Breathe, Relax And Be Still

Yoga As A Stress Reliever

We all have circumstances in our lives that can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. Certain situations cannot be controlled by us—the only thing that can be controlled are our reactions. Stress and anxiety are brought on by circumstances and situations far beyond our control. There are things that can be done to relieve stress and anxiety.

Different forms of exercise, medication and often times avoidance. Yoga can relieve stress and anxiety if you allow it. When many people hear of yoga, they immediately think that it’s not for them because they aren’t flexible enough and another host of reasons why. But yoga is for everyone—every single person can do yoga. Yoga is not just for the mat; it’s for everyday life as well. Stress relief, fitness, and management of chronic illnesses are just a few benefits of yoga.

There are many different styles of yoga and each has its own recipe for combating stress and anxiety. When choosing a yoga style, it all comes down to personal preference and how you are feeling at the moment. Each style of yoga follows the main concepts of mind, body, and soul. When those three concepts become one, you are fully connected to yourself. Meditation and breath are the tools to help you to arrive at that connection. When you meditate and listen to your breath, nothing else around you matters or holds weight. Focusing on just your breath forces you to be present in that moment and slows your mind down. When you are stressed and anxious the focus is on what triggered those bad feelings and nothing else. Meditation and breathing are two positive approaches in times of struggle.

There are different poses to do that are specifically for relieving stress and anxiety. Here are eight poses to do when you are feeling stressed or anxious and need to relax and take a break from the world.

1. Child’s Pose

This pose is great for relieving stress and anxiety because it forces you to focus on your breath and nothing else. Just focus on your breath because in this pose nothing else matters. Melt your body into the early and feel the stress and anxiety leave your body. Sit up on your knees and sink your bottom to your heels as you lean forward and the rest of your body will fall into your thighs. You can stretch your arms in front of you or on the side of your body.


2. Reclined Goddess Pose

This pose brings extreme relief to your body and mind. You are surrendering your body to the earth. To feel extra relief, you can bring one of your hands to your heart and feel your chest rise and fall with each breathing sequence. Lay on your back and touch the bottom of your feet together while our knees fall to either side with your hands by your sides.

3. Standing Forward Fold

This pose helps to relieve stress and anxiety by turning you inward and releasing tension in your shoulders and legs, which can become tense when you are in negative situations. To accomplish this pose, stand straight, fold your body over your thighs and place your hands behind your neck to relieve tension. Staying in this pose for about five breaths is recommended and repeat as needed.

4. Legs Up the Wall

This is one of the best poses for stress and anxiety relief because it gives you calm over your entire body and calms your whole nervous system down. Our nervous systems feel it the most when we are experiencing stress and anxiety. Lie on your back near the wall and put your legs straight in the air against the wall. Make sure your thighs and bottoms are as close to if not touching the wall. You will feel instant relief from a stressful day.

5. Corpse Pose

The final pose of most, if not all, yoga styles. The act of being still and doing nothing seems to be the cure for stress and anxiety. In this pose, you are lying still on your back with your legs and arms slightly spread out onto or even off of the mat. This pose just requires you to shut your mind off and just breathe.

The variety of yoga styles and poses makes yoga phenomenal stress and anxiety reliever. No matter the yoga style or pose, you will be given the challenge of focusing on your breath and to be present at the moment. The connection of mind, body, and soul as one is the main concepts of yoga and once you arrive at that place, you will not want to go back.

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