6 Yoga Poses That Relieve Stress
By Brandi Swieter
Stress can do great harm to a body, allowing sickness to set in easier; allowing the neck, shoulders, and back to feel tension and pain; and allowing the mind to feel anxious and troubled. Relieving stress naturally should always be the goal, and with the help of a few yoga poses, that can be achieved. Six yoga poses exist that help relieve stress and tension.
Standing Forward Fold
Put a slight bend in the knees and use the core muscles to fold forward and down, essentially as if doing toe touches. Rather than touching the toes, however, hold each elbow with the opposite hand and allow the body to dangle there for a few seconds. Imagine all stress leaving through the head and melting into the ground below.
Sit on the knees and place some sort of pillow or cushion between the buttocks and legs. Sit back, but lean the upper half of the body forward until the forehead touches the mat. This pose helps to fully relax the body and get a good stretch through all areas. The arms can either be placed back at the sides or be folded under the head for better balance.
To help calm both the body and mind, the thunderbolt pose should be utilized. Start by kneeling and sit back on the heels. Be sure the spine is straight and raise the head toward the ceiling, giving the back a good stretch. The arms should be crossed with the hands underneath the opposite armpits, aside from the thumbs -- which get left out, pointing upward. Focus on breathing in this position and feel the mind relax quickly.
Head to Knee Pose
Simply sit on the floor with legs stretched out in front. Extend the body forward until the feet can be reached, holding the hands in place over them to get a good stretch in the legs and back. Place one foot against the opposite leg and reach the arms in the air, giving an even better stretch and allowing tension to be released.
Half-Bound Ankle Pose
Cross the ankles and bend the body toward the left, keeping the right hand on the feet for support. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, and go the opposite direction. It works best if the forehead touches the knee, really allowing for a solid stretch along one side of the back and neck at a time.
Lay flat on the back and pull the knees to the chest, holding them in place. Keep the eyes closed while doing this pose for the full relaxing effect. Release one leg at a time, placing them out in front, and following with the arms. Simply lay there stretched out and feel the tension leaving the body. Enjoy the pose for a good three minutes, keeping the eyes closed for the entire duration.
With these yoga poses in mind, more people can alleviate the stress in their lives, and therefore the symptoms of that stress. Those still experiencing pain and discomfort in their bodies can seek additional help through a chiropractor. The Joint Chiropractic offers guidance on other stretches and exercises to try after performing an adjustment to remove subluxations of the spine.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Peachtree City, Ga.