02 Apr Yoga for Stress Relief
Whether you’re an avid yogi or never gotten on a yoga mat before, you probably have something in common—stress. But, what does yoga have to do with stress? Practicing yoga for stress relief is not only a great form of exercise, it can help you control the emotional and mental stress that is commonly associated with chronic pain.
Stress is common for Americans. According to Gallup, eight in ten Americans reported encountering stress at some point in their daily lives. For those with chronic pain, stress can be heightened and more common. Reducing stress is an important aspect of your overall wellness, and yoga is a great way to calm the nervous system. Yoga can improve flexibility, fitness, chronic conditions and reduce stress.
Yoga is a practice that involves a series of poses, or asanas, controlled breathing and mindfulness. It is more than a physical fitness activity—it combines physical and mental discipline and relaxation. There are different types of yoga that you can practice, and typically, Hatha yoga is a good place to begin and manage stress.
Here are a few yoga poses for stress relief:
- Child’s pose. Child’s pose is one of the essential poses of any yoga practice. This pose is restful and relaxing, while offering a good stretch for those able.
- Forward fold. Forward fold or bend can be done either standing or sitting, depending on your level of ability, flexibility and feelings. This pose can help wake you up and soothe by stretching the muscles of the legs and back.
- Tree pose. Balancing poses are great ways to help reclaim your power and concentration. Whether your foot is just hovering off the ground or you are able to lift it higher, practicing this balancing pose will help energize you.
- Savasana. This restorative pose is great for relaxation and calming the mind. Laying on your back with your arms and legs extended, breathe in and out paying attention to the breath.
Attending yoga classes is a good way to learn and practice yoga. But, if you’re not in a position to attend classes, you can start at-home yoga. There is no shortage of free yoga tutorials online. Start with places like Yoga Journal or YouTube to find free yoga practices. Just make sure that you talk with your doctor before starting any fitness or healthcare routine.