Top 5 Poses to Relieve Stress Before Exams
As a student in today’s fast-paced academic world, feeling overwhelmed and stressed is not uncommon. However, there’s a holistic solution that can help combat that pressure – yoga. This practice, rooted in ancient wisdom, has been tailored to meet the challenges faced by modern students.
What Is Yoga and Benefits of Yoga for Stress Relief
Yoga is a mind-body practice that intertwines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. While it may seem esoteric, its effects are profoundly tangible, especially regarding stress relief.
The art of yoga calms the nervous system, making the practitioner feel more relaxed and grounded. Regular yoga boosts endorphin production, which are feel-good chemicals that act as natural painkillers. Additionally, yoga strengthens the connection between the mind and body, helping individuals become more aware of the sources of their stress and equipping them with tools to manage and alleviate it.
Why Students Feel Stress and Pressure All the Time
A student’s life is not just about books and exams; it’s a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, and expectations. Many students often feel they’re walking on a tightrope, from academic pressures to the angst of fitting in socially and the looming uncertainty about the future.
Balancing assignments, deadlines, and personal commitments can become daunting. In their quest for relief, many students have even turned to online essay writing service to manage their academic workload. However, while these services can offer temporary respite, the underlying pressures remain. The constant push to excel in every arena can affect their mental well-being, making stress an almost constant companion.
Top 5 Yoga Poses for Stress Reduction
As students face academic difficulties and social pressures, they need to have practices to help them relax and recharge. Yoga, which combines mind-body exercises, can offer a calm refuge. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced yoga practitioner, here are five poses selected for their effectiveness in reducing stress. Implement them into your study routine and experience the tranquility that each carriage can bring.
1. Stick Pose (Yastikasana)
- How to Do: Begin by lying down on a comfortable mat. Extend your legs outward and relax your arms by your sides. Intentionally point your toes forward, creating a gentle stretch in your calf muscles, and reach your fingers towards your feet.
- Stress Relief Benefit: Yastikasana is a restorative asana that works wonders for those with tight muscles. Stretching the entire body aids in releasing accumulated tension, especially from areas we often overlook, like our fingers and toes. As you lie down and stretch, your mind starts to relax, setting the stage for a peaceful sleep.
2. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- How to Do: Lie down flat on your back on a yoga mat. Spread your legs apart naturally and place your arms slightly away from the body with palms facing upwards. Close your eyes and take deep, rhythmic breaths.
- Stress Relief Benefit: Often termed as the ‘final relaxation pose, ‘Savasana is more than just lying down. It’s an invitation for the body to integrate and absorb the benefits of the yoga practice. The pose soothes the central nervous system, facilitates inner peace, and paves the way for a deep meditative state that combats stress and mild depression.
3. Reclining Bound Angle With Bolster (Supta Baddha Konasana)
- Here’s how to do it: Start by sitting down with the soles of your feet touching. Place a bolster or a firm cushion behind you. Slowly recline until the bolster is supporting your back. Then, open your arms out to the sides to open your chest.
- Stress Relief Benefit: This gentle backbend can help relieve stress and counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting, which many students are guilty of. It provides a therapeutic stretch to the inner thighs and knees while the bolster supports your spine. The open chest also encourages deep breathing, which can flood your brain with oxygen and promote relaxation.
4. Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
- Here’s how to do it: Put your yoga mat perpendicular to the wall. Then, sit sideways against the wall and swing your legs up so that your buttocks are close to the wall and your back and head are resting on the floor. Stretch your arms out on either side.
- Stress Relief Benefit: This gentle inversion is a favorite among anxiety and insomnia sufferers as it can rejuvenate both the legs and mind by reversing blood flow. It also helps drain lymphatic fluids, boost immunity, and calm the nervous system.
5. Rag Doll Pose (Uttanasana Variation)
- How to Do: Begin by standing tall with feet hip-width apart. Exhale deeply, and hinge from the hips to fold forward. Keep the knees slightly bent. Either let your arms dangle freely or hold onto opposite elbows. Gently nod your head “yes” and shake “no” to release any tension in the neck.
- Stress Relief Benefit: This modified forward bend acts as a balm for an overworked mind. As you fold, the spine elongates, releasing the tension in the back. The inversion brings fresh blood to the brain, which can be invigorating and calming at the same time. Additionally, the gentle movement of the head relaxes the neck muscles, often a hotspot for stress accumulation.
When practiced with mindfulness and regularity, each of these poses can be an antidote to the mounting pressures of student life. Embrace them, and watch your stress dissolve into serenity.
How to Incorporate Yoga into Your Daily Routine
Incorporating yoga into your daily routine doesn’t require a 90-minute class or even a trip to a yoga studio. Start with just 10 minutes a day. Choose one or two poses, and gradually add more as you become comfortable. Remember, it’s consistency over intensity. Over time, your stress levels will reduce, and your ability to handle future stressors will greatly improve. To the stressed student reading this: know there lies a peaceful oasis during your hectic life, which is the world of yoga. Namaste.