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Alleviate Stress and Anxiety

The human body is a dynamic framework of many complex systems. Any imbalance within this can lead to certain physical and physiological problems. Let us understand some of these commonly prevalent issues and take necessary steps to rectify them

Most of us have experienced stress, fear and anxiety during occasions such as exam time or job interviews. When these emotions become persistent and interfere with our daily lives, it can lead to panic and even depression. However, we do have the power to control these emotions through yoga. Yoga is a natural anti-depressant remedy and can boost mental health. In fact, relief from these ailments is only one yoga technique away!

Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation)

Chandra Namaskar replenishes our system and calms us like the coolness of the moon. The best time to practice this 13- step sequence is at night, especially when the moon is visible. The sequence helps us to form a stronger connection with the breath, leading to a calm and relaxed mind.

Let us go through the 13-steps of this cooling flow:

1.Namaskarasana (The respectful pose) – Stand with the feet together and hands in prayer position. Breathe deeply.

2. Urdhva Hastasana (The half-moon pose) – Inhaling, bring the arms forward and upwards, stretching as high as possible. Arch the back gently by pushing the arms back and the pelvis forward.

3. Uttanasana (The complete stretch pose) – Exhaling, bend forward from the hips until the fingers of the hands touch the floor on either side of the feet.

4. Ek Pada Prasaranasana (The monkey pose) – Inhaling, take the right leg back as far as possible, placing the right knee on the floor with the sole facing the ceiling. Look slightly upwards.

5. Chaturanga Dandasana (The plank pose) – Exhaling, take the left leg back next to the right leg. Bring the body into a straight line keeping the knees straight.

6. Balasana (The child’s pose) – Exhaling further, bring the knees to the floor and pull the hips back to the heels and the forehead towards the knees, keeping the hands firmly on the ground in front of you. Stretch deeply.

7. Shashtanga Namaskara (The crouching cat pose) – Inhaling, bring the body forward and let your chin, chest, palms of both hands (on either side of the chest), knees, and toes touch the floor. Raise your posterior. Exhale deeply.

8. Bhujangasana (The cobra pose) – With the hands under the shoulders, elbows close to the body, and heels together, inhale, press the pelvis to the ground and lift th e chest up.

9. Parvatasana (The mountain pose) – Exhaling, come up on your hands and feet in an inverted ‘V’ position. Bring the hips upwards and press the heels onto the ground.

10. Ek Pada Prasaranasana – Inhaling, bring the right foot forward. Keep the left knee on the ground and left foot facing the ceiling as you look up.

11. Uttanasana – Exhaling, bring the left foot alongside the right while maintaining the forward bend.

12. Urdhva Hastasana – Inhaling, come up to a standing position, stretching the arms straight up and back, pushing the pelvis frontwards.

13. Namaskarasana – Bring the hands back to prayer position on the last exhalation.

To complete a full round, repeat the sequence, leading with the left foot. Chandra Namaskar can be practiced for four to five rounds, followed by lying in Shavasana.

Benefits of Chandra Namaskar:

  • Generates peace and patience in the practitioner.
  • Connects the practitioner with his intuitive side.
  • Stretches and strengthens the spine, abdomen, hamstrings and legs.

The following lifestyle tips will also assist in reducing stress and anxiety:

  • Think positive as it makes you and others happy.
  • Smile and laugh often – laughter is the medicine of life.
  • Make yourself busier – love your work and work happily.
  • Exercise for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
  • Do not eat when you are in stress or depression; otherwise you will overeat.
  • Practice pranayama to get positive energy and refresh your mind and body.
  • Meditate every day to reduce stress and anxiety, improve your sleep and enhance your relationships.

With this yoga practice, stress and anxiety will be dissolved naturally and the effect will last for hours after practice. Beat these negative emotions through yoga and enjoy a cheerful life.

– Dr Surpina Sheth, PhD

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