yoga for stress

Top 5 Yoga Practices for Stress Relief

Stress is body’s method of reacting to a challenge. The cause of stress is called a stressor. While some stressors may be good and act as vaccine, others may affect physical, mental and emotional health.

When is stress good?

Theory of Mental Toughness by Richard Dienstbier’s (1989) suggests that certain amount of manageable stressors along with controlled recovery intervals can make us physically and mentally tough and less reactive to future stress. This method is adapted in training of Navy SEALs. Repeated exposure to stressful events gives SEALs, the chance to develop both a physical and psychological sense of control, so when they’re in actually combat they are able to cope.

When is stress bad?

Our body can deal, recoverably, with mild stressors like sound of crying babies or a roller coaster ride. It is the chronic or major stressors which are extremely taxing on the brain and the body. However, the degree of stress experienced by same stressor depends upon a person’s attitude, as well.

Workplace stress is becoming increasingly common in India. A study by SHRM India, predicts that by 2025, 57% of people will be suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity (Yes, Obesity isn’t just a condition, but is declared as disease). Stress can increase levels of hormones in the body which are responsible for normal functioning of several bodily systems. Thus, it negatively impacts mind as well as body.

Yoga is a union of mind and body. Yogic practice has been traced back to being 5000 years old, the scientific benefits of which have been realised relatively quiet recently. The in numerous benefits of yoga, can be narrowed down to the following categories which are inter-related:
i) Biological – Enhanced metabolism, cardio-vascular and respiratory system health
ii) Physical – Increased flexibility, endurance and strength
iii) Psychological – Increased concentration and calmness, stress relief

The below are 5 Yogic Practices which will be extremely beneficial for relieving stress from your daily life:

  • Shashankasana or Hare Pose

hare pose

The ancient sages found that by imitating certain poses, they can maintain health and meet challenges of nature. One of such pose is the hare pose. It influences the adrenal gland, among other glands, which secretes many hormones including the stress hormones. This pose leads to a healthy functioning and recovery of endocrinal glands and improves blood circulation towards brain and digestive organs.

  • Bhramri Pranayam or Bee Breathing Technique

brahmri pranayam or bee breathing technique

Bhramri is the best breathing exercise for stress relief, self-healing and self-discipline. Improves conditions like Insomnia, Migraine, depression and anxiety. This technique involves making the sound of ‘Om’ with closed mouth and ears. This creates positive vibrations which relax the mind and body.

  • Marjariasana or Cat Pose

brahmri pranayam

This asana has a soothing effect on the spine and back muscles. This in turn calms the senses. It is an imitation of how a cat stretches for relaxation.

  • Bitilasana or Cow Pose

It can be smoothly transitioned into, from Cat pose. Hence, the two are recommended to be done together. It is also a stress relieving pose. It helps reduce back and sciatica pain. It stretches the neck and improves blood circulation in the body.

  • Practice Non-Judgemental Awareness

As difficult as it sounds, it is an excellent practice to stay mindful at all times. Be aware of when brain is automatically judging a person or a situation and take a step back to get a fresh perspective. Awareness isn’t judgement by itself. Awareness allows clarity in understanding the dimensions of situation and practicing self-compassion, as well as, compassion towards others.