How yoga reduces stresses

You got to be living on some other planet if you have not come across the stress in your life. 

Even though a little bit of stress seems to pump you up and brings the best out of you, the inability to manage stress ends up being counterproductive. 

The prolonged stress overtime sucks the life out of you and badly affects your mental, physical and emotional health. 

The stress disrupts your sleep and digestion. It also ruins your relationships by affecting your libido, triggering mood swings, and setting off depression.

Fortunately, you can get yourself a yoga mat and embrace yoga in your life to manage your stress impeccably.

What is Yoga?

Yoga means union with your ultimate existential reality. Yoga is way beyond some physical postures. It is a way of living life to its full potential. 

It is about attaining the perfect harmony between your mind, body, and soul. Yoga brings about radical changes and liberates you from within. 

It’s a journey towards finding and experiencing the internal bliss.

Let’s explore the rejuvenating ways of reducing stress by imbibing yoga in our lives.

How Yoga Reduces Stress?

Yoga relaxes the body

Exercise has always been touted as the most effective way of reducing stress levels. 

You need to relax your physical body to reduce the stress levels and that relaxation comes through the workout. 

When you exercise, your body releases feel-good natural hormones called endorphins, which make you feel better.

Yoga comes with a plethora of asanas or postures which if practiced correctly exert an awesome soothing effect, reduce body tensions, and relax your body.

Yoga postures involve lots of stretching, forward and backward bending, or even inversions. These postures relieve your stress and exert a deep calming influence on your body.

Let’s discuss some common asanas meant for relieving stress.

Hatha yoga: The word “Hatha” refers to “Forceful” or “Wilful”.  

It is a well-defined set of physical exercises and a series of postures meant for aligning your muscles, bones, and skin. It comprises Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power yoga postures.

These yoga postures open up many energy channels inside your body including the spine channel for generating free and unobstructed flow of energy.

Some hatha yoga postures are slow-paced while others are fast. Some focus on breathing and stretching while others burn out your calories rapidly.

You can choose any yoga posture that suits your fitness level as every posture serves a specific purpose and no one posture stands above the rest.

Your stress gets stored in your hips and shoulders area. Stretching postures release the tension in these areas and provide immense pain relief.

Balasana: It refers to “Child’s Pose”. This yoga posture is designed for soothing your adrenal glands and generates feelings of absolute inner peace and calmness. 

Shavasana: It refers to resting and meditative posture when you are immersed in a state of total relaxation. It is practiced as a restorative asana at the end of the yoga session.

Overall, the yoga postures intend to bring about the transformation by opening up the blockages in the energy channels and relaxing your body.

Yoga relaxes the mind 

Our mind is a storehouse of infinite powers. We can only harness this power when it is relaxed and focused.

When we are stressed, our mind wanders frantically at breakneck speed from one thought to another like a monkey. Taming our mind feels like the most challenging task. 

Practicing yoga asana helps us in taming our mind. Many powerful meditative exercises slow down the pace of mind and keep it relaxed.

Meditation exercises practiced under yoga involve focusing on one’s breath. You learn to become aware of every breath inhaled and exhaled out of the body. 

As you focus on inhalations and exhalations, you begin to embrace the present moment and let go of worries and thoughts about the past and future. 

Your mind gets cleared and you begin to think clearly without being clouded by any stress. 

While practicing yoga postures or following sequences of exercises, you invariably practice breath awareness that helps you to calm your thoughts and focus your mind in the present moment.

The yoga postures bring about the radical transformation in your mental attitude from stress-causing incessant thinking to a stress-free relaxed internal state. 

Yoga causes effective breathing

Have you ever noticed your breath, when you are stressed out? 

Under tense situations, your breath gets fast, and irregular. The shallow breaths result in ineffective breathing that underutilizes the capacity of diaphragm and lungs. 

Yoga offers revitalizing and transformative breathing techniques known as Pranayama for reducing your anxiety and stress levels. 

Some effective pranayamas for treating stress include Kapalbhati (Forceful rapid exhalations), Brahmari (humming bee breath), Anulom-vilom (alternate breathing from nostrils), Bhastrika (Deep long breaths), etc. 

Each such pranayama allows you to breathe effectively and increases your lung capacity over time. 

With more oxygenated blood reaching your brain and other body parts, you will feel more energized and relaxed.

Taking deep long breaths is a very effective breathing exercise for conserving your energy and channelizing it for combating stressful situations.

Yoga connects the mind, body, and soul

Yoga meditative postures take you into deeper realms of your existence where you experience a mindful meditative trance-like state. In this state, your mind, body, and soul are all in perfect unison with each other. 

Practicing yoga connects your mind and body that results in perfect harmony between your body elements.

When you are under stress or anxiety attack, your body triggers several signals to counterattack the prevailing situations. However, yoga allows you to exercise control over your responses.

Being more mindful and connected, you can take appropriate measures to tackle the situation and stay stress-free even in the face of most dreadful circumstances.

Yoga assists in realizing our true potential

Each one of us has immense potential within ourselves that stays hidden for years, waiting to be tapped. 

As we perform yoga postures and engage in effective breathing techniques, we become aware of the powers of a focused mind. 

Slowly and gradually, we learn to master even the difficult postures and apply the same attitude in facing challenges in real life. 

By training our minds to focus on the present moment and apply all its power, we can realize even the distant dreams and achieve seemingly impossible deeds.

Thus, yoga expands our inner strength and develops effective mind patterns for reducing stress by tapping our true inner potential.

Yoga releases emotional energy

The stressful situations trigger many negative emotions such as fear, anger, and guilt. These emotions if remain unexpressed lead to the buildup of immense stress and pressure.

Quite often, we invariably release our emotional pressures by shouting at our kids or partner; or scolding our colleagues. These emotional pressures are stored as tensions in our hips and shoulders.

Yoga postures allow us to release the negative emotional tensions stored in our hips and shoulders. That way yoga gives vent to our negative emotions, releases them, and keeps us relaxed.

Conclusion

Yoga has been the greatest stress buster since times immemorial. The ancient Indian Vedic literature has ample references to Yoga as an integral part of people’s lives.

Yoga teaches robust stress-reducing techniques including physical postures to breathing exercises. It allows you to clear your mind of all negative thoughts and relaxes your body even in the face of stressful situations.

Embrace yoga as an essential part of your daily routine. Experience its numerous benefits for living a stress-free and fulfilling life.

Aniket More
 

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