Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A new year can come with new stress, and managing it can start right at home with something like yoga.
According to Psychology Today, research shows that yoga reduces stress perception and stress reactivity in the body.
And while many people might say they’re too busy to attend a yoga class, Lake Area Yoga instructor, Kelly Saucier with Edgemont Healing says there are some basic poses you can try at home.
Saucier says that a breathing position is a great starter position, “One of our favorite breathing practices in yoga Pranayama is the boxed breath.”
She says this breathing technique is great for calming the nervous system and can reduce stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
“It gets you out of the ‘fight or flight’ mode of shallow breathing. The Navy Seals have used this technique to stay calm in intense situations.”
1. May be done anytime, anywhere! Seated, standing, lying down.
2. You may want to close your eyes, or just soften your gaze.
3. Bring awareness to your breath. Notice if it’s fast or slow.
4. Soften your face. Soften your body. You may wish to place one hand on your heart and one on your belly.
6. Expel all air out through your nose.
7. Inhale through your nose for four counts.
8. Hold your breath for four counts.
9. Breathe out through the nose for four counts.
10. Hold your breath for four counts.
11. Repeat the cycle as many times as you need. Just a minute or two is very beneficial.
12. If you can’t do four counts, do two or three and work up to four.
Another yoga pose Saucier suggests is the “Mountain Pose (Tadasana)” which helps with your posture.
1. Stand with feet hips width apart or with toes together, heels slightly apart.
2. Arms by the sides of the body. Having your palms facing forward is a nice way to open the shoulders.
3. Relax your shoulders sway from your ears and feel your shoulder blades move towards each other.
4. Feel grounded in your feet. Feel your crown lifting to the sky.
5. Your chin should be slightly tucked to lengthen the cervical spine.
Legs Up The Wall
Saucier says that also you can do one at home called “Legs up the wall (Vipariti Karini).”
This pose is great for a number of things like relaxing the nervous system, circulation of both the lymphatic and venous systems, deep relaxing sleep, low back pain, reducing swelling in feet and ankles, anxiousness, and headaches.
As with any pose, she says you should consult your doctor if you are pregnant or have other health issues, “This pose is contraindicated for people who have glaucoma, unmanaged high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure.”
1. Sit down on the floor with your left hip and shoulder against the wall, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
2. Use your hands to support you and as best you can swivel your legs up the wall, and gently recline your back down to the floor.
3. Scoot as close to the wall as possible. Your legs will be flat against the wall with your feet up in the air. You may need a towel or blanket rolled up under your neck for support, or a blanket under your low back to soften the floor. You may need to bend your knees a bit too, but that’s okay! You’ve still got your feet above your heart reversing the blood flow.
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