By practising yoga every day, you can start to feel relaxed, at ease and relieved from all that has been running in your mind. Although, you do need to be patient with the process, and with yourself, as the journey to calming the mind may take some time. Yoga can help you ease away from the stressors in your life.Yoga helps to connect the breath to your body movements. The breath is always with you, to help you in times of stressful situations. As we practise yoga, we become more aware of our breath and how the body is feeling.
Yoga helps us to ignite our parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that relaxes and calms the body and mind. A lot of the time, these days, people are living in automatic pilot, which means that they are unaware of what they are doing, how they are feeling or how they may be being consumed by their own thoughts. By being more aware, we can feel when the body is getting stressed. We may then realise that it was from a thought we were having or a situation we were imagining, so not our actual reality. Therefore, your sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze) may have been sending unnecessary signals, which would cause stress in the body and the mind.
Easy way of coping with your daily life stress
You can also incorporate mini-bits of yoga into your daily life to help you manage stressful moments. Here are some ideas:
- Before a test. Do easy neck and shoulder rolls right at your desk to relieve tense muscles in your neck, shoulders, and back. Also try squeezing and relaxing your fingers and hands. These exercises can take as little as 30 seconds, and can be repeated as often as you need!
- While work/studying. Try a few simple yoga moves to help relax any areas that may have become tense while work/studying. Neck and shoulder rolls can release tension in your back and shoulders. Forward folds and twists will relieve lower back strain. Give your face a mini-massage to help loosen up a tense jaw. Balancing poses, like tree pose, can help focus your energy so you can concentrate on what you need to do!
- Before bed. Do a few yoga stretches before bed to help you relax — especially if you have a lot on your mind. Poses where you fold forward, like child’s pose, tend to be calming. They allow you to tune out the rest of the world and feel quiet and peaceful. Stay in a forward fold for 3 or 4 full, slowing breaths, and allow your body and mind to relax.
Benefits of Yoga for Stress Management
1. Union of mind, body, and soul:A combination of breathing exercises and asana unites the mind, body, and soul. Imbalance of these three gives birth to health issues and unwanted mental stress. Health experts and yogis have confirmed that yoga has relieved people from stress to a great extent.
2. Improved sleep:Some forms of exercises in yoga help you sleep peacefully. Most people complain of the inability to sleep properly due to various issues troubling them in and out in their life. People bring more focus in life with regular yoga practice.
3. Increased energy:Breathing exercises are extremely important in yoga for stress management. The slow breath patterns along with inhaling and exhaling techniques bring more positive energy to your body. Scientifically, it helps the oxygen to pass through your organs by making you feel relaxed.
4. Increased concentration:Yoga asanas relax your body by overcoming stress. We all must have noticed forgetfulness when we are worried about something that’s disturbing us. It leads to a confused state of mind. Yoga brings an improved concentration to deal with situations with a calm mind.
5. Experience deep Relaxation:Meditation is an important factor in yoga for stress management. One of the essential things expected during stress management is the ease of mind. Yoga with meditation balances those alpha waves that are needed to relax your mind. While you do the breathing exercises, your heart rate tends to become normal and blood pressure normalizes.
6. Boost in Confidence:Stress often breaks us and tears us apart from taking decisions in life with confidence. We start feeling confused and indecisive in everything and seek others’ support. Yoga for stress management is the best alternative for bringing back inner confidence.
Stress-Relief Techniques Involved in Yoga
- Controlled breathing
- Physical movement
- Mental imagery
Effects on the Body
The following is only a partial list of yoga’s benefits:
Reduced stress and anxiety, Sound sleep, Reduced cortisol levels, Improvement of many medical conditions, Allergy and asthma symptom relief, Lower blood pressure, Smoking cessation help, Lower heart rate, Spiritual growth, Sense of well-being, Reduced muscle tension, Increased strength and flexibility, Slowed aging process.
Many studies have found that a little yoga in the morning, at night, or even on a lunch break, can minimize stress and increase productivity. It is believed that yoga is so effective for stress relief because, aside from the physical benefits that yoga brings, it encourages a good mood, an increase in mindfulness, and a healthy dose of self-compassion.