While we exercise for many reasons including a healthy body and a healthy mind, we often forget that exercise is a great way to fight stress. And stress is something we don’t pay attention to in the list of priorities that make up a healthy lifestyle. But if we are stressed due to work pressures, relationship pressures or with expectations, it completely destroys most of our efforts towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle and could also affect weight loss.
Yoga with its deep-rooted philosophies of uniting body and mind is a great stress buster and certain asanas do just that – fight stress! Yoga is highly de-stressing with breathing and body postures that clear the mind, ease your muscles, and fill you with positive energy. Yoga also increases the blood flow, balances the body and reduces toxins in your body. It improves immunity and gives the body more flexibility. Here are a few yoga poses that can reduce stress.
• Corpse Pose or Shavasan: Lie flat on the back with legs together and (palms facing up) arms close to the body. Relax your body and mind with this pose.
• Half-moon Pose or Ardhachandra-asana: This pose benefits the lower back, abdomen and chest by stretching and balancing the body. Start with your feet together and arms by the side. Bring both the hands at the chest with palms lightly pressed against each other. Breathe-in while raising the arms straight up keeping palms pressed lightly together. Arch your body backwards while keeping the arms alongside your neck and head.
• Downward-Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana: The Adho Mukha Svanasana helps to cure backaches, relieve stress and mild depression and revitalizes energy.
• Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana: Stand straight with arms by your side, exhale and bend touching the floor with your hand. This pose helps in stretching the hamstring of the legs and helps spine and internal organs.
• Straight Angle Pose or Samakonasana: Start the asana with sitting on the ground and stretch the legs forward. Keep you legs straight and be rested on the ground. Now, slowly stretch your legs sideways so that it should form a straight line and keep the body straight. Stay in this posture for a few seconds and then slowly bring back the legs to the normal position.
In order to get the best out of your yoga session remember to breathe properly and take your time in each pose. Once you are comfortable in that pose you can stay there for 5 minutes each. This brings relief to your mind as it shuts off the outside world and also brings immense relief to your body.
Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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