Yoga & Pilates Connecting Consciousness & Whole-Body Commitment

Young woman unrolling a Yoga/Pilates mat before a class.

Yoga & Pilates Connecting Consciousness & Whole-Body Commitment

By Dominic Pereira

Yoga and Pilates are both excellent forms of exercise, offering a variety of health benefits to people of all ages. While the two may have many similarities, they are two very different disciplines with vastly different origins, purposes and techniques.

To the casual observer, Yoga and Pilates can look very similar. Both practices are often done in a group or class and make use of a mat and small props. They both focus on breathing techniques and controlled, repetitive movements to improve overall health and fitness.

For someone looking to take up Yoga or Pilates, it can be tricky to decide which will be a good fit for them. Or even figure out how to incorporate them into existing workout schedules. To make things easier, we’re going to break down the similarities and differences so that you can make the right decision for yourself.

Yoga: Connecting Human Consciousness with The Universal Consciousness

Young woman in workout clothing, meditating on the beach with the ocean and sky in the background.

Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice (around 5000 years old) that aims to connect human consciousness with universal consciousness.

The Asana, or physical practices of Yoga that we are all familiar with today, came about much later, around the 19th century. Since then, Yoga Asanas have blossomed into a wide array of different systems; beginner-friendly Hatha Yoga, dance-like Vinyasa Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga for the perfectionists among us, and many more.

Yoga often incorporates meditation and deep breathing into its routines. As a result, it can help to improve not only your physical health but also your emotional and spiritual well-being.

“Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that aims to connect human consciousness with universal consciousness.”

The Benefits of Yoga

Among many other benefits, regular Yoga practice can:

  • Improve the flexibility of your body and joints.
  • Help manage stress, depression and anxiety.
  • Ease back pain and arthritis.
  • Aid with rest and digestion through an increase in vagal tone.
  • Decrease inflammation.
  • Protect brain function.
  • Lower the risk of Cardiovascular related problems.

Pilates: Breath, Whole-Body Health and Whole-Body Commitment

Originally called Contrology, Pilates was developed in 1920s in New York by Joseph Pilates and his wife, Clara. They built on techniques Joseph had developed as an orderly to assist in the physical rehabilitation of wounded soldiers during World War One.

Pilates aims to create balance in the body by strengthening and lengthening specific muscle groups through controlled breathing, precise and flowing movements and deep concentration.

There are two main variations of Pilates to choose from. Classical Pilates entails doing the same 34 poses in the same order every session. Contemporary Pilates can incorporate other physical movements like choreography, HIIT training, the use of small props and equipment and more.

“Pilates aims to create balance in the body by strengthening and lengthening specific muscle groups.”

The Benefits of Pilates

Among many other benefits, which are similar to Yoga in most respects, regular Pilates practice can:

  • Increase strength, flexibility, and lean muscle tone.
  • Improve posture.
  • Help manage stress.
  • Increase energy levels.
  • Eliminate toxins.
  • Aid with digestion and metabolism.
  • Help boost the immune system.

Choosing an Option

The choice between Pilates and Yoga is often purely personal taste but usually people choose Pilates to address specific issues, imbalances, or injuries in their bodies and often on the recommendation of their Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Doctor, or Specialist.

Since Yoga has a basis in spiritual practices some people feel more comfortable with Pilates as there is no religious connotation or influence in the practice and classes.


  • Asana is a Sanskrit word meaning “posture,” “seat,” or “place.” Asanas are the physical positions we assume during a hatha yoga.
  • Vagal Tone – Vagal tone tells us how well the vagus nerve is functioning.
  • HIIT Training – HIIT training stands for High Intensity Interval Training – a form of cardiovascular exercise.


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At moveOn89, all our teachers are armed with the essential tools of functional anatomy, physiology and nutrition. They are fully trained in Pilates, Fascial Fitness and Personal Training, allowing them to teach Intelligent Movement.

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Get More Out of Every Workout with a Mind-Muscle Connection

Mind-Muscle Connection

Get More Out of Every Workout with a Mind-Muscle Connection

By Dominic Pereira

By now we all know that our brain is in charge of everything our body does and feels. It helps us think, walk, sit, talk, pick up items, etc. So it makes sense that your mind is able to improve the way you work out and help you increase muscle strength; aka having a mind-muscle connection.

What is a Mind-Muscle Connection?

