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 as it can help rebalance the nervous system and improve mental wellbeing, researchers have found.
Are you ready to strike a pose and break ties with stress? A study at the University of Utah provided some insight on the long term impact yoga practice has on your body's response to stress. The study found 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,” to the everyday woes in your life, start by practicing these 5 stress-relieving yoga poses.
Standing Forward Bend: From a standing position, exhale while dropping your upper body down to your knees. Make sure to bend your knees enough to bring your forehead to your legs while your palms lay flat on the floor or grasp your ankles from the back. Feel your spine stretch as you try lengthening your legs while keeping your forehead on your legs. Hold this pose for 4-8 breaths. Bend your knees slowly and inhale while bringing your arms to your sides. Slowly raise your arms and torso back to the standing position.
Child's Pose: Tuck your legs under your body, sitting back on your heels. Lean forward until your chest rests on your thighs and your forehead is on the floor. Stretch your arms forward, placing one hand on top of the other and gently pulling forward, stretching your spine.
Dolphin Pose: Start on all fours, lower forearms to the floor, tucking toes under and lifting the hips toward the ceiling. Place hands shoulder-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 your head and neck flow freely as you breathe and remain in 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 self.