Celebrating World Mental Health Day
Today, on World Mental Health Day, we are championing global mental health education and advocacy against social stigma. At Yoga Design Lab, we have long recognized the connection between mental health and yoga. With its emphasis on breathing practices and meditation, it’s not surprising that yoga brings a wealth of mental benefits, like releasing endorphins and bringing more oxygenated blood to your brain. Yoga can also positively affect mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is associated with positivity and decreased anxiety. Just another reason to treasure your daily practice.
Join us today as we dedicate our practice to the embetterment of mental health worldwide and focus your mind and body with these three stress relieving poses.
Cat & Cow Flow
These 2 poses provide a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs while acting as a powerful stress reduction. This flow helps to steady your breathing as you move, calming the mind and body.
- From tabletop position, inhale deeply, and start to sweep your chest forward, opening up your throat and upper chest, while arching your back as deeply as you can comfortably. Look up. This is Cow Pose.
- For Cat Pose, as you exhale start rounding the spine toward the ceiling and allow that movement to happen all the way down the spine. Round out your upper, middle and lower spine, drawing the crown of your head down toward the floor.
Use your breath to flow through Cat and Cow, inhaling for Cow and exhaling slowly for Cat. Move through this flow several times for maximum calming effects.
Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
This pose can help a distracted mind unwind. Seated Forward Bend is a basic, yet challenging pose that helps relieve stress and anxiety.
- Keep your feet flexed as you lower your forehead toward your knees, holding your chest as close as you can to your thighs with a flat back. Hold your feet and pull gently forward if you can. Hold for 3 full breaths.
Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
This is the perfect way to relax after a long day, allowing your hips and lower back to release. Bonus: this pose allows you to unwind before you go to bed and gives you a chance to calm a racing mind.
- Find a space on a wall and lay down with your head facing away from the wall and your bottom as close to the wall as possible. Lift your legs and straighten them up against the Close your eyes and allow your whole body and mind to let go of any stress. Stay here as long as you like.