5 yoga moves to relieve stress

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Yoga helps us relieve our stress.

No body likes stress. Whether you suffer from chronic stress, anxiety or just feel like you’re constantly on the run, it can wear you down and cause serious health issues over the time.

Most people develop some form of coping mechanism to combat stress

I call them “easy buttons”. Easy buttons are there to transport you out of the present and take you into your stress-free zone, and they often come in the form of Music, Shopping, Food, Alcohol, smoking  and drugs.

However we all know that those things don’t really help make the stress go away, they only mask it temporarily.

After years of struggling with self-destructive easy buttons for a long time myself, I have found yoga as a new way of dealing with stress.

Showing up on your mat has been shown to decrease cortisol and adrenaline, the main stress hormones that make you feel overwhelmed and on edge. Especially during yoga’s long hold of poses offers a chance to turn inwards and sit in stillness.

When you allow yourself to be in present moment and practice stillness, time slows down. Things like Anxiousness, Deadlines, – all those things start to fade into the background and the stress begins to melt away. and you slowly move into Alpha state of mind

Here are a few of my favourite poses that I attribute to helping me manage my stress and get back in tune with myself.

You don’t need a special sports wear or a teacher to do these poses. All you need is space, commitment and a little time for yourself. I recommend at least 6-10 breaths in each pose.

Which type of yoga is best for stress relief?

Hatha yoga, in particular, is a good choice for relieving stress. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, It has a slower pace and easier movements.

Can beginners do hatha yoga?

Its actually best for beginners, because of its slow pace, Its a mind body yoga helpful in relieving your stress

Another yoga for stress relief is child’s pose

Child’s Pose is commonly used at the beginning of yoga practices as well as in between challenging poses. I’ve found a lot of comfort in this pose whenever I need a moment to rest. It helps to release tension in the back, neck, shoulders and the pressure of the forehead against the floor activates the parasympathetic nervous system.

Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees hip-wide. Now lay your torso down between your thighs and forehead to the floor. Lay your hands overhead with the palms on the floor and feel the opening in your chest. Breathe slowly and deeply, actively pressing the belly against the tights on the inhale.

Legs up the wall

If you’ve taken yin classes before, I’m sure you’re familiar with this pose. It’s one of my personal favorites when coming home after a long day of work, because it’s great for easing anxiety, lowering high blood pressure, and reducing lower back pain. All you need is a wall, your mat and maybe a pillow or blanket under your lumbar spine.

Bring your mat to the wall, sit with your right or left side as close as possible to the wall, then swing your legs up onto the wall and keep your shoulders and head on the mat. Bring yourself forward until your buttocks and hammies touch the wall. Close your eyes and relax. This is a great pose to hold for 10 minutes or longer, as needed.

Picture: Supplied. Stef will be leading yoga at Sydney's The Old Clare Hotel rooftop on Saturdays at 9am.

Picture: Supplied.

Big toe pose

The great thing about this pose is that it can be done anywhere and anytime, you don’t even need a mat. Not only does it give the hamstrings a good stretch and improve your digestion, but it also helps to relieve headaches and insomnia. Bringing your head below your heart has a calming effect on the brain and can reduce stress and anxiety.

Start by standing straight with your feet placed parallel. Now, keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hip joints. Grab your big toes with the index and middle finger of each hand. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, fold forward while engaging your quads and shifting your weight forward so that your hips are over your heels. Release the head, relax the spine and breath deeply into the back body.

Happy baby pose

Have you ever seen a toddler in happy baby pose and noticed how happy and giggly they are ? Clearly they are onto something. This pose gives a gentle stretch to the hips and inner groin where we adults notoriously hold on to tension and stress. It also calms the brain, making it a nice Aasana before bed time

Begin with lying on your back. With an exhale, bend your knees into your chest and separate the feet and knees wide, holding on to the outer edges of your flexed feet. Gently begin to pull on the feet, bringing the knees closer to the armpits. Continue to lengthen your tailbone and keep your shoulders pressed into the ground. If comfortable, you can gently rock from side to side, giving you a deeper release in the inner groin

Corpse pose

In this pose our whole body softens, we come back to our breath and have permission to just be still. Even though this pose might look uneventful, it has deep benefits that go beyond strengthening and lengthening our muscles. Lying still is often a challenge, but the state of ease and relaxation that arises from it is priceless.

Lie on your back and rest your entire body on the floor. Relax your arms on your sides. Give your body a mental scan from head to toe, slowly releasing each muscle and sinking deeper into the ground. Notice if there’s any tension in the body, and with each exhalation, imagine each limb getting a little heavier. Stay here for 5-10 minutes, and when you’re ready to come out, roll over to one side, take a couple of breaths, and then press your hands against the floor and lift yourself back up to a normal position.

Got a minute? This video will make you relaxed and happier all at once

Prostration Pose

Many religious rituals include various forms of prostration and all are good for your brain. it increases blood supply to few parts of brain which is not possible in any other position. 2 to 3 minutes of prostration calms your nerves and relaxes your entire system.

Checkout our Article on Homeopathy and Depression


Which is better meditation or yoga?

Meditation is  for your mind while yoga is a physical practice. You can also attain meditation through yoga. But yoga is incomplete without physical efforts.

Meditation can help you relieve your stress but when combine with Yoga the results are very rewarding. Practice the above steps which are shared in this article and once you are done practice a 5 minutes of meditation and i guarantee your stress will be gone.

However as I say in my every article consistency is a key. you cannot benefit by eating 7 apples on Sunday. you need to eat one apple every day. similarly you need to practice yoga every day. may be for 10 minutes but every single day.


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