The effectiveness of Yoga on our body and mind has already been established, and today people by the dozen are turning to yoga with the hopes of improving the quality of their lives.
Speaking of which, no other factor taints your health and quality of life more than stress and anxiety. Stress has often been compared to a slow moving time bomb that can cause life-altering conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, and heart conditions in a perfectly healthy body within a short span of time.
The good news is that stress can be controlled and gradually eradicated by a person’s own will power, and since yoga works well in soothing your mind and eventually bringing it under your control, it consequently helps to reduce stress and anxiety as well.
Here are 5 yoga poses that has proven to help reduce and prevent stress:
Kapalbhati Pranayama– If you are just starting with yoga, stick to the basic breathing exercise. Pranayama helps to expunge bad air from the body, while simultaneously refilling your lungs and nerves with fresh air. Ideally, you should be doing this early in the morning.
Pranayama is mainly concerned with high breathing, which is centered around breathing through the upper part of your lungs. Sit upright and breathe rapidly while simultaneously pulling your stomach in with every breath you take.
Also known as the child’s pose, balasana works by shifting your focus to the sound of your breathing and also reduces back and neck pain through stretching. This position involves basically sitting with your head down, so you’d want to do this on a comfortable surface.
Sit with your knees and top of your heels aligned, your upper thighs should be touching your heels, and your stomach would be pressed against the front of your thighs. Now, bend forward till your head touches the ground or surface and stay put in that position till a count of 30 or till you’re comfortable.
You might have done the forward bend before where you try to keep your knees straight and bend forward to touch your toes. Uttanasana is a modified version of the same, where you can fold your knees, touch the ground and bring your head as close as you can towards your knees.
Backbends- This asan is best done if you have an exercise ball, as it provides extra grip and support. As the name suggest, lie on the ball facing up and try to touch the ground with your outstretched palms. Some seasoned yogis can do this asan without the ball, but if you are a novice you might want to avoid this for the time being.
Backbends help in stretching your rib cage and also makes the blood flow to the brain. This is great for refreshing the mind and increasing blood flow, thereby reducing stress. Doing a set of backbends preceding pranayama, will double the effect of the breathing exercise.
This is a simplified version of the headstand. Lie with your legs up the wall such that your entire lower body is pressed flat against the wall. Now try to relax your body and breathe slowly, counting every breath you take.