Stress, in my opinion, is not something we can completely stop. Isn’t it true that it comes with the territory of becoming a person? A small amount of short-term stress can be beneficial in some cases, but stress that lasts longer than that, quite frankly, stinks.
Long-term stress takes a toll on the body, mind, and spirit, affecting everything from sleep, digestion, libido, and relationships.
Bubble baths are nice, but as important as it is to find a way to relax, it’s also critical to find resources that can help us cope with stressful situations. This, my friends, is where yoga can be extremely beneficial. Take a look at these.
1. Relax The Body.
When it comes to decreasing stress and calming the physical body, yoga done correctly can be as soothing as a hug or a massage. Forward bends and inversions, in particular, have a profoundly relaxing effect on the whole system.
I’d like to call attention to Balasana (Child’s Pose) because of its amazing ability to relax the mind and soothe the adrenal glands. Restorative and Yin yoga forms, as well as Shavasana/relaxation at the end of a yoga session, are excellent for practicing the art of letting go.
2. Relax The Mind.
When we’re nervous or anxious, our minds become overworked, even to the point of franticness. Learning to concentrate one’s mind on one thing at a time may seem to be the most difficult task in the world, but it becomes easier with practice. How do you do it?
Meditation, like every other type of breath awareness, is an extremely effective method for calming and slowing down the mind. When you bring your mind to the breath, everything starts to concentrate and slow down, whether you’re holding postures, flowing through sequences, or in a seated meditation pose. You develop new attitudes toward a more relaxed internal state over time and through repeated practice.
3. Breathe More Effectively.
Stress and stress can cause us to breathe quickly and shallowly, leading to increased anxiety. Yoga teaches you how to breathe more efficiently by using the diaphragm and the entire lung power.
Certain Pranayama techniques, such as Brahmari (humming bee breath), Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril), and Ujjayi (victorious) breath, are beneficial for reducing stress. Internalizing and relaxing effects can also be achieved by breathing through the left nostril.
4. Develop Connection Between The Mind And Body.
There is a greater sense of peace and ease in our lives when the mind and body are linked. When something is out of control in the body, which occurs often when we are under stress, the body sends essential signals. As a result, having the opportunity to adapt is critical to our well-being.
Yoga helps us to be aware of our bodies’ movements and to listen to them. The practice teaches us to live more mindfully, consciously, and connectedly in the present moment.
5. Understand How Your Mind Works.
This argument, in my opinion, is the most important when it comes to long-term stress management, because our minds are the source of so much of our stress. We are at the mercy of our conditioning when we let our minds run on auto-pilot mode, i.e. when we live unconsciously.
Yoga will assist us in becoming more mindful of how our own minds function, and this knowledge can assist us in living a more conscious life. When we’re on the yoga mat in a difficult position, for example, mindfulness allows us to see how our mind reacts to stress. It’s possible that our first reaction is to get out of the pose. Or maybe it’s to see how far we can drive ourselves. It could be to become enraged with the instructor, or it could be to roll up the mat and leave.
We give ourselves the ability to be less influenced by our mind habits in response to stress by gaining knowledge of them and actively choosing a different response. All is fine with me.
6. Release Emotional Energy.
Fear, rage, and guilt are all negative emotions that can trigger stress if they aren’t communicated. Anything that builds up causes friction. Emotional strain is often released in an unrefined manner, such as yelling at your wife, snapping at a coworker, or being irrationally enraged because you were served a cappuccino instead of a vanilla latte!
Even if you aren’t aware of it, we release emotional energy very effectively during our yoga practice. Poses that release the hips and shoulders (where we sometimes store emotional tension) are particularly beneficial.
If you’re feeling tense, try a hip-opening yoga class and see how you feel afterward. If any residual feelings arise, simply acknowledge them and spend a few minutes letting them go through exhalation.
I’ve had a long history of dealing with chronic and continuing tension. Yoga and meditation have proven to be the most powerful and enjoyable techniques for unwinding and relaxing both internally and externally in my experience. As I previously said, stress is not something we can fully avoid, but by practicing yoga and meditation, we can learn to minimize the negative effects of stressful circumstances and set ourselves up for a happier, healthier, and more relaxed future. Oh, yes!
Related: Top 6 Women’s Health Concerns