Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses and controlled breathing. Relaxation is a strong focus of the practice, so yoga for stress relief has grown. It offers great stress relief as well as helping to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. The disciplines of regular yoga practice help you achieve a harmonious body and mind. Consequently, you relax and manage stress and anxiety better.
How stress works
Stress energises you and heightens your senses. It provides you with the intensity sometimes required to face problems head-on. But you may also struggle to turn off that intensity. It can leave you feeling on edge and effect your health. Stress and anxiety can develop into adverse symptoms like headaches and insomnia. You may feel these symptoms are stress related, but because you are productive, you tolerate them. You believe if you don’t have the stress, nothing will get done!
Without adequate stress relief, you will become exhausted. You will try to find ways to manage the stress and anxiety. Cutting back on activities you feel cause the stress is a likely first step. Avoiding conflict is another common stress relief reaction, but it is not effective. Simplifying your life doesn’t necessary provide the stress relief you are looking for. You are more likely to feel depressed about not embracing life enough.
For most of us, some form of stress in our lives is inescapable, and there is the paradox. Excess stress and anxiety can take a toll on you without stress relief. Often the very things that cause it are the same things that make your life full and worthwhile. None of us want an empty life but how do we develop the skills to handle our busy and complicated lives?
It is vital that you learn how to manage stress so that it’s not troubling or traumatic experience at every turn. To be successful in managing stress, you need the right blend of inner fire and inner calm. Yoga for stress relief has an ability to change your mental perception of stress and anxiety.
Understanding how stress affects the body enables you to change the way you react to stress. It begins with the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. That then triggers a response in the autonomic nervous system. It’s vital that there is a balance between the two nervous systems. Unbalanced, you respond with energy and focus, but also with anger, anxiety, and aggression. It is a typical fight-or-flight response. It’s better to find a measured one that challenges the stressful moment appropriately.
Yoga for Stress Relief
Yoga for stress relief trains your mind and body to respond to stressful moments in an appropriate way. Yoga requires you to engage your mind and body when doing the poses. You learn to hold poses, some which are quite demanding, with a calm mind. You learn to focus on the breath enabling you to remain calm in stressful situations. The nervous system responds differently, staying activated but with an underlying sense of peace. It remains skilfully engaged but without going into full-fledged fight-or-flight mode. In a yoga practice, you will alternate between demanding and easier poses. Yoga for stress relief educates you to move efficiently between states of challenge and rest.
At the start, the focus of your yoga practice will be executing the poses in classes. Accomplishing them can be demanding but have enormous benefits. But yoga for stress relief requires balance throughout the practice. That means letting go, recognising your effort and rewarding your body and mind. Savasana teaches you how to put the usually suppressed parasympathetic nervous system in charge. It then allows the hyper-charged sympathetic nervous system to take a rest. Through Savasana, you teach your nervous system to let go once the challenges of your practice have been met. This gives you the time to recognise your efforts and rewarding yourself.
Yoga for stress relief is not about fighting stress or running away from it. It helps you manage stress by transforming how your mind and body responds to stress. Yoga can teach your body a new standing posture that eventually becomes ingrained. It can also train the mind to learn new thought patterns. Yoga enables the nervous system to learn new ways of reacting to stress or anxiety. If stress or anxiety is getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try.
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