Many studies show that yoga poses for stress reduction really work. Like any exercise, they burn off the hormones of stress and can help improve your focus, reduce anxiety and boost your energy. Just like traditional exercise, yoga replaces stress hormones with endorphins that make you feel better. Just doing a few aerobic exercises or yoga moves for five minutes can put you back on even keel, providing anti-anxiety benefits for quite a while.
The breathing techniques, muscle moves and mental diversion bring benefits at your desk.
Just like regular types of exercise, yoga diverts your attention. The breathing techniques help divert your focus as you calm yourself with guided breathes. Stretching and moving your muscles, whether it’s yoga or not is a stress relief by encouraging the body to relax. Try the seated crescent moon pose at your desk the next time you’re stressed. As you sit, lift your arms above your head, palms up. Interlock your fingers, pushing your palms toward the sky. Lean slowly to the left, inhaling. Hold for a count of ten and exhale as you get back to starting position. Then repeat, leaning toward the right.
Do a child pose to get relief from stress.
Even a beginner can do a child pose successfully. Get on the floor or your mat on all fours, with knees and palms touching. Exhale as you lower your hips to touch your heals, your chest touching your thighs and your hands stretched out in front with your forehead touching the floor. You can bring your hands under your forehead or back down toward your side. It helps reduce stress, quiets the brain, benefits all systems and provides almost immediate relief in just a minute or two.
Cobra pose is good for relieving stress quickly.
Lay on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, fingers pointed straight ahead and elbows close to the body. The tops of your feet should be on the floor. Press your feet and your pubic area down as you spread your toes. Exhale as you lift your chest and head off the floor, pressing your lower ribs down. Keep your shoulders lowered and back as you push your chest forward. Straighten your arms as you lift your chest off the floor, pushing your thighs down as you do. Keep your pelvis and feet firmly planted, extending your arms all the way. Draw your chest up as you push your shoulder blades together and hold thirty seconds, then slowly lower.
- Try a seated backbend pose at your desk. Sit on the edge of your seat with feet firmly on the floor and spine straight. Lean forward, grab the back of the chair firmly. Inhale, lifting your chest and pulling your shoulder blades back for five to ten deep breaths. Release and repeat.
- The uttanasana is a standing forward bend you can do anywhere. Slowly exhale as you bend forward, attempting to touch your fingers to the floor and press your head against your thighs. Hold for 8 breaths.
- If you have a mat or place you can exercise easily, doing a cat/cow combination helps relax you. Start on hands and knees on the floor. With the cow pose, allow your belly to drop with head up. Move to the cat by lowering your head and arching your back.
- Do a bridge to reap relaxation benefits and tighten your abs and glutes. Lay on your back, arms to your sides and knees bent with feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you lift your hips and trunk off the floor to create a bridge, squeezing your glutes and abs as you do.
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