Guest blog by Manmohan Singh, a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India.
When experiencing stress, sit in a crossed legged position and meditate. A daily practice of meditation effectively restores the inner calm and peace. Meditation is regarded as the mind-body medicine that fosters a deep state of relaxation and tranquil mind. Persistent stress affects the body and triggers the sympathetic nervous system. The practice of yoga asanas stretch and relax the body, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, energize the body, and provide a feeling of connectedness with the spirit.
Some simple and powerful yoga postures that shall help you manage stress:
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): A fairly easy posture to practice that relieves tension from the body, expels dullness, depression, and rejuvenates the whole body and mind.
- Stand straight on a yoga mat with arms by your side and palms facing down. As you breathe in, stretch your arms overhead and fold your palms in prayer position. Breathe steadily and let all your worries fade away. Softly gaze in the forward direction and remain in this posture for 30 seconds or more.
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana ): An ideal yoga asana for stress relief as it reduces tensions, headache, and energizes the body.
- Come on your fours, align your knees with your hips and wrists with your shoulders. Keep your spine upright. Upon inhalation, lift your knees off the floor and stretch your legs behind. Tuck your toes in, raise your hips high and bring your body into an upside down ‘V’ position. Draw your navel in and bend your head down but do not let the head to hang. Set your sight on your navel. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.
3. Lotus Pose (Padmasana): This yoga posture is widely practiced to calm the mind and to prepare the practitioner for meditation practices. The lotus posture soothes the nerves, brings self-awareness, and provides a bountiful of physical benefits.
- Sit on a yoga mat with extended legs and palms on the floor. Bend your right knee and bring your right ankle to the left hip so that the sole of the foot faces upward. Repeat the same with your left leg. Rest your hands on your knees in Gyan Mudra. (Create a circle with your thumb and index finger and keep other fingers stretched). Keep your eyes closed and take deep breaths. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds.
4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana): Named after the Hindu Mythological ‘Kings Of Bird,’ ‘Garuda.’ Eagle pose requires a practitioner to concentrate at a single point which acts as an excellent stress management tool. It also frees up tightness in the shoulders and hips.
- Begin in Mountain pose with arms at the sides of your body. Fold your knees. Balance your body weight on your right foot. Cross your left leg over your right thigh. Hook the left foot behind the right calf. Drop your left arm under your right arm. Keep your forearms perpendicular and press your palms together. Square your posterior to the ground and gaze at the thumbs. Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.
5. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana): The practice of uttanasana on a regular basis quiets the busy mind, balances the nervous system, and promotes feelings of restoration and peacefulness.
- Stand tall on a yoga mat. Inhale, stretch your arms up towards the ceiling. Exhale, hinge forward at the hips and bring your hands to the floor. Place the palms alongside your feet. Shift your weight onto the balls of your feet and relax your neck. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds.
Make the best use of every opportunity. Try these five yoga postures and taste the nectar of boundless positivity, serenity, and well-being.
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Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him, visit his website.