Along with a state of mental discomfort, there is also an almost tangible feeling of anxiety
and restlessness associated with the term stress. There are numerous ways to
beat stress, but Yoga is one of the best proven techniques to combat and
prevent chronic stress.
Yoga brings about mental tranquility and a physically calming effect that helps to
de-stress your body by mollifying your mind and undoing the tension in your
muscles. Overall, yoga helps in the following ways:
- Reducing heart rate
- Loosening wound up muscles
- Increasing the supply of oxygen
into the body
- Reduces anxiety
There are 4 Yoga techniques that work in curbing stress:
Breathing- Correct breathing forms the very basis of Yoga, in fact there are separate yoga
asanas (postures) centered entirely around breathing. Kapalbhati and Pranayama
are two asanas that helps you to breathe deeply and expel the bad air from the
body. When you are stressed, you tend to take short and shallow breaths,
leading to a deprivation of oxygen in the body and which further clouds your
brain. Such deep breathing related yoga asana helps you to relax and calm your mind.
Stretching- Doing yoga on a regular basis increases the flexibility in the muscles. When
you are stressed your muscles tenses up and become taught, especially that of
your neck and back. Stretching helps to unwind this heaviness and increase the
flow of blood to the body and hence the brain.
Rolling your neck in a 360 degree, while simultaneously putting pressure on your neck is a
quick way to relax.
Meditation- Meditating for half an hour twice a day has immense health benefits. First off,
you need to learn the basic of meditation, which depends upon the correct
posture and your chosen method. Some people meditate to a low intensity music
or sound, like that of rain drops or clock ticking, while others focus on an
object or sometime on a thought.
Yogic meditation is not very different from the modern day meditation that most people engage
in. In both cases, you need to sit upright, breathe correctly and shift your
focus towards the desired object.
Some Yoga postures that help in reducing Stress
Pranayama- Sit upright preferably on the floor or chair and breathe in deeply till your full
capacity. Now slowly exhale till all the air has been expelled out of your
body. Repeat for at least 20 times.
Dradhasana- Lie on your side and keep a hand underneath your head like you would have kept a
pillow. Now align your body so that you are laying in a straight line, close
your eyes and give each part of your body the command to relax starting with
your toes and moving upwards.
Alternate Breathing- Sit upright, slightly tilting your face downward, now take your ring
finger and place it on your left nostril and breathing in deeply through your
right. Now alternate with the right nostril and repeat this at least 10 times.