Life’s everyday responsibilities produce a lot of stress. Add to that the stress-inducing events of the world, and before you know it, your stress levels are out of control. Learning how to manage stress is essential for your overall health. Yoga is a proven way to reduce stress hormones. It brings together physical and mental techniques to enhance a sense of peace. Yoga allows you to relax as you manage anxiety and stress. Here are fourteen simple yoga poses for you to start reducing stress today.
How you can reduce stress hormones with yoga
According to studies, yoga is an effective way to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It also provides a lot of health benefits, including:
- Better fitness: Yoga improves your range of motion, strength, flexibility, and balance.
- Mental health: There are mental benefits of yoga. Regular yoga builds a sense of mental well-being and resilience.
- Quit smoke: Yoga can help reduce your desire for a cigarette.
- Weight control: Regular yoga helps you feel better physically. It gives you a sense of being in control of your appetite, so you’re less prone to overeating.
- Chronic conditions: Yoga can help lower your chronic disease risks, such as higher blood pressure or heart conditions. Regular yoga can relieve back and neck pain, help control your arthritis and improve insomnia.
What does yoga involve?
Many yoga styles can reduce stress hormones. Depending upon the type of yoga you do, you’ll do different poses at different intensities. Yoga instructors, or yogis, are trained to teach yoga classes. Hatha yoga is the most common style of yoga. It’s a slower-paced style of yoga, with more accessible poses for beginners. The three essential components of yoga include:
- Breathing techniques: This part of yoga teaches you to control your breathing. It helps you learn to control and calm down your mind.
- Relaxation: Yoga may include relaxation or meditation to help you be aware of movements. It enables you to increase your mindfulness.
- Poses: Yoga postures or poses increase your flexibility and strength. They start simple and increase in difficulty.
Before you get started on a yoga routine to reduce stress hormones
When you first start yoga, be sure to follow these essential tips.
- Find ample enough space: Create a place house to do yoga. Having a specific place can help you be more diligent in practicing every day.
- Be gentle with your body: Start slowly, then build up your tolerance over time to prevent injuring yourself.
- Move little by little: Don’t worry if you can get the pose the first few times. They take practice.
- Don’t skip poses: Do all the poses, don’t skip to your favorite ones. Every pose has a purpose and works together with the other poses for a whole body workout.
Here are 14 simple yoga poses that reduce stress hormones
Some instructors suggest you do yoga in a specific sequence, but it’s unnecessary. There is no wrong way to practice yoga to reduce your stress. Try these different poses to explore what works best for you.
1 – Easy pose
Get into a comfortable seated position. Cross your legs. Relax your feet and put your pelvis in a relaxed position. Think about how your body feels. Feel yourself breathing. Sit for a few minutes and concentrate on these sensations.
2 – Shoulder pose
Now roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion. Do this four times and do it back four times. After that, inhale and put your hands up above your head and exhale, lowering your hands to chest level. Let go and reduce stress hormones as you breathe out.
3 – Neck roll
Let your head fall toward your chest. Move your head around slowly in a full circle, first to the right three times. Then circle your head to the left three times. Let go of your stress as if it’s rolling off your head and neck. Return to the easy pose.
4 – Child pose
Get on your hands and knees. Put your hands out in front of you. Allow your body to relax. Your knees should be together. Reach forward and allow your bottom to touch the heels of your feet. You can use supports for assistance if you are starting to use yoga to reduce stress hormones. Don’t worry. That flexibility comes in time!
5 – Cow pose
Put your stomach flat on the floor. Inhale. Life up your chin and chest and look up at the ceiling. Exhale and release stress.
6 – Cat pose
Inhale and pull your stomach to your spine. Round your back and look up at the ceiling. Exhale and let go of your stress. Gently allow the top of your head to go toward the floor.
7 – Downward dog
Put your toes under your feet. Press the palms of your hands on the floor and lift your hips up with your tailbone towards the ceiling. Push your heels back and down toward the mat. Stretch with your head dropping with a long neck. Think of your dog stretching-this is a classic downward dog. Stay in this pose, then breathe deeply. Exhale, letting go of any stress you feel.
8 – Tabletop position helps you reduce stress hormones
Get on your hands and knees. Place your wrists under your shoulders. Your knees should be under your hips. With your palms on the floor, and your fingers facing forward, your weight should be evenly distributed on the palms of your hands. Relax your head to gaze down and allow your stress to hit the floor.
9 – Standing forward bend
Sit flat on the floor with your feet out in front of you. Slowly stretch your hands toward your feet. Release the muscles in our neck and shoulders. Release your head while keeping your legs straight. Stay in this position and breathe slowly. Imagine your stress floating away.
10 – Mountain pose
Sitting on the floor, bend your knees and pull your stomach back toward your back. Roll your shoulders forward and relax your head. Inhale and exhale, letting go of the stress and anxiety you feel.
11 – Legs up the wall pose can help reduce stress hormones
Lie on your back with your legs up on the walls. Make sure your knees are straight up the wall. Put your hips up against the wall as much as possible. Your arms should be beside your body. Put one hand on your midsection, and your other hand is on your chest. Rest in this pose for 10 minutes, breathing slowly and feeling the stress leave your body.
12 – Corpse pose
Lie flat on your back with your feet wider than your hips. Allow your toes to be spaced out equally. Put your arms next to your body at a 45-degree angle. Your neck, shoulders, and head should be in line with your spine. Inhale deeply. Exhale and let your mind and body completely relax. Stay in this pose for fifteen minutes.
13 – Tre the tree pose to reduce stress hormones
Stand straight. Bring your hands together in prayer, then slide them together over your head. At the same time, slide your left leg up your bend your knee while balancing on your right leg. Press your left leg into the inner thigh of your right leg. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch legs. Breathe slowly and relax, letting go of your stress.
14 – Baby pigeon pose
Get on your hands and knees, move your right knee forward between your hands. Straighten your torso like you’re going to do a lunge while you slowly straighten your left leg behind you. Keep your knee on the floor.
Turn your right knee toward your right wrist and bring it down to the floor so that your right calf is flat on the floor. Your right food should rest under you. Slowly lower your upper body so it’s over your bent leg, rest on your elbows. Inhale and exhale. Push back onto your left leg and stretch your calf muscles, then change sides. Repeat with your left leg bending, this time and your right leg extended backward.
What if negative thoughts come to your mind?
Sometimes when you’re doing yoga, you may think about all the negative things going on in your life. If this happens, let go of these thoughts. Instead, focus on the moment, how your breathing sounds or how your body feels stretching. If you continue to have negative thoughts coming to mind, bring yourself back to your breathing and how your body feels. Maintaining this practice will help you create a habit of letting go of your negative thoughts and feelings.
If you enjoy doing yoga to reduce stress hormones, consider these practical suggestions when you get started.
- Set up regular times to practice yoga at home or in class.
- Discuss how to find the best yoga routine for you to reduce stress hormones with your yoga instructor.
- Talk to your doctor before starting a yoga routine, especially if you have health conditions or take medications.
Final thoughts on doing yoga to reduce stress hormones
Yoga is proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and reduce depression. When you first start, consider trying some easier poses, then advance to harder ones over time. If you’re taking a class, be sure to tell your yogi if you have any medical conditions that could cause your injury while doing the poses. Most of all, enjoy learning these different poses and experiencing the benefits physically and mentally of reduced stress.