your hamstrings or your hip flexors. Either way, we're releasing that tension in a way that makes you engage as well. If you're a little more flexible, you can actually lower your elbow down onto that block and use your shoulder to push the right knee open. And if you want a little more of a shoulder opener, take the left arm up, flip it and reach it behind your back. Peel your left shoulder open, draw the shoulder blades down and look down. Just ensure that you don't accumulate even mawr. Unneeded tension in your neck. Now push down through your right heel. Inhale rising all the way up. Reverse your warrior just to stretch into the right side body, maybe even into the hip flexors. Inhale back toe Warrior two. Bring your hands to your hips straight in your right. Like move your block out of the way. Actually, you know what? Keep your block handy so that it's close. Straighten your right leg. Turn your right toes in feet parallel hands on your hips. Inhale, lift your heart up nice and high and exhale. Fold all the way down. Process Rita part. It's innocent. If your head easily touches the ground, he'll tell your feet in just a little bit closer so that you can have your head floating. Push the feet outer edges of your feet out, but draw the inner thighs up towards the Parenti. Um, if you'd like to have a place to support your head, grab your block and allow the block to just brace below the crown of your head. If your head comes to the ground, then you don't need the block. Rest your head on the block, crawl your arms underneath your body and just allow this easy inversion toe. Help you release that stress inversions. Increased blood flow in the body, but also helped to calm your nervous system. So not just working on the physical part or what you see on the outside, but also on the inside, deep inhalation, through your nose, side out fingertips underneath your shoulders. Inhale to a flat back. Put a little bend in your knees and rise all the way up to standing. Let's move towards that left side. Grab your block. Turn your left toes towards the front of the map. Make sure you have that heel toe arch alignment. Bend into your left knee, place to block the tall way on the inside of your left foot and either place your left hand on the block, pushing your left elbow into the left knee or lowering all the way down onto your left forearm and doing the same thing. If you want to stay here resting your right arm on your right hip, do so or reach the right on up and behind your back, grabbing a hold of the left inner thigh, peeling the right shoulder open. The more you push through the outer edge of your right foot, the deeper the stretch is going to be, and on the front of the pelvis on the inner groins, keeping the weight on the left heel opening that left me out to the left, drawing your shoulder blades down and looking down just to make sure you don't get any more tension in your neck. Also looking down helps to stretch the right side of the neck without half blind pushed down through your left heel. Inhale rising back up into that warrior to stance. Bring your hands to your hips. Straighten your left leg. Moved the block off to the side. Turn your toes in, finding your feet parallel. Now we're gonna take it into a nice goddess stance, opening up both sides of the same time and taking a little twist. Turn your heels and your toes out. Squat down into your goddess, taking your hands to your knees first. I want you to lean slightly forward so that you can use the pressure of your arms pushing out into the knees just to get a little more release. The lower you sit, the deeper this is going to be. Then inhale and exhale. Tilt your right shoulder into the midline, twist your left shoulder open. Push firmly into that right hand pushing the right me away from you and open your left shoulder a little bit more inhale. Exhale back to center and all the way to the other side left shoulder to the midline. You might feel some cracks. Push your laffnie away from you as you dip that left shoulder in pushing your right knee away from you to open the right shoulder, maybe even looking up past it. Inhale back to center. Exhale, Push through your heels and rise up to standing. Now grab your bolster. You're going to set your bolster up like a T in the center of your mat, coming back into that wide legged process. Rita Patin Asana stance. Gonna lean forward over the bolster and lower down into a supported frog so lowering your knees internees down onto the map. The inner part of the foot is also down foot flex. Make sure your heels align with your knees and your knees align with your hips. Your bolster goes right underneath your pelvis and the torso. Depending on what's comfortable for you, you can have your head hanging off of the end of the bolster. Or you could have the bolster far forward enough to support your head. Just turn your head to the left or to the right. I should say, left side of your face down. Just enjoy the stretch. Coming back to remembering how useful are breathing. Convey be Take a deep inhalation through your nose. Sigh it out. Now, if you're feeling some pretty intense sensation, which this pose tends to bring on, I know that you're not alone. And this is actually a really wonderful tool to help you observe how you deal with stress. Sometimes when we stretch like this, especially in deep stretches, we actually take that tension and move it somewhere else. Even though we're stretching, we might not actually be completely releasing. So notice if you're holding onto tension in your jaw or your neck or your shoulders, because in your mind you're feeling like it's really intense. Can you take a deep, inhalation breathing space into that tension? Then, as you exhale, just release completely. Even if it's for a brief moment, you might surprise yourself how useful breathing congee how just training your mind to believe that you're OK can actually change the way you react to stress. We'll turn your face to the other cheek just to balance out your neck with each exhalation, allow the bolster and the mat to just hold the weight of your body. Just a few more breaths. Here you can, always deep in the stretch by moving the knees out a little lighter. Take your figure tips underneath your shoulders. Move your big toes to touch. You need to use a little bit of leg strength here and arm strength. Hug the inner thighs together. Lift yourself up and move your knees ends. You end up in a supported child's post so the bolster goes between the thighs and you lower down to one side of your cheek on the bolster, just allowing all of that stretch to calm down a bit on an inhale arising all the way