Using YOGA To Reduce Stress During Covid-19

Using YOGA To Reduce Stress During Covid-19

By Maggie M Perritt, BS, MS, RPh, CHC

It seems like yesterday that we were welcoming in the new year bound and determined that this was the year we would be healthy, and then COVID happened. As if the stress of dealing with a pandemic isn’t bad enough, the world as we know it seemed to stop as quarantine and shelter at home became everyday occurrences and with it, more stress. Stress can manifest itself in many ways including poor sleep, headaches, high blood pressure and skin complications.

Now more than ever, we need to focus on our own health and wellness and make it a priority. We will emerge from this crisis, and the habits we develop now will drive our success. Start with staying hydrated, maintaining a good skin hygiene and consider adding yoga to your routine*. Regardless of your level, yoga offers something for everyone, can be done in any environment, and offers some great health benefits to boot.

Yoga focuses on the core principles of breath, balance and stretching, and there are a ton of benefits. I’ll focus on a few that are critical for our wellness during this pandemic.

Breath: Inhale deeply, bringing cool, clean air to nourish your body, and exhale releasing toxins.  The focus on breathing improves your respiration and reduces stress.  

Continued concentration on your breath will eliminate distrac- tions and help you get to a quiet space in your mind, further enhancing the stress reduction, with added benefits promoting better sleep, healthier skin and an overall improved quality of life.

Balance and stretching: As you move through a flow in yoga, you lengthen  the muscle which improves flexibility and can increases the range of motion, ultimately leading to better muscle strength.  

As a certified Yoga instructor, I have selected a simple 2 position flow* that you can incorporate now regardless of you your level.

1. Cat and Cow Flow: Come down the floor on hands and knees, aligning hands and knees hip distance apart.  Gently bring your head up as you inhale and bring your chest out into the cow position and exhale as you bring your chin into your chest and arch your back up.  

2. Childs Pose: Starting from all fours, gently shift back to anchor your glutes to your feet stretching your arms in front of you. 

Complete 5 Cat and Cow flows, followed by a Childs Pose making the movement as fluid as possible.  Repeat as often as you feel necessary. This flow stretches the muscles in the back, focuses your breathing ,improves circulation and reduces stress. 

Reducing our stress helps us look and feel better! If you’re looking for something more, consider adding a skin care routine developed right here in Florida built on clean ingredients infused with essential oils - 

Take this time now to make better choices!

*Caution: Before starting any exercise program consult with your physician and remember to listen to your body’s cues and make an adjustment if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Maggie P is a Certified Yoga instructor living in the Tampa area.  She is the owner and Chief Chemist for ADI Skincare. You can catch her classes at Crunch Fitness in Tampa Palms or Netpark Fitness Center and connect with her on Facebook @Yoga_Maggie.

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