According to

“As you know, movement is controlled by the brain. The first step towards muscular contraction is a signal sent by the brain to your muscles telling them to contract. You might say that the mind-muscle connection (MMC) occurs at something called the “neuromuscular junction”. This is where the mind meets the body. The brain releases a chemical neurotransmitter called “acetylcholine” to communicate with muscles in the body.

When acetylcholine is released at the neuromuscular junction it crosses the “synapses” (the tiny space that separates the nerve from the muscle) where it binds to receptors on the surface of muscle fibers. Voila, muscle contraction.” [sic]

Neuromuscular activation is a well-known term often used by physical therapists when they are helping people with injuries strengthen their mind-muscle connection. According to Wellwood Health, “This brain to muscle connection happens naturally within the neuromuscular system when the nervous system (neural) and the muscular system (muscular) are working together effectively.”

In conclusion, the mind-muscle connection is merely focusing your thoughts on the muscle you are using during your workout whether it’s lifting weights, Yoga, Pilates, etc. to ensure you increase the muscle fibres used; allowing for a better quality workout.

“…almost like ‘flexing’ without actually making any large body movements.”

Alan Snyder, DPT, owner of Breakaway Physical Therapy.

interaction between nerves and muscle fibres
Image Credit: COR

The figure above displays the interaction between nerves and muscle fibres.

Benefits of a Mind-Muscle Connection

  • Better form – as you’re focusing on the movement, you’ll reduce your chances of obtaining an injury.
  • Enhanced performance – since you are focusing on your form and properly executing the movement, you’ll be more in tune with your body’s ability to either push harder or ease off.
  • Great stress relieving method – as you’re focusing on the workout, it can help you forget about things causing you stress (even if it’s just for an hour).

How to Effectively Develop a Mind-Muscle Connection

Here are a few tips and tricks to help develop a mind-muscle connection:

1. Clear Your Mind

In order to fully focus on your workout and your form, you have to try and clear your mind of unrelated thoughts, like your to-do list. This will allow you to fully connect with your body during your chosen workout.

2. Focus on Your Form

According to SkinnyMs., proper form is not just for creating an effective mind-muscle connection; it’s crucial to ensure you reduce the risk of injuring yourself during your workout.

If you’re focusing on the muscle you’re working on, you’ll notice if your form starts slipping or if you’re doing the exercise too quickly to really feel it working.

3. Gain Strength From Inside

According to Sheer Balance, by focusing on the strength you have inside, you’ll start to understand the deeper framework within your body and start correcting its imbalances, misalignments, etc.

“If we can manipulate our bodies with our minds, we can correct misalignments and unhealthy posture, balance muscle groups making sports or daily activities easier, safer, and more enjoyable, and we can remember how to feel the strength of our body and all that it’s capable of doing.”

4. Slow It Down

According to, by performing exercises slower than usual, you’ll be able to concentrate on the movement and which muscles are being contracted. It will help visualise the muscles you are using. And if you’re unsure where certain muscles are, try researching them before your workouts to know where to feel the contraction.

5. Warmup Properly

Important for any type of workout or movement, warming up the body remains essential in order to properly wake up your muscles and ensure they are warm enough for a great workout.

For instance, if your focus is on your legs for a specific workout, doing small, unweighted squats, hip bridges, etc. beforehand will get them warmed up, allowing you to know exactly which muscles are working during your exercises.

6. Eccentric Exercises

According to My Fitness Pal, performing eccentric exercises will ensure your muscles are properly stretched before contracting. Eccentric contraction is when you slowly lower yourself or weights to really help you focus on the movement and ensure your muscles are working optimally.

The bottom line? There are immense benefits when slowing down and focusing your mind on your movements. You’ll be able to increase strength without having to start using heavy weights or additional equipment.

Looking for a way to stay fit and healthy at home? Rent or buy one of our pre-recorded, edited videos. Our library has a selection of Pilates (and Pilates Stretch), HIIT, and Yoga classes, which you can easily join from the comfort of your home. Start taking action to ensure you have your healthiest body and mind. Get in touch to make your booking or join an IN Studio class

Why Join Live Online Movement Classes?

Live Classes | moveOn 89 | Pilates | Yoga | Wellness

Why Join Live Online Movement Classes?

By Dominic Pereira

Why do Live Online Movement Classes?

That’s a good question. The web is filled with loads of free content that you can watch and use at your leisure. So why sign up for a live class?

As a studio owner and movement enthusiast I can only speak from my own experience and share how our live classes have worked during lockdown to keep our clients healthy, sane and strong!

