5 Easy Yoga Poses To Relieve Stress
Lets face it, fellow bruxers...there is a high chance that the daily stressors in our lives are the cause of our dental dilemmas. What can you do to break the patterns that knit our jaw muscles into tight knots?
Maintaining a yoga practice can be a great way to reduce stress, stay in shape and quiet the mind. Before class, leave all your daily troubles at the door, they will still be there at the end of the class for you to pick up...if you choose to!
If you are not able to get to that class, here are 5 Yoga poses that you can do anytime, anywhere.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
Come to your knees, breathe deep, and ease the stress and anxiety away while gently stretching back. Keep your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on your mat. This will offer a big stretch to tense shoulder muscles . Child’s pose can quiet the mind and restore the body.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward facing dog brings oxygenated blood to your whole body, leaving you feeling energized and refreshed. Spread your fingers wide and keep a long neck while drawing your shoulders away from your ears. Allow energy to flow through your arms and out through the sit bones. Stretch the calves, achilles tendons and hamstrings by pressing down through the heals.
Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Relieve tension in the spine, neck and back. Feel the anxiety, stress and fatigue melt away in a forward bend. For a deeper stretch, try lengthening the front torso a little bit more on each inhale. On each exhale, release fully into the bend. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu-Sirsasana)
Many emotions are held in the hips. Seated head to knee stretches benefit the the back and the legs. Bend your right knee and place the sole of your foot against your inner thigh, pulling your heel as close to your body as you can, sit up tall and exhale into a folding stretch over your elongated left leg. Rest your hands on either side of your leg. Feel the calming effect on your mind and emotions. Repeat on the other side.
Photo by Kennguru - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Legs up the Wall (Viparita-Karani)
If you only have time to do one yoga pose when you're stressed and overwhelmed, legs up the wall is the one. You will feel an an instant sense of calm after just a few breaths in this shape. Grab your mat and move toward the closest wall. Allow your shoulders and head to rest lightly on the floor, relax your arms at your sides, and close your eyes.
Practice these simple moves and feel better sooner. It may not change the situation that is causing you stress, but it can help to refocus, refresh and hopefully reboot.