Living in the big city can be stressful, with all that traffic and noise round the clock. Add in the pressures of career and family, and it’s easy to see why so many of us are in a perpetual state of anxiety. That’s why yoga is an ideal fitness choice for city dwellers, since this mind-body practice can lead to greater tranquility and inner peace.
How does yoga relieve anxiety? Yoga brings together both physical and mental disciplines, helping you to achieve harmony between mind and body. This helps you to relax and put the pressures of the outside world behind you for at least a little while. Practicing yoga regularly also improves your mood and enhances your overall sense of well-being. Added benefits may include relief from insomnia, pain and depression.
The ultimate goal of yoga is a healthy mind in a healthy body, and greater physical fitness can lead to less anxiety. While yoga does not burn as many calories as a strenuous cardio workout, it does promote greater flexibility, improved balance, greater strength and increased range of motion. All of these can make your everyday life easier, whether you’re running for a cab or climbing up on a stepladder at home.
Registered yoga teacher and president of Power Living Enterprises, Inc. Dr. Terri Kennedy explained how certain yoga poses can release stress. “Yoga helps us slow down for a moment and tune into the breath. Simply the focus on one thing — which is the very definition of meditation — allows us to decompress. The actual asanas [poses] release tension in different ways, and help certain parts of the body.”
Which poses have the most stress-relieving power? Kennedy recommends the Child’s Pose (Balasana), Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana), Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Eagle Pose (Garudasana), Corpse Pose (Savasana), Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana), Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani), Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana), Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) and Dolphin Pose.
If you’re ready to start feeling better and enjoying life more, try a yoga class at Pura Vida Urban Fitness!