Since there are a few weeks left in the semester we are bound to start freaking out about finals and to calm the panic attacks, this Wellness Wednesday is focused on a much underrated exercise, Yoga!
Yoga can seem somewhat complex and difficult, but there are many simple poses that anyone can learn and practice. I highly recommend at least trying these four positions if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or exhausted.
The most important component to remember throughout your yoga practice is BREATHING. For all these poses to actually help you, whether it’s to relieve stress or just to exercise, your inhales and exhales have to be correct. So remember, deep inhale through the nose and then exhale all the stale air out of your mouth.
All you need to start your practice is a mat or a towel, and enough space around where you won’t feel cluttered. There is no need to practice these poses in any specific order!
1. Sukhasana Pose– Don’t let the name scare you off. Most names for yoga poses are very daunting; however, it is a simple pose. Start off by crossing your legs inward, place your hands gently on your knees, and keep a straight-back posture. Relax and close your eyes. Focus on your inhale and exhale repeatedly through this pose. Keep this position for about five minutes or however long you may chose. This is as simple as it gets, granted, it does not seem like you’re doing much, but this pose actually calms your body down, eliminates anxiety, and relieves exhaustion. Keep in mind, you have to try your best to focus on your breathing and empty out all the distractions that are in your mind.
2. Child’s Pose– Many people consider this the resting position. It helps stretch your hips, thighs, and ankles. You start by kneeling on the floor and sitting on your heels. Then start extending your arms in front of you as far as you can and lower your body forward. You can place your arms on the floor beside you or stretch them out in front of you, whatever feels most comfortable to you. This pose allows you to lengthen your tailbone and your neck. Hold this position for about a minute, trust me you will feel the stretch! This pose is my all-time favorite position just because of my personal experience; I believe it is most accurate for reducing stress and tiredness.
3. Full Locust Pose– Although this may sound silly, this pose is compared to the look of an airplane- but really. You begin lying on the front of your body, arms by your side, and toes pointed straight downwards. You then exhale completely and simultaneously lift up your arms, chest, head, torso, and feet. The purpose of this pose is to strengthen your whole body as you lift your body up like an airplane. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then lower your body down and relax. This pose helps with fatigue and releases stress!
4. Cobra Pose– Not only is this last pose big on the stretch of your body, but it also allows your body to feel energized after a long day. You begin laying face down, palms flat on the floor, elbows close to the body, and feet together. Then you take a deep inhale and stretch and lift your upper body. Your pelvis, legs, and feet still flat on the floor, while you stretch your arms, back, and neck. Hold this pose for about a minute and then slowly relax and release your upper body to lie down. After this pose, you will feel rejuvenated!
You may feel like some of these positions may be more difficult than others, but keep in mind as you practice more and more you will improve, just do not get frustrated! Remember, the main idea of yoga is to relax your body. Just do not forget to keep breathing!