I have been so impressed and honoured by our clients’ commitment to showing up on the virtual mat daily. Some keen beans even TWICE a day. Most of the regulars are doing at least one class a day, whereas in the days of IN studio classes most people did only one or two classes a week. Others have taken up HIIT for the first time and are happy to find that instead of it being scary and murder, it’s just murder! ha! Jokes, if you’ve never tried a HIIT, it’s 30mins well spent. Read our blog on the benefits of HIIT here.

We’ve had Movers from Paris, London, Lisbon, Colorado, Wilderness, Mpumalanga, Maritzburg, Cape Town and Ballito join us – just shows the beauty and blessing of this technology. All are welcome 😀

How an Online Movement Class Can Help You

This enforced STAYcation, known as Lockdown, might have caused some to lose the ability to move and quite possibly their marbles too, but a streaming live class forced others to make a commitment to a specified time when they booked their spot, and show up.

You show up because you’ve paid and the teacher is waiting for you. And you get to wave hello to other faces from around the globe or around the corner. In this way, we stay connected and the live experience makes us feel, just that, alive. We might still be in a virtual world but it’s happening in real-time which is refreshing in a time of so much fakeness and the inability to identify with a buff, half-dressed trainer. Which creates a lack of meaningful contact. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch and then you need real people that you can identify with!

There are lots of online movement options out there. YouTube alone has a gazillion videos. According to MerchDope, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and over five billion videos are watched by users a day!

Please use these videos if you can’t afford live classes. Just choose well 🙂

Benefits of Live Online Workout Classes

In a nutshell, these are the benefits of live online classes…

Personal Connection

The difference between our live streaming classes and pre-recorded videos are two things:

  1. The personal connection in this disconnected period. We have a relationship and therefore a trust and we can connect in class, say hello, smile at one another, and then get down to the business of good movement.
  2. The added attention despite the lack of eyes on your body: Your teacher will check-in at the beginning of every class and if there is a sore knee, shoulder or heart that we need to be aware of we try to address that during the class.

Beat Boredom

You’re home, bored, frustrated, the days are melting one into the other – Groundhog Day. After day. After day. But with a class booked into your schedule, you have something to do, to show up for. And not just something – but movement – the best gift, other than good nutrition and sleep, that you can give your body. Especially now that we have all this free time, it’s the perfect opportunity to improve your health.


You are able to see and interact with others at a time when many are feeling isolated and cut off.

Form a Healthy Habit

You will end up doing more classes than you would on your own because you’re now part of a community and it becomes a habit very quickly once you schedule it in and show up. A good habit. And wow, do we need more of those!

Instant Access

Access to your favourite class is at your fingertips. So no matter where in the world you are, if your time zone corresponds, or you don’t mind doing Pilates at 2 am! ha! So when you’re travelling (yes, that will happen again!), for work or pleasure you can still keep up with your fitness regime and your connection to your local studio.


Live online classes are generally more affordable than IN studio sessions since you aren’t getting personal attention from an instructor.

Build a Routine

Another beauty of working out at home is that exercise becomes less of a chore, which you resent and avoid, but it’s now part of your life and your home and your routine. You have seen how easy it is to exercise anywhere, all you need is a mat. You’ll continue to learn a lot even though you don’t have a teacher standing over you. With some guidance – you CAN do this!

You Can Choose

Post lockdown, when studios are open, you can do a combo of IN studio and live streaming, as we will continue streaming all our classes. This means that if you’re running late for a class or out of town, you can still do it from the comfort of your lounge or hotel room.

Our mantra for this loco lockdown is: Whether together or apart, let’s stay connected 💞

Please join us for live online HIIT, Pilates, Yoga, and Stretch sessions! Your first class is free, which is great if you’re not sure about the online experience but want to give it a try. Moving daily will definitely make your body feel amazing but it will ALSO get the endorphins flowing freely making that decision to be in a good mood so much easier.

We encourage you to join as many classes as you can. We have made the fees wallet-friendly as we know that it’s tough right now but we also know that our collective wellness is vital.

A Few Words From Our Streaming Community

At the end of the day the proof is in the pudding (no, don’t eat pudding!), the proof is in the human experience. This is what our regular streamers, have had to say:

“Thank you for the breath of fresh air you bring to my day when I attend your class.”

“The silver lining of this strange time is that Allison introduced me to Moveon89. If / when I come back to Cape Town I will definitely come to meet you in person, for a big hug.”

