Stress and anxiety have become a part and parcel of our lives these days. Whether it is our home or our workplace, stress is so deeply seated in our urban lifestyles that sometimes we even fail to acknowledge its ill-effects. The very fact that stress can give way to a number of diseases makes it imperative for us to find ways to combat it. Yoga is considered to be one of the safest and most effective ways to beat stress. Owing to its positive effects, a number of people are incorporating yoga into their daily lives. Yoga not only helps relieve body stress but also relaxes you from within. Being a holistic exercise regime, which is also light on one’s body, anyone can undertake yoga at any point in their lives.
In order to relieve anxiety, here are some great yoga moves that you can practice:
1. Breathing techniques
Controlling one’s breathing is a simple yet effective way to relieve anxiety. Find a perfect and calm spot and sit with your legs crossed. As you straighten up your spine, start inhaling slowly, hold for a few seconds and then exhale. Place your hands with palms facing up on your knees during the exercise.
Repeat the process by deeply inhaling to a slow count of four and holding it in for another four seconds. Now exhale to a slow count of eight and repeat the whole process for about a minute.
2. Downward dog pose
Come down on the floor onto your hands and knees in an animal-like posture. Inhale as you push your hips upwards to straighten your legs to form an inverted V. Keep your neck in neutral position. Hold for about five minutes or for 10 deep breaths and release. Increase the length as you move ahead.
3. Puppy pose
Come down on all fours and start walking forward with your hands, all the while lowering your chest to the floor and your bottom high up without shifting the position of your legs. Hold your forehead against the floor and relax. This position can be held for 10 to 15 deep breaths.
4. Forward bend
Good for your back, shoulders and neck, this posture also helps to ease your mind. Stand straight with your arms at your sides and feet wide apart as your hip. Slowly inhale as you raise your arms above your head. Now dive forward with your arms moving down, folding your body in half. Hold this position for one minute as you breathe in and out. After this, slowly raise your spine up and finally bring the head straight back up.
5. Half moon pose
This position is an excellent anxiety relieving method, helping your mind to relax and balance your thoughts. Hold your feet four feet wide. Put your left palm on your left hip and bend your body to the right. Keep your right palm on the ground, giving a space of two feet away from your right foot.
Holding this position, slowly pull off your left leg from the floor and allow your left hand to go straight up to the sky. This will make your body balance on your right leg and hand. Hold until you take 10 deep breaths. Repeat towards the other side.
6. Easy pose
Sit comfortably on the floor with crossed legs and palms facing up and placed on your knees. Hold your back upright and take deep breaths. Continue the inhale and exhale process for as much time as you want. You may roll your neck and shoulders as well while you are in this posture to relax your muscles.
7. Seated forward bending pose
Sit on a yoga mat with your legs stretched forward. Your feet must be kept together. Now stretch your feet, feeling your leg muscles stretch. Move your toes towards you and lift your heels from the floor as you do this. Now, slowly inhale and lift your arms up above your head. Exhale and bring them down and stretch them forward holding your thighs, feet, knees and calves as you stretch. Hold for 10 breaths and release the tension.
8. Camel position
For this, you must sit on your knees, with your hips resting on your heels. Slowly, lift your bottom up until your thighs become perpendicular to the floor. Hold both your palms at your lower back for supporting your back. Now slowly bend towards the back moving your head backwards, as much as you can. Hold this position until you feel the pressure. You may leave your grip on the back and hold your heels to get a deeper stretch position. While releasing, hold your back again and slowly straighten up.
9. Bridge position
Lie down on your back. Slowly drag your feet towards your buttocks, while bending your knees. Hold your feet and using this support, raise your bottom from the floor. Squeezing your bottom up will help you hold firmly on to the pose until you count 10 breaths.
10. Reclining hero position
In this position, which is a reclining position, you have to first remain seated on your knees with your buttocks resting on your heels. Slowly move the bent knee and feet wide apart so your buttocks will be placed on the floor. This pose might offer a challenge to beginners. If your knees hurt while doing this pose, do not continue with this posture. However, if you’re able to do it, you may stay in this position for about a minute taking deep breaths.
11. Salutation seal position
Again be seated on floor with your legs crossed. Hold your spine upright in such a way that your head too remains straight along with your spine. Slowly, lift your hands up into the sky and join your palms to form a prayer pose. You may now relax in this position. This too is a relaxed position which you can cling to for as much time as you want. You may meditate while you hold this position by leaving your mind blank.
12. Corpse position
Lie down on your back on the yoga mat and part your feet to a distance same as that of your hips. Keep your arms on your sides as you lie on your back. Concentrate and relax your toes. Now, concentrate on the ankles and release the tension. Similarly, move up to the feet, knees, hip, waist, feeling up and relaxing each body part consciously as you go up and reach the head. Once you reach your head, you can let go and stay there
for as long as you want. This relaxing pose may even prompt you to a deep and undisturbed sleep, which would help you relax all the more!