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Best Yoga Poses for Tension Relief

By: @islandem_

So many people are walking around with built-up tension that they are not even aware of. When the stressors of life sneak up on us, we often bury the emotions down. But what we don’t realize is that emotional stress becomes physical stress and becomes stuck in areas of our body. So while our minds may have shrugged off the stress and forgotten about it, our body holds onto the stress. This can look like tight joints, poor posture, heightened shoulders, and even as extreme as deep, excruciating muscle tension.

While seeing a chiropractor or acupuncturist is an amazing option, there are many beautiful yoga poses you can do at home to feel a release in minutes. Yoga is proven to provide quick tension relief because it doesn’t just target the muscle, but also targets the emotional stressor associated with it. Yoga has been proven to be an effective complementary medicine that can reduce the need to use drugs to alleviate symptoms from emotional disorders or physical problems.

For instant tension relief, try these poses:

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani):

This asana requires full support and is often performed against a wall. It helps with lymphatic drainage, increases blood circulation, and when combined with breathing, helps the mind to relax. It’s an amazing pose for tight hips in particular. To do this pose, simply sit facing a wall, then straighten your legs against the wall. You may need to inch closer to the wall, and also may need a slight bend in the knees if it feels too tight.

Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana):

This common transitional pose offers instant tension relief for the neck, shoulders, and legs. Stand straight up, bend your knees, and hinge forward from your hips. Place your hands in front of your feet. hand. Now engage the core and do deep inhalations and exhalations. If you feel the tension in your legs, bend your knees slightly.

Child’s Pose (Balasana):

This go-to calming pose allows your body to instantly exhale and release tension. This pose does not physically challenge your body, but instead, gently stretches the back, knees, and hips. Sit on your hands and knees, gently push back, and sit on your heels. Allow your hands to come forward and touch the ground. For a deeper stretch, extend your hands further away from your body.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana):

This mild inversion is great when you are feeling deeply rooted tension, especially in the back. When you relieve back tension, you also may feel other forms of relief such as headaches, fatigue, and insomnia since the spine is so powerful. To do this exercise, lie on your back and gently raise your hips up towards the ceiling, followed by your thighs. Press your arms and shoulders into the ground and allow your chest to rise. Hold for a few breath cycles, lowering and raising your hips.

Eagle Pose (Garudasana):

Garudasana is a full-body stretch that increases balance and helps to improve your posture. Begin by standing. Bend your knees, and then raise your left leg, crossing your left thigh over your right. Lock the top of your left foot behind your right calf. Hold your balance by concentrating on an object. Next, extend your arms in front of your body, and drop your left arm under your right. Bend your elbows, raise your arms and press your palms together. You should be gazing at your wrists. Try to hold the pose for a few breath cycles, but gently release the pose when your balance becomes unsteady.

These poses may target specific areas, but all of them directly release tension in multiple ways. Practicing these poses or variations of them daily can help your whole body release tension. Not only will you feel less sore, but you may notice your shoulders falling back and your posture straightening. You may breathe deeper and your neck may hunch less. While the instant tension release is reason enough to do these poses, the lasting effects should convince you to practice daily.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5843960/#ref15
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