Yoga Poses For Anxiety And Stress
Yoga is all about calmness, relaxation, control and deep breathing. Your mind is both focused and calm at the same time. When you regularly practice yoga, your body learns to control anxiety. The steady and conscious breathing and the physical poses help to reduce tension in the body and relieve stress. Your nervous system is calmer, your blood pressure is lower and your heart rate is beating at a more normal pace, which is very good for your body. Many people turn to therapy, medications, and pills to relieve their anxiety and stress. However, being dependent on these pills and anti-depressant drugs can be bad for your mind and body. Yoga is a much healthier alternative to cure anxiety and stress. It has no side effects and it has so many physical and mental benefits to lifting your mood and helping you become a more positive person.
How To Do Meditation?
Yoga and meditation go hand in hand to help reduce anxiety and stress. Meditation can be a difficult process, especially for beginners who are not used to sitting still and doing nothing at all. Actually, meditation is far from being idle because it is a combination of mindfulness and concentration. The key to a successful meditation is finding the right practice that is most suitable for you.
- Choose a mantra that you can repeat silently during meditation. You can use any phrases or words that you can focus on other than your thoughts. You can also use the So Hum mantra which is a Sanskrit mantra that translates to “I am.” Keep repeating the “So Hum” mantra silently during your meditation.
- Now that you’ve chosen a word as your mantra, your next step is to find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. You don’t have to sit cross-legged on the floor. You can sit anywhere, as long as it’s the most comfortable spot for you. Just remember to sit upright, but as comfortable as possible.
- Close your eyes slowly and begin inhaling through your nose and exhaling through the mouth. After taking in a couple of deep breaths, you can now breathe at a more relaxed pace with your mouth closed.
- Begin repeating your mantra silently without any mouth movement. There shouldn’t be any effort when saying the mantra silently. It is better to imagine the mantra rather than repeating it to yourself.
- When your mind begins to wander, don’t fight it. Simply return to repeating your mantra silently.
- After 30 minutes, you can stop repeating the mantra. Continue to sit with your eyes closed and spend a few more minutes in your relaxed state. Slowly come out of your meditation without any sudden movements.
Concentration Meditation is another form of meditation that lets the mind focus on a single point. The Mantra Meditation is a form of Concentration Meditation. However, with this type of meditation, you can focus on other things, such as the beating of the gong, candlelight, or counting of the beads on a mala.
You can also practice another form of meditation called the Mindfulness Meditation. This type of meditation encourages the practitioner to let the mind wander and let the thoughts drift through the mind. The aim of this meditation is to simply be aware of each thought and feelings and see the patterns that are created. With constant practice of this meditation, you can develop an inner balance. Some practitioners combine Mindfulness meditation with the Concentration meditation.
Here are some simple tips to guide you on how to start your meditation therapy:
- Choose a time that is most convenient for you.
- Do not meditate when you are very hungry or after a full meal.
- You can warm-up your body through yoga exercises to improve circulation.
- Choose a quiet and comfortable place to sit.
- Sit comfortably.
- Slowly close your eyes.
- Take a few deep breaths before meditating.
- Start breathing naturally or at a normal pace.
- Focus on your breathing.
- Open your eyes gently and don’t be in a hurry to get up.
Meditation Effects On the Brain
When scientists and experts used an MRI to scan the brain during meditation, they found a very clear link between the brain and deep meditation. When a person is meditating, the brain activity decreases significantly. It is as if the brain has momentarily slowed down processing information.
Since meditation is also a form of concentration, the constant practice can improve the brain’s ability to concentrate and focus. Meditation is like an exercise for the brain, to strengthen and improve its capacity to stay focused.
Change the Volume Structure of the Brain
Meditation can change the volume structure of the brain. Through constant meditation, the thickness and volume of the hippocampus and frontal area of the brain are increased. This increase in size or volume leads to longer emotional stability, more positive emotions and improved mood. There is also a decrease in the volume of the amygdala, which is responsible for the feeling of anxiety, fear, and stress.
Improved Memory Recall
Through constant meditation, you are strengthening your brain’s ability to ignore distractions. If your mind is sharp and free from distractions, you can easily remember and memorize information.
What is Yoga Meditation?
Yoga Meditation is the practice of allowing your busy mind to stay calm and quiet. When your mind is quiet, your body’s nervous system is relaxed, which can help in reducing stress and anxiety. In the context of yoga, meditation is an inward shift that leads to a state of pure consciousness.
5 Deep Breathing Exercises for Relaxation
- Abdominal Breathing Exercise – This breathing exercise can help during a stressful event. Just place one hand on the chest and the other hand on the belly. Breathe deeply through the nose and inflate your diaphragm to stretch the lungs. Try to make six to ten deep and slow breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day. This breathing exercise can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing – It helps to keep you focused and energized. For a yoga practitioner, this type of breathing also brings balance and unites the left and right side of the brain. You can start by getting into a meditative position. Hold your right thumb over the right nostril and inhale through your left nostril. At the peak of the inhalation, close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Continue this pattern.
- Four, Seven, Eight Breathing – You can do this breathing exercise while sitting or lying down comfortably. Put one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest. Breathe slow and deep, but it should take 4 seconds to breathe in. Then hold your breath for 7 seconds. Breathe out silently for 8 seconds. When you reach 8, you must have completely exhaled the air from your lungs. Complete the pattern as many times as you can.
- Equal Breathing – This breathing exercise helps take your mind off distractions, reduce stress and calm the nervous system. This also helps when you are having trouble falling asleep. Start by inhaling to a count of four and exhale to the count of four. This requires breathing through your nose. Some experienced yoga practitioners can do six to eight counts.
- Skull Shining Breath – This exercise works best in the morning after waking up. It will warm up the body and wakes you up completely. Start by doing a long, slow inhale, then followed by a quick and powerful exhale from the lower belly. Remember to breathe through the nose. You can increase the pace of the breathing every one to two seconds. The goal is to make a total of 10 breaths.