Yoga is a mind and body practice with a 5,000-year history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
It has since become a popular form of exercise based upon poses that promote improved control of the mind and body and enhance well-being. As yoga becomes increasingly more popular, many people are turning to it as an antidote for stress and anxiety. We’ve all heard that this ancient practice helps us relax, but many don’t know exactly what stress-reducing techniques are and how they help us.
Yoga helps relieve mental stress and anxiety by allowing time to reconnect with the present moment and putting our racing thoughts on pause. Though some stress can be beneficial and even healthy, sometimes the tension can get stored in our body and negatively disrupt nearly every system and muscle. It can reduce our immune system, cause digestive discomfort, and even increase the risk of heart issues.
Luckily, there are a few things we can do to help reduce these risks, such as reducing our stress levels by practicing yoga. By bringing awareness to the breath and to the areas in the body that need attention, it gives the body an outlet to release tension and tightness in the muscles.
Looking to help relieve stress quickly? 2 specific yoga poses can help:
Head to knee forward bend (Janu sirasana). This pose is great for all levels and is helpful in combating stress. It provides a deep stretch along the side body, strengthens the back muscles, relieves tension in the shoulders and neck, stretches the hamstrings, and it provides a nice twist for digestion support.
Standing back bend (anuvittasana) for stress relief. This pose relieves tension in the neck and shoulders, opens up airways to allow for deeper breathing, and opens up the entire front side of the body. This pose is available to all levels with variations from keeping hands at the low back for support, cactus the arms, or reaching the arms up to the sky.
Looking to try yoga as a form of stress relief? Take a class with us!