Have you ever seen how, when you are stressed, everything begins to go pear-shaped? Your mind works overtime, your body becomes exhausted and sometimes you may even become ill. Everything is linked – your mind affects your emotions and your emotions affect your overall well-being. Now think about the opposite of this. When you are happy, you think positive thoughts and quite frankly, you feel amazing.
Yoga is all about channelling this connectedness within your body to improve your ability to control your mind and body while enhancing your well-being through the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey you take on when practising yoga.
It may seem a bit wishy-washy, but have you ever noticed how drained you feel when you are stressed? That is because stress basically drains our batteries and almost forces us into panic mode. This results in increased tension in the neck, shoulders, and head. By channelling the connectedness referenced earlier, you become better equipped to manage these stressors and also more in tune with identifying them.
To get your journey to a stress-free life started, we have found three of the most effective, stress-relieving yoga poses. Forward-bending yoga poses have been found to be beneficial in reducing stress as it increases exhalation which promotes relaxation.
How to do yoga poses to reduce stress
The first pose that we are looking at is the Standing Forward Fold.
How to do the Standing Forward Fold
- From the Standing Mountain pose (standing upright), bend your knees and begin to engage your core. Move forward from your hips and place your hands in front, or next to, your feet.
- Shift your weight over to the balls of your feet, lifting your bottom upwards.
- Hold onto each elbow with the opposite hand and slowly relax your head, neck, and mind.
- Maintain this position for a few cycles of breath and then slowly release.
The next stress-relieving pose that we will be looking at is the Child’s Pose.
How to do the Child’s Pose
- Starting on your hands and knees, slowly move your bottom backwards over your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you.
- Slowly bend your body forward until your forehead rests on the mat.
- Keep your big toes next to one another. You can either have your knees, hip-width apart, or right next to one another.
- Move your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up. If this is not comfortable, you can rest your head on your arms in front of you.
- Maintain this asana for a number of breaths and then slowly release.
Our third and final pose is the Reclined Bound Angle Pose.
How to do the Reclined Bound Angle Pose
- Start by lying down on your back. Slowly push the soles of your feet together while pushing your knees out to the side. You can utilise a block to prop your knees up if need be.
- You can either position your arms overhead with each arm holding the elbow of the opposite side, or you can rest your arms alongside you – whichever is more comfortable for you.
- Maintain this position for a number of cycles breaths and then slowly release.
If you want to learn more about yoga poses (or asanas as they are termed in Sanskrit) then have a look at our Yoga Instructor Certification. For more information about this course, please follow this link.