Seven Beginner Level Yoga Postures to Rid Anxiety

Whether it is anxiety, stress or depression, a mental ailment is a serious challenge for any individual. There are a lot of different ways to fight off those negative emotions. This yoga routine is a pair of boxing gloves and Nama-stay stress free if you know what I’m saying.

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The following is a beginner level vinyasa aiding in stress and anxiety relief for beginner yogis and those new to yoga.
For the sake of getting the most out of this routine please read the article before practicing! ūüôā

Seven Beginner Level Yoga Postures to Rid Anxiety

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1. Bound Angle Pose
Baddha Konasana

Some of you may have trouble entering this pose if you’re tight. Sit on a pillow or blanket for some extra leverage.

Grab onto your big toes with your middle, pointer and thumb fingers. Now pull your heels together and in towards your body while also keeping your back straight to avoid lower back pain.

Relax in this pose for a few minutes. Read this article to learn more about Bound Angle Pose.

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2. Seated Staff Pose
Dandasana

Looks simple enough, right? Lengthen your legs and flex your feet while keeping your back straight. You can rock side to side to get the flattest seat. Focus on your breath here and relax for 3-5 minutes.

Now go on a reap all of these benefits !

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3. Fish Pose
Matsyasana

Place your hands underneath your hips, palms down. Open your chest and relax your neck, dropping your head back and slowly lowering down to the elbows before gently placing the crown of the head on the floor.

This will open the hip flexors and other muscles you never thought of stretching like the front of your neck! Get ready to strengthen the back, too. Also, this pose is excellent to fix poor posture.

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4. Camel Pose

To enter this pose, rise to your knees and place your hands on your hips. You don’t need to enter the pose fully if you don’t feel comfortable. Leave your hands on your hips and you open up your chest and drop the head backwards. Use the pressure of your hands on the back of your pelvis to enter this pose as far as possible.

If you feel comfortable, let your hands down to rest on the heels of the feet and push your hips forward. This will assist in anxiety and other ailments such as fatigue and mild back pains. Learn more here.

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5. Bow Pose
Dhanurasana

Beginners may be interested in using a yoga strap if they cannot grab their feet behind them. Don’t have a strap? Try a belt or a tie!

This pose is reflective of the power of counterbalance. We’re stretching the entire front of the body plus the ankles, thighs, chest, throat, and deep hip flexors while gaining strength in your back muscles.

Other benefits include relief for constipation, respiratory ailments, fatigue and mild back aches.

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6. Standing Forward Fold
Uttanasana

Woo! Stand up, reach up, show some gratitude for today and elongate your spine to relieve tension after all those back bend poses! Breath deep my friends. On the exhale, hinge at the hips, keeping the back straight as you fold forward.

You can bend your knees a bit here. Relax the neck by shaking your head “yes” and “no.” Enjoy the massage you can feel on your internal organs and that deep stretch as you straighten you legs. Say goodbye to stress, headaches, fatigue and insomnia with this pose!

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7. Tree Pose
Vriksasana

If you struggle with meditation this pose will be the most beneficial in taking your mind off of your stresses. Focus on a steady point in front of you and press the 4 corners of your right foot into the floor. The vitality of concentration will keep you too busy to think of anything else.

Bring hands to prayer. Begin lifting the left leg at a 90¬į angle, turn the knee out and open the hips. When ready, grab the left foot and place it in whichever variation is most comfortable. One option is as shown above, place the foot on the inside of the thigh, as high above the knee as possible. Another option is half lotus for an extra stretch.

Other benefits are posture, balance, increase in the hips’ range of motion, toning the muscles in the legs, back, and chest, and also strengthening the ankles.

Be sure to repeat on the other side.

Inhale. Stretch up towards the ceiling. Exhale down to heart’s center. Take time to be thankful for this day and all that you have gained in life on your way here.

Everything happens as and when it’s needed to so, we can’t always help what happens. We can, however, control how we react. It is not what happens to us that shapes us but how we handle it.

Enjoy your day and please feel free to leave a comment!

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Prayer Pose and Positivity

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Prayer Pose

Stitha-Prarthanasana

Prayer Pose will align your physical body and as a result the non-physical may follow. To balance physically requires concentration. Close your eyes. Bring your hands together at Heart’s Center and press your palms together. Keep a straight posture and press your shoulders back. You may stand or sit whatever is comfortable. Just relax and meditate. The pose will result in balance¬†that will engage your imagination, intuition and focus. Enjoy this blissful harmony.

