black woman standing in a field holding a yoga mat under her let arm

It’s crazy to think at the beginning of 2017 I was running out the gate with plans to get fit. Remember my Fit Body Reboot collaboration with fitness blogger Sydney Torabi? Now, I’m lucky to muster the motivation to complete a yoga session. But alas, that’s where I stand at the end of 2017.  The end of the year is likely the most stressful time for many Americans. Not only do you have holiday plans on the brains, but your job is likely in the final sales push of the year meaning more stress at work too. Yoga has been my peace offering to my body, and these 6 moves are my favorite for decreasing my stress levels.

black woman sitting crossed legged reading 2100 Asanas

black woman standing by a lake doing yoga


Before writing this post I went to the library and checked out a book called 2,100 Asanas The Complete Yoga Poses by: Daniel Lacerda. I’m not a yogi, I just do yoga because it feels good and helps release stress. So, this book was extremely helpful in finding new poses, but most importantly making sure I knew the correct names of the yoga poses. I know I’m not the only one who completely spaces on the names of yoga poses in the middle of a class. So I have to look around at everyone else to see what they are doing.

To begin, I start with a few sun salutations to loosen up my hamstrings and find my breath. If you are completely new to yoga, you can watch this video of basic sun salutations to learn how to do them.

After a few sun salutations, I begin my yoga flow. Here are some of my favorite yoga poses to relieve stress.

black woman standing on yoga mat by the lake

black woman in the downward dog position

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Shvanasana)

This pose is great for stretching your hamstrings and lower back. You can view the move in action here.


black woman performing lord of he dance yoga pose by the lake

black woman performing lord of the dance yoga pose by the lake

Lord of the Dance (Natarajasana)

This is one of my favorite backbend poses. Backbend poses are great for counteracting the sitting we do at desks all day.  You can watch how to perform this pose here.

black woman performing yoga pose by the lake

Feet Spread Mountain Pose in Hero Succession Series (Prasarita Pada Tadansana in Vira Parampara)

I discovered this post in the 2,10 Asanas book and I love it. It’s another great backbend that allows me to open my heart. You can view this pose in action here.


black woman performing hands bound yoga pose by the lake

Hands Bound Pose Dedicated to Goddess Kali ( Baddha Hasta Kalyasana)

Another great backbend pose that opens the heart. This one is very easy to perform and it provides a great stretch to your inner thighs as well.

black woman performing yoga pose by the lake

Standing Rising One Legged Chin to Knee Pose ( Stiti Utthia Eka Pada Chibi Janu Shirshasana)

I like this pose because it helps me improve my balance. This is a fairly easy pose to perform, but if more support is needed to aid in balancing, you can hold on to the back of a chair.

black woman performing yoga pose by the lake

One Legged Downward Dog (Eka Pāda Adho Mukha Śvānāsana)

A little more difficult than your typical downward dog pose. You can see the move in action plus a simple modification here.

black woman doing sideways mountain pose by the lake

Sideways Mountain Pose – Raised Bound Hands (Parshva Tadasana Urdhva Baddha Hastasana)

Open up your rib cage with this power standing pose. This is so simple it can be performed at your desk.

If you are new to yoga don’t get discouraged by the moves I’m showcasing above. Yoga is practice meaning it takes practice to get good at it. I’m nowhere near where I’d like to be but someday maybe I’ll be able to bend like a pretzel as I see so many yogis do. I’m always looking for new moves to try and would love to see our favorite poses! Follow me on Instagram @mybrownsparklez and tag me in a photo of you performing your favorite yoga move.

For everyday beauty, style, and sustainable fashion inspiration subscribe to my email list! Sustainable fashion is the future of fashion.