For most of us, yoga is directly related to relieving stress and improving one’s physical health.
However, not many would be aware that it can improve one’s mental health too, which is a condition much more serious than that of its physical counterpart. In a world where life and its activities change at a New York minute, mental stress, which can metamorphose to conditions like depression and neurological disorders, is becoming increasingly common.
In this case, yoga can come to your rescue with a solution much simpler than having to swallow daily pills. It shifts your focus from your mind to your breath, which in turn can ease anxiety and other issues related to mental health.
Here we look at 5 yoga stretches which can be tried to pull your thoughts away from anxiety:
Savasana – also called the corpse pose
The Savasana, which is derived from two words, “sava” meaning corpse and “asana” meaning pose is performed at the end of almost all yoga sessions. This ancient yoga pose is a great way to relax your body, by simply lying down straight, with the legs placed apart and arms by the side.
This eliminates fatigue and rests your mind.
How to perform Savasana
- Make sure you lie on a mat and not on the ground. Your shoulders should touch the ground and the entire body should be as straight as possible.
- The arms should be placed by your side and the palms should face upwards.
- Keep your eyes closed and try to pay attention to all your body parts and feel them relaxing.
- Continue until you feel peaceful from within. Minimum of 5 minutes is a must.
Balasana – also called the child’s pose
The Balasana yoga calms the mind, releases fatigue and also helps fight insomnia. Regular practice of this stretch is a great way to find grounding and do some self-introspection since it stimulates your nervous system.
How to perform Balasana
- Balasana should be performed at least 3 hours after your meal on an empty stomach.
- Kneel on the floor with your spine erect and slowly lean forward for your thighs to touch your chest and your forehead to touch the ground beyond the knees.
- Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso with your palm facing the floor. Your shoulders should also touch the floor as closely as possible.
- Remain in this position for around 20-25 seconds, or a maximum of one minute.
Uttasana – also called the standing forward bend pose
Apart from providing strength to your thighs and knees, Uttasana also rejuvenates your mind and relaxes the nerves, thus reducing anxiety.
How to perform Uttasana
- Strand straight, with hands on your hips, and slowly inhale breath.
- Slowly push your hands above you and bend your torso forward. Now slowly exhale.
- Continue until your hands reach your feet. Stretch them as far as you can. Meanwhile, ensure that you do not bend your knees at all.
- Stay in this pose for around 10-15 seconds and release.
Garudasana – also called the Eagle Pose
The Eagle Pose has a number of benefits, but the main one is that it helps in quieting the mind, improves your ability to focus and acts as a great stress buster. Try being in this pose for 30-60 seconds on each side.
How to perform Garudasana
- Ensure your stomach is empty. Stand erect. Bend your right knee slowly and wrap your left leg around your right. Both the knees should merge with each other.
- Now lift your arms to the shoulder height and just like your knees, wrap your right hand around your left. Ensure that your elbows are also stacked.
- Balance yourself in this posture and then slowly bring down your hips. Meanwhile, breathe slowly and exhale all negative thoughts.
- Now switch the limbs and repeat the pose again.
Matsyasana – also called the Fish Pose
Fish Pose is highly recommended for fatigue and anxiety relief, and also eases joint pain. You can place a blanket under your head for support.
How to perform Matsyasana
- Begin with the Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Your back should be stiff, arms straight and palms laid out on the mat.
- Slowly, bring your palms under your buttocks and breathe deeply.
- Slightly move your head backwards while your torso rests on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Now slowly rest your head on the mat and hold this position for 30 seconds.
Repeat at least 5 times.
Conclusion: Yoga is very helpful not only for your body but also for your mind. These Yoga asanas will help you calm down your mind and focus better.
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