Yoga to reduce stress
When you hear the word yoga, do you think of a person with his legs twisted like a pretzel? If so, it may seem like yoga is very complicated or just for adults. Right!
Children and teenagers can do yoga for the same reasons adults do: because it feels good to stretch your body, slow your breathing and relax your mind. Yoga can help you feel calmer when life is busy and stressful.
What you need
Each time you start a new exercise routine, it is a good idea to check with a parent. A yoga class can be a great way to start because the instructor can teach you how to get into poses.
Find a space large enough with few distractions. No TV or people, if possible. Wear comfortable workout clothes and no shoes or socks. A yoga mat can be useful as it cushions a bit and keeps your feet from slipping. Yoga should not hurt, so go slowly and easily in position. Go only as far as you can comfortably.
Why Yoga for Stress?
When you are stressed or nervous, many things can help you feel better. Talking to someone-a parent, a friend or a school counsellor-is a great idea because they can help you understand what is wrong and start finding solutions.
In addition, you can relieve stress by exercising. You probably know the exercise is good for your health, but this is also a proven way to put you in a better mood. So it makes sense that yoga is a favorite activity among people who want to feel stronger and more relaxed.
Yoga includes a lot of stretching, but that’s not all. Yoga also focuses on breathing and meditation, which means quiet thoughts. Practicing yoga is a chance to acquire stretching/breathing/thinking skills that you can use to calm yourself the next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed. In other words, yoga can help your body stay casual and relaxed when things get warm!
Have good thoughts
Meditation is the first part of an anti-stress yoga practice. Means of meditation be calm, quiet and concentrated. Some people call this “feeling centered.” When you feel centered, you can do your best in stressful situations such as taking a test or working through a disagreement with a friend.
Try these meditation exercises:
Take a yoga vacation: Find a quiet, private place, like your room. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Imagine a place where you feel safe and relaxed. Is this your best friend’s court? Your grandma’s house? Camping in the woods? Imagine yourself in this place for 3-5 minutes. You will feel much calmer after your “yoga vacation.”
Positive Images: When you feel stressed about a big test, game, or performance, it can help to imagine what it’s really all about. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Imagine yourself feeling ready for your test, having typed in the goal of victory in football, or reading your lines and getting a laugh from the audience. Of course, positive images can not take the proper place of preparation, but can help you feel confident!
If you meditate for only 5 minutes a day, it will help you feel good even when you are not meditating. The more you do it, the more it becomes a part of your routine, like brushing your teeth or lace up your spikes before a football game.
On the one hand, you already know how to breathe. You’re doing it right now! But learning to breathe in yoga practice can help you notice how your breathing changes when you are anxious or troubled. Often, when you start to feel nervous or uncomfortable, your breathing can get faster and you might not breathe as deeply. Once you tune to your breath, you can try the belly breathing.
Get Up and Move!
There are many different yoga poses. Some can help you stretch the neck, shoulders and back, which are more likely to get tense when you are nervous or stressed.
Try these two yoga poses when you want to de-stress yourself:
Surprise/Sourpuss: Open your mouth and bug your eyes, then crumple your face into a small ball and pucker the lips. Alternate and-comes between “surprise” and “Grumpy”. To do this, while you are studying at home to help take off your face and jaw, that can get really tense while you are studying. If you have a study partner, make a game of it! Who can make the face more stupid?
Gymnastics shoulder: Do a little shoulder and soft neck rolls just before a test to keep your shoulders nice and loose while you work. You can even do them during a test if you need a refreshing break.
Have fun with Yoga
Yoga can help you in serious ways, but it can also be a lot of fun. You can smile at yoga, and even laugh, which is a great stress relief too. Yoga can be done alone or with friends. And you can do it at home, in a yoga studio, or in the park.
We will finish with a special Sanskrit-namaste greeting (say: NAH-mus-tay). It is traditionally said at the end of a yoga practice and it means that the light inside me is bowing to the light inside of you.