In the world we live in, life can be challenging. For most of us, waking up early, working late at night, daily commuting, exercise etc is a lot to balance with so much on the mind, it's easy to feel stressed for anyone. Stress is present on a daily basis which can be mild and sometimes unbearable resulting to hypertension, depression etc.
Thus, finding ways to relieve stress and stop it from creeping deeper into your life is imperative and one way to shake off the stress is to practice yoga. We all need an effective solution that helps us overcome mental disturbances and allows us to live peacefully with a healthy mind and body. For any stressed individual, yoga can be a game-changer, especially meditation and physical asanas are magic to overcoming stress immediately.
The practice is mood and energy-boosting but it seems to be ideal to help reduce levels of stress in day-to-day life. If you need help managing stress and anxiety, yoga may be a great solution and self-care ritual.
Here's how yoga reduces stress and manages these issues effectively:
Yoga reduces stress and promotes relaxation, which is the natural opposite of stress. Yoga can benefit three aspects of ourselves that are often affected by stress: our body, mind, and breathing. By practising yoga, a little bit daily can drastically affect your well-being in a positive manner. It induces positive energy to your body making one calmer, focus, balance and relaxed. Whether you are at home, work or somewhere in between, yoga is always here to help you relax.
When we're under stress, we often start thinking more about the repercussions of things that we do or wander about what will be the future instead of being in the moment and enjoying for the time being. Sometimes practising yoga lets you think introspect yourself and makes you be in a moment of mindfulness. For instance, focusing your body with yoga indirectly makes you notice a lot of things about yourself, allowing oneself to be just rightly present in that particular moment. Being in the moment like this helps you build your ability to focus and concentrate, which helps in all aspects of life.
Helps you know yourself a little bit more
Yoga is nothing but uniting mind, body and soul and therefore, one of the best reasons to add yoga in your daily kitty is that it helps you find out more about your mind, body, and emotions.
Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga can enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Yoga might also help you manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety that are due to difficult situations. If you are performing Yoga outdoors, experiencing the vibrant colours, sounds and feel of the outdoors during your yoga practice can provide a positive energy boost.
Improves mental strength
A common benefit most people recall is that yoga improves your strength and flexibility for your body as well as mind. Yoga exercises improve mental toughness as it pores in confidence with the body movements and forces the mind to be more focused. When one is doing yoga, the mind gets busy taking care of the coordination of the muscles or making the body stay in a particular posture or form. The staying power as it develops in the mind with its efforts to keep the body still is what is called mental stamina. Yoga is one of the most effective natural ways to improve brain power. After all, a strong mind is definitely linked to a healthy brain.
Yoga helps move the body in directions and ways which one would have never moved before, these new experiences and how one master the new maneuvers lifts the confidence of the practitioner related to the unknown. A boost in the confidence level is necessary to remain persistent on any path chosen by an individual.
Yoga help gather the scattered mind from everywhere, and focus its energy on one thought, action or task. The concentrated energy provides additional power to do what is desired, scattered mind is a weak mind. Practising yoga meditation regularly helps habituate the mind on remaining focused and concentrated.(By Abhishek Otwal)
Read More► 10 Minutes Daily Yoga Can Help Improve Mental Health Problems
Mental illnesses in various forms have been a major health burden globally in recent years. Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits and rise in work-related stress are factors that are contributing to the rising incidence of anxiety and depression. Psychotic drugs in treating anxiety and depression are effective but offer only symptomatic relief. Long-term intake of drugs often leads to dependence without preventing further illness or providing a comprehensive solution to improving mental health.
People suffering from poor mental health can reap rich and long-term benefits by adopting the ancient Indian practice of Yoga in their daily lives. Yoga helps in maintaining good mental and physical health. It harmonises our body and mind and restores our emotional balance. There is growing evidence that Yoga can have a positive impact on depression, anxiety and those who have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When adopted as a daily practice, yoga can help calm down the mind and prevent the development of mental illnesses.
