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Yoga Poses: 6 Asanas to Lower Your Stress Levels

by Manmohan Singh

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Life can be stressful! Busy schedules, waking up early for work, handling family issues, etc. Every day, too many factors add to our stress and that is something we can’t entirely avoid. However, this lifestyle can affect you physically, mentally and emotionally and can negatively impact everything from sleep, mood, digestion and even your relationships.

Friends, this is where yoga can be of massive help!

The science of yoga is an integrative health approach that replenishes your physiological and psychological well-being. The art of yoga consists of physical and mental disciplines which relaxes your body and mind. By focusing on your breath and body movements, yoga helps you lower stress while releasing physical tension from the back, neck, and shoulders.

Meditation is another effective stress reduction tool which calms the brain through mindfulness and decreases the instances of physical arousal such as lower heart rate, blood pressure and ease of respiration.

Want to know where to start? Here is a list of six best yoga poses to reduce stress:


1. Eagle Pose or Garudasana


Stand upright and tall on a yoga mat. Transfer your weight to your right leg. Curl your left leg above your right leg and hook your left foot behind the right calf. You can also keep your left foot on the floor behind your right leg. Square your hips to the ground. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and drop your left arm under your right arm. Press your hands together. Keep your forearms perpendicular to the ground. Look at a point in front of you and hold the pose for 15-20 seconds.


2. Standing Forward Bend Pose or Uttanasana


Begin in a mountain pose with the hands on your hips. Take a deep breath and raise your arms up towards the ceiling. Breathe out; bow forward at the hips bringing your hands to the floor beside each foot. Try to grab the ankles with your palms. Lengthen your torso with each breath. Stay in this pose for 30-60 seconds.


3. Reclined Bound Angle Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana


Begin in a staff pose with your legs straight and palms on the mat. Fold your knees and bring your heels near to your pelvic bone. Bring the plant of your feet in contact with each other. Slowly, lower your back towards the floor and lie on the ground. Relax your arms on the floor with your palms facing up. Keep your eyes closed. Remain in this pose for 60 seconds.


4. Seated Forward Bend Pose or Paschimottanasana


Sit tall and extend your legs in front of you keeping your knees straight and your arms by your side. Inhale; stretch your arms up alongside your ears. Exhale; lean forward bringing your arms down and hold your feet. Rest your forehead, chest, and nose over the legs. Take several deep breaths and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.


5. Supported Headstand Pose or Salamba Sirsasana


Come on your fours. Align your wrists with your shoulders. Curl your toes inwards and bring the crown of your head on the floor. Press your arms into the floor and straighten your knees. Bring your feet close to your hands and raise your heels up towards the hips. Gently, extend your legs up towards the ceiling. Make sure your body falls into a straight line from the top of the head to the feet. Keep your neck relaxed and retain this pose for 15-30 seconds.


6. Corpse Pose or Savassana 


Lie down with the arms by your side. Do not hug your arms. Spread your legs 3-4 feet apart. Keep your eyes closed and take deep breaths. Hold the pose for 5 minutes.

Want to put together a de-stressing yoga sequence by yourself? Take a 200-hour yoga teacher training and take your practice to the next level!

Manmohan is a guest author from Rishikul Yogshala.

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