5 Yoga Techniques to Relieve Stress

with 12 Comments

The yoga boom has hit the Western world: 400% increase of yoga practitioners in the US in just 10 years and similar figures in Europe, and an end of this trend is not foreseeable. People take to yoga to stay fit, to maintain good health, and most of all to restore mental balance in a chaotic world full of anomalies, stress and insecurities.

Yoga has already proven its capacity to very effectively alleviate stress symptoms and bring us back to our center. But how does yoga do that? How does it calm the mind? And how can you adjust your practice to take maximum advantage of yoga’s anti-stress properties?

 

Relieving mental tension through stretching
Mental stress leaves its marks as accumulated tensions in the body. By gently stretching different parts of our body we are not only relieving those tensions in our physical body, but also where they originally came from – in our mind (our mental and emotional body). Forward bending asanas especially calm the mind, because they direct our energy inwards.

Recommend exercises: Paschimottasana, Kurmasana, Yoga Mudra, Child’s pose

Change your mind through breathing
Mental activity also reflects in our breathing (breath-mind relation). If we are fully concentrating while driving our car at rush hours or happily receiving an unexpected gift – every mental or emotional activity is connected to a certain kind of breathing pattern. In turn, breathing in a certain manner during pranayama exercises results in a specific state of mind.

Nadi Shodana, Bhramari and Ujjayi Pranayama all have a tranquilizing effect on the mind.

Slow down
An agitated mind doesn’t have time for anything. So, when you want to relax take your time – slooow down and dooo less. Make sure you avoid multitasking. Whatever you do: give it time and give it quality.

Recommended practices on the mat: sunrise/sunset pose and half sun salutation.

Just be present
The mind is constantly recalling the past and projecting the future. But life is here and now!! This little practice of living in the present moment is super efficient when it comes to quieting the mind. As soon as you start being aware of the present moment you leave the anxieties of your mind far behind you. That doesn’t mean that we should never think about the past and the future. But don’t get stuck in your mind.

Train your awareness by meditation and try to apply full awareness to your yoga on the mat. Then it will be much easier to be present in all your other activities.

A very potent meditation method to practice awareness is Antar Mouna.

Connect to yourself
Where are you? Do you find yourself in your daily activities? How are they related to what is really close to your heart? Connecting to yourself is most essential in life, and it is the most precious thing. When you connect to what is really important to you, everything else shrinks down to its natural size. Most of the things just appear to be important; they are not actually that important. At least not compared to what is really close to your heart. Connect to your emotions, feel your heart, feel what you want to share with others, feel the love inside you. Connect to the hearts of other people.

Yoga Nidra is a practice that connects us to our inner world. Kirtan heals our emotional world. It softens and opens our hearts.

 

What are your tips for relieving stress? What brings you back into balance? Write something in the field for commentaries below this article.

If you think this article is useful, share it with your friends. The ability to deal with stress can improve the quality of our life tremendously.

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12 Responses

  1. Nines
    | Reply

    Gracias Susana por vuestros videos, de verdad!!
    Mis estrategias para combatir el estrés, siempre han sido intentar respirar e intentar localizar lo que me lo esta produciendo realmente. También analizar si hay algo positivo en ello para poder suavizarlo, aunque para ser sincera no siempre lo he logrado jejejejejej.
    Pero realmente no sabia respirar y eso lo estoy aprendiendo contigo, entre otras cosas……….
    Gracias y besotes

    • Susana
      | Reply

      Gracias Nines por compartir tu experiencia!! La verdad es que la respiración es una de nuestras herramientas más potentes. Y bueno creo que a todos nos pasa, cuando vives algo muy intenso tratas de ver lo que tienes que aprender de la situación, y para qué lo estás viviendo. Hay veces que lo ves en el momento, pero otras que ……. ufffff. Aunque normalmente al cabo del tiempo lo terminas viendo pq se repiten tanto las situaciones que o lo entiendes o lo entiendes, jejejjeje. Un abrazo!!

  2. Esperanza
    | Reply

    Gracias, gracias, gracias Vrindayoga, por todos estos regalitos que nos hacéis.
    Yo a parte de aplicar muchas de las enseñanzas que me brindáis en las clases, ir a pasear por el campo consciente de mis pisadas, del aire, sonido etc., es una de mis estrategias para combatir el estrés.
    Namaté

    • Susana
      | Reply

      Gracias a ti Esperanza por compartir tu sentir. Como le decía a Djani en su comentario.. que increíble y poderoso es el poder sanador de la madre tierra, y simplemente rendirse y entregarse en sus manos. Un abrazo

  3. Djani
    | Reply

    Thanx for a lovley and inspering video Susana. My tip to balance is to study holy scriptures. When i feel i ve lost my spiritual contact i read some chapters from a holy master or teacher.
    To relive stress is to be with people who bring and give love. To be in nature and to conect with nature. There is no power like mother nature. And to sit and observe….what ever it is…
    Antar Mauna –Vipassana—Anapana sati—Savasana.

    With love Djani/Om shanti

    • Susana
      | Reply

      Dear Djani, thank you so much for your wise words. I totally agree with you. It is so beautiful to read from holy scriptures and get some inspiration when we are lost. And what to speak about the powerful medicine of nature!! Just be there and surrender to her healing hands. Big hug!!

  4. Ana
    | Reply

    ¡Me encanta! la respiración es un arma poderosa para aliviarte en momentos de estrés, en situaciones más difíciles, o, simplemente en circunstancias en las que por “x “motivos te puedas sentir incómodo por algo que no te guste o no te cuadre, por ejemplo. En mi experiencia personal, ¡¡si que funciona!! y si que me ha ayudado mucho. La actitud que tengas es la clave también para afrontar lo que te ocurre, sobre todo relativizar, (que no es un trabajo fácil siempre también es cierto) y mantenerte en tu centro y que ¡nada ni nadie te quite tu equilibrio! jaja.
    Qué suerte haber descubierto hace ya más de dos añitos esta disciplina que tanto me aporta 😀

    Un abrazo!!

    • Susana
      | Reply

      Muchas gracias Ana por tu comentario. Comparto tu opinión!! Simplemente respirar en un momento de tensión le da amplitud a la situación y espacio para poder cambiar la actitud. Un abrazommmm

  5. ana
    | Reply

    gracias Susana por el camino que nos enseñas

    • Susana
      | Reply

      Un placer Ana!! Un abrazo fuerte!!

  6. angeles cruz
    | Reply

    Muchas gracias por compartirlo. Con ello contribuis a la reflexión, después de tanto ajetreo. Me acuerdo mucho de tus clases askara ( perdona si escribo mal). Besos y otra vez gracias

    • Aksara
      | Reply

      Gracias por tu comentario, Angeles. Me alegro que el artículo sea útil para ti.
      Un beso

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