I myself am not a religious person. I am simply filled with faith. In Prayer pose I find strength in letting go. Having faith that the universe also pursues balance and all good things do come in time. Do not quit searching for them.

A negative mind is the most destructive illness.

It seems as though illnesses have been running my life recently. To add to my anxiety over those around me who have been sick, a doctor appointment added self concern to worry. I was mad and I was hurt that in a time that was already so complicated my body would throw this curve ball at me. I was mad at my body for betraying me.

Wait, what?

Is that honestly it? My body has betrayed me because it is sick?

It was not my body that was wronging me but my mind, telling me to turn against myself. To hate myself. Sometimes it is easiest to think of what is wrong before what is true.

Negative thoughts can only hurt you if you give them permission. Time to sort this out. Put your foot down. No distractions, we are sorting out this issue like two elementary school students told by their teacher to stand in the hallway until they apologized to one another.

I encourage you… Press your palms together. Find symmetry. Find balance. Know that your existance is not betraying you, it is teaching you to fight through fear and see what blessings lie ahead. Life is not handed out with promises. It’s taken and lived in seconds, not years.

Your body doesn’t hate you. Contrarily, it loves you so much that it will sacrifice itself to teach you what you struggle to understand. Your body is selfless and if you listen to its cries for help you will find that it is only trying to help you learn how to improve your life.

“There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.” – Deepak Chopra

Namaste.

Wake With an Open Heart: Day 1

Can your good deeds calculate the good that enters your life? Being a good person brings only good into your life, right? I always was told that you were rewarded for your kindness unto others, your pristine moral compass and so on. Now I realize that to bring only good in is to only allow good into your life and radiate that no matter what the odds. We have all been betrayed and beaten down by life but it is in how we rise that will determine our happiness. To rise, I find we must wake everyday with an open heart and rejoice. Pay gratitude towards our bodies and the wonderful fact that you have in fact woken up to another day and that, my friends, is a wonderful gift.

If your heart is open you allow everything to reach you, good and bad. I believe that living with a welcoming heart means waking up with a quick stretch and meditation to decrease stress and physical ailments. This release will help clear your mind and open you to daily possibilities.

I first dreaded waking up. Hated leaving my bed. Hated everything that forced me to leave my cotton covered, plush palace where I rest my head every night. Now, I meditate my way out. I bend my knees. I inhale a new beginning, preparing to paint my day how I please. I reach up, legs lengthening, back bending …and I roll over and close my eyes. I love my bed, I really do.

Alas, we must voyage out on a new journey, to responsibilities, jobs, exercises, chores, food shopping… shit, reality. Bed.

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Anyways, reality calls…

Wake With an Open Heart

Instructions

DAY 1

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Upward Facing Dog
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

From a position lying on your stomach, place your hands next to your shoulders and push up until your arms are locked straight. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana can be as deep of a back bending stretch as you so choose. It took me many practices to get where I am today and I hope that you do not compare any of these photos to your accomplishments.

Upward Facing Dog is beneficial to the digestive system and improve posture. In some cases it may help with sciatica and asthma. This will open the heart chakra and assist in curing mild forms of depression. Toning will occur over time in muscles such as the gluteus and arms.

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Childs Pose
Balasana

Pull your hips back in between your heals and rejoice in the relief of your back, thighs, neck, shoulders, and hips! Child’s pose will calm your body mentally and physically if you allow it. It’s a rewarding pose to ease in and out of as you flow through your practice.

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Cow Pose
Bitilasana

Are you flowing with me yet? Wake up sleepy head! To shift into this asana, bring your knees in beneath your hips and your body to a tabletop position.

Cow Pose benefits your body by improving focus as you coordinate it with breathing and with it’s sister asana the Cat Pose (to be discussed next). Bitilasana stretches the front torso while also soothing spinal and belly organs.

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Cat Pose
Marjaryasana

Soon we will discuss transitioning. As Cow Pose benefits you mentally, so does Marjaryasana. A perfect opposite to combine with Cow, the Cat Pose stretches your back torso and neck (a feline favorite) and massages your spine and belly organs.

Cat and Cow pose go hand in hand so you will actually use the tabletop position as a constant while changing and progressing.

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Back into Child’s Pose.

Keep your practice playful!

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Leg Up the Wall Pose
Viparita Karani

This gentle inversion influenced my¬†practice to begin before leaving bed. I learned it at a rewarding 6 a.m. yoga class and Yoga Mandali in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. We elevated our hips with pillows to feel this pose’s incredible effects on the body such as circulation, increased energy, relaxation and even some medical benefits.¬†With your feet high above you, your blood begins flowing to parts of the body that really need a little extra attention to heal ailments such as arthritis, insomnia or blood pressure.

