As soon as the mat is rolled out, time automatically seems to run a little slower: If you belong to the yoga community, you have known and loved th...Continue reading
The six best anti-stress yoga exercises
Unfortunately, stress does not stop at anyone in the hectic everyday life. Seemingly endless to-do lists, worries and problems haunt us until the end of the day. So that stressful times do not lead to burnout, it is very important to create a balance. Conveniently, there are many different yoga poses that help with stress for precisely this purpose. Here you can find out why it can sometimes be enough to just stretch your arms up and which (breathing) exercises can help you through stressful times .
Does yoga help with stress?
Movement against overload: This motto is often associated with endurance disciplines such as jogging or other sports where you really work out. You may be wondering how the quiet yoga movements are supposed to help distract the mind.
Anti-stress yoga is not primarily about sweating and investing all your physical energies. Instead, the exercises aim to promote conscious relaxation and build resilience from the ground up .
In the long run, this is a better way to deal with stress than just covering it up with exercise or an evening on the couch.
This is how anti-stress yoga works
The exercises (asanas) focus on breathing and the conscious experience of one's own body . The better supply of oxygen slows down the heartbeat, you can think clearly again and your blood pressure drops. The vagus nerve is also strengthened so that the organ systems in the body can calm down and work better.
Reducing stress purely through breathing and a bit of exercise - isn't that much too easy? Even if the relaxation techniques sound easy, what they require above all is the ability to let go . Switching off mentally and consciously taking your time can take some effort if you are used to rushing through the day in turbo mode.
Yoga breathing exercises for anxiety and stress
Even simple breathing exercises can do a lot to get started. Depending on what suits you more, you can breathe quietly or try out mantra chants , as practiced in so-called Kundalini Yoga.
1. Extended breathing
You can get in the mood for all breathing exercises by lying down on your back and breathing deeply. Elongate your body as much as possible and send your breath up your entire torso. As you exhale, bring your arms back down to your legs while your abdominal wall goes inward. Repeat this movement for eight breaths.
2. Mantra breathing
The constant repetition of a mantra is an integral part of Kundalini Yoga. This style may not suit everyone, but give it a try. If you're the type, mantra breathing is a great way to calm yourself down.
How to do it: Sit with your back straight and place your hands on your knees, palms facing up. Say the mantra “ Sa ta na ma” to yourself for two minutes at a time, first out loud, then in a whisper, and finally silently. Then build up the volume again for two minutes at a time. Meanwhile, with each syllable, briefly touch the thumb with one finger of your hand. To finish, take a deep breath, raise your hands above your head, and on the exhale, bring them together in a prayer position from your chest.
Physical exercises for inner peace
Asanas from Hatha Yoga are ideal for body-related exercises. In this style, the movements of the body are based on conscious breathing.
3. Shoulder bridge
Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, lift your pelvis and stretch your arms overhead. As you exhale, bring your arms back and consciously place your spine vertebra by vertebra on the mat. Repeat the process five to six times, paying close attention to your breathing.
You kneel on the floor and point your toes up. As you inhale, open your chest wide and place your hands on your buttocks. Slowly bend your upper body backwards and, while exhaling, bring it forward again with an equally conscious movement.
Step back and forth three times, then hold the reclined position for five breaths.
5. Diagonal quadruped stand
With this asana you train your sense of balance and thus find a better inner balance. Knees and hands are on the floor and as you inhale straighten your right arm and left leg while looking ahead. As you exhale, pull your arm and leg back toward your center and pull your head in. Repeat the process twelve times. The slower you can move, the more balance and focus you need.
6. Half Scorpio
Your sense of balance is also required here. Again you start on all fours, but this time reach back diagonally with your left hand so that you can grasp your right ankle or calf. Pull the foot up and hold it there for five breaths before switching sides.
When you've finished both sides, sit on your heels so you can push your pelvis back and let your head hang forward. Now you can stretch your arms so that your back is comfortably stretched.
Less stress thanks to yoga
If you regularly incorporate these and similar yoga (breathing) exercises into your everyday life, you will soon notice that stress can no longer affect you so quickly. Of course, the calming effect does not take effect overnight , but the beneficial effect sets in after just a few sessions. Conscious breathing and controlled movements may seem unfamiliar to you at the beginning - but it is not without reason that the saying "There is strength in stillness" applies.