How Yoga Can Help You Manage Stress ….
Stress can make a huge impact on your life and it can come from all different aspects of life: work, money, relationships or some life changes just to name a few. And with so much to think about, it is normal to feel stressed.
There are many ways to help yourself reduce, manage or even eliminate stress and Yoga is one of them! Increasingly Doctors, Psychologists and Wellness professionals recommend yoga and meditation as a great way to fight stress. Certainly at Yoga Everyday, we see people come into the studio looking and feeling tired and stressed and an hour later, emerge a different relaxed person. And science says there’s a physiological explanation for this and that is that Yoga can reduce your levels of cortisol which is the so-called stress hormone which rages through our bodies. And for those of us who are in stressful situations for a long period of time, this feeling of stress, the amount of cortisol hormone in our bodies, can start to feel normal, which in fact it doesn’t need to be.
Yoga reduces stress because it promotes relaxation through uniting the body and the breath. By focusing the mind on the breath, in particular slowing down the breath and focusing on the exhale, this relaxes the nervous system. Your breath and concentration is the key to yoga and stress. The intense requirement to concentrate, on both your physical positions and on your breath, means that you clear your mind of all the chatter and thoughts, again helping you reduce your stress by simply forgetting about or parking all those thoughts and issues for a short time. We often joke at Yoga Everyday that the great thing about Yoga is that you have to concentrate or you fall over, and somehow through that requirement, you clear your mind of all the ‘stuff’ and hence that feeling of calm and clarity washes over you.
Since Yoga has so many styles and forms you may ask which ones are good for stress management? Our answer is all of them. Power Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga are great for concentration and co-ordination and clearing the mind (and building a sweat). Yin Yoga (deep stretching yoga) is great as those big stretches encourage those big muscles to release and requires intense focus on the breath to hold and sustain those stretches for a long period of time (3-5 minutes). So if you feel stressed, and aren’t sure which one to come to, just come along to any, or worst case, pick the one that seems the easiest or where you feel the most comfortable and just get in the room and on your mat. The rest will do itself, you’ll start to breath, move and the relaxation and stress reduction will definitely follow.
The last thing to remember is that in Yoga, you don’t HAVE to do anything, well except for just breathe. You don’t have to do all the poses, you don’t have to you do the advanced level, you don’t have to do anything, other than breathe. Through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. Big long breaths. You can just stand there all class, or lay there in savasana (resting corpse pose) or childs pose, and just breathe, and you’ll still be doing yoga.
Come along and do some Yoga at Yoga Everyday. We are a new studio who are determined to make yoga accessible and comfortable for everyone. We have a wide range of people who come to our studio from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels, for all sorts of reasons, from fitness to stress to chilling out to socialising. We offer Beginners Classes, Vinyasa Yoga Flow, Power Yoga and Yin (Stretch) Yoga, so come along and check out a few classes and see if it’s right for you. We’ll welcome you with a big smile and introduce you to new friends.