The primary focus of every yoga practice is to become aware of and regulate the breath which helps in building awareness, lowering stress and being present in the moment, all of which are needed to feel happier. Yoga helps train the mind to respond more positively to situations, and elevates one’s mood through the use of breathwork, meditation and more dynamic movements.
Yoga helps us tap into our nervous system and can also help us rewire our sympathetic nervous system. Celebrity Yoga Expert and founder of wellness community space, Moon Village – Samiksha Shetty – explains three poses that can help you manage your stress
1. BADDHAKONASANA (Badda-Bound and Kona-Angle / Butterfly Pose)
This pose relieves stiffness in the ankles, knees, hips, glutes and improves hip mobility. It also helps give you a good emotional release. Your hips store pent up emotions of fear and worry which blocks you from moving forward, hence giving you a feeling of being stuck and trapped.
• Variation-1: Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you and spine erect. Now, bring the soles of your feet together bending both your knees out to the side. Place your feet in front of your pelvis, around a fist distance from your groin. Now, take deep breaths and press your thighs and knees down towards the floor providing gentle pressure. In a slow and controlled motion begin to flap both your legs from the hip like the wings of a butterfly for around 60 seconds and then release.
• Variation-2: Once you come into position with your feet pressed together. Hold your feet with your hands and open your feet like a book towards the ceiling. Take a deep INHALE and on your EXHALE, bend forward bringing your chin or forehead towards the mat. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then on the next INHALE come back up.
• Variation-3: Supta Baddhakonasana (lying down on the floor with legs in the same position). (you can use a bolster or pillow under your back)
2. HAPPY CHILD’S POSE
Let’s dive into some unadulterated happiness, this asana lengthens and stretches out your spine while stretching out your hips simultaneously. It also alleviates fatigue and moves the mind to a playful and stress-free mode
• Lie down on your back with your knees bent into your belly. Grab your feet with your hands and keep your knees slightly wider than your torso. Your ankles should be directly above your knees. Now gently pull your hands down and simultaneously push your feet up to create resistance. Stay here for 9-12 breaths.
3. SHAVASANA (CORPSE POSE)
• This asana is often skipped by many. Savasana is one of the most important yoga asanas which helps us unwind and destress which helps reduce cortisol levels (stress hormones).
• This asana balances your nervous system. It helps our body enter a state of calm and ease. It helps remove emotional blockages and helps your body cool down.
• After completion of the yoga session lie down on your back with your hands and legs stretched out keeping your body in one line. Keep your legs slightly apart and your feet and knees completely relaxed. Place your hands at your sides on the floor, palms open and facing upward. Feet and toes should be rolled out. Now close your eyes. Gradually relax your entire body while breathing slowly and deeply. Observe the changes in the body, mind and breathe. Wait for 5-10 minutes or till you feel completely relaxed and then gently roll on to the right side making your way up into a seated position.