Yoga (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Yoga (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

According to the NMHS, in India, one in 20 people over 18 years of age have suffered from depression amounting to a total of over 45 million people with depression. It’s time to battle this issue with the help of yoga. This International Yoga Day, we’ve got you a few yoga postures that’ll help fight stress and anxiety. Here they are.

1. Shavasana

The Corpse Pose is the best way to calm your nerves and let go of all the stress. It helps in distracting the mind to make you aware of your body.

Here’s how you can perform it
Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Rest your hands about six inches away from your body with your palms up. Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Allow your body to feel heavy on the ground. Working from the soles of your feet up to the crown of your head, consciously release every body part, organ, and cell. Relax your face and let your eyes drop deep into their sockets. Invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul.

2. Balasana

The Child’s Pose stimulates your nervous system and helps re-energize your body and hence, helps relieve stress.

Here’s how you can perform it
Kneel on the floor, touch your big toes together and sit on your heels. Exhale and slowly lay your torso down between your thighs. Then lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso with your palms up, and release the front of your shoulders towards the floor. Feel how the weight of the front of your shoulders pulls your shoulder blades wide across your back.

3. Vrikshasana

The Tree Pose gives tranquillity to your mind and hence beats stress.

Here’s how you can perform it
Stand erect then keep your feet together. Fold the right leg and placed it at the top of left thighs with the toes of the right leg pointed downwards. Extend your arms above your head. Then inhale and try to make the namaskar mudra with your palms. Balance the pose as long as you can because balancing is utmost important in Tree Pose. With deep exhale bring your arms and leg down. Repeat with the other leg.

4. Garudasana

The Eagle Pose is meant to strengthen your legs and supposedly builds confidence. Hence, this asana is ideal for a feel-good moment.

Here’s how you can perform it
Stand erect. Gently bend your right knee, and wrap your left leg around your right, such that the knees are stacked over each other. Your left foot must touch your right shin. Raise your arms to the shoulder height and wrap your right hand around your left. Ensure that your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles and are also stacked. Strike a balance in the pose as you gently bring down your hips. Your knees must move towards the midline instead of leaning to one side. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Breathe deeply and slowly. Release the pose, switch the limbs, and repeat the pose.

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana

The Downward Facing Dog is a great stress-buster and helps in reducing headaches. It calms the mind and also reduces fatigue. As the neck and cervical spine are stretched, stress is released.

Here’s how you can perform it
Stand on four limbs, such that your body forms a table-like structure. Exhale and gently lift your hips and straighten your elbows and knees. You need to ensure your body forms an inverted ‘V’. Now, press your hands into the ground and lengthen your neck. Your ears should touch your inner arms and your chest should press towards your knees. Hold for a few seconds and bend your knees to return to the table position.

6. Bhujangasana

The Cobra Pose makes you stretch your abdominal muscles and that increases blood flow. This eventually helps reduce stress and anxiety giving you a feeling of relaxation.

Here’s how you can perform it
To start the pose, lie on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, and try to maintain this throughout the pose. Inhale again and start lifting your head and chest off the floor and look up. Keep the elbows slightly bent and keep the back muscles working. When you exhale, lower yourself back onto the ground.

7. Padmasana

Stress is also related to your posture. If your posture improves, chances are, your stress will also be relieved. The Lotus Pose helps in improving the posture and calming the nerves.

Here’s how you can perform it
Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs stretched out in front of you while keeping the spine erect. Then bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh and repeat the same step with the other leg. With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on the knees in mudra position. Keep your head straight and spine erect. Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.

If you know someone who stresses a lot or suffers from intense anxiety, get them to perform these yoga postures that’ll help them calm their nerves and relieve them from stress.

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