Author Bio: Hiya, my name is Ines. I am a sport and exercise science university student and personal trainer. I am very passionate about all things wellness, health and fitness related. I am always on the hunt for a good coffee shop and sunshine! My blog is my happy place where I share all my thoughts and passions, where I get freaky and inspired! Join me @ines_castro88 for vegan and lifestyle inspo.
It is not a secret that exercise influences our mood and state of being. By moving the body we release endorphins such as dopamine which is related to pleasure. Basically the more often we exercise the happier and better we feel.
Yoga is particularly well known for promoting feelings of calm, happiness, well-being and positivity therefore reducing the feeling of stress and anxiety.
Today we are exploring why that is.
1. Connecting to your breath
Yoga is an exercise that involves observing your breath and moving your body according to your breath. This awareness is very grounding, it helps us feel supported by the earth and calm, but at the same time it can also be very energizing and up-lifting.
Some practices can also include breathing exercises that further connect us to our being and present state which helps reduce stress and ‘mind-clutter’.
2. Moving your body with ease
Nowadays most of us are rushing from one task to another, leaving us stressed, anxious and restless. On the mat we move with intention, following the breath with ease and paying attention to how the body feels.
We rarely do that on our daily life, therefore taking the time to be aware of our movements and move with grace is a beautiful way to feel grateful for the body we have and all it does for us. It helps us to take care of those little pains and aches we develop over time. A good back stretch, heart opener or perhaps being upside down for a bit can make us feel so much lighter and uplifted.
3. Strong Poses
I am a strong believer in ‘strong poses’, empowering poses that open the heart, clear the mind and brings us to the present moment with intention and clarity.
It can be as simple as a standing mountain pose. Stand tall, mind over heart, heart over pelvis, palms facing forward, shoulders back and down…and feel grounded, supported and empowered by the matt beneath you. Adding movement can increase this uplifting sensation. In your mountain pose, deep inhale and reach the arms up. Arms straight, you can take a slight back bend here, open up the chest, smile and exhale bringing the arms back down.
These are very simple poses (and a very simple flow) that can help alleviate stress and anxiety if done for a couple of minutes. Other heart opening poses such as camel pose, cow pose (flow cat and cow), upward facing down, wild thing pose (Camatkarasana), etc, will also help uplift you specially if incorporated in a flow.
I hope you found this post helpful. Thank you so much for reading. Namaste x