Stress is the new age disease due to the fast paced lives we lead. Just juggling multiple tasks throughout the day keeps us wired resulting in a burnout eventually. As we go from one day to the next doing almost exactly the same tasks, without any breaks the stress accumulates and results in tension in various parts of the body. Unknowingly we find our muscles becoming tighter, joints stiffer, lack of sleep, headaches surfacing etc.
The good news is that this build up of the stress resulting in an achy body can be rectified with very simple yogic physical practices. As discussed last week basic simple forward bends are a quick and effective way of reducing stress instantly and can be practiced literally anywhere!
From ‘sukhasana’ ie seated cross legged forward fold, uncross the legs coming onto the knees, join the big toes and push your hips back to your heels and allow the forehead to connect to the floor, keeping the spine long. This is ‘shashankasana, or the child’s pose.
Then hold your heels with both your hands, drawing the head towards the knees as you lift the hips off the heels. Try to touch your forehead to the knees thus rounding the spine giving it a good stretch. This is ‘sasangasana’ or the rabbit pose.
Rabbit pose lengthens the spine and stretches the back, arms, and shoulders while stimulating the immune and endocrine systems. It also calms the mind releasing tension around the neck and shoulders, where stress is typically accumulated.
So, this sequence of bending forward in ‘sukhasana’, followed by staying in ‘shashankasana’ and then in ‘sasangasana’ or the rabbit pose is an easy but hugely rejuvenating way of relieving stress at anytime of the day as long as its not right after a heavy meal.