Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga is a 5000-year-old eastern practice. Its methodology involves meditation, breathing control, physical postures and ethical disciplines. Yoga is slightly similar to an aerobic exercise which includes relaxation in different postures. The following article gives you a detailed description on yoga for stress management.
Yoga helps the body to relax as well as to energize it. Yoga has become a popular fitness practice in western countries also. Yoga for stress certainly helps the body to get rid of inbuilt stress levels. Many stress reduction techniques related to yoga include:
- Controlled breathing movements
- Physical movements
- Psychological imagination
Benefits of Yoga for Stress Management:
- Tremendous reduction in your stress levels
- Improved medical condition
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduction in anxiety
- Improved muscle strength and flexibility
- Sound sleep
- Reduces the aging process
- Relief from asthma and allergy symptoms
- Helps in quitting smoking
- Spiritual enhancement
- In comparison to various other stress management programs yoga is the most beneficial practice. It not only reduces stress but improves your overall body condition as well as gives a feeling of spiritual up-gradation.
Drawbacks of yoga
- You need to be more committed and dedicated towards yoga.
- Individuals with physical limitations cannot practice yoga. For them, the techniques are restricted to meditation, breathing exercises and guided imagination.
- You may feel self-conscious while performing some postures.
- Yoga classes are sometimes expensive although you can also learn from a video or a book.
But, it is always advisable to do yoga under the guidance of a trained teacher.
Yoga for Stress Relief
Stress has become an unavoidable aspect of today’s hectic life. Factors like work deadlines, gridlocked traffic, pollution etc cause extreme stress every day. Therefore, it is essential for us to learn effective methods that combat stress and promote relaxation of mind and body. Yoga for stress management is ideal because this ancient Indian art relieves tension and anxiety, and gives peace of mind. In fact, even the US army soldiers have to taken to yoga to combat the extreme stress caused by their duty in taxing conditions.
Effects of Long-term Stress
Our bodies and minds are not equipped to handle long-term stress. This condition can give you depression, anxiety, ulcers, asthma, skin problems, sleeplessness, heart diseases, hypertension etc. Stress can also weaken your bone and muscle structure.
Yoga for Stress Management
Yoga is not just about practicing poses for physical exercise. It is also a way of life which involves right thinking, right actions and eating healthy food. Start with a few basic poses and then move onto pranayama breathing for a few minutes. If you are a beginner, do the poses gently and do not strain yourself. Yoga combats stress in the following ways:
Yoga Releases Stress
A tense and stressed body is in knots, which especially affects the back and neck muscles. A stressed body is incapable of eliminating toxins, and the free flow of nutrients and oxygen is also affected. This state leads to depression and anxiety. Yoga poses lengthen the muscles, relax the mind and body and get rid of toxins like stress hormones. Yoga practice releases endorphins which induce feel-good emotions. Research reveals that yoga practice reduces the secretion of stress hormones.
Pranayama Relieves Stress
A stressed person breathes in a shallow manner. Pranayama breathing promotes deep breaths that fill the body with oxygen, which therefore stimulate blood circulation. This helps to relieve both mental and physical stress. Pranayama, thus practicing for 10 – 15 minutes a day makes you relaxed and stress-free.
Yoga Increases Awareness
Yoga practice increases your awareness and body-mind balance. You become more aware of tension in your body and mind. As you perform the poses and breathing techniques, you can actually feel the tension evaporating from your mind and body. Through yoga for stress, you can gain mastery over your mind and body. Yoga makes you aware of the connection between your body, mind and spirit. It helps you maintain balance and do everyday tasks with relaxation and enthusiasm, which will prevent stress accumulation in the first place.
Yogic Diet for Stress Relief
Diet routine cam include –
- No fast food
- If possible only vegetarian food (preferably organic)
- If meat has to be added, then no deep fries (steam cooked meat is preferred)
- Never drink alcohol (of any concentration)
Yoga Poses for Stress Management
- Makarasana – Crocodile Pose
- Shavasana – Corpse Pose
- Balasana – Child Pose
- Vrikshasana – Tree Pose
- Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
The above basic poses can relieve stress and hypertension, and promote relaxation of mind and body.