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5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks to Calm the Anxious You

5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks to Calm the Anxious You

Anxiety is the base of stress, tension, and discomfort. It is also a silent killer. Don’t fall prey to hypertension and elevated blood pressure, along with susceptibility to heart diseases and lifestyle disorders. Enrich your yoga practice using these stress-relieving exercises to calm your senses and soothe your nerves. Anxiety can be overpowering and modern life is full of challenges. Yoga can help you to overcome these.

Yoga can help with the physical stress and tension of a heavy workday. Mental stress and creative blocks can surface in the workplace or the social gathering you attend. Stress and tension can lower energy levels and lessen physical aches and pains. It can even lower insomnia and relieve sleeplessness. Yoga hacks can dispel tension in seconds.

Here are 5 Do-Anywhere Yoga Hacks for a peaceful mind and a de-stressed body.

1. Pranayama in Lotus Pose

How you are feeling: Tense, anxious, and uptight with the feeling of stress building up.

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Yoga hack: Engage in the ancient art of pranayama or meditation in the Lotus position. This is an easy and simple pose which you can easily perform under the cover of an office desk or in a quiet corner by yourself. You need to locate a comfortable chair or opt for a flat surface. Your back should be supported and upright while you can close your eyes to concentrate better. Let your facial muscles relax and release the tension in your jaw and abdomen. Then, fold your legs in Lotus pose and breathing deeply, start counting. Inhale for 7 counts, hold the breath for 3 counts and then release your breath in 7 more counts. While you complete each cycle of the breath, try to prevent thoughts from building up in your mind. Let each thought come and go without your reacting to any of it. Keep the spine straight and at a right angle to the ground while performing this asana.

How it Works: Padmasana is one of the most basic and subtle poses of the ancient art of Yoga. Calm your nervous system and ease the tension by letting your body breathe out toxins as you align yourself using the Lotus pose.

2. Calm Yourself With the Child’s Pose/Balasana

How You Feel: You lack the ability to focus or concentrate well and are easily distracted.

Yoga Hack: Opt for the Balasana anywhere you go without being noticed by using your chair as a prop. There should be a comfort factor here as you need to reach out the arms ahead of you on a flat surface. So, sit facing your desk, and ensure that you are seated more towards the edge of the chair so that when you bend forward your tailbone gets enough space to stretch out. Ensure that the forehead presses the floor of the desk and the arms are placed against your sides next to the ears. Close your eyes to concentrate better, with your mind focused on the spot between your eyes. You need to close your eyes to focus on the Third Eye and ensure that your attention remains focused here.

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How This Helps: The Balasana helps to restore and rejuvenate the body enabling the mind to slow down. Adding pressure to the forehead improves vision and perspective, permitting you to rise from this posture with clarity and focus.

3. Combat Stress With the Seated Chair Twist

How You Feel: If you are feeling anxious and tense, with thoughts crowding your mind and pent up tension from tasks undone, you can try the reclined twist in the comfort of your workstation or social event to get instant relief from stress.

Yoga Hack: You can do this easily anywhere. All you need is a chair. The gentle twists of the asana beats stress and anxiety-inducing thoughts. Start by being seated in your chair, legs together, gaze in front. Next, turn your head towards the right while turning your upper body to the left. If your chairs come with arms you can hold them for support. Maintain this pose for 5 short counts. Come back to initial position, take another five counts and do the same for the other side for the same amount of time. This pose helps to release tensions in the back and shoulders. It also helps to counter distracting thoughts.

How This Helps: This pose helps to relax tension that may have crept up the lower back and shoulders, helping to quiet the mind.

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4. Relieve Stress With Kapalbhati

How You Feel: If you are feeling low levels of motivation and high levels of fatigue, this yogic breathing exercise can work wonders for you.

Yoga Hack: Find a comfortable seat for this yogic breathing practice. You need to just assume a comfortable seated position and raise your arms above your head. Then inhale in a way that adds to the comfort of the body and pump out short breaths. Breath out in a sharp and vigorous way to eliminate toxins. The inhalation takes place naturally and you need to count up to as many breaths as you can without feeling lightheaded. Slow your breath towards the conclusion of this exercise.

How This Helps: This exercise oxygenates the human body and enhances digestion and circulation as well. Rejuvenate tired cells and feel a sense of revitalization after practicing this exercise.

5. Fight Anxiety With the Mountain Post

How You Feel: Anxiety can strike at any time and you have to find ways to combat it. Use this Mountain Pose to find a subtle and easy way to counter it.

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Yoga Hack: You can either do this seated or standing, whichever feels comfortable. Rather than just standing by and tolerating the stress, stand in yoga asana called the Mountain Pose. If you are standing, start with your feet hips width apart, shift weight back onto the soles of your feet and rest so that each corner of the foot is placed in contact with the ground. Feet should be planted so you don’t move despite a push or shove. Now bend your knees and stack bone atop bone. Puff up the chest and tuck your chin at a slight angle. Draw legs upward and maintain tension in your hips. The largest muscles in the legs should be able to take the weight off your joints (and your mind). If seated, you still do the same, except that your feet are together.

How This Helps: Feel energized, symmetrical and aligned through this pose. It clears the mind and chases away anxious thoughts and feelings.

Besides these tips and advice, you must remember to sleep well and have a good diet. There are many companies that offer special furniture (like bunk beds) for better sleep; avoid all those energizing beverages and junk food; your body will definitely start feeling better and more relaxed.

These yoga asanas are perfect for relieving stress and anxiety. Let go of harmful emotions such as fear and anger so that you can feel your sense of balance and peace all around you. Use these yoga hacks to combat worries, and tension levels and work towards relaxing the body and healing the mind.

Featured photo credit: himalayanyogainstitute via himalayanyogainstitute.com

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Erick Clifford

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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