COVID-19: Follow these yoga poses to tackle anxiety and stress in pandemic times.
The coronavirus pandemic is characterized by economic uncertainty, isolation and misinformation, all of which are potential triggers of stress. Its effects are becoming evident as people across the world are looking for coping strategies to help themselves get through these uncertain times. Think of yourself, like others, being stuck at home, with no recourse to social or outdoor activity. In such a case, yoga practice is an excellent way of managing stress and anxiety. It also presents a perfect opportunity for families to bond during these stressful times. It will reinforce positive communication and help family members establish a conscious connection with each other. Let us take a look at some stress-busting yoga poses, told by Dr Rajeev Rajesh, (Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore) that you can practice anywhere.
Lie down on your back with the legs slightly apart and your arms to the side and palms facing up. Close your eyes and make sure the muscles in your face are relaxed. Take deep breaths and focus your attention to every part of your body, starting with your crown and gradually moving down. Stay in this position for five minutes. This pose lowers your blood pressure and calms your nervous system. You can practice it at any time of the day.
Beginners should make it a point to practice yoga under the tutelage of a qualified instructor. Improper practice can have adverse consequences, and the guided method is advisable until you master the poses. If you have a herniated disc, balance problems, osteoporosis, and uncontrolled hypertension, then you need to talk to your physician before you begin. You may still be able to practice in such situations with extra precautions.
Setu bandha Sarvangasana
Lie down on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the ground parallel to your hips. Slide your hands to the side of your body with palms facing the ground. Press your feet to the floor, take a deep breath, gently raise your hips, and roll your torso off the ground. Press into your shoulders and arms, lift your chest, and engage your legs and buttocks to lift your hips higher. Stay in this posture for 30 seconds and slowly lower your torso back on to the ground. Practice it before you go to sleep to give your legs and back a good stretch. This pose reduces fatigue, anxiety, headaches, backaches, and insomnia.
Stand up straight, exhale, bend forward till your palms are flat on the ground and your head is pressed firmly against your legs. Thrust your hips up and straighten your legs till you feel the stretch. Stay in this position for a minute, take a deep breath and raise your torso and arms back up. This pose stretches your hips, thighs and hamstrings, and relieves fatigue and stress. You can practice it any time you feel the tension.
Takeaway tip: If you feel isolated, talk to a family member or a trusted friend. Follow a healthy diet and maintain proper sleep hygiene. Don’t smoke or use alcohol to deal with your emotions. Keep your agitation in check by reducing the time you spend consuming media coverage on the crisis.
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