4 Yoga Postures To Balance Your Emotions
Written by: Kavata Kithome
I began doing yoga when my university offered it as a part of the wellness program that was being launched at the time. It was that time in my life when I tried all forms of fitness and exercise classes to see which I liked best. It didn’t take long for me to realize that yoga was a winner for me.
Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains and keep sickness at bay. I believe that once you understand them, you’ll have even more motivation to step onto your mat, especially if you have been hesitant to practice it.
First-Hand Experience With The Benefits Of Yoga
I myself have experienced yoga’s healing power in a very strong way. As a runner, I experienced sore muscles which would really impact my day to day life. Through yoga, I was able to encourage quicker recovery.
What I found most helpful with yoga was that I was able to run longer, faster and further. My core and muscles were stronger and more flexible, which prevented injury and fatigue. This was enough to keep me hooked on yoga, but then something even more amazing happened: I found that I was more centered and emotionally stable.
Could it be? The more I practiced yoga, the more “zen” I felt? For me, yoga is more than exercise, it is moving meditation. It is a part of my self-care where I have a chance to connect with each part of my body through deliberate stretching and breathwork.
Yoga is a hot trend, that is obvious from the groupon and livingsocial deals from all kinds of yoga classes offered in your city. But if you are still skeptical of the benefits of yoga, here are 38 ways that yoga benefits your health that may convince you otherwise:
1. Improves your flexibility
2. Builds muscle strength
3. Perfects your posture
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
5. Protects your spine
6. Betters your bone health
7. Increases your blood flow
8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
9. Ups your heart rate
10. Drops your blood pressure
11. Regulates your adrenal glands
12. Makes you happier
13. Founds a healthy lifestyle
14. Lowers blood sugar
15. Helps you focus
16. Relaxes your system
17. Improves your balance
18. Maintains your nervous system
19. Releases tension in your limbs
20. Helps you sleep deeper
21. Boosts your immune system functionality
22. Gives your lungs room to breathe
23. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
24. Gives you peace of mind
25. Increases your self-esteem
26. Eases your pain
27. Gives you inner strength
28. Connects you with guidance
29. Helps keep you drug free
30. Builds awareness for transformation
31. Benefits your relationships
32. Uses sounds to soothe your sinuses
33. Guides your body’s healing in your mind’s eye
34. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay
35. Helps you serve others
36. Encourages self care
37. Supports your connective tissue
38. Uses the placebo effect to affect change
Aside from all the above ways that yoga benefits your health, yoga has the power to unlock, heal and balance your emotions. For those of you who have a regular practice, you can probably attest to lying down in Savasana with tears streaming down your face or smiling so hard your face hurts.
If you experience anxiety, depression on any level, lack of confidence, worthlessness or any of the other negative feelings that we feel from time to time, these yoga asanas will do wonders to help. This is especially helpful if you do these asanas outside at a beautiful park or the beach. That way you can connect with the ground.
I think it is important to review what an asana is. Asana can be defined as a physical yoga posture or position that is designed to help master the body and enhance the body’s functions. Asana is one of the eight limbs of classical yoga, which states that poses should be steady and comfortable, firm yet relaxed, helping a practitioner to become more aware of their body, mind and environment.
Now that we understand what an asana is, here are 4 yoga asanas to help balance your emotions:
1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) – Maintain the length in your arms, legs, torso and chest as you bend forward, placing your hands in front of your feet on the mat. Bend your knees as much as you need to or place your hands on blocks.
Release any pressure or emotion as you take 10-15 breaths in this pose and focus on rooting down with your hands and feet, drawing up healing energy from the ground. And most importantly, be still.
2. Tree Pose (Vrksasana) – Shift your weight onto one leg and raise the other leg, foot facing inward and place it upon your calf, thigh or in half lotus. Raise your arms above your head in prayer or with arms separated, palms facing in.
Take 10-20 breaths and breathe deeply into your heart space. Feel your roots deep within the earth like a giant oak tree. Focus on feeling stable. This is one of my favorite asanas because it helps me feel strong and powerful.
3. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II) – Stand with your feet about three-and-a half to four-and-a-half feet apart with your front toes pointed straight and your back foot in at a 45 degree angle. Bend your front knee until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle and extend your arms. Lengthen your spine by tucking your tailbone in and down.
Breathe 20-25 breaths here, drawing energy and vitality from the earth. Feel strong, powerful, confident and beautiful. Shine out of your heart space. This is a great asana for not only bringing about feelings of strength, but also to help relieve lady cramps. Ladies, can we say bonus?
4. Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) – Lie on your back and elevate your legs, bringing them over your head until your feet touch the floor or a block. Place your hands up your back, lift your spine and elevate your legs. With spine straight and chin away from your chest, breathe here.
Note: This pose is for advanced practitioners only. If you do not have a regular yoga practice you can lie on your back and put your legs up in the air and breathe here.
Take 25-50 breaths in this pose. Inversions help to shift perception and rejuvenate the body as well as detoxify and cleanse the endocrine system. To extend the asana, you may place your feet to the floor after completing your breaths, transitioning into Plough Pose (Halasana).
To keep negative emotions at bay, I would recommend using these asanas as a part of your self-care. With regular practice of these asanas, you will notice yourself feeling more balanced, joyful, confident and less bound by your fears, therein, facilitating transformation and change with emotional stability.
Try one or more of these asanas and share in your experience in the comments below!
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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