Practicing yoga can be an effective stress reliever and a way to ease symptoms associated with anxiety. Yoga can divert your focus and attention to the body and breathe thus alleviating anxiety while also freeing you from physical tension. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses that affect millions of people across the globe.
Maintaining a regular practice session can be an ultimate way to alleviate stress, calm the mind and stay in shape. When you talk particularly about stress relief, not all poses can have equal effects. Only a few poses help you beat the anxiety and stay calm while infusing in you a sense of restfulness.
These yoga poses help us to slow down and tune into the breath – allowing us to decompress so that we can prepare our body to take up daily pressure once again. The actual poses help us in different ways and act on certain parts of the body. Before you begin, you must remember that yoga is a practice, not a competition. Start with basic or where you are and proceed with extreme caution. Avoid injury, listen to your body and don’t push yourself to feel good with the practice.
Here are 10 poses to help you beat stress and anxiety with yoga:
Sukhasana or Easy pose
This pose has some ultimate benefits aside from promoting in you groundedness and keeping you calm. It lengthens your spine, opens your hip, and augments the state of tranquillity, serenity while eliminating anxiety. Focus on your breath while practicing this pose and sit tranquil with a straight spine for minimum 60 seconds to relieve physical and mental tiredness and exhaustion.
Anjali Mudra or Salutation seal
You reach a meditative state of awareness by practicing this mudra. Typically, it is performed with our hands in the centre of heart chakra depicting a balance between left and right side united at the centre. This balance is not only physical, but also mental as well as emotional with the idea to bring us to the centre and prepare our body for contemplation and meditation. You can begin this practice by sitting in a comfortable cross-legged position while keeping the eyes closed.
Bitilasana or Cow pose
This pose provides an easy and gentle way to warm up your spine. You can couple this with Cat Pose on the exhale for a gentle flowing vinyasa. This pose massages and stimulates organs in the belly area – adrenal glands, kidneys, and creates a great degree of emotional balance in addition to calming the mind and relieving the stress. In order to achieve proper alignment, you should place knees under the hips and wrists directly under the shoulders.
Marjariasana or Cat pose
This pose is definitely a powerful stress buster and also provides a gentle massage to the belly organs and spine. Practitioners also couple it with cow pose on the inhale for gentle flowing vinyasa. Practicing this pose also benefits your overall health by stimulating the spinal fluid and your digestive tract.
Paschimottanasana or Seated forward bend
This is an ultimate asana to help a distracted mind unwind. The asana is a basic but challenging pose with many known health benefits aside from alleviating stress and anxiety. Additional benefits of this adana – improves digestion, reduces fatigue, reduces the symptoms of PMS and menopause, stretches the hamstrings, lower back and spine. It also stimulates organs like ovaries, kidneys, uterus and liver. When practicing this asana, lower your forehead towards your knees and keep the feet flexed.
Uttana Shishosana or Extended puppy pose
This pose stands between Downward Facing Dog and Child’s Pose. While relieving the symptoms of chronic stress, insomnia and tension, this pose also lengthens spine, invigorates the body and calms the mind.
Balasana or Child’s pose
It is the perfect pose to counterbalance supported headstand. Sit on the knees and bend with arms forward (or may be by your side). In this pose, let your forehead rest on the ground in order to alleviate additional anxiety. It is a restful pose that you can practice between different challenging asanas. You can also practice this pose by keeping arms alongside the body rather over the head.
Salamba Sirsasana or Supported Headstand
Standing on your head in the proper alignment can calm your brain while strengthening your body. Headstand is the best practice to ease anxiety by reversing the blood flow. Also, it makes you to focus more on the breath and the body in the present. In addition, this pose also provides your heart a rest by saving it from regular work that it performs when you are standing – i.e. pumping the blood back up from the lower portion of your body.
You can practice this pose against a wall if you are a beginner. But, make sure that the weight is more on your shoulders and forearm rather than your head and neck. Take care of the proper alignment during this pose – it would make a piece of paper to slip through your head and the mat.
Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
Janu Sirsasana is a perfect forward bend for every level of yoga practitioners. It is also a spinal twist that calms your brain and helps relieving mild depression, fatigue, anxiety, menstrual discomfort, headache and insomnia as well. You can practice this pose with both arms approaching the extended foot. Also do it by rotating your torso sideways and extending the forearm over the head.
Savasana or Corpse pose
This is the pose for complete relaxation. Practicing it seems simple, but in real it is one of the most challenging asanas. Savasana give your nervous system an opportunity to integrate with that brief pause before making the efforts once again to deal with the typical stress of daily life. When practicing this pose, lie on your back with eyes closed. Keep your arms by your sides and palm facing up while allowing your ankles to fall outwards. Let your body relax or feel more grounded with every breath. Stay in this pose for around five minutes.