Stress is the root cause of several lifestyle diseases. Yoga adopts a scientific approach of exercising and relaxing to ease the stress of modern day living. Yoga also contributes to improving memory, sleep and even quality of life in elderly persons with mild memory impairment.
Here are some poses that help improve mental health besides providing other health benefits:
Shashankasana or Child's Pose
This asana stimulates your nervous system thereby re-energizing your whole body. This asana is basically a resting pose somehow resembling a child in fetal position. It is performed by sitting down on the knees and then bending forward so that the chest touches the thighs, and the forehead touches the ground. Stretch the arms forward. If performed with precision regularly, the performer will notice a sense of mental, physical, and emotional comfort descending upon him/her. Like most yoga asanas, this one, too, should be performed on an empty stomach or at least six hours after a meal. However, people suffering from high blood pressure and back pain should avoid this asana.
This inverted pose is one of the best yoga asanas for improving blood circulation towards the head. It helps to calm anxiety, treat depression and insomnia besides regulating blood flow. This pose can be performed by lying down flat on your back. Keep the legs together. While inhaling raise the legs, buttocks and the trunk and support the hips on the palm. The trunk is held at 45 degrees angle to the ground. Breathe normally in this position. To return, lower the legs over the head and keep the hands down while exhaling. Bring the spine and the legs down.
This yoga pose is thought to be therapeutic for people suffering from high blood pressure, asthma, sinusitis, infertility and osteoporosis. It also helps to relieve mild depression and beat insomnia as it is highly beneficial as a relaxation tool. To perform this pose, stand straight. Raise your hands from the front to above your head as you inhale slowly. Bend backwards from the upper back and maintain the position with normal breathing.
This pose is typically performed at the end of yoga routines and helps boost mental health and relaxes the body. Lie flat on your back, keeping the body straight and hands at the sides with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and hold the position for at least five minutes. Even pregnant women can practice this asana as it will help them prevent prenatal depression, a prevalent mental disorder in women during pregnancy.
It should be noted that the above-mentioned yogic practices are to be learned in a gradual manner under the supervision of a yoga expert. Yoga enables a practitioner to expand their mental faculties and achieve a greater acceptance of self and others, which ultimately leads to calmer approach to the life.
Yoga encourages practitioners to experience an open heart. Many yogic philosophers consider the entire practice to be about metaphorically connecting to our hearts. Within the chakra system, the heart lies in the middle of the seven chakras. Asanas such as arda chakrasana (back bend), kapotasana (pigeon pose), and ustrasana (camel pose) encourage the expansion of the centre of the chest which is the location of the anahata chakra, the yogic heart centre. Visualizations and pranyams in yoga also encourage open heartedness.
Read More► Escape Wedding Blues With These Yoga Postures & Breathing Techniques
Without a doubt, the wedding is one of the most important days of a person's life. To ensure everything is memorable comes with its own set of pressures and anxiety This can take a toll on your mind and body, leaving you stressed. A great way to combat wedding anxiety is with yoga.
The ancient practice offers scientifically proven solutions to everyday problems both physical and mental. Yoga lowers the stress hormones and also strengthens the nervous system while stimulating the lymphatic system which is responsible for removing toxins from the body.
Yoga also calms the mind and can contribute to deeper regulated sleep which is crucial for wellness. We all are aware how good sleep can help heal and maintain a healthy body. With so much to tend to at a wedding, sound sleep helps you stay fresh the whole day.
Here we sharing yoga poses to help unwind and find your peace:
Sukhasana refers to a cross-legged, seated position, and one of the most basic poses used in yoga practice and meditation. It is also a calming pose and it is one commonly used for meditation and practicing breathing exercises.
Sit on your padding in a comfortable, cross-legged position.
Slide the shoulder blades down your back so your shoulders move away from your ears. The crown of your head should rise towards the ceiling.
Your hands can rest in your lap or on the tops of your thighs.
On your inhalations, feel your spine grow long. On your exhalations, root down through your seat.
Standing Forward Bend stretches and lengthens the hamstrings and calves. It is regarded as a relaxing and stress-relieving pose. Traditionally, it is said to help relieve insomnia.