“I am really loving the stretch classes and find them super beneficial at the moment! I also really appreciate your positivity, the classes really set me up for a great day!”

“I have so appreciated the streaming sessions, they have been an absolute godsend in these times!”

“Hellooooo- you are such a light in these dark times- feel so much better after the workout.”

“Just want to say thank you so much for these online classes – it is amazing how every class has been exactly what I need on the day!!”

“so good to move, dearest. Thank you xxxx”

“thanks so much for these Pilates sessions. we are enjoying them together as a couple. And my body is feeling great.”

“I had forgotten how much I loooooooove your classes!!! So good to be active on the mat, even only once a week and with kids crying behind the door!”

“thank you for keeping us connected and moving. not once have you shown fatigue or fear – you are always smiling and ready to rock.”

“I loved our session and it made me realise how much I need to move…. looking forward to another class soon.”

“thanks for today. feeling amazeballs. I adapt where you recommend and don’t push beyond my limit…”

“…my core is so fired up now I could paddle the bay!”

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief [ Pose Guide]

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief | moveOn 89

Top 9 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

[ Pose Guide]

By Dominic Pereira

Yoga, the ancient philosophy and practice of health and well-being, addresses all dimensions of the human system: body, breath, mind, personality, emotions. But yoga is particularly helpful for stress relief as it encourages an increase in mindfulness and self-compassion through controlled breathing, meditation, mental imagery, and a series of stretching poses or asanas.

Studies have found that even a little yoga, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. A fundamental principle of yoga is that your body and mind are one and connected. Practicing yoga will help you balance and tone the connection between your body and mind and build your ability to remain calm and relaxed.

Symptoms of stress

Sweaty palms, heart racing, millions of thoughts speeding through your head? All these and more are signs of stress and anxiety. Stress can wreak havoc on your well-being—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

We all struggle with stress, especially with the ills we face in modern living. Many people deal with stress by exercising or other less beneficial methods while others try to ignore their feelings, allowing them to build up and affect their health.

Stress is a common result of being in an unfamiliar or unwelcoming situation. It causes one to feel unwell and makes insignificant problems seem larger than they are. For instance, some people stress about their financial situation, while others might stress about a rocky relationship with a friend or partner. We all have unique fears and anxieties and different ways of dealing with stressful situations and challenges.

Although we cannot permanently eradicate stress, the good news is that we can reduce its unpleasant side effects by exercising and practising yoga is one of the best methods. By learning how to relax your body and mind, breathing more effectively, and practicing a series of asanas, yoga will help reduce the symptoms of stress.

Physical symptoms of stress

  • Tense muscles
  • Low energy
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Frequent colds
  • Chest pain
  • Shaking
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Grinding teeth or clenched jaw
  • Upset stomach – diarrhea, nausea, constipation

Mental Symptoms of stress

  • Depression
  • Irritability / Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Racing thoughts
  • Lack of focus
  • Persistent worrying
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loneliness

The practice of yoga will allow you to gently ease your mental and physical pace by focusing on mindful breathing, simple meditation, and physical postures. This will help to reduce stress, and at the same time, assist with lower blood pressure, increase lung capacity, improve your respiratory function, and heart rate.

What’s more, like most forms of exercise, yoga can boost your body’s production of hormones such as endorphins which are essential to cultivating happiness, health, and feelings of calmness. Endorphins, which are released when you do any form of exercise, play an important role in managing physical pain and negative emotions.

From beginner-friendly poses to the intricate eagle, not all yoga poses are equal. Each has its unique benefits from improving your posture to relieving headaches and insomnia, while also restoring your nervous and lymphatic system.

Below are nine asanas to help with stress relief.

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with optional Forward Fold

Easy Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

A simple pose for both beginner and intermediate yogis—Easy Pose or Sukhasana is an uncomplicated therapeutic pose which calms the mind and reduces stress and anxiety.

Adding the forward bend helps increase the exhale, leading to the relaxation response.

Sukhasana stretches

Your lower body areas such as your knees, ankles, hips, groin, and outer thighs.

Sukhasana helps with

Easy Pose helps with the gradual strengthening of the back muscles and improves body posture.

How to do Easy Pose

  • Start by sitting cross-legged on your mat, right shin/foot in the front.
  • After a few minutes, slowly bend forward as far as you can, arms out in front of you. Don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Stay in the forward bend for five breaths, then straighten.
  • Switch legs and repeat above steps.

2. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Forward Fold Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Uttanasana has many benefits which include quieting a busy mind, promoting calmness, and balancing the nervous system. It’s also mostly used as a transition between poses.

