Yoga asanas for stress relief.  

There is a research that men / women stay under lots of stress due to work pressure, no rest and less exercise.

Many of them take wrong means to de-stress, i.e. Stay Awake, Smoking, Drinking and others find newer means to de-stress like green tea`s, massage, spa treatments and therapies. These all may not be the correct way to de-stress.

Well there is a way which our ancestors have found to destress which is ‘Yoga.’ Regular practicing yoga have lots of benefits like lower blood pressure, relieves symptoms of depression, peace of mind and many others.

a) Sukhasana

Sukhasana will lengthen your spine and open your hips. It will help you calm down and eliminate anxiety. It will also reduce mental and physical exhaustion.

A guide to perform the Asana:

Sit straight with the legs stretched out in front of the body.
Bend the left leg and place the left foot beneath right thigh.
Similarly, bend the right leg and place the right foot beneath left thigh.
Rest the outer edge of your feet on the floor.
Adjust the body and legs to get comfortable in the pose.
The head, neck and spine must be erect (without strain).
Place the palms on the knees or thighs.
Keep the shoulder relaxed and elbows a bit bent.
Close your eyes and relax the whole body, take slow and deep breaths.
Feel each and every breath moving in and out of the body.
Practice for a minute or less if you feel discomfort.

b) Balasana

Balasana is beneficial for your lymphatic system and nervous system. It will calm your mind and release stress. It stretches your thighs, hips and ankles. It relieves neck and back pain.

A guide to perform the Asana:

1) Sit on your heels on a yoga mat or on the floor.

2) Either keep your knees together or apart.

3) Slowly, bend forward by lowering your forehead to touch the floor, exhaling as you do so.

4) Keep your arms alongside your body. Make sure that your palms are facing up.

5) Alternatively, you can reach out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat, palms placed facing down on the mat.

6) Now that you are in this pose, gently press your chest on the thighs (or between the thighs if the latter are apart).

7) Hold for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Regulate your breath.
8) As you inhale, imagine your breath is being driven through your navel, and pull your navel towards your spine.

9) As you exhale, soften your body and the arms. Repeat for 4-12 breaths.
10) Place your palms under the shoulders and gradually raise your upper body to return to the sitting position on the heels while inhaling. Do this very slowly as if uncurling the spine and then relax for few minutes.

c) Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana will stretch your spine, hamstring and lower back. Apart from relieving stress, this pose will ease the symptoms of PMS, improves digestion, stimulated liver, reduce fatigue and relieves symptoms of menopause.

A guide to perform the Asana:

1) Sit on the floor with your legs facing out in front. Begin by sitting in an upright position, rooting down through the sitting bones and reaching the crown of the head towards the ceiling. Keep the legs together, with the ball of the big toes touching.

2) Reach the hands forward and take hold of the big toes with index and middle finger. If this is not possible simply place the palms of the hands on the floor next to the legs, or modify the pose with a belt or strap wrapped around the feet.

3) On an inhale, lift the chin slightly, expanding through the chest. Then, on an exhale, fold forward, hinging mainly at the hips. Don’t pull with your arms. Rather, move using the deep core muscles of the legs and abdomen.

4) Try not to round the back. If the back is rounding excessively, if there is any tension or pressure in the knees, or if the poses are simply uncomfortable, bend the knees generously, or don’t go quite so deep.

5) Breathe deeply into the whole trunk.

d) Ananda Balasana
Ananda Balasana will help calm you and get rid of fatigue and stress. It will gently stretch your spine and groin.

A guide to perform the Asana:

Lie flat on your back. Inhale and lift your legs up, bringing both your knees close to your chest
Hold your big toes. Make sure your arms are pulled through the insides of your knees as you hold your toes. Gently open up your hips and widen your legs to deepen the stretch.
Tuck your chin into your chest and make sure your head is on the floor.
Press the tailbone and the sacrum down to the floor while you press your heels up, pulling back with your arms.
Press both the back of the neck and the shoulders down to the floor. The whole area of the back and the spine should be pressed flat on the floor.
Breathe normally and hold the pose for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Exhale and release your arms and legs. Lie on the floor for a few seconds and then relax for few minutes.

e) Uttanasana

Uttanasana will relieve mild depression and stress. It will calm your brain and stimulate your kidneys and liver. It will also strengthen your knees and stretch your hips, calves and hamstring.

A guide to perform the Asana:

Stand straight on your mat, and rest your hands on your hips. Inhale.
Exhale and gently soften your knees and bend forward, folding from your hips. You need to counterbalance the weight of your body. To do this, you must move your hips and tailbone slightly back as the rest of your body moves forward.
Remember to keep your knees soft as you do all of this. This will allow your buttocks to point up and your hips to move forward into the upper thighs.
Let your hands rest on the ground, next to your feet. Your feet must be parallel to each other, and your second and middle toes must point forward. Let your chest float over your feet. Widen the space between your chest bone and pubis. Feel the fold and the stretch from your hip bone. If you feel it from the rounding of your lower back, you are doing something wrong.
You must feel a stretch in your hamstrings as well, and if you are not yet feeling it, extend your knees a little more.
Turn your thighs inward, and root yourself into your heels. This will allow better alignment.
Your head must be left to dangle, such that the crown reaches the floor. Look through your legs, and hold the pose.
When you wish to release the pose, contract the core and the abdomen muscles. Inhale and place your hand on the hips. Rise slowly, ensuring there is an elongation in your back. Let there be a distance between your pubis and your chest bone. Slowly stand up.


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