Stress. It's something we all deal with on a daily basis. Do you know what stress is? Or what effect stress has on the body? We consulted the lovely Amanda Waaldyk, a renowned Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture and founder of Angea Acupuncture and Yoga, for some tips on using yoga to relieve stress. We'll let her take it from here...
Take a brief moment to reflect on your day. Did you have an opportunity to practice mindfulness or have some time for you? Today, many of us are living lifestyles where our day is packed full to the rafters. It’s hustle and bustle from the time we wake, till we hit the pillow. While some are able to cope with the high demands of life, others can be left feeling tired, overwhelmed and “stressed out”.
Did you know? Stress is natural response in our body and can have either a positive or negative impact on our wellbeing.
In caveman time, the stress response had a positive outcome for our body. It was triggered to protect us from danger. It was “survive or fight”. Now, we are discovering that our mind and body are responding differently to this left over survival mechanism. We are now being affected by stress on a daily basis. In the short term, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but over time chronic stress puts our health and wellbeing at risk.
To help de-stress your life, we turn to yoga.
Forward Bends allow your mind and body to literally “ let go”. Uttanasana is a wonderful pose to get out of your head. This asana makes us drop our head below the level of our heart, causing blood to flow to our brain rather than our feet. When this happens, it gives our body and cells a rejuvenating boost of oxygen, which calms our mind, and as a result relieves stress and anxiety. The beauty of this pose is you can be done anywhere, anytime. I love Uttanasana as it really helps reduce stress and tension in my shoulders and neck.
Savasana or Dead Mans Corpse is called this for a reason. It’s basically the equivalant of lying down without moving your muscles. It’s the best pose to finish your yoga practice and your day. This deep restorative pose gives your body and most importantly your mind permission to be in a restful state. In Savasana our body and nervous system enters into a state called “rest and digest”. As this happens, it allows our central nervous system to de-stress, and restore equilibrium and to our mind, body and spirit.
In Savasana, your arms and legs are extended with your legs spread. Palms face up to the sky, neck is relaxed.
Place your pelvis on a pillow and put your legs up the wall. Viparita Karani is considered the “Jewel for Women in Yoga”. This asana is known as ‘inverted lake’ and is based on the belief that the blood and hormones circulate better through the body when it is inverted.
This supported inversion allows the pelvis to be above the heart and pools the energy like a lake into your pelvis, calming your heart and mind. This pooling effect induces the relaxation response, calming your central nervous system and restoring your body. Having your feet up the wall for just 5 minutes is equivalent to a 30 minute power nap!
This pose has an abundance of benefits physically, mentally and emotionally. This forward bend stretches the muscles of the lower back, hips and hamstrings. Forward bends induce a peaceful state of mind. When the heart and head are lower than the spine it calms the entire nervous system, reducing stress and alleviating depression.
Balasana is a gentle and restorative pose that enables the body to seek balance and to release tension. It relaxes and calms the mind and body while lengthening the entire spine. Initiating the relaxation response in this pose releases lower back tension, menstrual cramps, PMS and helps to normalize blood flow throughout the entire body.
Dr. Amanda Waaldyk, a renowned Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, founded Angea Acupuncture and Yoga (Angea) clinic in 2007 and has been growing the business from strength to strength ever since. Dr. Amanda has worked and studied internationally with some of the best fertility experts in both Chinese Medicine and Yoga. Dr. Amanda’s vision is to create a worldwide community where women can join together to share and connect and know they are not alone in this journey to motherhood.
For more information on Angea Acupuncture and Yoga clinic, or to book a consultation with Dr. Amanda or one of her practitioners, visit www.angea.com.au. Follow on Instagram @angea_acupuncture_yoga, on Facebook www. Facebook.com/AngeaYogaStudio, and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angeafertility.
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