Do you struggle with releasing tension in your body? Hitting the mat every now and then could be just what you need. Yoga is known to be a blend of the most effective techniques to reduce your stress levels. From breathing techniques to movement: melt your stress away with yoga.
How yoga reduces stress
If stress is getting the best of you, and taking control over your life, it’s time to check-in. If you are reading this, you’re probably looking into a way to reduce your stress, and chances are you’re interested in yoga. Let’s take a look at the benefits, and see which techniques are applied in yoga that helps deal with stress.
Physical activities release endorphins: natural painkillers that reduce stress. It also increases self-confidence, giving you a better mood as a result. Those who think yoga is not a workout will think again after their first class. Although there are numerous types of yoga, opting for an active style such as Vinyasa will give you a serious workout.
Going through repetitive movements and pairing them with your breath will help you connect your mind to your body. This will result in being present and stops you from worrying. Often stress is induced by worrying about something that lies in the past or in the future. By focusing on the here and now, your mind will calm down and your body will stop show symptoms of stress.
Especially with a seated lifestyle, we tend to store tension in our bodies. This tension remains unreleased if we do not move enough. Yoga postures are often targeted on the areas we store stress, such as our major joints. By going through stretching and opening movements your body will let go of the stored tension.
During a yoga class, there is a lot of focus on your breath. By breathing in and out deeply, you will signal your brain it is in a safe environment. This allows your mind to instantly calm down. Breathing deeply is the easiest way to relaxation.
Yoga is a form of meditation in itself. A yoga practice lends itself exceptionally well for a meditation session, as you are focusing on the present and calming down your mind by breathing. Often a session is ended in Corpse Pose (Savasana), giving students the opportunity to meditate.
Are you ready to hop on your mat and melt your stress away? Below are a few poses that are targeted at calming down your mind. Give them a try after a long day, or whenever you feel stressed.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
A wonderful hip opener, which helps release some of the tension stored in the hip region. This is especially nice after you’ve been sitting down for a while.
- Start by lying down on your back.
- With an exhale, bend your knees and lift them up into your belly.
- Open your knees slightly wider than your torso, and grab the outside edge with your hands. If this is inaccessible to you, grab a strap and pull it over the soles of your feet, or grab onto your shins.
- Flex your feet and pull your knees towards your armpits. Option to sway side to side. Make sure your sacrum stays on the ground while you’re in this pose.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
A forward fold brings some release to your spine and helps stimulate your blood flow.
- Start by standing upright, feet hip-distance apart.
- Breathe in and stretch your arms all the way over your head.
- On an exhale, bow forward with your heart first.
- Option to keep a bend in your knees and rest your belly on your upper legs. If you’re particularly flexible, feel free to keep your legs straight and hold onto your calves.
- If you have a slight bend in your knees, it may feel nice to grab opposite elbows and sway from side to side.
- To come out of this pose, rise up as slow as you can. Lift your head up last.
Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)
This pose is a slightly more advanced stretch, that opens up your shoulders and gives a slight backbend. This will bring a nice release to the upper back area for those sitting behind a computer or driving a lot.
- Start on all fours, with your wrists stacked underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips.
- Walk your hands out forward.
- Reach your buttocks back and place your forehead on the floor or on a blanket.
- Keep your arms active by reaching forward. Don’t let your elbows touch the floor.
- If you want to deepen the stretch, slowly walk your knees back a little further.
Getting the hang of it? In this article, you’ll find more poses to calm down your mind.
By combining the most popular and most effective techniques to reduce stress, yoga is an excellent way to calm your mind and master your stress levels. Hop on your mat after a long day and give these poses a try to see for yourself what a difference they can make.
Once you’ve finished a yoga session, a guided meditation is an amazing way to calm down your mind even further and continue this mindset throughout the day. Download the Deep Meditate app to gain access to free guided meditations.