The benefits of yoga on stress can help to reduce the impact of stress on a person and there are many discussion topics about yoga and stress relief. The yogic science believes that practicing yoga asanas and pranayama (yoga breathe) strengthens the nervous system. This helps people face stressful and challenging situations with a positive outlook and a solution-focused approach. With these in mind, let’s take a look at yoga and stress relief and various ways in which we can benefit from the practice of yoga as a stress reliever.
Stress factors or stressors can be identified from external factors in our day to day lives. Examples of these are the advances which have been made in science and technology. On one hand, these advances are things to be proud of but it is also important to note that the advances we are proud of have triggered feelings of competitiveness and even envy.
Many people are experiencing the impact of environmental pollution, financial tension emotional upheavals, and an overwhelming sense of being overtaken by the speed of scientific and technological advancement.
Probably in an attempt to make life easier, instead, all of this has increased the stress of daily life.
These factors strain the body which causes a nervous tension and adversely affects the mind. This can result in a person being taken over with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
People acknowledge there is stress manifesting in their lives and to deal with it they turn to artificial solutions to be able to cope with the pressure. Some examples of artificial solutions used to respond to the stress factors are where people resort to substance abuse, develop eating disorders, and engage in destructive relationships. Those are some of the substitutes people use in an attempt to find relief from the stress manifesting in their lives.
These artificial solutions may give a temporary distraction, they are not a permanent solution because the root cause of unhappiness, that is stress, is unresolved.
Yoga And Stress
When stressors are identified in your daily life, establishing a balanced lifestyle, eating nutritious food, doing the right exercise, and getting the proper amount of sleep is important. Meditation, having a social life, and pampering yourself or ‘me time’ is great too. I adopt all of the above mentioned and other activities, but I also do yoga practice.
I have discovered that yoga is not a miracle cure that can free you from all stress. Does yoga help stress? It has been shown that yoga can help manage stress and reduce it. This is through the various asanas (poses) and breathe.
With stress comes worrying. The worries of modern life such as finance, debt, work, health, family, and personal issues deplete our reserves of bio-energy because we are drawing on our vital energy from the storehouse – our nerve cells. This can have the effect of exhausting our energy reserves and lead to a collapse or unbalance of the physical and mental equilibrium.
It is thought in yogic science that the nerves control the unconscious mind. The importance of this is that when the nervous system is strong, a person who goes through stressful challenges or situations faces them more positively and constructively.
Asanas improve the flow of blood to all of the cells in the body which helps to revitalize the nerve cells. This flow of blood to the cells strengthens the nervous system and increases its capacity and the ability for enduring stress.
Why does Yoga Relieve Stress
So, why does yoga relieve stress? According to yogic science, the diaphragm is the seat of the intelligence of the heart and it is also the window of the soul. During stressful situations or challenging environments, when you inhale and exhale, the diaphragm becomes too taught or too tight to change its shape and this affects your natural breathing mechanism.
When you breathe in this way, the diaphragm is not relaxed as it should be and this prevents the free flow of oxygen through your body.
Yoga exercises, asanas, and breaths help address this problem by creating elasticity in the diaphragm so that when it is stretched through correct breathing, it can handle any amount of stress. Whether the stress relates to emotional, intellectual, or physical situations, the elasticity of the diaphragm experienced during yoga workouts will help relieve this.
The yoga poses for stress relief include the childs pose, the bridge pose, standing forward bend, eagle pose, downward dog, and the cat pose. There are some asanas not mentioned, but these will be discussed in detail in a future article so stay tuned.
Some More Benefits Of Yoga As A Stress Reliever
Research shows that practicing yoga asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath) helps to integrate the body, breath, intellect, and the mind. Breathing a slow, effortless exhalation during your practice of an asana brings serenity to the cells, it relaxes the facial muscles and releases tension from the organs used to perceive, namely the eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and skin.
When this relaxation happens, the brain, which is in constant communication with the organs of action, becomes void and all of the thoughts become still. All of the busy, distracting thoughts dissipate and the focus is improved, even enhanced in some people. Invading thoughts of anxiety and fear cannot penetrate the brain and it is plausible to say these kinds of thoughts are blocked from distracting the brain.
Learning the yoga breathing technique and practicing the asanas will help you develop this ability to experience this state of relaxation. When you develop this ability, you don’t dissipate your valuable bio-energy mentioned at the beginning of this topic. Instead, you begin to carry out your daily activities with efficiency and economy, conserving your bio-energy without even realizing, because you have mastered the art of correct breathing, exhaling, and inhaling. Even when you are not practicing yoga asanas.
You move into a place of true intellectual clarity.
Your mind becomes free of stress and it is filled with a sense of calm, joy, focus, and tranquillity as you live your life daily.
To gain the benefits of yoga as a stress reliever discussed above, it is important to note that yoga needs to be practiced regularly. Yoga for health and life can be done at any age. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can help you focus and face the turmoil and stress of life with steadiness, stability, and calm.
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