Fifteen minutes is enough to get rid of anxiety today and help you achieve a calmer and more relaxed state of mind and increase your long-term resilience.
Yoga has long been touted for stress reduction. And research supports this claim. Research shows that yoga can help improve mental health, increase feelings of relaxation, and reduce irritability in people who practice it. This mind-body practice helps regulate the stress response that causes physiological changes in the body, such as lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and increased airflow to the lungs, among many other factors that help us calm down. Practicing yoga can help you build resilience to better deal with issues that come up when you’re not exercising, and you can use it in the moment to reduce stress.
But what postures are best for achieving a state of calm?
Anchor poses, in particular, help stop the hamster wheel of mental chatter. Anchor poses are where you need to relax your mind. While other poses that are more physically demanding, such as inverted or balancing poses, may require a lot of concentration and physical strength to stay in place, poses that can be held for longer without breaking a sweat can help calm you down. .
To reduce stress levels, first of all: keep your phone out of reach. Also, try to make your yoga classes comfortable for you. If that means doing it in sweatpants or underwear, then go for it. In a warm room or with the air conditioner on full blast? It’s also good. Don’t set goals. It’s okay if you can’t touch your toes. It’s okay if you have to change your exercises. Your yoga practice is for you and for getting rid of your anxiety. You don’t have to have a special appearance.
Try practicing these yoga poses for 15 minutes a day, but any time you can devote to this practice will be helpful. Choose one pose and try it when you feel down at the moment or at the end of a busy day to relax. Focus on your breathing during each pose. Long, deep breaths slow your heart rate and help trigger the beneficial effects of stress. Also, when you focus on your breathing, it’s harder for you to focus on what’s stressing you out.
Here are five basic poses to try and reduce stress today.
Repeat these exercises as needed, and if you feel well:
1. Pose in the corner
This is a calm pose, which makes it a great starting point. Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Then spread your knees out to the sides, allowing your feet to touch so that your legs form a diamond shape. Place one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach. Feel your heartbeat slow down. Stay in this position for at least a minute. Repeat if necessary.
2. Sitting forward bend
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keeping your torso stretched (without arching your back), lean forward and touch your toes. Stretch as far as you can without shaking or feeling uncomfortable. If your hands can reach your knees or shins, put them on your feet and stay there for a minute. With time and practice, you will eventually be able to go further.
3. Salutation to the Sun
Stand up straight with your legs slightly apart. Keep your arms at your sides, palms facing forward. Raise your arms above your head to the sky, then slowly bring your arms back, arching your back and opening your chest. Every day you will find that your chest opens up more and more. Lean forward to reach your toes. Hold for a few breaths at the top of the pose, then lean forward. Repeat the exercise if you like.
4. Elongated half dove
This pose helps relieve tension in the hamstrings. Lie on your back and pull your knees towards your chest. Bend your right leg so that your heel rests on your left knee and your right knee sticks out to the side. Reach for your left leg and pull it towards you. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring, this is where you know you are in the pose. Hold this position for about a minute or a few breaths. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
5. Feet against the wall
This is a great grounding and calming pose because all you have to do is lie down with your feet up on the wall and relax. To do this, sit with your right side against the wall. Lie down, then turn your body towards the wall and turn your legs along the wall so that they rest against it. If you feel more comfortable, lie down on a mat and place a pillow or blanket under your head for extra comfort. Also consider placing a folded blanket under your lower back to support your spine, or another under your neck if that makes the position more comfortable.
If you are a beginner, you may feel your legs shake in the pose. But this posture will eventually help you create a space in which to sit with your thoughts. Try entering this meditation practice pose if you have it. Hold the pose for a few breaths, or as long as you like.
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