From Raised Hands Pose, sweep your arms down on either side of your body to come into a forward fold from your hips.
Bring your fingertips in line with the toes. Press your palms flat to the mat if you can. You can use blocks under your hands here if they don't reach the floor.
Bend the knees a little bit so that they are not locked.
Bring your weight a little bit forward into the balls of your feet so that your hips stay over your ankles.
Let your head hang.
Inhale and place your hands onto your hips, press your tailbone down and contract your abdominal muscles as you rise up slowly.
Cobra Pose increases the mobility of the spine, strengthens spinal support muscles, and can help relieve back pain. It opens the chest and the front of the body.
Place your palms flat on the ground directly under your shoulders. Bend your elbows straight back and hug them into your sides.
Pause for a moment looking straight down at your mat with your neck in a neutral position.
Inhale and lift your chest off the floor. Roll your shoulders back and keep your low ribs on the floor. Make sure your elbows continue hugging your sides.
Keep your neck neutral. Your gaze should stay on the floor.
Also, Read This► The Don'ts of Yoga Practice
As you perform SetuBandhasana, also known as Bridge Pose, you will become more alert in both body and mind. This rejuvenating backbend will open your chest up and keep your spine flexible.
Lie on the floor, bend your knees, and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, lift the buttocks off the floor.
Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin.
Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck up into the torso.
Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor
Corpse pose is essential to practice at the end of every yoga practice. This posture rejuvenates the body, mind and spirit while reducing stress and tension.
Spread the legs one to two feet apart, the toes are turned outwards, the heels facing each other, a comfortable distance apart.
Bring the arms a little away from the body, palms turned upward.
Relax the neck and allow it to turn to the side if it is more comfortable.
Close the eyes and focus the attention on the body, breathing normally.
Begin focusing on each body part and relaxing it, then moving on. Keep the mind focused on relaxation, the breath should be normal. Relax the whole body.
Breathing properly contributes to the stress response which worsens with anxiety. Do not take breathing for granted, take out the time at the beginning and the end of any yoga session or just once in a day breathe deeply for at least 2-3 minutes and you can see the difference without moving a muscle.
The short time effects of yoga can be felt through breathing techniques by learning to deeply breathe you not only allow your muscles to relax but you also feel equipped with other relaxation techniques like meditation.
Read More► Can Yoga Help With Fertility Issues?
A regular and consistent yoga practice can do wonders for your health and over well-being. The pandemic has accelerated the need for physical activity, and no wonder, yoga has emerged as the preferred choice.
Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA lists the top mistakes beginner yogis often tend to make:
1. Don't over-exert yourself. If on a scale of 1 to 10 -1 being easiest and 10 being the toughest every asana need not be a 10. Some days an 8 feels like a 10 and on others, a 15 feels like an 8!
2. Don't hold your breath unnaturally unless the trainer specifically mentions this during practice. Breathe normally.
3. Avoid practicing yoga when you are exhausted, during illness, Yoga should make you feel the rush of happy hormones in the end, not entirely exhausted!
4. Do not practice alone. This one is more of a guideline. If you're a beginner, it's best to practice under someone's guidance. It is not advised to simply read and practice, it may lead to a muscle pull or discomfort. While practicing advanced postures for the first time, it's best to have someone assist you while doing these.
5. Avoid wearing tight clothes and do not wear shoes. Especially tight upper body clothing will restrict the movement of the rib cage and lung that would result in incomplete breathing.
6. Don't shower immediately, after a good sweaty workout, let the body dry normally and then shower for a normal cool-down of the body.
7. Do not perform inversion or 'feet up' asanas, during the menstruation cycle. Preferably perform relaxation and breathing techniques.
8. Do not perform any high-intensity workout post-yoga. Perform it before yoga practice for a better effect.
9. Avoid drinking too much water during the practice. You can have water at a moderate level just to overcome your thirst during practice.
Read More► Can Yoga Help With Fertility Issues?
