3 Stress-Busting Yoga Moves for These Tough Times

Downward dog can help reenergize your spirit in stressful timesWith the on-going tragedy in Houston, chances are that your family is experiencing some anxiety right now. To help calm nerves, try incorporating one or more of these soothing yoga moves into your daily routine.

Belly Breathing

Place hands on your belly, take long slow inhales and feel the breath fill up like a balloon. Slowly let the belly “deflate” on the exhale. As you breathe out, count or say a mantra like “I am calm.”

Why this works: When anxiety strikes, our sympathetic nervous system is activated to fight, flee or freeze; focusing on the breath can help bring the system back into balance.

Child’s Pose

Starting on hands and knees, sit back on your heels while resting your forehead on the ground and stretching your arms out or along the body. Close your eyes.

Why this works: Child’s Pose offers a protective, comforting retreat from chaos and heavy emotions.

Downward-Facing Dog

Start on hands and knees with knees two fists apart, directly below the hips and hands planted below the shoulders. Stretch out fingers and point them forward.  Inhale deeply, tuck toes under and, as you slowly exhale, lift the knees up and move your bottom toward the ceiling. Keep your head down and relax your neck.

Why this works: In the face of long, daunting tasks such as post-flood clean up, this move can re-energize the tired body and provide new strength to keep going.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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