With April being Stress Awareness Month, the question of how to keep tension and pressure in check has never been more relevant.
It’s a subject that the pandemic has already helped to topicalise to a great extent, with soaring stress levels in lockdown piquing our interest in everyday coping mechanisms.
Yoga, in particular, is a practice that excels in this area of wellness-promotion. That said, there are many misconceptions preventing most of us from doing as much ad-hoc yoga’ing as our bodies might like!
For the purpose of stress relief, one of the poses that Yogis swear by, in particular, is Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana.)
This pose can help to relax the mind and reduce anxiety by creating more space in the diaphragm - a prerequisite for deeper breathing - as well as by reducing tension in the shoulders.
All you have to do is:
* Stand with feet hip distance apart.
* Fold from the hips and drop your hands to the floor, tucking your chin in and bending your knees as much as necessary to prevent pulling
* Hold this pose for up to one minute.
For mind-clearing as much as flexibility-building, regular Standing Forward Fold practice is, at best, a useful habit to build into any fitness/relaxation regime.
At the very least, this particular pose also has great ‘stress hack’ potential, with scope to help reset and revitalise on demand, in a way that only ‘hanging out’ in a park, in the spring sunshine can!
⚠️ As always, seek professional advice before beginning / changing fitness regimes.