Yoga is one of the best ways to reduce stress and tension in the body. It can be done by anyone, regardless of ability or experience level, as long you find a way to make your body and mind feel good.
You can also join an online yoga class to improve your yoga skills from the comfort of your home.
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Best Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress
Here's a look at six such poses:
1) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This is a great posture to start any yoga practice, and it helps you focus on your breathing. It also helps you feel grounded and balanced, confident and strong, like you can accomplish anything.
Here's how it's done:
- Stand tall on a yoga mat. Arch your back. Bring your arms out by your side.
- Push your chest out. Breathe in through your nose, and exhale slowly.
2) Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The downward facing dog is a great all-around stretch, with particular benefits for the arms and shoulders.
It's done as follows:
- Start in the plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Spread your toes wide apart so that the tops of them are about two inches beyond the mat.
- Press firmly through both hands, and straighten your legs by lifting them up off the floor till you are balancing on the four points of contact between each foot and floor: toes, outer ball of foot, inner ball of foot, and heel.
- Press down through both heels as if trying to push into the floor with them, and roll each ankle outwards to open up through this area.
- Press lightly down into a point at least two inches behind either big toe; lift your hips up towards the ceiling while keeping your back flat.
3) Child’s Pose (Balasana)
The child’s pose is one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving poses. It's done as follows:
- Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart, and sit back on your heels while keeping your feet together.
- Rest your forehead on the mat or floor, and close your eyes.
- Take long deep breaths in and out through your nose for two minutes. That will help you relax mentally as well as physically by reducing the stress hormones and oxygen level in the bloodstream or circulation system of the body to calm down nerves.
4) Corpse Pose (Savasana)
The corpse pose is the ultimate relaxing pose. It allows the body to completely relax and also helps you clear your mind of all distractions. To do this pose correctly:
- Lie down on your back with your legs and feet flat on the floor.
- Extend arms by your sides with palms facing up. Lengthen out through your fingertips and toes while pressing firmly into the floor so that every muscle in the body is relaxed except for those keeping you balanced on the mat (think about lengthening into a straight line from head to toe).
- Breathe gently through the nose; if that feels remotely uncomfortable or restrictive, try breathing through both nostrils instead of one at a time, like in Savasana.
5) Half King Pigeon Pose
This pose is great for stretching the back, hips, and shoulders. It can also relieve tension in the neck and lower back.
How to do it:
- Kneel down on a yoga mat. Extend one leg out behind you, and bring out one leg in front.
- Ensure that the rear leg is straight, while the front leg is bent.
- Bring your arms behind, and pull the rear leg up till it's parallel to your back.
- Hold for as long as you can.
6) Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
The happy baby pose is s very relaxing and calming. This pose is great for relieving stress, as it stretches out the muscles in the back that are often tense due to hunching over all day.
It's done as follows:
- Lie on your back, and place your feet together.
- Pull both legs in towards your chest, letting your knees drop to the sides.
- You can also bring them closer if you want to. Your legs must open like an upside-down V shape.
- Clasp both hands around the lower legs or feet with interlaced fingers, and press down on the floor with your arms to lift up off of it.
- Bring both legs up so that the knees drop open onto either side of the torso, or bring them closer together.
- Press firmly into the floor using forearms while lifting shoulders away from the mat.
- Inhale deeply three times through the nose while maintaining shoulder separation from the mat.
Yoga is an amazing practice that has many benefits for the body and mind.
If you're looking to relieve stress, try the aforementioned yoga poses and exercises and see how they positively impact your mood.
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Q. How often do you do yoga?