10 Yoga Poses For Reduced Stress And Improved Concentration
There are many causes of stress and poor concentration in modern life. Thankfully, yoga can help you relieve those stresses and focus on the present. We’ve compiled 10 yoga poses you can do daily at home to reduce your stress and improve your concentration. While doing these poses, remember to focus on your breathing. (Deep inhale for eight counts and exhale for eight counts is considered one breathing round.)
1/10 Side Plank (Vasisthasana)
Side planks take a lot of concentration as they require both balance and strength. This pose is good for toning your arms, core and legs. Once you are in this pose, hold it for five breathing rounds. For beginners, you can lower your knee to the floor to support your arm and core. Be sure to align your wrist with your shoulder to avoid injury.
2/10 Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Looking for a pose that will calm you and build your confidence? The fish pose is good for settling emotions. Hold it for five breaths, taking note of the expansion of our chest and rib. For beginners, to avoid straining your neck, place a folded blanket or block under the back of your head.
3/10 Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This pose opens up the space around your heart which allows you to have more space to focus and think more clearly. For beginners, take your time coming in and out of the pose a few times before holding the bridge for five to 10 breathing counts. Be aware of your knees; make sure they're not placed wider than the placement of your feet. Also keep your neck secure while doing this pose; do not turn.
4/10 Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This is one of the most powerful poses you can do anywhere. Supporting your back on the floor, lift your legs up to the wall and just relax while breathing deeply, in and out.
5/10 Child’s Pose (Balasana)
According to Harvard Medical School, the child’s pose is an ideal pose to do before sleep. It provides a sense of calm and stability to the entire body. You should be able to feel your breathing from your nose to your lower back. Stay in this pose for about 30 seconds with calm breathing. To come out of this pose, exhale and roll up slowly. Some people find this pose more comfortable with their knees apart from each other.
6/10 Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
The Seated Forward Bend can help with multiple symptoms, including stress, anxiety, tiredness and headaches. For this pose, focus on how far you bend forward by using your breathing. To go deeper, lift your head and lengthening your torso as you inhale–fold deeper as you exhale. Hold this pose for eight breathing rounds. Beginners can bend their knees or get assistance from props like straps.
7/10 Cow Pose (Bitilasana) and Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
The Cow Pose can help with low mood or anxiety. Practicing it along with the Cat Pose will help you focus on your inhaling and exhaling. The deeper you breathe, the calmer you'll be. Drop your chin as you exhale, while arching your back, as much as possible. Upon inhaling, raise your chin while tilting your head backwards. Do this pose for eight breathing rounds.
8/10 Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This is an ideal pose for relieving pain from sitting too long in front of your desk. Targetting your neck and lower back, The Standing Forward Bend or Forward Folds is another stress reliever. For this pose, remember to keep your knee relaxed and go deeper with your breathing. For beginners, you can bend your knee to maintain the length in your spine.
9/10 Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Feeling weighed down emotionally? This pose can help uplift your energy. The Camel Pose literally opens up your heart, helping you express your emotions. For this pose, stay for five breathing rounds.
10/10 Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Tree pose is great for those who seek more concentration. It requires concentration on your breathing, core and your movement. Stay in this pose for 30 seconds or a minute if you can, to improve your balance and focus. Try to stay relaxed in this pose and look forward to better focus with each new daily attempt.
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