How to Use Yoga to Combat Overthinking
Have you ever found yourself so consumed with the stress of daily life that your thoughts start to feel like they’re moving at 100 miles per hour? Overthinking can happen to just about anyone and may leave you feeling drained, uninspired, or overwhelmed. To show up in the world as our most authentic selves, it’s essential to keep our minds clear of clutter. Overthinking can halt our creativity and prevent us from accomplishing our daily goals. If you’re ready to ease your mind and put an end to overthinking, there are a few tools you can add to your yoga practice to help rid your mind of overwhelming thoughts.
One great way to clear your mind is to find a gentle fold. Folded poses help increase blood flow to your brain and can give you a chance to connect to your breath while releasing tension in your neck and shoulders. Here are two wonderful folded poses to accomplish this:
- Seated Fold - Sit with your legs out straight and your feet flexed. Reach for your feet and gently fold over as far as you comfortably can.
- Wide-Legged Fold - Stand up straight with your legs wider than your hips. Slowly hinge over from your hips and let your head hang heavily as your hands reach the ground.
Our hips are known for storing built-up tension and have even been said to be a hiding place for unpleasant emotions. Releasing tension from your hips can allow you to feel relaxed and at ease, renewing your mind and clearing out unwanted thoughts. Try these two hip openers for a deep release:
- Pigeon - Square your hips and bring one leg to the front, gently bending at the knee out to the side. Continue squaring your hips even further and lay your chest down over the bent leg.
- Yoga Squat - Stand up with your feet slightly wider than your hips. With your feet pointed out, slowly squat down until your knees are pointed out over your toes.
Twisting exercises are deeply restorative for both your body and mind. They can allow you to reset your spine and release tension from your neck and shoulders, giving your mind a chance to hit the reset button. Here are two twisting poses you can use to find some much-needed relief:
- Easy Twist - Begin in a lunge position and your hands down to frame your front leg. Slowly bring your opposite arm up and twist your torso towards the sky. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Reclined Twist - Lay down flat on your back with your legs stretched out long. Bring one knee to your chest and gently pull it across your body, allowing your head to fall to the opposite side. Repeat on the opposite side.
If overthinking has become an issue in your life, you can always return to your yoga mat and use these poses to clear out unwanted thoughts and leave your mind feeling fresh and renewed.