Learn How Yoga Can Help with Stress Management
Your smart phone is ringing off the hook, with notifications popping up from emails, texts, Instagram likes, Facebook messages, and phone calls. Tension and stress end up being a daily companion in the 21st century. If you’d like to find a natural way to help ease tension, increase awareness, and fine-tune your mental focus, Yoga may be a good option to explore.
Yoga Breathing Techniques Recommended for Stress Management
There are many breathing techniques in Yoga, many of which also are recommended for stress management. A few of them are:
- Controlled breathing
- Physical movement
- Mental imagery
The word ‘Yoga’ derives its name from the Sanskrit word meaning “to yoke”—or to bring together. Yoga does just that, yoking the mind, body, and spirit together. In the first Yoga Sutra Patanjali writes “Yogas chitti vritti nirodhah.” Translated from Sanskrit to English, it means “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” These fluctuations can be stressors that cause stress. Whether you practice Yoga for spiritual enlightenment or for stress management and physical well-being, the benefits are numerous.
Meditation is considered one of several kinds of complementary and integrative wellness approaches. Through learning more about how our brains work, how to observe thoughts rather than to be involved with them, and to explore the vrittis (the circular thoughts that distract us), you may find skills that help you better manage stress and stressful situations in your life. Meditation may help you understand to become mindful and conscious of the present moment with no judgment.
Hatha Yoga might be a fantastic pick for stress and anxiety management. Hatha is one of the most popular types of Yoga, presenting an opportunity for a moving meditation. For those with a preference for rigidity and predictability, ashtanga Yoga may be right for you. Ashtanga Yoga is another type of Yoga, set in series and routine. Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous practice and can be wonderful for stress and addiction management, due to the spiritual and structured nature of the practice. Lotus Yoga and Wellness offers classes ranging from seated meditation, moving meditation, to ashtanga to best suit each practitioner’s needs. We previously wrote a blog about Yoga for Beginners here.
Yoga is a physical practice and subsequently, there are many benefits to the body as well. A few physical benefits are:
- Reduced cortisol levels
- Allergy and asthma symptom relief
- Increased quality of sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower heart rate
- Reduced muscle tension
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Reduction of muscle tissue degeneration occurring from age
Other Benefits of Yoga
Practicing Yoga can also result in improved balance, flexibility, range of movement and strength. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic ailments, like heart disease and high blood pressure. In addition, Yoga can help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia (sleeplessness).
While Yoga is generally considered safe for most healthy individuals when practiced under the guidance of a certified teacher, there may be a time where a physical Yoga practice is not advisable. Please talk to your medical care provider before starting Yoga if you experience any of the following circumstances or conditions:
- A herniated disk
- A risk of blood clots
- Eye conditions, such as hepatitis
- Pregnancy — though Yoga Is usually safe for pregnant women, certain poses are not optimal for health
- Severe balance issues
- Severe osteoporosis
- Uncontrolled blood pressure
Modification of Yoga Poses If Needed
You could have the ability to practice Yoga in these types of situations should you take certain measures, like avoiding certain moves or poses or finding a modification for them. If your physician approves a Yoga practice, tell your Yoga teacher before class. They may offer modification options tailored specifically for you that they wouldn’t have known to offer otherwise. If you develop symptoms, such as pain, or have issues, see your physician to ensure that you’re getting benefit, not harm out of Yoga.