Super Solid Yoga Tricks to Help You Relax

by Sasha A. Rae on 11 March 2011 1 comment

We are totally slammed pretty much all the time — bombarded by things to do, obligations to fulfill, places to go. There’s hardly a moment to relax and stretch out our muscles. Finding even a second of respite can be a challenge. And that’s why I’m all about the short spurts of yoga exercises to help me relax and get focused on my inner core.

Take a Deep Breath

Deep breathing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to relax and focus. Start at the bottom of your lungs and work your way up to the top. Fill your entire diaphragm with air, hold for a few moments, and then release slowly in reverse — starting at the top and working your way back down. With each breath out, picture any negativity or stress leaving your body. With each breath in soak up positivity and thoughts of what you want to have in your life. It’s a great way to clear your mind quickly.

Chant Your Stress Away

Not just for the practicing meditator, who has way more discipline than I do to meditate for half an hour or an hour twice a day. Lots of books out there offer a ton of options for how to pick a mantra. I personally like Sanskrit words not only because they sound so beautiful, but because they are so rarely spoken. Books like The Bahagavad Gita or The Guru Gita have several chants and phrases you can choose from. Whatever resonates with you is the right one to use. Once you’ve picked a word that works, chant it for five or ten minutes every day or use it silently in your head whenever you encounter a moment of stress.

Visualize Where You Want to Go

Another way to develop stronger concentration skills is by practicing visualizations. Pick a quiet, calm spot to sit for a few minutes and decide what you would like to focus on. You can focus on a work issues, improving your health, or solving a relationship problem. Picture in full detail everything you would like to have happen exactly as you would like to have it happen. Focus on how you feel. If you feel good and joyful, you’re on the right track. If you’re feeling stress, perhaps you’re trying to force something that isn’t ready to happen. Do the same visualization every day for 30 days and see what happens.

Strike a Pose

Another sweet way to get your focus on is to hit the mat and get in a few poses. Shoulder stands and balancing poses, like the tree pose where you balance on one leg while focusing your eyes on a distant point right ahead of you, help you concentrate better. They can also improve your flexibility and your strength.

Take a few moments to yourself and build some relaxation into your day.

What kinds of tricks do you use to relieve stress and gather calm in a crazy, hectic day?

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Andrea Karim's picture

I've Om-ed my way home from work before, during a particularly stressful commute. I don't even like chanting, but it's a great syllable.