How to Reduce Stress and Tension with Basic Yoga Stretches
Around 80% to 90% of health disorders are caused by stress; however, surprisingly no doctor talks to their patients about reducing stress. On the other hand, yoga, which is today believed to be an effective solution to so many health problems, is primarily concerned with stress reduction. It has been found that a significant number of people, who practiced yoga regularly, got rid of stress and their other health problems were reduced or cured.
As such, any exercise can help relieve stress. However, yoga is different than others in that it effectively combines physical and mental fitness. Being easygoing with oneself and others is one of the Yoga Basics. This makes yoga a powerful tool against stress because most of our stress arises due to being hard on ourselves and irritated by others.
Yoga teaches you an important principle that body and mind are connected. This means that stress in one area will affect other areas. Most people live basically in either body or mind, due to which an imbalance and also a lack of awareness is formed. For example, if you’re thinking all the time about your career, there would be a lot of stress in your body which you may not realize. On the other hand, if you’re an athlete, you’d be well aware of your body, but may not know much about your mental stress about performing better every time. In such cases, yoga helps you achieve a balance and strengthen the connection between your body and mind.
Yoga also trains your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your counter-stress response system. When you regularly practice yoga, your levels of chronic daytime stress hormones drop and the variability of heart rate increases, which is an indicator of your ability to bear stress.
Here are a few yoga stretches you can start practicing to eliminate stress. Start maintaining each pose for up to five breaths and slowly increase every week.
Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)/Hero Pose (Virasana)
Sit on the yoga mat with your legs folded in knees with your bottom resting on heels, back straight and palms on knees. Close eyes and count breaths.
Palm Tree Pose (Tadasana)
Stand and lift your hands straight up. Lift your heels and try to stand on toes. Stretch your body as much as you can but without excessive efforts.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie down on the floor on your belly. Keep chin on the floor and hands folded so that palms will be flat on the floor beside your respective shoulders. Now lift the upper body slowly with the support of the palms, as much as you can but without much efforts. Count breaths in the final position and then come down.
There are countless yoga stretches as you can find on YogaBasics.com which you can use for stress relief. But if you start with these simple ones, you’d experience the difference and get motivation to learn more. All the best!