The pace of our lives today has not only increased but has now become a bit of a hazard for us mentally and physically. Right from running around to get to work, to sitting in front of a computer hunched over all day, we put our bodies and minds through a great deal of difficulties. Yoga can help us not only deal with these stresses more effectively but also reverse some of the effects that it can have on us. Yoga works on many aspects of the body, mind and the soul while also bringing in a sense of gratitude and contentment.
After a long day at work, we come home and most times instead of trying to calm the mind and body down, we stimulate it more by watching tv or starting some work which ends to triggering the nervous system even more. Instead, at the end of the day, try finding a quiet room or a spot where you can be by yourself, cultivate a small yoga routine based on your needs which includes asanas, pranayama and some meditation as well that can help you sleep better after a stressful day at work. Below are a few yoga postures and pranayamas that you can begin with.
This posture replicates the graceful, steady stance of a tree. Unlike most yoga poses, the Tree pose requires keeping our eyes open in order to maintain body balance. This pose leaves you in a state of rejuvenation. It stretches the legs, back and arms, and invigorates you. It brings balance and equilibrium to your mind.
The posture is named Badhakonasana because of the way it is carried out – both the feet tucked close to the groin, clasped tightly with the hands as though tied or bound together in a particular angle. It is also popularly known as the Butterfly pose, because of the movement of the legs during the posture, giving the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings. The posture is also known as the Cobbler pose as it resembles the sitting position of a cobbler at work.
Parsvottanasana which is also known as the pyramid pose, stretches the overall body helps in calming the mind after a long and stressful day at work.
Anulom Vilom is a specific type of controlled breathing (pranayama) in the practice of yoga. It involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, then holding the other nostril closed while exhaling. The process is then reversed and repeated. Alternate nostril breathing is said to have many physical and psychological benefits, including stress reduction and improved breathing and circulation. There’s scientific evidence that supports some of these claims.
The Bhramari pranayama breathing technique derives its name from the black Indian bee called Bhramari. It is one of the best breathing exercises to free the mind of agitation, frustration or anxiety and get rid of anger to a great extent. A simple technique, it can be practiced anywhere – at work or home and is an instant option to de-stress yourself. The exhalation in this pranayama resembles the typical humming sound of a bee, which explains why it is named so. In addition to this, cultivating a meditation practice can be very beneficial.
(The author is a Senior Yoga Instructor at Sarva Yoga)
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