Yoga for Stress Relief
Every day we face scenarios that throw us in the whirlpool of stress. Deadlines that weren’t met, disappointing people that count on you, a broken phone, a difficult week at work, or a family bad news. Stress is everywhere and it is unavoidable. To escape its harmful effects it is important to manage stress.
Stress depletes us of all our energy, it sends us into a semi-panic state. It also has a tolling effect on our health. Be it cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, skin conditions or hair loss, stress is associated with all. Yoga provides us with a way to cope. The opposite of stress is relaxation, Yoga helps to achieve just that.
It is a mind-body practice bringing together mental and physical disciplines to achieve the state of peacefulness of body and mind.
Yoga is not just twisting your body into shapes that make you look like a human pretzel. Studies show that yoga effectively targets stress by lifting your mood. It helps you to calm, relax and manage stress and anxiety. It also enhances your sense of well-being, self-compassion, and mindfulness. Beth Shaw, Founder/President of Yoga fit Training Systems said, "The benefits of yoga include decreased stress and tension, increased strength and balance, increased flexibility, lowered blood pressure and reduced cortisol levels,". Neck, shoulders, and back are the parts of the body that tend to carry the most stress. Yoga helps relax these tensed muscles in the body.
Our nervous system has two parts. Parasympathetic Nervous System that deals with our ‘rest and digest’ response and Sympathetic Nervous System that deals with our ‘fight or flight’ response. In stressful conditions the ‘flight and fight’ state ramps up. If we want to get de-stressed we need to harness ‘rest and digest’ state. Yoga helps to make this transition possible. Practicing certain breathing patterns in yoga aiming to make us control our breathing helps to slip into ‘rest and digest’ state giving relief to mind and body.
Along with stress reduction, yoga has many other benefits like better sleep, reduced cortisol levels, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduced anxiety and muscle tension, increased strength and flexibility and slowed aging process. With these apparent physical benefits, there are many psychological and spiritual benefits too.
Yoga helps you de-stress by relaxing your body, by relaxing your mind through meditation, by helping you breath more effectively, by helping develop a connection between mind and body and finally by helping you release emotional energy. Researches have shown people feeling a little better just after a single class of yoga.
When you think about stress relievers, yoga might not be the first thing that crosses your mind but it is the best and one with innumerable benefits stress-relieving activity. All you need to do is make yoga a part of your routine.