As we all know 2020 was a stressful year and it did put everyone on edge more than usual. A silly comment was enough to invite a flood of tears and late replies meant an entire day spent overthinking under a pile of the blanket. So we get it that your overwhelming emotions and the work-from-home routine have added more stress into your already stressful life. Additionally, working from couch and bed with limited physical movement has made your body stiff and given you all kinds of body aches.
We are sure that you would have even contemplated hitting the gym to alleviate stress and get your body moving, but let’s get real most of us aren’t fitness enthusiasts and COVID-19 is just giving another excuse to avoid the gym even today. So how do you maintain your sanity and get relief from those backaches?
Fret not; we have a few yoga asanas to ensure that you exercise a bit and beat the stress without even leaving your apartment. However, on some days, if you feel like adding a twist to your yoga routine, consider going out in the park with your friend, partner, or parents and encourage them to do these asanas with you!
Let’s take a look at some of the asanas that are beneficial to bring down your stress and chronic pain.
Sukhasana or easy sitting pose is one of the common and simplest poses for meditation. The word sukhasana is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Sukham’ which means comfort or pleasure. Sitting in sukhasana for 20-30 minutes every day can calm your mind and drive away all your stress. It is a good pose to practice meditation or pranayama. This asana is quite easy and can be done by people of all ages, including the elderly. However, people with serious knee and hip issues should avoid sitting in this pose.
How to do it:
Start by sitting on the floor with your spine straight and legs extended in front of you. Now fold your left leg and tug it under the right thigh and your right leg under your left thigh. Keep your palms on your knees. Align your neck, head ,and spine. Relax your body, gaze ahead and breathe normally. You can sit in sukhasana for 20-30 minutes.
Balasana is an easy asana that can even be performed by beginners. Bala means child in Sanskrit and asana refers to one’s posture. Thus, this pose is also called a child pose. Balasana helps relieve fatigue. As this is a resting pose, it helps your body to relax. Even though its main anatomical focus is the thighs, it is useful in relieving back, shoulder, neck, and hip strain. This is also a great pose to ease anxiety and stress as being curled up, makes one aware of the breathing pattern, allowing one to calm their body and mind. Pregnant women, people with a knee injury or serious joint problems should avoid doing this asana.
How to do it:
Start by sitting on your knees on a yoga mat. Bring your knees together and rest your buttock on your feet. Now exhale slowly and bend forward so that your forehead touches the mat. Let your hands rest on the side or stretch out in front of you with your palms on the floor. Breathe deeply and slowly and stay in this position for 30 sec to 1 minute.
Paschimottanasanaor the seated forward bend pose provides a complete stretch to the back muscles. ‘Paschima’ means ‘west’ or ‘back’ and ‘uttana’ means ‘stretch’ in Sanskrit. Since this asana gives suitable stretch and tones to the spine, it is considered one of the best yoga poses for your spinal column and associated nerves. This asana is also known for its utility in harmonizing nervous and pranic energies within the body. Thus, it is quite effective in alleviating stress, anxiety, and depression.
How to do it:
Siton the floor with legs stretched in front of you and place the hands on your thighs. Now raise your hands above the shoulder and bend forward till your stomach touches your thighs. Continue bending till your hand touches your toes. If your body is flexible enough, the hands can reach all the way to the toes. Grab the toes with your fingers and bend your head downwards till it touches the legs. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then return to the original position.
TheAnandabalasana is also called the happy baby pose as it has positive side effects on the body. This pose is known for its innate ability to calm the mind and de-stress the body. This asana uses the different principles of pranayamaand asana to awaken, energize, and control the energies we have within ourselves, which when properly channeled, can have positive benefits. It also helps to uplift the mind, bringing it to a level of higher awareness and consciousness. It makes the body go into a meditative state. Just as toddlers play with their feet as they lie on their backs and exude the greatest joy, this pose seeks to recreate that expression. Practicing this pose regularly will open your mind to joy and innocence, making you aware of the bustling divine child within you.
How to do it:
Lie flat on your back. Slowly breathe and lift your legs up, bringing both your knees close to your chest. Stretch your hands and hold your feet. Tuck your chin into your chest and make sure your head is on the floor. Hold both the back of the neck and the shoulders down to the floor. Breathe normally and staying the pose for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Now that you know some of the yoga poses, so on the days when anxiety and stress come knocking, give this yoga session a go. The breathing techniques and spinal work can relieve your body aches and anxiety.