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Yoga as a Stress Relief

September 25, 2018

Do you have concerns about your stress levels and overall well-being? Most of us do, so, that’s why it’s important to take time for ourselves whenever we can. Stress is referred to as the “silent killer”, and it’s no wonder why! 

 

Stress comes in multiple forms: mental, emotional and physical included. Because of this, stress has been known to increase blood pressure, cause chest pains, irregular heartbeat, and cause heart disease. Stress can also cause acne breakouts and even infertility issues. 

 

 

Did you also know that stress can cause hair loss?! It usually starts about three months after you suffer a significant stressful event in your life.

(divorce, death, losing a job, etc.)

 

Quick tip: Laughing lowers stress hormones (like cortisol) and strengthens the immune system by releasing health-enhancing hormones. Cortisol makes our abdominal fat increases, but it also makes our individual fat cells even bigger, which is what’s called “diseased” fat. 

So, turn on a funny movie, watch some cat videos on YouTube or just take a mental flight in the style of a hummingbird. (They represent happiness, joy and lightening up!)

 

The causes of stress itself are endless. We’ve all struggled with it at some point. Some of us more than others. This is where YOGA comes in!

One of the best physical ways to lower your stress is to practice yoga, and specifically Hatha yoga. Yoga helps us to feel peace of both mind and body, which can help us relax more so that we can manage stress, along with anxiety and depression.

 

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga is a great choice for stress management. It’s one of the most common styles of yoga, and if you’re new to yoga, you’ll appreciate the slow pace and simpler movements. But, most everyone can benefit from any style of yoga. Just go with what feels right for your body.

 

Certain yoga poses, such as the ones in Yin Yoga, require your attention, focus and determination to calm the mind. (the Pigeon Pose, Child’s Pose and Seated Spinel, for example) A beginner can try to hold these poses anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If you’re a major yogi, you might be able to hold one of these poses for up to 5 minutes.  

 

Additional poses that target stress relief:

  • Mountain 

  • Cat

  • Bridge

  • Upward Salute

  • Dolphin

  • Eagle

  • Corpse

  • Cobra

  • Seated Forward Bend

 

 

And since controlling your breathing is an incredibly important part of yoga, the benefits are calming your body and quieting your mind. It would be even more beneficial to implement meditation as part of your “stress relief” yoga session. Meditation helps us learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment.

 

We all have different bodies with certain capabilities. We also have different stress levels and causes of stress. If you need help starting out or even some motivation, call a yogi friend or a yoga instructor to get moving! It’s important to practice yoga that’s safe and effective for your body, regardless of which type or which poses.

 

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