up to seated. Feeling great, sending the bolster out in front of you. You're bolster is long. Now we're facing the front of the mat. Take it to the inside of your right leg as you straighten your right leg out and take the soul of your left foot to the right inner thigh. Grab a hold of a block if needed. Place it on top of the bolster. Inhale and exhale folding down. So I want you. Typically, when I teach stretching, there's a lot of engagement going on, especially in the leg. I want you to just relax for a moment and just focus on bringing your head to a place where it's completely supported and you can just take a few moments of deep breathing. No engagement in the body head is supported. You're feeling a stretch, though, so if you're too lifted and you feel like I don't feel much of a stretch, you can lower down. Take the block out of the way, put your head on the bolster instead. And if you don't need the bolster, you could just put your head on the ground or on your shin. Do that, But again, I want you to be able to relax your head. Just sit into the fold. This is a technique that is used in yen. One more deep breath with me. Inhale, Open your mouth. Let it go. Try to release all of that attention from the back of your right leg from the muscles in your back. Money inhale rising up and switching sides. Straightening your left leg soul of your right foot to your left inner thigh. And keep in mind at first because, you know, we hold tension everywhere in her body, and in this case it's the left hamstring in the back. You might need to prop yourself up a little bit more, but you'll find after two or three deep breaths that removing some of your support might be a little bit deeper for the stretch. Bringing your head down onto the block that's on top of the bolster. Let your arms relaxed down. If you practice yoga a lot, you'll find that your muscles tend to engage immediately. Right for me, I typically engage my left quad when I'm in the stretch, so I'm just reminding myself, using the power off my breath and the power of thought to just relax. Take a deep inhalation and side out. Let the block let the bolster and the mat really take the weight of your body. Stay in touch and tune. Follow your breath. It's really a powerful way to keep your mind present. After all, stress typically comes from the mind overthinking, overthinking your worries. Your fears here overwhelming to do list But in this practice, or dedicating time and energy to relieving that stress first through the body, then to the mind, you might need to remove one of your support, maybe the block, just to get a little bit deeper. And we'll take two more clearing breaths together. Inhale. Sigh it out one more, inhale side out on an inhale, rising up to seat it. Hopefully, you're feeling as relaxed as I am will take a supported hip opener. Now we've worked on the neck, the shoulders, the back body, the hamstrings where a lot of us keep. Our emotional tension is in our hips, But a lot of times, you know, working on our hips can actually be quite confronting. So I want to do a really mild hip opener and keep this focus on releasing stress rather than bringing more stress into the body. So Sue Costinha, right shin in front of the left, Take your bolster out in front of you, maybe stacking even two blocks if needed to support your head. At first. You know, a lot of this is gonna have to do with us releasing attention and you'll see it right away. Flex your feet as you inhale, lengthen as you exhale, folding all the way down. So if you're extra tight this, you know, building block of support is necessary. But with each deep X elation, you might feel that you can lower down just a bit more, removing one block, maybe removing both blocks that make sure that your head has something to relax onto. Take a deep inhalation here with me. Then, as you open your mouth, relax your entire body, the feet, the legs, a low back shoulders your neck and observe as that physical stress starts to leave the body. One more deep breath. Sigh it out and then inhale. Rise up to seat it. Switch the cross of your legs. Build up that support system if needed. First in him and exhale. Fall down with each deep breath. See if you can begin to remove one block, maybe another just depending on your level of flexibility. Find a place where you feel sensation, but it's not so much that you're tensing up your neck, your jaw, your shoulders. Take a deep inhalation here, open your mouth side out and again inhale as you sigh. See if you can relax feet, the legs low back next, the jaw, even your fingers. Even if it's just for a brief moment, feel that full body release. Newman Inhale Rising up to seated, taking your bolster off to the side of your mat and lying down onto your back, hugging your knees into your chest. Take a deep inhalation here, sigh it out. Make sure that your bolster is off to the right side of your mat. Keep your left knee into your chest. Extend your right leg forward and take it into a twist. But adjust your bolster. Bolster to be right underneath your left leg. Open your right arm to the right and then your left arm to the left, just taking a light twist here. If you needed to be a bit deeper, you can hold on to your left knee with your right hand. As you inhale, lengthen the right side of the body and the left As you exhale. Just relax. Release all of that stress from the muscles around the spine from the front of your left shoulder, and even those thick band of muscles that line the left side of your hip inhale Exhale back to center. We're almost there. Take your bolster off to the left side of the mat. Extend your left leg, forward your right knee in and twist over towards the left, bringing your right knee onto the bolster. And if you just want to relax, open your arms out wide. Take a nice, mild supported twist. If you need a bit more sensation, you can hold that right. Need down with your left hand and twist the right shoulder blade to the mats and then inhale back to center. Situate your bolster across the mat towards the bottom of the map. Get your legs right over the bolster to support behind the knees and even grab a blanket to cover your body. If that feels good, open your arms out wide. Let's your feet drop open. Close your eyes. Take a deep inhalation one more time with me. Here, scan your body for all of that tension. See if that inhalation Kenbrell space into it. Then open your mouth. Let all of that stress go. Allow your back body to melt into the mat. The body be supported by the ground beneath it. I'm just for this brief moment here in Shiva Sena. Be stress free. Thank you so much for practicing with me. Nomis day