Uttanasana stretches

Your hamstrings, calves, hips, and back.

Uttanasana helps with

Standing Forward Fold helps to reduce stress and fatigue, stimulates the liver and kidneys, and relieves headaches and insomnia.

How to do Standing Forward Fold

  • From Tadasana or simply your neutral standing position, bend your knees and hinge forward from your hips, placing your hands in front of your feet. Remember to engage your core and exhale as you fold.
  • Shift the weight to the balls of your feet. If your hamstrings are too tight, bend your knees slightly to prevent strain on your lower back. If you don’t have tight hamstrings, lengthen through the back of your legs. Remember to keep the weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Grab hold of each elbow with opposite hands. Focus on softening your jaw, neck, around your eyes, and clearing thoughts from your mind.
  • Hold the pose for five breaths, then slowly rise back up to Tadasana.


  • While practicing this asana, imagine your worries flowing from your head all the way down to your feet, and being completely absorbed by the ground.
  • Take your time coming out of this pose, especially if you have low blood pressure.

3. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child's Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Child’s pose or Balasana is perfect for quieting a busy mind and soothing the adrenals. When we stress excessively, we put pressure on our adrenal glands (located above the kidneys). This can lead to burnout.

This pose allows you to embrace your inner child, hence the name Child’s Pose.

Balasana stretches

Your back, hips, thighs, and ankles.

Balasana helps with

Child’s Pose can help to reduce stress and restore the nervous and lymphatic systems.

How to do Child’s Pose

  • Start on your hands and knees, sit back over your heels with your hands in front of you.
  • Slowly fold forward until your forehead rests on the mat.
  • Allow your big toes to touch. You can either have your knees together or separated (it depends on how tight your hips are).
  • Traditionally your arms are resting alongside your body, but you can stack your hands and rest your head on your forearms. You can also extend your arms in front of you.
  • Stay in this pose for at least ten breaths.


  • If your backside isn’t touching your heels, place a cushion in between.
  • With each exhale try to let go as much air as you can.

4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Eagle Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Eagle Pose or Garudasana is an intricate pose allowing you to “squeeze” out the tension in your body and focus on your balance, helping to alleviate stress and improve your concentration.

Garudasana stretches

Eagle Pose is perfect for stretching the whole body — your thighs, hips, calves, ankles, shoulders, and upper back.

Garudasana helps with

Eagle Pose stimulates the immune system and improves balance.

How to do Eagle Pose

  • Begin by standing upright with your arms at your side.
  • Bend your knees, balance on your right foot and cross your left thigh over your right.
  • Hook the top of your left foot behind your right calf.
  • Extend both arms straight in front of your body, then drop your left arm under your right.
  • Bend your elbows, raise your forearms at a 90-degree angle (perpendicular) to the floor. Wrap your hands and arms, finally pressing your palms together.
  • Square your chest and hips to the front. Draw your belly in and up.
  • Focus on the tips of your thumbs to further retain your balance.
  • Try to hold the pose for one minute. Gently unwind arms and legs and repeat on the left side.


At first, the pose might seem challenging, but continuous practice will soon allow you to master the Eagle Pose with less effort. Consistency is key! If balance is very difficult, touch one big toe to the floor.

5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana acts as a mild inversion, with the heart higher than the head. It helps calm the brain and central nervous system, promote ease and relaxation, alleviate stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana stretches

Bridge Pose stretches your chest, neck, spine, hips, and back.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana helps with

Bridge Pose strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings, improves digestion and the circulation of blood. It helps lower high blood pressure and can help with backaches, fatigue, insomnia, and headaches. It also stimulates the lungs, thyroid, and abdominal organs.

How to do Bridge Pose

  • Start with lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet hip-width apart. Keep your arms alongside your body with palms facing down.
  • Press your feet into the floor. Inhale as much as you can and lift your hips. Ensure you keep your knees hip-width apart.
  • Press into your arms and shoulders to lift your chest. Engage your legs and glutes to lift your hips higher.
  • Hold for five breaths, exhale and slowly roll your spine back to the floor.


For more support, add a yoga block underneath your sacrum.

6. Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

Extended Triangle Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

The Extended Triangle Pose is the perfect full-body stretch to help relieve stress and reduce anxiety. The pose is a standing asana in modern-day yoga and includes variations such as Baddha Trikonasana and Parivrtta Trikonasana.

