Yoga is currently one of the most popular and sought after exercise choice. Rightfully so! Yoga answers many of our needs, addressing a wide range of issues from weight loss to flexibility, building strength, correcting bad posture but the most easily attainable with almost immediate results is stress management. Here are 5 points of how a regular yoga practice can help relieve stress and anxiety everyday.
“When you hold back tears, tiptoe through a fearful situation, or try to keep pain at bay, you unconsciously hold your breath or breathe irregularly.” –Dr. Michael Hirsch
Our breath is responsible for carrying prana or the life force that we need to exist. The breath is a clue to what’s really going on inside. Just listen to the way you breathe and you will detect what you need to work on. Is your breath harsh, short, or smooth and deep? Take these cues to address the need for deep belly breaths to reduce tension. Try it for 5 minutes each day and keep track of your progress. You’ll be surprised at the results!
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray, Om Chanting and Meditation Many studies have proven that mindfulness-based interventions decrease stress levels and the risk of burn-out in the workplace. So very often we do things on auto-pilot mode. For instance, mindless stress eating is one of the results of chronic stress. To combat this, we become more mindful of everything. Yoga is mindful breathing + movement. When you put all of your awareness to the way you breathe and move, you are able to apply this technique to the rest of your day. Notice that even the way you eat will change significantly when you concentrate on being in the moment with whatever it is that you do.
3. SWEAT IT ALL OUT
"To sweat is to pray, to make an offering of your innermost self. Sweat is holy water, prayer beads, pearls of liquid that release your past." Yogis know a crucial secret, that there isn’t a problem too big that a yoga class couldn’t solve. There is a famous mantra, “When in doubt, do yoga.” When needing to clear your thoughts and release tension in the body, try a yoga class and see if everything falls into place.
“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” - B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life Think of your spine as the main highway of energy. When misaligned, it takes much more effort for energy to flow from our organs to the brain or vice versa. When we align, we feel much lighter and can operate on less!
"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself." - Zen proverb In the world of overstimulation, a 75-minute break from outside stimulus and the cluttered mind makes the yoga practice a refuge for the day. Relaxation and rest, which you achieve in every class, is integral to a healthy immune system. Do yourself a favour and sign up for a class or look up videos on Youtube. Your body and mind will thank you for it!