Yoga For Stress Relief

Pua Gomes

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In the last week of summer, just before school started up again, I crumbled after I finished work one day. Frustration poured over me without hesitation, beating me with the thought of having to get supplies ready for school in such a short amount of time. After coming home from work, I hopped into the shower. I soaped up my sponge, and watched as the bar of soap simply slip out of my hands, hitting the bottom of the tub. It wasn’t a hard day at work, but with the stress on my shoulders, I could barely breathe when I dropped to the bottom of the tub with my head in my hands. I didn’t even have the energy to cry. What the heck? I had endured a lot in my life and dropping a bar of soap was breaking me down? It had been a stressful week of learning how to be a cashier at work, and trying not to disappoint my customers, all while trying my best not to give up. I was running as fast as I could but was coming up short on every realm. My fuse was spent and the trigger just happened to be a bar of soap. Can you relate? 

 

Stress demands all of our energy. When our batteries are drained and when anything can push us over the edge. It’s like being stuck in semi-panic mode, when there is no room to exhale, your neck and shoulders are starting to get tense, or you feel like you’re just too tired to move. Yoga gives us many ways to cope. Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga can benefit three aspects of ourselves that are often affected by stress: our body, mind, and breathing. When inner peace is nowhere to be found, it’s time to tune into the body. One technique is to seek where stress overtakes in the body, and take our mind and breath there. I believe that people who do a little bit of yoga each day often find that they’re better able to handle things when life gets a little crazy. Practicing yoga builds your ability to calm, focus, balance, and relax yourself. The following yoga exercises helps best address the symptoms of stress.

This first exercise is called “Sukhasana” which is also known as “Easy Pose.” In this pose, you will sit with your shins crossed with your right shin in front. Come into a slight forward bend. Stay for 5 breaths, then put the other shin in front. 

Another stress relieving yoga exercise is called “Prasarita Padottanasana” which is also known as “Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend.” In this pose you will turn your feet parallel to each other and place your hands on your hips. Inhale, lift your chest, and with an exhale, bend forward from your hip joints to come into a forward bend. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-distance apart with your fingers in line with your toes. Release your head toward the floor. If your head doesn’t reach the floor, you can place it on a block. Hold the pose for 10 breaths and slowly lift yourself back up.

Did you feel the stress being released out of you? That’s good if you did! If you haven’t, you may have done the exercise wrong. 

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