In our everyday lives, we come across situations which can be stressful or cause us to be in an anxious state of mind. Stress and anxiety are not entirely a bad thing as they can help us overcome challenging situations. Days which are spent worrying about finding a new job, fearing what other people thinking about you or being in a state of uneasiness when facing difficult situations can cause anxiety and stress. We need to be in this state of mind sometimes to push us forward.

But in cases where a person is overwhelmed with these emotions, it can be a hindrance in their daily lives. It is important to not let it control your thinking or your judgment. Stress and anxiety can affect you emotionally as well as physically. There are several symptoms which are displayed by a person who is feeling stressed and/or anxious. There is often stomach pain, muscle tension, rapid breathing, sweating, fast heartbeat, shaking, dizziness, trouble sleeping, change in appetite and more. Emotionally they can feel panicked, difficulty in concentrating, irrational anger and restlessness.

Yoga is a tool which will help you find your center, relieve stress and alleviate your anxiety. It allows you control your breathing, your movements to bring a sense of relaxation to the body and mind. This happens because yoga activates your parasympathetic nervous system and releases hormones such as endorphins into your body, these are considered as “Happy Hormones”. Basic exercises such as parayanama breathing can help relieve stress and anxiety.

There are several other exercises which can help relieve stress and anxiety, they are listed below.

1. Baddha Konasana is one of the basic postures which alleviate your body from stress and anxiety. The word Baddha Konasana is broken down into three different words in Sanskrit, Baddha meaning Bound, Kon means "angle" and asana meaning "posture". Baddha Konasana is also known as the Butterfly Pose.

This pose stretches your inner thigh and groin area. By keeping your spine straight and relaxing your thighs, tension is released from your hips, back and groin.

2. The Setu Bandhasana pose allows blood circulation throughout your body. The front of the spine and the heart is kept open, which calms the mind and relieves stress from the body. Bending backwards in such a manner can be energizing!
Setu Bandhasana is also called the “Bridge pose”.  In Sanskrit Setu means Bridge, Bandha means "tied" or "bind" and asana means "posture".

3. Marjariasana is a yoga pose which helps loosen up your spine. It helps relax your mind while improving flexibility in your spine and increasing blood circulation. This pose is also known as the cat pose. In Sanskrit the name is broke down into two words, Marjari means "cat" and asana is "posture". This pose is great for the body as it can give it a great cat like stretch.

4. The Dhanurasana posture strengthens your core. It flexes the abdominal muscles and makes your back strong. It stretches and opens up your shoulders, chest and neck. This pose requires some balance. This pose is also knows as the “Bow pose”. In Sanskrit, Dhanur means "bow" and asana means "posture". This pose is one of the best poses to stretch and strengthen your back.

5. The Balasana is a calming posture, which relaxes, rejuvenates and restores your body. It soothes the muscles and alleviates pain in the neck, shoulders and back. The spinal column is relaxed due the back being stretched. This posture opens up the tendon, muscles and joint of the knee. This fetal pose bring calmness into the mind of person performing the asana and relieves any emotional and physical stress. In Sanskrit the word Bal means "child" and asana means "posture".

6. The Shavasana pose is normally performed during the end of a yoga session and is one the best poses for relieving stress and anxiety. It allows the ultimate relaxation of the mind and also in the physical aspect. After the exercises of a strenuous workout which involves a lot of stretching, twisting, tightening and inverting of muscles. , the shavasana is one of the best poses to allow the body to rest, let go of the stress and recharge the body.

In Sanskrit, shava mean "corpse" and asana means "posture". This is because the pose is similar to that of a dead body. This posture may seem easy but can be really difficult as you need to close your eyes, relax your entire body and empty your mind.

Stress and anxiety is almost a daily part of everyone’s life. It is important that you are consistent in practicing these poses so that your body and mind is in state where it functions normally and will help your life to be healthier, full of positivity and go through your daily activities, stress and anxiety free.

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