In a world moved by notifications, calendar invites, and social media, stress can become an inescapable feeling for many. Being plagued with chronic stress can deeply impact the health and harmony of your mind and body. Recently, more people have turned to yoga as a form of natural treatment for stress and anxiety. Researchers have found that regular yoga practice can help rebalance the nervous system and improve mental wellbeing.
Ready to strike a pose and break ties with stress? A study at the University of Utah provided some insight on the impact long term yoga practice has on stress response. Regular yoga practice can help your body learn to regulate stress responses and triggers. Yoga poses and stretching techniques impose moments of stress on the body, while controlled breathing will help you to remain calm, focused and mindful. If you’re seeking more “relaxed responses” it to the everyday woes in your life, start by practicing these 5 stress-relieving yoga poses.
Standing Forward Bend: From a standing position, exhale forward and bend knees enough to bring palms flat to the floor with head pressed against the legs. Feel your spine stretch, as your head pulls down and in. Then press the hips up; and straighten legs to deepen stretch. Hold for 4-8 breaths, bend knees, inhale arms to sides, and raise arms and torso back to standing.
Childs Pose: Kneel with legs together, sitting back on heels. Lean forward until chest rests on thighs; forehead is on the floor.
Dolphin Pose: Start on all fours, lower forearms to the floor, tucking toes under and lifting the hips toward the ceiling. Place hands should width apart with fingers spread wide. Press forearms, fingers and palms to the floor while keeping a straight spine and pushing the hips back and heels onto the floor. Let head and neck freely as you breathe and remain the pose for 2-6 breaths and return to table pose on all fours.
Cat Pose: Begin on all fours (tabletop); inhale, drawing the belly to the spine. As you exhale, round your back towards the ceiling; don't force chin to chest.
Corpse Pose: Lie flat on back with legs together but not touching, and arms with palms facing up. Keep eyes closed and face relaxed. Then breathe in deeply, and exhale slowly while bringing attention to each part of the body. Hold the position for 3-5 minutes.
Experience the transformative effects of yoga for yourself. You are only one yoga pose from a better mood!