Stress and anxiety have become a part of our busy life. Whether at home or at work, everyone is prone to it every once in a while. With technological advancements and emerging new digital and social media platforms, we have become more vulnerable and more susceptible to losing our peace of mind. That said, there are many ways to manage these mental stressors. One of the best ways is through yoga and meditation.
Other than all the health and fitness benefits, yoga techniques can help you relax and provide you with mental peace and serenity. That said, here are some yoga ways to improve your mental health and manage stress levels.
Does yoga help fight stress?
In many ways, yoga relieves your body of all the physical and mental tension. Stress and anxiety can sometimes be triggered by the muscle knots, which induces physical discomfort. Yoga helps release that tension, alleviating stress and releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins.
Besides that, it helps relax and calm your nerves and muscles, improving focus, enhancing your concentration power and boosts overall brain efficiency. This in turn makes you more aware about your body, bodily sensations, thoughts, and feelings, making you feel love, joy and mental quiet and peace.
Breathing (Pranayama) to manage stress
Breathing exercises are known to calm anxious people down. It helps reduce stress and maintains the balance between your body and mind. 20-30 minutes of breathing practice everyday can reduce cortisol levels in the body, helping you manage stress and improving sleep quality.
In order to perform breathing exercises, you must make yourself comfortable. While doing deep breathing, you must let your breath flow down to your belly, but do not force it. Make sure you breathe in through your nose and out from your mouth. Be gentle and while breathing count from 1 to 5. Slowly, release your breath from your mouth and count from 1 to 5 again. Continue doing so for 3-5 minutes.
Yoga asanas to perform
There are many yoga postures that can free you from unnecessary stressors and worry. Here are some easy asanas to begin with.
Child's pose -
Also known as Balasana, a child's pose can ease all the tension in the muscle around your shoulders, spine, thighs, hips, and ankles.
Cat-cow pose -
Besides improving your posture and balance, a cat-cow pose or Marjaryasana to Bitilasana can help you relax and ease some of the day's stress.
Corpse pose -
A very easy yoga pose you can start with, the corpse pose calms your central nervous system and aids in improving your digestive health. Also, it reduces headache, fatigue and lowers blood pressure levels.
Other than these yoga poses, you can always commit yourself to sun salutations or Suryanamaskar. It is a low-impact aerobic exercise, which is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Meditation and relaxation
Meditation helps calm your mind. You can perform meditation on a chair or by sitting on the ground on a yoga mat. You must feel comfortable, be consistent and committed whenever you're performing meditation. It helps reduce negative emotions, increases self-awareness, helps build tolerance and patience and enhances your creativity levels.
One can resort to guided meditation wherein you do meditation in-person with a teacher or via a recording. Yoga nidra or yogic sleep is one of its kind.