Stress, depression, and anxiety have become common problems in our daily lives, and practising yoga can be extremely helpful in this regard. Although many new techniques have arrived lately, the practice of yoga has remained consistent. Yoga has helped many people relieve various mental and physical issues.
On the occasion of International Yoga Day, Dr Partap Chauhan, Director of Jiva Ayurveda, enlists some of these benefits.
Six benefits of yoga for stress management
Most people suffering from stress usually complain about the inability to sleep properly. Practising yoga will help you sleep peacefully and bring more focus in your life.
People dealing with stress tend to forget things, as they might be worried or disturbed about something. Yoga asanas help in relaxing the body by overcoming stress and bringing in improved concentration.
Breathing exercises are crucial in yoga as they help in managing stress. The slow rhythmic breathing patterns with inhaling and exhaling techniques help the oxygen to dissolve through the organs and thus making you feel relaxed.
One of the most important things for stress management is maintaining peace of mind. Practising yoga with meditation balances the waves that are needed to relax your mind.
People under stress fail to react to a situation with a calm and composed mind, and often tend to break down. Practising yoga helps in building strength and channelling energy appropriately during crisis or periods of extreme stress. It is also beneficial in building inner confidence as stress often makes us feel confused and indecisive.
Union of mind, body, and soul
Imbalance of mind, body and soul creates health issues and unwanted mental stress. Breathing exercises and yoga asanas unite these three factors and relieve people from stress.
Three Yoga exercises for anxiety and stress:
Cat Pose (Bidalasana)
Have you seen a cat stretch? That is close to what you are going to do in the Cat Pose. The primary effect of doing this exercise is to enhance mobility and flexibility in your spine, but it is also very beneficial in calming your mind and de-stressing yourself.
To do this, gently get down on all fours. Balance your body with your palm, knees, and toes. Now inhale properly and slowly and while you do that, curve your spine outward (back towards the ceiling). Hold that position for a few moments and then as you gradually exhale, curve inwards (belly towards the floor). Repeat this yoga pose a few times.
Standing hand raises (Urdhva Hastasana)
Stand up on your mat. When you are ready gently raise your hands above your head and inhale deeply as you do it. Join your palms together (namaskara) at the top most position. Now hold the position for a few moments. Gradually
exhale and lower your hands to your sides.
Squeeze in, squeeze out!
Sit comfortably in the Yogi position (cross-legged) and slowly breathe in. As you fill your lungs with air, squeeze your shoulders close to your neck. Now slowly exhale, as you do that loosen your shoulders and let them fall to their natural position. Do this a couple of times. When you inhale squeeze in your stomach as much as you can. And as you exhale, let your body relax.
The key to doing these asanas right is to feel your stress waft away as you exhale. The best time to do these asanas is early in the morning but you can do it whenever you choose to, except just after meals.