Life is a combination of smaller and bigger challenging moments which can attribute to an accumulation of stress in our body and mind.
Relieving a lot of this stress does not require too much money or time. Just some very simple, basic techniques like slowing down and connecting to our breath are sufficient to release the built up stress. I like to call this ‘self care’ as it’s literally that since no special equipment, place or person are required except you yourself!
Yogic asanas which require us to bend forward are extremely effective in releasing stress as they bring the heart below the spine, giving it the much needed rest and help in focussing inwards as the breathing elongates.
The seated forward fold or ‘ paschimottanassna ‘ is an effective pose to relax the mind and body as it works on stretching the entire back of the body.
One can practice this pose by sitting comfortably on the floor with the legs together and stretched out in the front with palms placed beside the hips.
Breathe in and lift both the hands overhead. Then hinge forward at the hips, keeping a long spine and reach for the feet. If the handset don’t get there then place them anywhere on the shins. Inhale lengthen the spine again looking at your toes. Once can choose to stay here or hinge forward and down to place the nose or chin between the knees. Stay with steady breaths once you are comfortable in the position you have reached for atleast a minute.
Inhale as you lift up to come upright into the seated starting position.
‘Paschimottanasana ‘ can be practiced anywhere and almost anytime as long as its not straight after a meal. It has the most soothing effect on the practitioner as it relaxes the body and calms the nerves.