By Elizabeth Herman
Feeling stressed, stiff, and overwhelmed? Check out these simple yoga stretches to relieve stress and feel calmer and healthier.
We all have deadlines and expectations to meet in normal life. These requirements can cause some healthy stress. Without the need to work, you wouldn't get things done and progress. But how do you know when there's on you?
Excess stress happens when you have less energy than you need to complete your work. Unhealthy results of stress may include an . By identifying your excess stress, you start to know that you need healthy tools to deal with it. in
What does stress feel like?
You'll recognize it when stress increases beyond your energy level. It's like having trouble getting out of bed in the morning but in the extreme. It's like keeping your mind on a problem and not getting any closer to solving it.
Excess stress can cause both physical and mental symptoms. Here are some symptoms of too much stress:
Psychological, emotional, and cognitive signs of stress
Depression or anxiety, constant worrying
Feeling overwhelmed, loss of control
Memory and concentration problems
Physical signs of stress
Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Clenched jaw, grinding teeth
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
Frequent colds and infections
What are the health benefits of stretching and yoga practice?
There are so many ways you can gain from a daily yoga practice that includes stretching. Here is a shortlist of a few of them.
Improves performance in physical activities
Increases range of motion
Heals and prevents back pain
Calms your mind
If you look further into this topic in depth, you'll find extensive lists of benefits. We can't recount all the potential ways you can improve your life with stretching, so here are the main ones.
Can stretching during yoga practice relieve stress?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Stress relief is one of .
Muscles tighten up due to physical and emotional stress. You hold stress in specific body parts. Here are some of the parts of your body that may feel the most effects of stress:
Others (digestion, heart, brain, lungs, glands, etc.)
Stretching those specific areas that hold stress helps release it. Yoga can address all these areas in the body, and more.
How does stretching during yoga practice relieve stress?
Have you considered to your body? When you have too much stress, it restricts the way your blood flows. Stretching tissues and muscles can counteract stoppages of blood flow.
Increasing the freedom of your blood flow affects the energy in your system. Energy makes it possible for you to do work without creating stress. In turn, this freedom enables the work of both your body and your mind.
When you change your physical position, your blood flows through your body with ease. A short stretching break at work releases stress. Sedentary lifestyles without movement make stress more difficult to handle.
Mental relaxation results from breaking stressful thought patterns. You can do this with , chanting, music, and other shifts in your mental activity.
Releasing tension and stress from your body happens when your happy hormones kick in. The blood pressure and heart rate go down. The stagnant energy from sitting still bursts forth into a boost of dynamic energy.
What are the best yoga stretches for stress relief?
Tones and stimulates the vagus nerve
Brings immediate body and mind relaxation
Releases tension in the neck
Stretches the front and back of the torso
Loosens up the spine
Massages abdominal organs
Relieves menstrual cramps
Stretches arms and hamstrings
Increases blood circulation to the brain
Relieves headaches, insomnia, stress
Energizes and rejuvenates the whole mind-body system
Stretches all the muscles of the back of the body
Invigorates the spine and the nervous system
Increases the blood supply to the brain
Results in relaxation
Brings balance and concentration to the mind
Improves physical balance
Helps relieve sciatica
Calms the brain
Helps relieve stress and mild depression
Soothes headache and anxiety
Stretches the lower back
Tones the shoulders
Gives you deep rest and total relaxation of the back
Puts the chattering mind to rest and keeps the brain fresh
Helps you to learn and to grasp more
Strengthens the back and abdominal muscles
Opens up the chest, neck, and tight shoulders
Adds greater , and spine
Good stress and fatigue buster
Relieves menstrual discomfort and constipation
Strengthens the arms and shoulders
Increases flexibility in the spine
Increases blood flow to
Stretches the heart muscles by returning more venous blood to the heart
Strengthens the back muscles
Stretches the neck, chest, and spine
Calms the nervous system
Expands the lungs
Helpful with asthma, thyroid issues, , osteoporosis, and sinusitis
Relieves tension in your neck, throat, and shoulders
Brings a lightness to your facial muscles
Helps in strengthening the immune system, which is a key to staying fit and strong
While a can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a . In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor.
To go further and reduce your stress even more, check out - A FREE Breath & Meditation Online Session With a Live Instructor. You’ll learn about the . It has helped millions of people worldwide to boost energy and manage their stress levels.
Elizabeth Herman is a long time meditator, a trained yoga teacher, and a PhD in English, with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition, and Literature. She offers writing support to clients, teaches locally, and volunteers for a better world.