Yoga To Reduce Your Stress : In a world that is constantly on the go, everyone needs a way to reduce stress and relax. Whether that be curling up with a good book, taking a nice bubble bath, or doing yoga, a way to unwind and reduce your stress is imperative to maintaining your physical and mental health. This article will focus on using yoga to reduce your stress and improve your mental health.
Because of the growing popularity of yoga, thousands of people have either tried it or practiced it regularly. While it has been a tool used in the Eastern world for thousands of years, it is newer to the Western world, yet gaining popularity very quickly. There are so many benefits linked to regular yoga practice, and one of them is reducing stress and anxiety.
This article will take a look at how yoga can reduce your stress, as well as give you some tips on how to use it as a stress reducer. No matter your age, level, or flexibility, yoga is great for everyone and can benefit even the least experienced person out there. Let’s take a look at yoga to reduce your stress.
How Yoga Can Reduce Your Stress
You’ve heard that yoga can reduce stress, but do you know how it can? Stress can have adverse effects on the body, such as tension, headaches, and, if not addressed properly, it can have long-term effects on your health as well. However, doing yoga regularly can help combat that stress and keep you healthy and happy. Here’s how:
Yoga teaches mindfulness.
Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future are two sure ways to bring stress into your life. However, grounding into the present moment and focusing on being mindful can help reduce stress both in the present moment and over time. A study published by the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that stress levels were significantly reduced in people who participated in an eight week program in which they learned and practiced mindfulness meditations.
Yoga is a form of exercise.
As most people know, exercise can significantly reduce stress. It keeps your body healthy and releases endorphins which automatically make you feel good. These natural hormones can help you feel good immediately, which will also reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, when your body feels good and healthy, you won’t have the capacity to feel stress. Doing yoga can be a way to immediately reduce stress and increase happiness.
Yoga improves sleep.
Let’s be honest, most adults don’t get enough sleep, which can both be caused by stress and lead to stress. It’s a vicious cycle. However, yoga can help to break that cycle, improve your sleep, and reduce your stress. Studies from NCBI have shown that yoga can improve the quality of your sleep, which can lead to more energy and better moods, as well as less stress on a day-to-day basis.
Tips For Yoga To Reduce Your Stress
There are several ways that you can use yoga to reduce your stress. Here, we will list some tips for doing so, as well as some specific poses that are good for stress relief.
Use your breath.
Pranayama, or breathwork, uses specific breathing techniques to create mindfulness, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and so much more. By incorporating pranayama into your yoga practice or at any time throughout your day, can immediately bring stress levels down, creating a calming mindset and a perfect set-up for a stress-free day. Next time you are practicing yoga, try focusing on connecting your breath to your movement, and notice how your whole mindset and attitude shifts.
Release negative thoughts.
When practicing yoga, negative thoughts are bound to pop up now and again. Rather than trying to ignore them or creating more negativity by creating anxiety around those negative thoughts and thinking that you should not be having them in the first place, be aware of them, be open to receiving them without judgement, and then release them. Rather than stressing over the fact that you are having negative thoughts in the first place, simply let them go and you will feel much better.
Practice these poses.
There are several different types of yoga, as well as hundreds of poses to practice. Any type of yoga can reduce stress, but there are some poses that are notorious for reducing stress. Some of them include:
- Child’s Pose – Balasana:
This pose is a wonderful way to reduce stress and rest between other challenging poses. Child’s pose can help you restore energy and is a great way to incorporate breathwork into your practice. To practice this pose, place your knees slightly apart on the mat, placing your big toes together (top of the foot down on the mat) and your heels slightly apart. Sit back onto your heels and extend your arms above your head. Bring your forehead down to the mat and take at least five deep breaths.
- Cat-Cow Pose – Marjaryasana to Bitilasana:
These poses, when practiced together, can relieve tension from your back, hips, and neck, which automatically reduces stress. Begin in a tabletop position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees. With an inhale, open up through your chest, pushing your shoulders down your back and drop your stomach down toward the mat. With your exhale, curve through the spine and drop your head down toward the mat while simultaneously tucking your pelvis under your hips. Repeat these movements, following your breath.
- Reclined Butterfly Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana:
This resting pose is very restorative and an excellent way to relax and reduce your stress. To practice this pose, lie on your back on your mat and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to fall toward the earth and place your hands either down by your sides with your palms up toward the sky or place one hand over your stomach and the other over your heart.
- Child’s Pose – Balasana:
Practicing yoga regularly can help to reduce your stress and improve your overall health and well-being. Be sure to start slow if you are just beginning to practice. Also, be sure you have the right equipment to practice. If you are in search of an eco-friendly yoga mat, try an all-natural cork yoga mat. They are great for your practice, as well as the environment. Enjoy your practice and stay stress-free!
Sarah Mercey is a world traveler, hiker, and nature lover. She is a journalist, yoga teacher, and lover of life who is passionate about sharing wellness tips with people around her. She has experience in small editions and often writes articles on the topic of mindfulness and yoga.
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