In an ideal world, we would all practice yoga for an hour every day, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Ironically, that’s exactly when we need yoga the most! Try this exercise when you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress. Issue:
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed Yoga fix:
Stress is a big part of our lives. While there are a whole bunch of things that can cause stress, there is one simple way to combat all of them — focus on your breath. Simply take a deep inhale that expands your belly and then press the breath out using your lower abdominal muscles. This will trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and calm your body down. As you’ve probably experienced, stress can cause tightness in the neck and shoulders. As you become overloaded with stress, the muscles in your neck and shoulders begin to contract or shorten, causing that weight-of-the-world-on-your-shoulders feeling. Counteract this natural response by doing a few neck and shoulder rolls. Slowly move the shoulders up, back, down, and around while being aware of a comfortable range of motion. Move the neck gently from side to side followed by a forward-and-back stretch, while avoiding strain. Combine these movements with a deep, conscious breath and you have the recipe for immediate stress relief.
Learn more from Judi with her DVD: Come As You Are Yoga; Gentle Yoga Anyone Can Do Anywhere. Debra Darnell 200 CYT-RYT, NY Strength Master Trainer contributed to this blog post