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Yoga For Greater Self Control

Three Yoga Poses To Crush Your Anxiety

Do you worry about anxiety? Me too. After the fabulous clothes (like cute yoga pants), finding a non- pharmaceutical fix for anxiety is a top reason people take up yoga. Whether you suffer from a diagnosed disorder or grapple with generalized malaise, yoga can clear your mind of panic. Below are some poses to alleviate your worries—not all of them (that would be a very long post), but a good starting point for an anti-anxiety yoga regimen.

The Big Toe Pose, or Padangusthasana

This pose lengthens tight hamstrings. If you live through this, you’ll be grateful enough to never worry about anything ever again.

One: Stand with your feet six inches apart. Using your adductor muscles on insides of your thighs, lift your kneecaps. Exhale and bend forward from your hips, keeping your legs as straight as possible.

Two: Grip each foot with your fingers. If you cannot reach your toes, modify with an elastic band until you can perform without rounding your back.

Three: Inhale, lift your torso without letting go of your feet, straighten your elbows and lengthen your torso. Exhale again and lift your sitting bones. Release your hamstrings and exhale, lifting your belly toward the back of your pelvis.

Four: Lift the top of your breastbone as high as you can without lifting your head and compressing the back of your neck. Keep your forehead relaxed.

Five: Inhale while lifting your torso, contract your front thigh, lift your sitting bones, and relax your hamstrings.

Six: Exhale, bend your elbows out, pull up on your toes, lengthen your torso and lower your back into forward bend.

Seven: Advanced yogis, Plastic Woman, and/or those with unusually long hamstrings can pull their foreheads to their shins here. Everyone else should ignore this and focus on gritting your teeth and breathing.

Eight: Hold the final position for one full minute. Release your toes, bring your hands to your hips, and re-lengthen your front torso. Inhale, swing your torso and head back to an upright and standing position.

The Cat Pose, or Marjaryasana

This pose stretches out the back and neck muscles and gently massages the spine area and intestinal organs. Not only is it far more pleasant to perform than the Big Toe Pose, it also relieves stress in the lower back and increases flexibility for forward and backbends. It’s thought to be conducive to increased emotional balance and stability of the mind.

One: Begin on your hands and knees in the table position with your knees shoulder length apart and your upper body perpendicular to the floor. Your knees must be directly below your hips. Your head should be in a neutral position, with your eyes on the floor.

Two: Exhale, round your spine upward to ceiling, lifting the middle of your back upward as if it were attached by a string to the middle of your spine. Keep your shoulders and knees in the same position. While lifting, release your head from the neutral position, but do not push into your chest.

Three: Inhale and return to a neutral, table position. Repeat.

Child’s Pose, or Balasana

This pose makes you feel better immediately, and that’s why I’ve saved it for last. It releases tension in the back, neck and shoulders; where most people store stress. It also fosters relaxation by encouraging conscious notice of breathing.

One: Kneel with your big toes touching, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Your hands should be directly under your arms.

Two: Exhale, bow forward between your legs. Rest your chest between your thighs and bring your forehead to the mat.

Three: Extend your arms out in front of you and place your hands on the floor, palms up. Breathe and hold this position for as long as you desire. When finished, use your hands to walk back to an upright and sitting position.

Breathe easy and enjoy the rest of your day!

Thai Yoga Massage

Thai Yoga Massage is the combination of traditional yoga and massage. It came into existence around 2,500 years ago within the temples of Thailand. Thai Yoga Massage was originally called the Old Thai Way of Healing with the Hands. Jivaka Kumarbhacca is the founder of Thai Yoga Massage and was a doctor and yoga instructor. He was Buddha’s doctor and treated him using Thai Yoga Massage. It was originally used more for medicine than for relaxation. Today, Thai Yoga Massage is still used to heal the body but focuses more on the relaxation and rejuvenating component.

Thai Yoga Massage originated within the Buddhist religion but it can be performed by people of all faiths because it is non-sectarian and non-dogmatic. A class can involve religious Buddhist traditions or it can be a simple massage session. It is completely up to the individual. Not all Thai Yoga Massage instructors are connected to the Buddhist religion in any way. It’s just about finding the right instructor that fits your religious views and fits what you want to get out of the practice.

During a Thai Yoga Massage class, the instructor guides the client through a series of poses. These poses are used to bring relaxation and open up certain parts of the body to the instructor. While the client moves through these specific poses, the instructor uses their palms and thumbs as tools to help heal and rejuvenate the client’s body. The instructor rubs their palms and thumbs along specific energy lines and pressure points to help the client accomplish total relaxation and release. There are no special tools used during a Thai Yoga Massage session except a traditional yoga mat.

The benefits that come along with Thai Yoga Massage are almost endless. There are both physical and psychological benefits. Thai Yoga Massage promotes well-being and long life. The combination of yoga and massage provides a full body treatment.

Physically, Thai Yoga Massage relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system, balances the body, lowers risk of injury, improves range of motion, elevates level of alertness, improves sleep, revitalizes the skin through increased blood flow, and helps prevent and fight migraines, sinus pressure, sprains, stiffness, whiplash, digestive disorders, arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetes, and chronic fatigue.

Psychologically, Thai Yoga Massage increases serotonin levels, improves emotional balances, brings clarity and calms the mind, increases mind and body concentration, helps with depression, helps with PMS, reduces stress, boosts energy, brings self-awareness, and improves overall vitality.

Thai Yoga Massage has been around for thousands of years and for a good reason. It has been proven that Thai Yoga Massage can extend a person’s life. This is because it focuses on healing both the body and the mind. It takes the benefits of both massage and traditional yoga to leave the body feeling rested, restored, and rejuvenated.