Basic Yoga Exercises for Stress Relief

 

It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of doctor visits are directly or indirectly related to stress, but honestly how many doctors talk to their patients about how to reduce stress?

In one survey, more than 85% of people who practiced yoga said that yoga helped them relieve stress.

The truth is that when you start practicing yoga and meditating, the stress will not disappear from your life (especially in our consumer Western society). However, yoga and meditation and other exercises provide our mind and body with training to be able to cope with ever-increasing stress better and improve our overall health and well-being.

In general, any physical exercise is a very useful way to relieve stress, but yoga is still unique in something. It differs from weightlifting in that it perfectly combines physical fitness, endurance, flexibility with the basic philosophy of self-esteem and awareness. One of the main concepts in yoga is non-judgment. Not judging oneself and others. This concept is also very helpful for relieving stress, as stress is often based on our exaggerated expectations of ourselves or frustrations of other people and situations.

The basic principle of yoga is that our body and mind are one, they are connected. This is also the reason why the mind and body constantly respond to each other. Many of us live primarily in our minds, creating an imbalance that we often do not even realize. For example, people with a very analytical and mentally exhausting career may spend a lot of time in their minds and may not even realize the tension stored in their body. Yoga, which takes us back to our body, bodily sensations, breathing and the present moment, is therefore a very good means of balancing the connection between body and mind. It trains our anti-stress response system and a lot of research confirms that with regular yoga practice, daily levels of stress hormone decrease and our heart rate variability increases, which is a measure of our ability to manage stress.

The key to relieving stress is to reconnect with our physical body through breathing. So next time you feel stressed, try a few of the following simple yoga positions along with Ujjayi breathing.

This type of breathing will help you to concentrate on your body again if your mind runs away from the moment you present and you find yourself in a whirlwind of stressful thoughts again. Try to use this breathing in each yoga position. Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and exhale through your nose through the vocal cord with your mouth closed, as if you were going to make the sound of a muted letter H. Your breath should be loud enough for someone else to hear and sound like the waves of the ocean.

Enough theory and stress, let's practice!

1) Balasana - the position of the child

  • Get on your knees with your feet together and sit on your heels
  • Place the head on a mat.
  • Stretch your arms forward or place them back next to your body and release them with your palms facing up.
  • Hold in position for at least five deep breaths.

balasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • A resting position that calms the mind and relieves stress.
  • It is a positive benefit for the nervous and lymphatic system.

Variants

balasan position

2) Anahatasana- puppy position

  • Come on all fours in the cat position so that your knees are hip-width apart and your shoulders, elbows and wrists are also in line. Pull the toes back.
  • When exhaling, start walking forward with your hands.
  • Allow the chest to lower toward the mat and slowly release your forehead onto the mat.
  • Spread your fingers and push firmly into your thumbs and forefingers.
  • Pull your shoulders away from your ears, shoulder blades together to relax your shoulders.
  • Keep your hands active and lift your elbows off the mat (biceps turned up to the sky).
  • On the next breath, deepen the position by pulling the hips up and back.
  • Hold in position for at least five deep breaths.
  • Release the position by walking your hands back to the position on all fours.

Anahatasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • It has positive effects due to the opening of the chest and heart.
  • It helps to relax stiff shoulders and trapezoids, where tension and stress are often stored the most times.

Variants

Use the block and place your forearms on it, with your fingers intertwined.

3) Uttanasana - deep forward bend

  • Start from the position of the mountain (Tadasana). Your feet are either touching or your widths.
  • Slowly lean your body forward.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent, hang your hands down as comfortable as you can (you can grab the opposite elbows or touch the mat with your whole palms). (Note: you better keep your knees bent, as if you were being pulled too hard by hamstrings, it is important to relax and not suffer ;)).
  • Gently press your head toward your knees or let it hang loosely and bring your back out.
  • Hold in position for at least five deep breaths.

Uttanasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • This position will help you with a stiff neck and back.
  • It is excellent for relieving excess tension, stress and fatigue.
  • It is an inverse position with the head down, which helps calm the nerves.
  • The forward bend naturally deepens the exhalation which leads to greater relaxation.

Variants

Uttanasana asana

Uttanasana exercises

4) Prasarita Padottanasana - forward bend in a broad position

  • Spread your legs in a wide stance.
  • Turn your feet parallel to each other and place your hands on your hips.
  • Inhale, open your chest and lean forward with the exhalation.
  • Put your hands on the mat. Pull your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Relax your head and neck. If your head does not touch the pad, you can place it on the block.
  • Hold in position for at least ten deep breaths.
  • With a touch, arms sideways and a straight back, slowly return first to the polka parallel to the mat so that your head does not turn, and then lift up to a standing position.

Tip: Use a block - place it in height or width as needed so that your head can rest on it and rest freely ;).

Prasarita Padottanasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • The position symbolizes release and surrender.
  • It calms the mind, reduces stress and anxiety.
  • It relaxes the shoulders, neck and spine.

Variants

Prasarita Padottanasana asana

5) Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - half bridge

  • Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your heels on the ground close to your buttocks.
  • Point the tips of your feet forward to the width of your pelvis.
  • Push your hands along the body with your palms into the mat and push your shoulders into the ground as well.
  • Slowly raise the pelvis with a breath.
  • Hold in position for at least five deep breaths.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • The position provides gentle stretching for the back and legs.
  • It helps reduce the feeling of anxiety, back pain, headaches, helps with insomnia and fatigue.
  • It can also help with high blood pressure.

Variants:

Interweave your fingers, keeping your shoulders even closer together.

6) Supta Baddha Konasana

  • Lie on your back.
  • Join the soles of the feet and let the knees "fall" freely to the sides.
  • If you feel stability in the hips and pelvis, move your heels a little further from the lap.
  • Hands relaxed to the sides with palms facing up.
  • Hold in position for at least five deep breaths.

Tip: Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your stomach to realize how your stomach rises and make sure you breathe deeply into it, which also calms and helps you relax more deeply.

Supta Baddha Konasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

  • This position opens the hips and the opening of the knees to the sides symbolizes not only physical but also mental surrender and release of the unnecessary.

Variants

It is very pleasant to use a tool in the form of yoga blocks. Put one block below the knee on each side and pleasantly relax your knees and legs.

7) Savasana - the position of the corpse

  • Lie on your back with outstretched but at the same time relaxed arms and legs. Store your back and shoulders on a mat so that you are comfortable and nothing pulls you, it doesn't hurt...
  • Keep your heels slightly apart and let your feet "fall" freely to the side. The tips of the feet point to the side.
  • Keep your hands at the sides, slightly away from your body.
  • The palms are turned upwards towards the sky.
  • Stay in the position for 5-10 minutes and relax.
  • You can also use an eye pad for more darkness

Tip: Use two blocks so that one partially touches your forehead. A gentle touch of the block calms the nervous system in the same way as a touch from someone you love :). It also reduces the pressure in the head, which increases when we are stressed. Place one block on the ground about 10 cm above the top of the head (height the block). Place the second block on the one above your head and tilt it so that it rests on your forehead.

Savasana

What are the effects of the position and how does it calm down?

It is a position with an emphasis on complete relaxation of the whole body. It helps to induce a state of deep relaxation by slowing down breathing, lowering blood pressure and calming the nervous system.

Namaste friends!

Lenka

Flexity statement

Practicing yoga provides great benefits, but you need to realize that only you know your own body and its limits. Talk to your doctor before starting exercise, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women. Also, consult him with any questions or concerns about your medical condition. The recommendations, exercises, thoughts and other opinions expressed on this site reflect our own experience and are not intended to replace professional medical assistance.

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