Stress Reduction

Stress does not exist in the present moment.

Think about that for a moment.

We spend most of our time rehearsing the future and reliving and reflecting on the past. Both of which contribute to stress. But present moment, the depression and anxiety of our thinking can be set aside.

That is what we aim for in yoga.

Stress reduction.

You already do your best to manage your stress. You’ve got stress management down like the back of your hand. Your mobile phone is ringing. Business feels like it’s on the edge. Your boss wants to talk to you. Your partner wants to know what’s for dinner, and you can’t find time to go to the store. And you’re tired. Stress and anxiety are chronic, even when you’re at your best in management.  So yoga, helps to reduce stress.

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And anyone can do it.

Yoga — a mind-body practice — is considered one of many types of complementary and integrative health approaches. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

 Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. I practice Hatha yoga with my students, based in alignment principles. I have been influenced by my Anusara and Iyengar teachers, and believe yoga is good for stress management when it does not cause undue stress on the body. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The core components of Hatha yoga are:

Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits.

Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.

Meditation or relaxation. In yoga, you may incorporate meditation or relaxation. Meditation may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment.

The health benefits of yoga

 Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Improved fitness. Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.
Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga might also help alleviate chronic conditions, such as depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia.
If you’d like to give stress reduction a try, then sign up for a class.