Four yoga poses to reduce stress, anxiety, and mild depression
We are sharing our final two yoga poses today that will help to reduce stress, anxiety and mild depression. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 you may want to read those posts as well. Be sure to pin it and follow our Health and Wellness Pinterst Board.
Ardha Matsyendrasana, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Ardha Matsyendrasana, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, is one of the deepest twists in yoga postures. Twists help to energize the spine and squeeze toxins out of the body. This posture can help relieve menstrual discomfort, fatigue and backache.
If you have had a spine or back injury, avoid this posture unless you have the supervision of a qualified yoga teacher.
First, sit with your legs straight out in front of you, then bring the bottom of the left foot to the outside of the right knee, the left knee will point straight toward the ceiling. If it’s available, bend the right knee and slide the right foot next to the left hip. If your left buttock starts lifting away from the floor, keep the right leg straight or place a folded blanket under the hips.
Next, inhale and lift the sternum, placing your left hand on the floor behind your back, then exhale and twist toward your left thigh, bending your elbow and placing it to the outside of the left knee. You can stay here, or (as shown in the photo) place the left hand into the right hip crease and reach the right hand to grab the left ankle. Keep the right knee and left foot pressing into the mat and on each inhalation, lift sternum and each exhalation twist gently through the whole spine, turning the gaze over the left shoulder.
To come out, inhale and turn the gaze forward, then exhale and release the twist. Then repeat on the other side.
Upavishta Konasana, Wide Legged Forward Bend
Upavishta Konasana, Wide Legged Forward Bend, is an introspective, brain-calming posture that strengthens the spine, stimulates the abdominal organs and stretches the insides and backs of the legs.
If you have a lower-back injury, side up on a folded blanket and avoid bending forward too much. Keep the spine lifted.
Sit on the floor and spread the legs wide with the toes and knee caps pointing straight toward the ceiling and the hands on the floor at the inner thighs. Inhale and lift your heart away from your hips, exhale and begin walking the fingers forward as you hinge at the hip crease. Use this breath—inhale and lift, exhale and fold—through the posture. If you notice rounding in the lower back, pause and place a folded blanket under the hips.
Use a chair, block, folded blanket, your own stacked fists or the floor to ground your forehead and release tension through the neck. Alternatively, advanced students may want to reach peace-fingers to the big toes to pull back on the toes and lean forward. Keep pressing through the ball mount of the big toe, elbows bending and lifted away from the floor.
The longer you pause in this posture, the more your body will soften.
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This post was written by Beck Anderson. She is wife to a fixed-wing pilot and helicopter lover, registered yoga teacher at The Yoga Place, and traditional foodie blogger and Holistic Coach at Wellness Hammock.
Disclaimer: We are not providing medical advice. Always consult a physician before you begin an exercise program.