Beating Stress with Yoga

Stress is everywhere. Stress is part and parcel of our daily life. But what is stress?
Webster define stress as mental or physical tension or strain. Pressure, urgency causing one to feel exhausted, depressed, tense or disappointed.

Everyone knows stress in the negative aspect, however, there are 2 type of stress. The good and the bad. Eustress and Distress. Eustress is beneficial stress or “good stress”, a positive form with a positive effect on us in terms of strength, growth, motivation and emotional well-being. Distress on the other hand has a negative effect on us involving overload, weakness and vulnerability. And the commonly talked about one on a daily basis.

Stress isn’t something we can avoid. Prolonged stress can take its toll on our physical body; emotionally straining and mentally disturbed. To beat stress Awareness is 90% of the solution.

Yoga has been gaining popularity over the years. To some people, Yoga is just a physical practice. Following the latest trend to keep fit. But this is not the truth.

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines asana (yoga)poses, pranayama (controlled breathing), and meditation or relaxation. It’s not just about sweating out to lose weight or exercising to keep fit. Yoga has shown to have a calming effect. It works to relieve tension and reduce stress both physically and mentally.

Asana such as Trikonsana (extended triangle pose), Balasana (child’s pose) and Savasana (corpse pose) are some yoga poses for stress relief. These poses helps to calm the mind and eases stress. Extended triangle pose is an excellent stress relieving pose and it stretches the full body and improve digestive system. Restorative and Yin yoga are also great styles for practicing the art of letting go of your stress.

Pranayama (Breathing) deeply and more effectively are another way to relieve stress. Pranayama techniques, particularly Brahmari (humming bee breath) and Nadi Shodhana (alternate nostril) are simple technique and instant option to de-stress. And it can be practised anywhere – at home or at work. The Brahmari resembles the typical humming sound of the bee. The humming sound vibration calms and soothes the nerves around the brain and forehead, thus having a natural calming effect. Nadi Shodhana in sankrit means channel or flow purification. This technique primarily aimed at purifying the mind and body. It calms and rejuvenate the nervous system, reduces stress, anxiety and fosters mental clarity.

Meditation is an incredible tool for relaxing and slowing down our mind. It helps to maintain the balance and connect our mind and body creating a greater sense of harmony and peace.

With proper and disciplined practice of Yoga, we can all manage our stress. By acknowledging stress and being aware of it is the first step to take before stress starts creeping into your life.

 

Patsy Kaye Ang, YTT200 Weekend Warrior – March 2018

Yoga for De-Stress:

Breathing(Pranayama):

In the practice of yoga, you will begin to better understand your breath and how it impacts your body, mind and spirit. We’ve all heard the phrase “cleansing breath,” but what does that mean? A cleansing breath is a deep breath that moves into the belly.

As we move our breath into the diaphragm and belly, we begin to experience all of the physical benefits of deep breath, as well as the emotional calming that occurs when we breathe deeply. If we are thinking about each inhale and exhale as we move through our practice, our mind quiets and we aren’t thinking about the things that are stressful.

Most Useful Breathing techniques:

  • Nadi Shodhana
  • Ujjai Breathing
  • Kapalbhaati

Stretching Yogasana :

Stretching is another immense benefit of yoga. As we move through the yoga postures, we stimulate our glands, organs, and brain. This will help bring the body back into balance in a natural way. When we stretch in yoga, we also listen to our bodies. If you feel tight or find yourself uncomfortable in a certain posture, it might be the place where you carry stress.

Some of the stretches that we incorporate in our practice may trigger a “fight or flight” response. Keeping the awareness on our breath allows us to work through those feelings and find the benefits of the stretch.

Yogasanas:

  • Ardha Chakrasana
  • Veerbhadrasana 1,2
  • Trikonasana
  • Prasarita Padottanasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Janu Shirshasana
  • Upvishtha Konasana

Balancing Yogasana :

Many yoga poses focus on balance. If we achieve balance in our practice, we might be able to take that balance into other parts of our lives. Balance is something that can’t be forced. Patience, breath, and practice are the biggest allies when practicing balancing poses.

Yogasanas:

  • Tree Pose
  • Tadasana
  • Natarajasana
  • Veerbhadrasana 3
  • Ardha Badha Padmottanasana
  • Uthita Hasta Padangushthasana

Sunita,

200Hr YTTC August 2017