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Yoga and Other Exercises to Relieve Stress
Practicing yoga can be an excellent way to lessen stress, keep in shape and quiet the mind. However, when it comes to stress relief, some yoga poses are better than others. There are some yoga positions that are more effective at getting us relaxed, relieving tension, and letting us feel rested.
Yoga helps us slow down from our busy lives for a minute and just tune into our breathing. If you’re sitting in an office chair all day, at your cubicle, you may not be doing the right kind of breathing. Your breathing could be shallow. It should be deep. Your body needs to be oxygenated, and the effects of not exercising are even more pronounced when you’re being sedentary all day. Yoga can help get your blood flowing and your breathing deeper in a matter of minutes. When you just focus on breathing, you can start to decompress. You won’t feel so frozen and tensed up, and part of that will be because blood will start flowing to your extremities, and your breathing will be deep in your abdomen, instead of upward in the chest area exclusively, where it can lead to anxiety, tension, and fear, and possibly cause panic attacks.
So, which yoga postures are best for promoting relaxation? Seated postures like child’s pose can help us to feel calm and put the mind into a meditative state. Other poses like standing forward bend can calm the mind down while simultaneously energizing the whole body. Let’s look at a couple of yoga poses to give you an idea of how yoga poses can relax you before moving on to other types of exercise that can relieve stress.
Standing forward bend, although often used as a transition in between different poses, has a lot of benefits when practiced as its own pose. The posture stretches the hips, thighs, and hamstrings. It’s these parts of our lower bodies that tend to get the least blood flow, stretching, and movement when we are stuck in an office chair all day. If you’re not outside running a few times per week, these areas might be getting very restricted blood flow. This posture is thought to relieve mild depression, fatigue, and stress.
Eagle pose can help you lessen stress by improving balance and concentration, and also by helping the hips, upper back, and shoulders to open up. It relieves a lot of that built-up tension in the legs and back and shoulders. You have to use a lot of focus to stay balanced in it. You’re basically squeezing the tension out of your body.
What about using exercise as an outlet for frustrations? When life’s frustrating situations or annoyances build up, you can feel a kind of mild anger or stress all the time. It might feel chronic and inescapable. High-energy forms of exercise like weight training, martial arts, and boxing can help release these negative feelings, turning these otherwise unhealthy feelings into increased motivation, and you will feel a sense of enhanced well-being and health as a result.
Physical activity of any kind can take your mind off of all the distracting problems that seem to be cluttering up in your mind and causing problems for your emotional well being. It is typical for exercise to take your mind away from your problems and redirect it on the activity at hand, and it might even put you into a Zen-like state. Exercise usually involves a change of pace and scenery as well, and that can take your mind off of your problems in and of itself.