How Can Yoga Be Helpful in Overcoming Stress?
Stresses in daily life aren’t new to us. From career tensions to relationship issues, financial problems to health issues, there always is something or the other to stress about in modern day-to-day life. Any sort of stress can have a detrimental effect on our physical health since our minds and bodies are very closely connected; when one is facing some issues, the other one suffers consequently.
People are constantly on a lookout to overcome stress in their daily lives. Many come up with solutions such as pursuing hobbies, taking small breaks in between work, going for vacations, retail therapy, massage therapy, etc. But one solution that has been in effect since time immemorial is yoga. Lately, not just India, the origin land of yoga, but countries all around the world have been realizing its usefulness in overcoming stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Here’s how and why yoga can give your stress a run for its money.
The essence of yoga lies in correct breathing techniques. Yoga helps one correct their faulty breathing patterns and helps the lungs to function better. With more oxygen entering the body, we automatically feel relaxed and can feel the tension in our mind and muscles finding its way out.
The next important component of yoga is stretching. Many asanas or poses focus on stretching each limb individually and also as a group of muscles. As your muscles loosen, you will start feeling relaxed and calmer.
- Being in the moment
oga teaches you to be present in the moment. Not worrying about the future or ponder over the past, but simply be in the present moment and think of everything around you. Our stress usually is always about ‘what will happen in the future’; but by bringing our focus back to the present, yoga helps our mind be consumed by what is important ‘right now’ and not let it wander aimlessly.
- Improves concentration
Stress often affects our ability to focus on the task at hand. As our mind wanders, it ends up collecting and accumulating more negative thoughts and results in us being perennially worried about things that are often out of our control. Yoga poses require a lot of strength and stability and with practise teach us to improve our concentration. As that happens, we learn to segregate negative and useless thoughts from positive and useful ones, in turn reducing stress.
Yoga poses for stress
- Easy pose or Sukhasana
Stress-relieving yoga poses always begin with mindfulness. The easy pose requires you to sit on the ground cross-legged. Relax your muscles by focussing on them one by one starting from neck muscles and ending with pelvis and leg muscles. Breathe deeply and pay attention to each breath entering and exiting the body. This pose helps to relax the mind, calm down one’s anxiety and feel relaxed.
- Child pose or Balasana
Sit on your legs and with your hands in front of you, touch your head to the floor. The pose stretches your back, neck, thighs and hamstrings. It instantly relaxes the body and helps you feel more in control.
- Standing forward bend or Uttanasana
Bend down and touch your hands to your feet without bending your knees. Exhale while doing this and hold the position for a few seconds. It helps to relieve stress and calm down the mind.
- Final relaxation pose or Shavasana
This is the most important to end your yoga with. Lie down with down hands by your sides palms facing up and slow down your breath. Relax each muscle one by one and simply lay there for a while.
Yoga helps one discover and connect with their inner self, heal their mind from negativity and make way for a brighter and positive light to come in. Also it’s the easiest and cheapest way to get rid of stress without any therapy.
I do yoga as a way to keep myself energized and mentally strong. Discovering Reiki is also a part of Yoga to keep our mind calm and I suggest others to try these ways. Due to the pandemic, it becomes important to learn these to keep ourselves cheerful.
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