How do I get my legs up there?

I usually just roll up to the wall but everyone is different so listen to your body. I usually lay on my side with my legs along the wall, have a pillow behind you also against the wall. Release your breathe and swing your legs straight up against the wall. Adjust the cushion underneath your hips. Relax. Allow your arms to fall where they please and let your body sink, stretching your spine effortlessly. Inhale. Exhale…

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Happy Baby Pose
Ananda Balasana

Keep your spine relaxed, reach for your knees and while exhaling, pull them into your chest. Take the pillow or blanket out from underneath you when ¬†you’re ready.Your spine should rest flat. From here, grab your toes, straighten your legs and let them fall to either side. Rest here for a few breaths and breathe out¬†focusing on stretching that groin muscle a little bit more with each exhale.

When you’re done exploring this asana just pull your knees back towards your chest and roll to your side as you prepare for the next posture…

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Big Toe Pose
Padangusthasana

Big Toe Pose has a lot of variations and can be performed with a strap (a tie or a belt could suffice) to assist those of you who can’t always reach their toes. You can sit and grab your big toes with your pointer and index fingers or you can stand or recline onto your back. Reach for those toes in whatever way that works for your body.

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Upward Salute
Urdhva Hastasana

Begin in Mountain Pose or Tadasana by standing with your feet flat, arms at your sides and shoulders square with your hips. Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms straight.

Feel the comfort and discomforts of your body before moving into Upward Salute or Urdhva Hastasana. If you have neck pain or shoulder injuries please, be cautious. If you feel a little tightness in your shoulders like I do after a long night’s sleep then you may be ready for upward hands to loosen up. Stretch towards the sky with straight arms, reaching through your fingertips. Enjoy the rush of energy this asana will present you with!

Namaste.

What if?

what if.

What if when you die they ask, “How was Heaven?”

This blew me away. I have been struggling to find my gratitude this past week due to a series of misfortunate events. This blew my mind and put it back together with the correct mindset. Everyday is a gift. Our lives are ever wonderful holidays when we are grateful for the present.

I thought I would share. I hope this helps you as much as it did me.

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Beauty is an opinion.

Beauty is an opinion, nothing more. It varies from culture to culture, from advertising to reality, from soul to body. We are not here to be labeled into boxes and confined by views. In my last post¬†I wrote about Robin Williams who easily earned his place in Hearts That Matter, one of the three sections of this blog. Relephant Matter’s goal is to assist people in bettering their hearts, minds and bodies so that they can live their lives to the fullest. The tragic loss of Mr. Williams was due to his battle against depression. I hope that if you are reading this and struggling with your own conflicts you keep this in mind, “No rain, no rainbows.” Your future is as bright as you can imagine and I am so excited to see the places you will go so please, never lose hope.

I am not here to tell you how to live. I am here as a friend offering a hand. We’re growing together, I gain just as much from writing as you might from reading. Although I will remain anonymous for the time being, I should tell you I am a real person, the same as any individual¬†you see. Regardless of how we look we are all equally human.

“Two roads diverged in wood” – Robert Frost

My life has been aimed¬†at what seems like two opposite sides of the spectrum. When I graduated high school (I’m now well done with college) I was diagnosed with Melanoma Carcinoma. Over the span of seven days I had surgery then lost my grandpa whom at the time lived in my home and was my life. I love him incredibly and unconditionally so, this became a downward spiral as stressors piled on. Beginning college, moving away from home, love life drama and more made me feel depressed. I saw a psychiatrist. I was not kind to myself. Eventually it affected my physical health, I became Vasovagal, having fainting spells, dizziness and even seizures.

I guess it took hitting my head a few times and falling for me to realize how well I could rise.

Now, we begin the second section of this blog, Relephant Wellness because treating your body well will change your entire existence. I will post blogs on meal preparations, exercises, motivational stories and (my personal favorite to relieve stress) yoga!

This is not about how you look. Beauty is nothing more than an opinion.

This is about feeling the pressures of life and accepting what they are without letting them weigh on you. This is about feeling strong both physically and mentally. This is about you regaining control, love, happiness and walking through the rain to see all the rainbows in all their bright, shining glory. You create your reality, I know that sounds bonkers but I promise you, I have lived both sides of the spectrum and you can too.