With so much going on in the world, it’s natural for us to feel overwhelmed by tension and anxiety. Whether it’s world matters that have your brain spinning, events in your personal life, or quarantine is simply getting to you, there are specific yoga positions that can help alleviate this irritating anxiety and make you feel at peace in the world.
1. Tree pose
A common standing stance, this can help you become more introspective and quiet down those racing thoughts that appear to be overwhelming you. It’s also a terrific core strengthener. Bear weight on one foot, lifting the other off the floor and turning the sole inside the standing leg, placing it on the outside of the calf or thigh (ankles for beginners) (ankles for beginners.) Pace hands in prayer posture in front of chest for an added balancing challenge. Hold for two minutes on each side.
2. Triangle pose
Energize your mornings with the triangle posture, which lowers not just worry, but back and neck strain just in case you slept improperly. Stand with feet wider than the hips, facing left toes forward and the right at a small angle. Lift both arms out to the sides, with palms facing down, and stretch forward with your left hand, extending the torso forward. Bring our right hip back by hinging at the hip, and placing the left hand on your leg, or the floor if possible. Lift right arm up towards the ceiling. Hold for a minute on each side.
3. Child’s pose
When you just need to relax and let it all go, place yourself in the extremely simple kid pose. Start in a kneeling position, sitting back on the heels. Fold forward, and extend your wrists and arms out in front of you, allowing the torso fall entirely onto the thighs. Rest your forehead on the floor and hold for up to five minutes, or whatever long you require.
4. Legs-Up-the-Wall position
If you have a wall, this is a completely therapeutic technique to cleanse your thoughts and returning to a zen place. It also really opens up the lower body (goodbye, lower back pain) while strengthening. Start by sitting with your right side against a wall. Then, lie down and swing both your legs up so they are gliding against the wall. Keep your bottom as close to the wall as you like, relaxing the entire upper body. Add a pillow beneath your bottom if you need more support. You can stay in this stance for up to 10 minutes.
5. Bridge pose
If you need exquisite rehabilitation that’s also a heart-opener, go no further than the bridge stance. It can also be revitalizing, as it wakes up both the front and rear of the body. Start by resting supine with arms by the side, and bend your knees with feet flat on the floor, heels close to your bottom . Then, dig your feet into the ground, pulling your tailbone forward and contracting glutes as you thrust into the air, lifting your bottom until thighs are parallel. Return by rolling the spine down carefully.
6. Cow to Cat posture
If you’re suffering from worried thoughts or can’t get out of a bad mood, consider Cat to Cow pose, which truly wakes up the spine and enabling you to deliberately re-connect through breathing. Start in tabletop, breathing as you arch your back and stick your tailbone up, elevating the crown of your head as well. Hold for five seconds, and then exhale as you curve your spine up, working the abdominals and tucking your chin with the head looking down.
7. Camel pose
By strengthening your body’s flexibility with camel position, you develop your mind’s flexibility. This backbend starts by kneeling on your knees (with a wall in front to support), tilting the crown of your head back as you open your chest up, placing hands on the back of the pelvis. Press front thighs back and lift your heart by squeezing shoulder blades on back ribs, leaning back with fingertips caressing your heels. If you can, hang onto them in a full extension of this backbend. It boosts your body with oxygen and opens your intellect at the same time.
8. Forward Fold
If camel pose sounds difficult to you, consider starting with one of the most simple – the forward fold, commonly known as Uttasana. It’s an automatic way to clear your thoughts, and that’s probably because all the blood flow instantly rushes to your head. This mentally calms and can even reduce headaches while stretching out your back, shoulders, and hips. Stay in this pose for a minute or two, and if you like, grab your elbows, swaying side to side, which relieves tension.
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