Motherhood is one of the most blessed experiences in life. But not everyone gets to experience it. Stressful life, hectic working schedules, and bad eating habits have affected the health of many. As a result, many people are experiencing fertility issues.
According to research, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important if you're trying to conceive. Fitting into a healthy lifestyle is of vital importance since it helps restore stamina and boosts energy levels. In the process of trying to get pregnant, exercise can be helpful. When you're overweight, a sensible exercise program in combination with prescription diets can help you conceive. A yoga pose or asana prepares your body and mind for childbirth by developing a hospitable and calm body. The practice of yoga encourages positivity when you're dealing with infertility issues.
How Yoga Boosts Fertility?
There are several health benefits to yoga asanas. However, yoga can aid in issues relating to fertility in the following ways-
Yogic practices stimulate the uterus and the ovaries
Exercises the back muscles and strengthens them
It detoxifies the body by flushing out toxins
Provides flexibility to the groin and hips
Makes the neck muscles stronger and the spine more flexible
Reproductive organs are supplied with more blood
Improves mood and reduces depression, tension, and mood swings
Facilitates smooth delivery.
Try These Yoga Poses To Boost Fertility:
Yoga pose of seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)- Contains stretches for the lower back, hips, and hamstrings. Enhances uterine and ovarian functions and relaxes the body.
"Viparita Karani" (legs up the wall)- Relieves backache and provides improved blood circulation in the pelvis. To do this pose, install support on the floor next to the wall. Place your left side along the wall. You should place the support under your hips and low back. Lean on your elbows and your shoulders. Your palms should face upwards as your arms are placed to the sides. Spend at least 5 minutes in this pose. Slowly exhale while you descend. Take a deep breath and relax in Shavasana.
Read More► 3 Things You Can Do Daily to Lose Body Fat
Lifestyle plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Often a sedentary lifestyle along with unhealthy eating habits contribute to weight gain or other lifestyle diseases. With discipline and patience, you can work on your lifestyle to reach a fitness level you have always desired. Always remember that whatever changes you implement should not be focused on temporary results, but rather on a long and sustainable lifestyle.
A good fitness level is more important than just fat loss. However, you can lose fat by practising these things:
1. Make Your Diet A Lifestyle:
Most people tend to focus on diet as a destination, rather than a journey. Your nutrition should not be a trend or a plan for short-term results, but rather a lifestyle that you can follow effortlessly. Although easier said than done, implementing a positive lifestyle can have tremendous long-term results. Tweaking your food habits and incorporating essential macro and micronutrients can aid your fat-loss journey. A good way to include the right food components in your diet is through a good diet plan which you must follow with discipline. Eat good food every day. It's as simple as that. Don't divert even if you have to eat the same food every day, you can always innovate your dishes with the help of spices and other preparation methods.
2. Workout Regime To Increase Activity:
Even if you can't do a heavy workout every day, it is essential to include some kind of activity in your lifestyle. Find a physical activity that suits you. Some people despise gyms, but love jogging or playing a sport. Some like strength training and lifting weights. Whatever you choose, follow through without any excuses. Your daily physical activity plays a huge role in your metabolism and fitness level. It's not just about burning calories; it's about setting a pattern for your body to undergo positive stress. When you exercise, your body is already doing half the work required for losing weight and becoming fit.
3. Don't Compromise on Your Sleep and Hydration:
People underrate the importance of a good night's sleep. Your body requires sleep to recover, to balance the cortisol hormone level which is responsible for your binge eating. Sleeping is our body's natural way of balancing the stress level and rectifying any errors in its system. Fix a sleeping time and don't change it no matter what. This is one of the most important changes you must incorporate. The other being hydration water is extremely important for your system. Not only does it help in passing the nutrients throughout your system, but it also helps the body detox and shed the pesky water retention habit. You'll be surprised by the number of times your body confuses thirst for hunger, so always drink adequate water. Set a reminder through a phone app, it can be helpful.
(The author Pranit Shilimkar is a Health and Fitness Entrepreneur, Digital Content Creator and Founder of Fitnesstalks)
Read More► Five Fitness Mantras For A Healthier Self