When you become stressed, it sucks up all of our energy, emotionally and physically our body and mind become depleted. You become stuck in panic mode, your head, neck, and shoulders can become very tense. Your body organs are also affected.
Practicing Yoga offers us tools to help cope with stress. When you are feeling overwhelmed, by outer circumstances, it’s time to tune into and help your body.
Yoga is often mentioned as a natural remedy for stress relief. This is because of the meditational aspects of practicing yoga. In addition to the meditation practices, there are also poses that can help with stress relief.
If you are new to practicing the Hatha yoga style, you may be wondering if there poses that can help with your stress.
Here are a few Yoga Poses to consider for your routine stress relief.
To help with stress relief you can start with the bridge pose. This pose needs to be done either on your knees or with your feet flat to the ground. If you have a lot of stress or tension, start with the pose on your knees. Slowly lean back until your shoulders are on the mat or floor and bend your back like the hump of a bridge.
This is a modified bridge pose. If you are more flexible, move your feet out so they are flat and create the bridge with your back again.
From bridge pose, release your back slowly out of the arch. Slowly roll over onto your knees and then lay with the front of your legs flat to the ground. You can also lay flat with your stomach on the ground or mat. From either of these poses, move your arms into a pose similar to one for push-ups. Push up slowly and move, so your chest is open and facing out, like a cobra.
This releases stress from your chest and chest muscles as well as your back.
When you are finished with cobra pose, you can roll slowly onto your back and go into corpse pose. Lay flat on your back with your arms out to your sides. They should be out at a slight angle with your palms facing up. Your legs should be spread at a shoulder-width apart. Breath slowly in this position.
This is a pose that many people use to simply stay relaxed when they do not have the time to do a full yoga pose routine.
If you still need a bit of meditation at the end of your stress relief yoga routine, then try the lotus pose. You sit with your legs crossed, palms up on your knees, and back straight. Breath in and out slowly and start your meditation. This is a good way to end your routine if you are doing it in your home and out of your bed.
If you are doing the poses in bed, consider ending with the corpse pose instead.
These are just a few of the more common Hatha yoga poses that can aid in stress relief. The ideal option is to mix these Hatha yoga poses with a stress relief routine such as a bedtime ritual or meditation ritual. The combination will give you a full relaxation option and help reduce stress throughout the body and mind.
Tips For Improving Your Yoga Flexibility
When you started your yoga practice, you likely had weight loss or tension release in mind. You may not have expected to stick with yoga as long as you have, or to want more out of your yoga practice.
One of the benefits you may want to gain from your yoga practice is to improve your flexibility.
If this is your goal, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Increase Bends and Arches
One of the easiest ways to improve your flexibility through yoga is to increase the poses that use bends and arches. For example, the downward facing dog is a great pose to start with. You start off with your body in a bent position making a reversed V shape with your body. Your rear is the point of the triangle or V.
You are stretched at your arms and at your legs. This helps improve flexibility over time by being able to increase the stretch and the move by bringing your hands and feet closer together over time. You can do this technique with other poses and asanas as well. Some of these include any of your forward or reverse bends and your rocking boat and bridge techniques.
Move Away from the Wall
Some asanas have you using a wall as a wall sit or as a backup for your legs. The problem with this is that you don’t really work your leg muscles or back muscles. This means you do not get the flexibility you are looking for or want. The wall gives your body a backup so you are resting against the wall rather than using your muscles fully.
Move away from the wall and start using your own muscles and body to hold the position. You will notice more flexibility and you will also be working your core.
Use Bricks and Straps
When you first start out working on your flexibility you may get discouraged quickly, especially with yoga. What you will find is that you aren’t able to keep your legs or arms stretched as much as you thought. Instead of getting discouraged, use bricks and straps.
With straps, you can start with a certain length on the strap and shorten that length overtime or remove the strap completely. With bricks you can start with them in the highest position on their side and slowly move the brick to the other side, laying down, and finally removed once you are able to stretch to the full extent of the move.
If you use these tips to help with your flexibility, then you will start to see improvement. Though flexibility does come with routine yoga practice and with changing your routine as needed, it will come with patience. Just remember that it will take time and work.
What are your favorite yoga poses for reducing stress and tension?