Being a Mom to a toddler is hard work, much harder than my full-time job, actually, and it has raised my level of respect for all mothers worldwide, who manage to stay happy and healthy with so little time to spare for themselves! I have felt more aches and pains after becoming a mom, and though I try to exercise at least 4 times a week, the stress level dis not seem to subside, until I started practicing Yoga. For those who have already experienced the power of Yoga, I do not need to elaborate. However, if you are looking for quick stress busters that do not require going to a gym, and helps maintain equilibrium in your body and mind, and if you haven’t given Yoga a try, this is your chance to attain liberation.
Below, I share with you a few simple Yoga exercises/poses that have helped me cope with stress. It takes 15 minutes of your time everyday, and can be performed anywhere. Just choose a time and place where you can be alone, and can meditate a little. Early morning, when the rest of the house is still sleeping, take your mat out into your backyard, listen to the birds as they start training their voices, and perform these Breathing exercises which will help you achieve immediate relaxation.
Sit with legs crossed, holding onto calves or shins. Inhale and lift chest forward and up, turn your neck, looking upwards. Inhale and exhale as you round spine, bringing your chin to your chest. Start slowly and increase pace steadily. Concentrate on your breathing, and Continue for three minutes. This movement releases blocked energy in the spine.
Interlace fingers in front of you. Clasp hands so knuckles face out, palms in. Inhale, bring arms up and overhead. Exhale, lower hands down to knees. Continue this motion with a strong breath, inhaling arms up, exhaling arms down. Start with 3 minutes and build up to 7 minutes. To finish, inhale with arms up. Hold the breath for 15 seconds. Exhale and release hands down. The pumping motion stimulates energy flow from the spinal column to other parts of the body.
Start in a seated position, legs stretched in front of you. Legs are brought up to a 45 degree angle. The arms are extended forward in line with shoulders. The torso naturally leans back. The goal is to make a V shape with the body. This pose is all about creating core strength – that is strengthening of the abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal muscles keep your body stable and help prevent back pain.
Start with your legs spread apart, your hands stretched out on the sides, and bend your body to the left, moving from the pelvis and extending over the left leg. Rest your left palm on the calf or ankle of the left foot, and look up, with your right hand reaching up straight. The spine is straight, chest open, the body facing to the front. This pose improves coordination and balance. Stretches lower and upper back, hamstrings and hips. Strengthens arms and opens chest, giving a complete stretch through the whole body. [Pose pictured above]
End your Yoga session with Savasana, the pose of relaxation. Simply lie down on your back, arms at your side, and legs a bit stretched outwards. Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. This encourages a deeply restful state that facilitates health and well-being.
Yoga is all about strengthening your Mind, so that it can empower your body in turn, and keep you mentally and physically fit. Practice Yoga religiously for a few months and you will see the difference yourself. Hope these simple and Basic Yoga poses help you kick-start your journey into the wonderful world of Yoga.