How Does Yoga Relieve Stress?

Stress can mess up your health and your life. You can experience headaches, pains and become unfocused. Yoga is a good method to cope with stress through its meditative and stretching practices. There are many different types of classes available out there, and you can talk to an instructor to find out which one is suitable for you. Don't have time for a complete class, or not into yoga? Try yoga breathing to bring your stress levels down.

How Does Yoga Relieve Stress?

1. Its Meditation and Breathing Calm Your Mind

Yoga relieves stress by helping the mind, body, and spirit come together as one. Yoga focuses on breathing and finding the right space for your body and your heart, like meditation which has proven results to help with severe stress and anxiety. You can use the breathing technique of yoga at home when needed to reduce stress level and improve concentration. 

2. It Cooperates Your Body and Mind

In the modern life, we usually push ourselves over the limit. Yoga can help us become more aware of our minds and bodies, focusing on each area such as the heart, toes, fingers, or stomach. When your body and mind are in harmony again, the stress is naturally reduced. 

3. It Has the Factors of Relaxing Exercise

Research has found that a physical exercise can effectively reduce stress if it has the following four characteristics: aerobics, non-competitiveness, predictability and repetitiveness. Fortunately yoga has all the four features and thus can provide you with relaxation and help you reduce stress levels. 

4. It Improves Self Acceptance

Although stress is mostly found to be part of the workplace, stress can also occur from low self-esteem and awkward social interactions. How does yoga relieve stress? According to some studies, yoga, whether practiced in a class or on your own, can help you accept yourself in a better way and reduce social anxiety. 

Yoga Poses to Relieve Stress

1. Upward Hand Pose

Keep your feet hip distance apart while tightening your thighs. Roll your shoulders back, reach out your arms and lift them above your head. Keep everything straight and tight while simultaneously keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed, your eyes looking forward, and hold the pose for 30 seconds to a full minute. Repeat 3 times for the full benefit.

2. Foot & Big Toe Pose

Keep your feet hip distance apart, again tightening up your thigh muscles. Lift out your chest by keeping your shoulders back and slowly start to bend forward. If you can, grab your toes (or your ankles/calves until you can reach your toes), holding for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

3. Downward Facing Dog

If you're already in Foot & Big Toe Pose, reach your palms out in front of you and put one leg back at a time, keeping your feet aligned with your hands. Press your weight onto your hands and lift your butt up, relaxing your head and neck. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a full minute.

4. Child's Pose

Come to a sitting position with your knees and feet together, tucked underneath you. Extend your arms out in front, reaching as far as you can. Rest your head on the floor, not forgetting to stretch while keeping your butt down to your heels. Hold for 1 minute.

5. Mountain Pose

How does Yoga relieve stress by just using different poses? Start with this simple pose to reap the benefits of yoga. Keep your feet together while standing straight, then slowly spread your toes. Distribute your weight evenly across both feet and tighten your thighs. Keep your tailbone and thighs tight by pushing backwards while straightening your arms with your palms facing towards you. Lift your chest by pulling your shoulders back, while keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Hold this pose for 1-2 minutes.

6. Upward Facing Dog

Start by lying on your stomach, bending you elbows and putting your palms out at your side like you're about to push yourself up from the ground. Keep your hands pressed onto the ground while you lift your head and chest back. Hold this pose for 5 to 15 seconds.

7. Chaturanga

Start by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. Place palms by your side, bending your elbows and keeping your palms and feet planted on the floor. Push yourself up somewhat similar to a plank, keeping your elbows close in and your legs, hips chest and head off the floor. Keep your entire body straight and rigid, holding this pose for 5 to 10 seconds.

8. Corpse Pose

Also known as Savansana, it's everyone's favorite pose at the end of the day. Lie on your back to however you feel the most comfortable, usually with arms at your sides. Relax your body, close your eyes and breathe deeply, letting go of any stress of the day. Hold this post for 5 to 10 minutes.

More Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Stress

Now that you know "how does yoga relieve stress", you may wonder if there are other techniques to help you relax. Below are some common options you can have a try to cut down your stress level. 

1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

It can help you relax by tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups in the body. Tense up a muscle group, such as your right arm or your left foot, and hold it for 10 seconds, then slowly release the tension and relax, letting it flow throughout your body. 

2. Visualization

Using visualization to calm yourself and keep yourself stress-free is part of meditation that you can find in yoga. Create a scene that makes you feel calm, happy and serene. Try to use as many details as possible. Once you have your scene picked out, go through each area one by one like walking through a forest. You can also add music to make your trip more relaxing.

3. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can help you unwind at the end of the day, while also helping with pain that may be bunched up in your muscles. You can even try this at home on your neck, shoulders, or forearms. Practice it by yourself in between stressful meetings or projects at work, or right before sleep. You can also add essential oils such as lavender oil in the therapy to maximize the effects. 

 
 
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