How yoga can help you relax your body and mind and reduces stress
In nowadays society stress is present in every kind of way: Big city living, crowds of people, a lot of rush, traffic, junk food and changing economic and environmental conditions are giving your physical and mental body subconsciously the feeling it needs to rush. In addition, our habits are changing as the whole world is developing faster and wants us to follow in the same way: As we are often in a hurry, our food needs to be served easier and more quickly. But it’s not just about our daily meal, also we as human need to develop in a rush. We need to graduate faster and with better grades, have an increasing career and earn a lot of money, the earlier the better. Society says the bigger, faster and the more the better. In addition to this, also (online) media says we need to do and possess this and that or behave like a certain kind of person to be happy and become attention. All these elements are putting a lot of pressure on you – consciously and unconsciously. But whose to blame? In reality nobody. And what can you do? Be aware of yourself, your mind, body and speech and connect with your inner self more often. That’s where yoga comes in. Yoga is a traditional practice originated in India more than 25 000 years ago. The translation of yoga means „union“. It’s a practice that combines physical and mental flexibility, strength, relaxation, breathing and the traditional yoga philosophy. Yoga is not just about exercising, it’s far more than that: it’s a way of life. Especially when it comes to reducing stress and relaxing your body and mind Yoga can teach you a lot with its breathing and meditation techniques combined with some physical exercises. It helps you to focus on the present and become more aware of yourself and your surrounding, which will automatically calm down your whole body and mind.
Here are 3 Asanas that will reduce your stress level and help you relax your body and mind:
1. Child’s Pose – Balasana
This pose will help you release tensions in your chest, back and shoulders. It reduces stress and anxiety, it encourages the right way of breathing, which will slow you automatically down and promotes the blood circulation through your whole body. It’s a restorative and calming pose.
How to do it:
Kneel down on the floor and touch your big toes with each other. Spread your knees hip-width apart and inhale. Bend forward and lay your upper body down between your thighs while you exhale. Stretch your arms forward and place them in front of you, so that the palms are touching the floor. Your forehead should be touching the mat. Relax, deeply inhale and exhale in this position and don’t put any pressure on your muscles.
This pose relaxes the whole psycho-physiological system. It develops body awareness, increases mind awareness and calms the body down. It can also be practiced before sleeping.
How to do it:
Lie flat on your back, arms a bit away from your body with palms facing upwards. Move the feet slightly apart from each other and close your eyes. Head and spine should be in a straight line. Your whole body should be in a comfortable position without physical movement. Become aware of your natural breath and relax. After some time slowly move all parts of your body and come back in to seating position.
3. Cat Pose – Marjari-Asana
This pose massages and activates your digestive organs and improves the blood and oxygen circulation in your body. The stretching relaxes the mind and removes all strain and stress.
How to do it:
Go in table top position on all fours and make sure your hands are flat on the mat under your shoulders. Your knees should be hip-width apart. With exhalation drop your chin to your chest and arch your back, as the position names says, like a cat. Try to look at your navel. The opposite of this position is the cow pose, normally the two movement go together in one flow.
Here is one Pranayama technique that will reduce your stress level and help you relax your body and mind: Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Technique 2 (Alternate nostril breathing). This breathing technique will balance your breath and the brain hemispheres. It has calming effects and will relieve your anxieties. You can extend the counts of your breathing in this technique and slow your breath and heart beat more down with it.
Über die Autorin:
Helene wuchs in Österreich auf und ist seit 2016 begeisterte Yoga Praktizierende, Food-Lover und Weltenbummlerin. Mit nur 21 Jahren entschied sie sich mit ihrer Freundin zusammen nach Indien zu reisen um eine Yogalehrer Ausbildung zu machen. Dabei stieß sie auf das Yogalehrer Ausbildungs- Zentrum Rishikesh. Sie absolvierte ihre erste 200 Stunden Yogalehrer Ausbildung in Indien im Jahr 2018.
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