Yoga for Stress Management and Relief
Yoga and Meditation for Stress
Battling With Stress in Everyday Life
Everyone deals with stress, no matter what age or situation you are in. There are also different levels of stress, depending on what the stimuli is. For young kids, stress might come from the pressures of academic life or being bullied by their classmates. For adults, it could come from trying to beat deadlines at work or meeting your boss' expectations in terms of your quality of performance.
Stress can be manifested externally or internally. Regardless, you have to find ways to address this issue so you can cope with it. In most cases, people suffering from stress experience a toll in their immune system, thus making them more susceptible to certain illnesses. Other people lose the ability to focus causing their performance to dip all the more.
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Effectiveness of Yoga Against Stress
Many experts claim that stress is more mental than physical. Therefore, they believe that if you can manage to gain enough mental control to eliminate any source of mental stress, then you'd be better able to cope with certain stressful situations in your life. Several companies have advocated yoga knowing its relaxation and stress-relief benefits for workers, which has produced more efficient workers that are active in both mind and body.
The various methods used such as breathing exercises, meditation, concentration, mental imagery, and physical exercises has enabled the body experience a deep and relaxed state. The basic idea that is used by yoga in dealing with stress is formulating a relaxation response. This does not prevent stress from happening, but it equips you with the proper state of mind that will counteract any possible negative byproducts of stress.
Recommended Yoga Exercises for Stress
For a more effective yoga stress relief effort, you can develop a routine that you perform daily. Hence, it cleanses your mind and body off any negative effects that might be produced from stress.
Below are a few exercises and poses that you can include in your stress relief yoga routine in the given order. Remember that quality is better than quantity. Therefore, it is not how often or long you perform these exercises that you are able to effectively combat stress but in your proper execution of them.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This particular yoga pose is characterized by the use of stretching exercises that soothe your tense muscles and nerves. It is one of the simpler yoga poses there is but nonetheless provide exemplary benefits against stress.
While in a standing position, slowly bend from your hips with your legs separate. Do this slowly until you have fixed into position. Your goal is for your fingers to reach the floor; plant your feet firmly on the floor so you can gain more balance. While your torso is bent forward, your sitting bones point upward. Execute proper breathing patterns of slow but deep inhalation and exhalation. Maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds, depending on how long your body is able to hold this particular pose.
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Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
This one provides a slight variation to the Uttanansana, with an emphasis on providing flexibility on your limbs. To perform this pose, create a wide separation between your legs and it varies according to the length of your legs. For an average person, it should be between 4 to 4 feet.
With your toes and feet firm on the floor, slowly arch your torso forward so it goes parallel with the floor. Extend your arms until your fingers touch the floor. Breathing in between these movements until you reach the final position is important. As you bend your torso forward, make sure it is full enough that it produces a concave on your back. Suggested period for maintaining this pose goes from 30 seconds to a minute.
Downward-Facing Pose (Adho mukha Vriksanasana)
To give you an idea, this pose arches your abdominal area such that it appears as though you are creating a triangle from afar. Meanwhile, your fingertips and foot are planted on the floor. Since your head is basically upside down, it is easy to lose balance. Experts therefore suggest that starters perform this against a wall for more stability.
Extend both legs and widen your shoulders. Your main source of strength in maintaining this pose will mostly come from the abdominal muscles, therefore beginners typically find getting into this position a lot more difficult than it appears. Some precautionary measures must be taken in the angle of your back's arch as you are into position since it could possibly lead to injuries. Maintaining this position for at least 10 to 15 seconds is good enough.
Stress Relief Yoga : Relaxation Yoga Poses
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Here is another popular yoga pose executed for relief from stress. It is simple yet quite effective.
To get started, find a cushion or yoga mat where you can lay on your back. Then, slowly bend your knees upward while allowing your arms and inner feet to stay put on the floor. After the knee is lifted, allow your buttocks to gradually lift itself up off the floor.
Hold on to this pose for as long as a minute to feel completely relaxed, especially on your back area. To return to your original position, make sure you do it slowly to avoid straining your supine area. You simply have to follow the same procedure when going into this position, only in reverse.
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Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
This particular pose is challenging only at the beginning, but once you have learned the trick, you will surely enjoy performing this for the kind of relief it provides. Supported shoulderstand involves mostly your limbs with support coming from your shoulders. Therefore, you need to find a soft cushion to avoid straining your shoulders as it carries the entire weight of your lower body area.
Allow your hands to hold your lower back area and lift it towards the ceiling, with only your back and shoulders touching the floor. You will start by laying your entire body on the floor and slowly curling your knees away from the floor. Then, draw your knees toward your torso and straigtening it up until it is pointing upwards.
Beginners are typically advised to hold this pose for at least 30 seconds, but advanced yoga practitioners usually hold on to this pose much longer than that.
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