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Mindful Stress Reduction

yoga gif
Original video here. It’s pretty awesome!! Lol, you should watch it!)

With midterms right around the corner, I wanted this blog post to focus mainly on how I relax myself when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. There are plenty of things that will reduce stress short-term; pills, toys and trinkets, listening to music etc. But yoga and meditation are life long habits you should consider trying to reduce your stress because of the endless benefits!

Both yoga and meditation have been proven to permanently lower stress and anxiety levels! WHAAAT? How is this possible?

Well, yoga and meditation are both great ways to lower blood pressure and your heart rate, which immediately reduces stress. But, when done daily as part of a regular workout routine, it has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety overall. They both teach you mind-body control which allows you to live in the present and improves your overall mood and sense of well-being.

Not to mention, Yoga, when done regularly is a GREAT workout and can lead to great physical improvements and reduces your risks of chronic diseases. Both yoga and meditation force you to focus on controlling your breathing and syncing them with the natural flow of your body. Below I have provided some of MY favorite yoga poses and meditation techniques that help me relax in stressful situations. Remember, it is all about breathing and clearing your head.

So before you get overwhelmed with stress, hit the mat and try some of these poses to see how they make you feel! Try to hold each pose for 5-10 slow, deep breaths and repeat them 3-5 times.

eagle
Eagle pose takes focus, strength and concentration so it is perfect to distract your mind from the stressors and make you focus on your posture and technique.
savasana
Savasana or Corpse pose. This is usually how you end a yoga session, allowing you to reabsorb all of the energy you just released during your practice.
cow cat
Cow Pose to Cat pose is a great way to get the blood flowing to your brain
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Viparity Karani (Legs Up the Wall) not only feels great, but relaxes your entire body by taking some weight off of major pressure points in your spine

Now, I know these may be a little awkward to do in the library while studying, so here are some meditation/breathing tricks you can use to reduce your stress wherever you are!

meditate
This is the most basic sitting meditation pose. Cross your legs, and gently rest your hands next to your heart. The heart is the mediator between our brains and our bodies.
meditation
This is a more advanced way to sit for meditation, allowing you to get a slight stretch in your legs an hips

 

breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing is like breathing through the stomach. It allows you to relax your stomach muscles while being mindful of your breaths

Diaphragmatic breathing is kind of a lost technique of breathing properly. Both babies and most all other mammals breathe this way. It forces us to focus on the inhale and exhale of each breath and reminds us just how important each molecule of oxygen really is to every cell in our body. I found that this website did a great job at explaining the science of exactly why deep breathing can help reduce stress.

So this week, I am challenging you to try something new! When you feel yourself starting to stress or feel overwhelmed, take a step back, take a deep breath and practice one of the above methods. Take note of how you feel and find the one that works best for you. Everyone’s body is different so listen closely to what it is telling you.

Until next time, keep it wholesome!

stitch
Images from google.com .gifs from giphy.com

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Mindful Stress Reduction

  1. Hi! I am really feeling the anxiety from midterms, life, etc. and love that you have shared these helpful tips! I’ve always wanted to get into yoga and meditation because of their amazing benefits to mental/ physical health. I’ve tried yoga in the past, but I think I had a bad experience because it was hot yoga.. lol. I need to start with the beginner stuff. I am definitely going to try these breathing exercise throughout the week! Maybe i’ll even give yoga another shot over spring break when I finally have the chance. Thanks for the inspiration. Namaste!

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    1. Hey! You should most definitely try a different form of yoga. Hot yoga is not my cup of tea either…. but there are SO many different styles and methods you just have to experiment and find what you likeI recommend looking at yogajournal.com because they offer EVERYTHING you could need, whether you’re a beginner or an expert yogi. They have pictures of poses, videos ranging from 5 minutes to 2 hours, and instructional articles. Check out their site and find out what works best for you! Namaste!

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  2. Hey super cute memes, and nice topic. I think it is super important to stay calm during this time in the semester. That being said, I meditate through guidelines provided in a book called: Buddha walked in to a Bar. Give it a shot! I bet you it will help.

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  3. This post is so informative! I’ve tried to do yoga before, but after this post, will definitely try to incorporate yoga and meditation more into my life. I’d basically end up like stitch at the beginning, but I’m sure with practice I’d get the hang of it! Needed this post today! Namaste!

    ~Jen, Glitter AF Blog

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  4. Hey Melissa! As a yoga enthusiast, myself, your post is quite informative and perfect timing with midterms. I like how you just offer a few examples of simple yoga poses for the readers without listing too many that would completely overwhelm your readers. I also like your comedic transition into poses you can do that won’t make you look crazy in public, haha. I overall love your writing and especially the enthusiasm I can feel you have for your readers in getting into more “wholesome” habits. I think that means a lot that your readers know you care about them, especially in a blog like yours. Great job! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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