Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yoga for Stress Reduction

A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handled stress exceptionally well." ~Unknown

Are you constantly overworked, checking text messages and e-mails, always connected to work? Do you take care of your kids and spend all day giving and not taking care of you? Is it difficult to find time to relax with friends or family? Do you wish for a simpler life, more time with family and more time for you? Constant overwork and lack of rest can affect your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Maybe you’ve heard that yoga is good for you. Maybe you’ve even tried yoga in a class or on a video and it helped you feel good. There are specific health and stress reducing benefits that you can expect from practicing yoga regularly.

Yoga is a natural way to deal with stress. Yoga asana (poses), pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation effect mind, body and spirit.
Beyond the physical benefits of stretching and strengthening the body, yoga poses can help reduce stress. Yoga asana help stimulate and energize the body. The poses work on the energy centers of the body, also known as the chakras. As energy is released, it flows easily and readily through the body; so you have more energy and vitality to cope with demanding tasks. That means more energy to face stressful times and more energy to enjoy life.

Yogic breathing exercises (pranayama) help calm the nervous system and increase oxygen levels and blood supply to the internal organs, all of which lead to a deeper sense of calm, inner peace and balance. Learning how to breathe correctly is a skill you can use anytime during the day when you feel overwhelmed, anxious or stressed. It is something you can do at home, work or even while sitting in traffic. Next time you find yourself in a stressful situation take a deep full breath in through the nose and out through the nose. Repeat this for 5 breathes keeping your attention on the breath and nothing else. Chances are the angry thought, stressful moment, fear or worry will have passed during those five breaths.

To understand more about stress, some facts and myths check out the article in Counseling Corner by Michelle Herrigel licensed psychologist titled Stressed Out; Some Myths and Facts about Stress

Stress is part of our life. Today, if you feel stressed, take a deep breath and remember: the way you handle it shapes both today and tomorrow.

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