Class Description

Skill level: Moderate
Classes: 8
Time: 15-45 minutes
Cycle: 8 days

It can be difficult to deal with the stressors of our daily lives while still expressing ourselves artistically and creatively. This restorative yoga class will help you release these feelings and habitual tensions by using flows and breathing exercises. You’ll be empowered to create a sacred space where you can let go of worry, fear and anxiety to become more peaceful and present. This restorative yoga at home course will help you:

  • Boost your mood
  • Increase your energy
  • Release tension where you hold it most: the neck, shoulders, back body, hamstrings and hips
  • Let go of negative mental energy

Briohny Smyth is one of the most renowned yoga instructors in the world. She’s best known for her signature Fit Flow classes, as well as her dedication to practicing self-care to achieve better health. She found her own path toward healing, health and purpose after ongoing struggles with body image. Becoming a mother led her to share her passion for yoga with others and begin her lifelong journey of teaching. Briohny will instruct you in:

  • Inversions and arm balances
  • Fun and invigorating flows
  • Alignment exercises
  • Feel-good poses
  • Breathing techniques and guided meditation
  • Supported postures

Workout Descriptions:

Let Go Express
This quick, 15-minute practice will help you create space in the body and relieve tension to calm the mind.

Feel good
For busy bodies and minds, open movement is key. Use this quick practice to move through a variety of "feel-good" restorative yoga poses that will help release unneeded tension from your body and mind. You'll leave the mat feeling refreshed.

Thinking or worrying too much can manifest as tension in your body. Through this practice, you will discover how to reduce mental tension and stiffness around your neck and shoulders.

Sleep Well
Although the mind can be busy during the day, it’s important to learn how to relax to get a peaceful night’s sleep. In this yoga for better sleep practice, we will use supported yoga poses to help our bodies relax, and yoga breathing exercises and guided meditation to help teach our minds to relax, and ultimately help you fall asleep.

Be Present
This yoga practice is designed for anyone who would like to awaken the world around them. We'll use strong yoga poses, breath work and short-guided meditation to open our eyes and hearts to appreciate where we are right now.

Stress Relief
Emotional stress can manifest physically as tension in our neck, shoulders, low back and even our legs. This restorative yoga for stress class focuses on supported postures that help lengthen tight muscles and create space in your body and your mind to relieve stress.

Anxiety Buster
Anxiety appears in our minds when we allow fear and worry to take over, causing physical tension in the body. Through this restorative yoga for anxiety class, we will attempt to soothe anxiety through a grounding practice that helps you feel strong and confident in your body and mind.

Although fear can come in many forms, there are tools to deal with it. In this class, we focus on combating fear with easy yoga inversions.