Trikonasana stretches

Extended Triangle Pose helps stretch your lower body areas such as the knees, thighs, and ankles.

Trikonasana helps with

Extended Triangle Pose helps with digestion, sciatica, and osteoporosis.

How to do Extended Triangle Pose

  • Start the pose by standing upright, exhale and spread legs one metre apart.
  • Stretch your arms sideways with palms facing the ground.
  • Turn your right foot out at a 90-degree angle.
  • Tighten your thigh muscles and turn your right thigh outwards.
  • Bend your body down from your hips toward your right leg.
  • Twist your body to the left.
  • Push your left hip forward (slightly) and lengthen your tailbone towards your heel.
  • Put your right hand on your ankle, shin or the floor, depending on your flexibility level. Stretch your left arm straight up into the air.
  • Keep your head straight and hold the position for 30 seconds.


If you can’t reach the floor with your hand, place your hand on your leg either above or below your knee or on a yoga block.

7. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Cat Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Cat Pose or Marjaryasana is another asana which helps relieve stress, increase spinal flexibility and mobility and create emotional balance.

Marjaryasana stretches

Cat Pose mostly focuses on stretching the lower back, but the movement also stretches the muscles of the hips, upper back, and lungs. Cat Stretch held at its peak, releases tension in the upper back and neck.

Marjaryasana helps with

The asana flow (moving from one posture to another, seamlessly, using breath), helps relieve stress from menstrual cramps, lower back pain, and sciatica. It also massages and stimulates organs in the belly like the kidneys and adrenal glands.

How to do Cat Pose

  • Start on your hands and knees, exhale while drawing your stomach into your spine.
  • Round your back to the ceiling as far as possible.
  • Point the crown of your head to the floor. Don’t force your chin onto your chest.
  • Repeat ten times.


  • Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Don’t force your head down, instead let it drop naturally.
  • To ensure the Cat Pose moves your spine, keep your arms straight.

8. Legs-up-the-wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Commonly using a wall, the Legs-up-the-wall Pose or Viparita Karani is a fully supported asana. Having your legs up against a wall helps reduce stress and is a great pose to do before bed-time as it calms your mind and heart.

Viparita Karani stretches

Legs-up-the-wall helps stretch the back of your legs and neck, and chest.

Viparita Karani helps with

Legs-up-the-wall asana facilitates lymph drainage, increased blood circulation, and allows the return of blood back to the heart.

How to do Legs-up-the-wall Pose

  • Start by placing your hips against a wall, then roll onto your back while straightening your legs against the wall.
  • Your bottom should be pressed against the wall as close as possible. You might have to wiggle your way up close.
  • Hold this pose for five minutes.

9. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose | Top 9 Yoga poses for stress relief | moveOn 89

Usually, the last asana in yoga is the Corpse Pose or Savasana. It is generally considered the most calming part of the class. This pose promotes a sense of physical and emotional grounding, puts the whole body at ease, and leads to total relaxation.

Although it seems as if someone is simply laying on the ground, the pose is much trickier in reality. Even though most students are able to easily twist and bend their way through a yoga class, simply lying still on the floor is quite a struggle for some. Relaxation doesn’t happen on demand. Savasana helps fade away fears and worries, as the student gradually sinks into a complete state of relaxation.

Once you’ve mastered Corpse Pose, it’s extremely rewarding, as it relaxes your breathing, improves concentration, calms the mind, and improves mental health.

Savasana helps with

Corpse Pose helps with insomnia and is an excellent asana for stimulating blood circulation.

How to do Corpse Pose

  • Start by lying flat on your back with your legs apart but not wider than your mat. Keep your arms at your sides with palms facing up.
  • Keep your eyes closed, face relaxed, and focus on breathing deeply.
  • Allow your mind to focus on each part of your body, starting at the top of your head and moving all the way down to your feet and releasing each part.
  • Hold the pose for three to five minutes.


Do you need help getting rid of those tense muscles or overflowing thoughts? At moveOn 89 we care about mental and physical health. Our yoga classes will ease away your stress knots, help your muscles release tension, and clear your mind. For a booking, contact us on 082 923 0367 or simply book a class online.

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We use cookies to track visitors, measure ads, ad campaign effectiveness and analyze site traffic. We may also share information about your use of our site with 3rd parties. For more info, see, our Cookies Policy, our Privacy Policy. By clicking “Accept All” you agree to the storing of all cookies on your device. In case you don’t choose one of these options and use our website, we will treat it as if you have accepted all cookies.