The pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns, have taken a toll on our mental health for the past year. reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. Yoga is a brilliant self-soothing technique as it incorporates physical exercise and meditation into common practice. It helps to reduce stress and natural anxiety, and eventually controls physiological changes that promote such conditions. While it is difficult to beat the lockdown blues, these yoga asanas would help to refresh your mind as you self-isolate.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
How to perform: Lie on your back with your legs spread as wide as the yoga mat and arms relaxed to the side. Keep your eyes closed and relax. Remain in this posture for 10 minutes. Control your breathing rate by repeated deep inspirations and expirations.
Benefits: It helps to refresh the body, mind, and spirit. Due to the deep breaths, stress is released. It also improves concentration and boosts mental well-being. The main idea is to forget everything and immerse yourself in the pose until your mind is calm.
Uttanasana (Forward Bent Pose)
How to perform: Keep your feet at hip distance. Slowly extend your body downwards and touch your feet. Ensure that your knees are straight during this pose. Hold this position for 10 controlled breaths and come back to a standing position while exhaling.
Benefits: It is known to reduce depression as it smoothes nervous coordination. This therapeutic posture also improves lung capacity and is capable of improving digestion. It also boosts nervous functioning and ultimately leads to the proper functioning of the brain.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
How to perform: Sit in a comfortable posture. Take your right ankle and place it on your left thigh. Now take your left ankle and place it on top of your right thigh. Adjust your legs and remain in this posture for 10 controlled breaths.
Benefits: Regarded as the ultimate meditative pose, this connects your mind to your spirit. It alleviates mental stress by relieving the tight muscles. The regular breathing pattern flushes out negative thoughts and fills it up with positive energy by calming your brain and body.
Gomukhasana (Cow Pose)
How to perform: Sit with your back straight. Keep your right leg bent over your left leg. Inhale while raising your right hand and bending your elbow. Bring your left arm out to the side and then behind your back to catch hold of the fingers of your right hand. Hold and breathe.
Benefits: It is a great tool for killing stress and anxiety. By incorporating meditation into a physical exercise, this pose composes your mind and calms your soul. It also increases blood circulation and improves blood flow to the brain, improving its function.
Natarajasana (Dance Pose)
How to perform: With both legs planted on the ground, bend one knee back. Using your arm, grip the ankle. Slowly keeping a steady posture, lean forward and lift your ankle towards the sky. Extend your free hand in front of you and hold this posture for 5 even breaths.
Benefits: It helps to maintain balance of the body and the mind. It also boosts concentration as you keep focusing on the free hand. Finally, it is known to reduce stress levels and is also capable of treating insomnia.
An article by Maisha Islam Monamee
Maisha Islam Monamee is a freelance journalist. Apart from writing for The Daily Star, Monamee likes to read her way through life’s little problems.