Life can get extremely overwhelming sometimes. We move through the motions without realizing just how overwhelmed we are. No matter who you are or what your circumstances, stress is manageable. We may not choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react to what happens to us. Here are a few of my favorite asanas for managing stress.
1. Child’s Pose
Melt your chest over your thighs. If you have tight hips or are pregnant, open up your knees.
Child’s pose stretches out the hips and normalizes circulation throughout the body. It regulates your nervous system, and is a pose of complete surrender. If I feel stressed or anxious I’ll go into this pose and take 10 long, deep breaths. It immediately relieves stress.
I recommend having an instructor help you into this one, but you can practice against a wall. Headstand increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain. It speeds up your digestive system and reverses the flow of gravity. Plus, if you can stand on your head you can do anything.
3. Supported Bridge
Bridge pose calms the central nervous system and cleanses your abdominal organs. If I feel anxiety or problems in my stomach, I’ll put a yoga block under my sacrum and just lay there for a few minutes. It is one of my favorite restorative poses.
4. Toe Stretch
Often times when we think of tight muscles we tend to overlook the importance of our feet. When the muscles in our feet are blocked it effects the rest of our body. There are nerve endings in the arches of our feet that are connected to our spines. Take a few minutes to stretch out your feet. It may hurt more than you thought it would, but keep breathing through it. When you stand up you should feel a big release.
Everyone’s favorite pose. This is where the real yoga begins. The purpose of doing all of these postures is so that our mind is able to be completely still. Set your timer for 5-10 minutes and lay down on the ground completely relaxed. This is the most important pose. Everyone can carve out a few minutes a day to slow down and breathe. Make your health your priority!
Even though life gets crazy, stress is an illusion. Set yourself up to win and find ways that work for you to manage it.
“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.” - Eckhart Tolle