Stress often has a physical impact, causing symptoms such as backache, a headache, or general fatigue. The following techniques can be used to release physical tension, allowing you to relax and rediscover your inner balance.

1. Pilates

Pilates is a popular exercise method that realigns and balances your body by focusing on core postural muscles that keep the body balanced and support the spine. It increases flexibility, coordination and stamina while promoting muscle strength. Pilates can help you to become slimmer and fitter as well as more relaxed. All exercises can be done at home on a mat or towel, so can easily be practised in the comfort of your own home if you don’t have time to attend classes. If you are trying pilates for the first time always start with the movements for beginners, as learning correct form and alignment are essential to gain maximum benefit from the technique and prevent injuries.

Pilates is good for:

  • stress release
  • decompressing your joints
  • improving posture
  • a stronger back
  • a flatter, more toned stomach
  • flexibility
  • improving circulation
  • stiffness and soreness of muscles.
  • Learn more about pilates at: the Pilates Foundation

    2. Yoga

    Yoga is a technique that balances mind and body, promotes co-ordination and develops flexibility. Practicing yoga regularly also builds strength and stamina, helping you to create a stronger, leaner body. It is simple to practice at home as you do not need a lot of space or special equipment. By bringing the body into balance, yoga has a positive effect on mental well-being. It can help you to relax, improves concentration, reduces stress and calms the mind. Specific breathing exercises can either stimulate or relax you, preparing you to handle a hectic day with calmness or helping you to sleep peacefully. As with pilates, always start with movements for beginners. It is helpful to attend classes so that you can learn each position from an expert, but if this is not possible a good DVD can teach you the essentials.

    Yoga is good for:

    • relaxation and meditation
    • posture
    • circulation
    • improving general well-being

    Learn more about yoga at: The British Wheel of Yoga