Life is stressful!
The key is to keep stress manageable – the happier you are, the more you laugh, the longer you will live.
When life is stressful re-discover tools to take ownership of your health – learn how to relax, how to breathe correctly, to de-stress your body and mind.
Figure out what makes you shine, what lights up your life and what makes you totally and utterly happy.
Stress affects us on a physical, emotional and mental level.
Yoga is a peaceful way to assist with letting go of your stresses and worries of the day.
In Sanskrit, the word yoga means joining or uniting. Essentially, Yoga is uniting body, mind and soul.
Yoga is a state of consciousness, stability, balance and peace. It is about going internally – learning and listening to your body and its subtle messages and about bringing balance not only when you are on your mat but in your daily life as well.
For me, Yoga has helped tremendously with coping with stress and unthinkable situations.
Here is how Yoga can help you in your everyday life…
By having a regular yoga practice, you:
- Are calmer when under challenging circumstances.
- Respond to situations rather than react to them.
- Are more accepting of others and yourself.
- Know that even though you may be going through a tough time – if you relax, calm down and take a few deep breaths, solutions will come.
All in all, you will feel a lighter, happier & gentler person because of your yoga.
4 Yoga Lifestyle tips to help you deal with stress:
1) Remember to breathe
Most people don’t breathe properly.
We don’t use our full lung capacity, which, in Yogic terms, means that we are not fully allowing Prana and Lifeforce into our body.
Think about it… when you feel stressed what happens to your breathing?
You are probably not breathing, right?
On a physical level, a simple way to breathe is by using complete Yogic breathing.
How to take a deep yogic breathes:
- Breathing in slowly, expanding your belly,
- then breathe into your ribcage,
- finally, breathe into your upper portion of the lungs.
- To complete the breath, breathe out in the same manner – tummy, ribs, chest.
By using full diaphragmatic breathing, you can overcome tension, fatigue, and even depression.
It improves posture, tension in the neck and shoulders and is very de-stressing for your body.
Research has shown that a regular practice of deep breathing techniques proves an effective improvement in mood and stress – test results show lower heart rate and cortisol levels as well as an increase in positive thinking and attitude.
2) Learn to relax
Modern day life is stressful.
Our social life, work, food and even ‘entertainment’ puts more stress on our body and minds.
Most people don’t know how to relax correctly or don’t make the time to do it, and many have forgotten that rest is Nature’s way of recharging.
Even while ‘trying’ to rest, you waste a lot of the body’s physical and mental energy through tension.
Yoga helps stress by prescribing a period of complete relaxation when practically no energy or Prana is being consumed.
This complete relaxation is called Savasana or Corpse Pose.
When in Savasana you are completely relaxing your whole body, you send a message to the mind to bring relaxation to tired muscles.
By using this auto-suggestion and focusing on each body part, you are consciously allowing the body to rest and relax.
By focusing on relaxing each body part, you are not only bringing relaxation to the body but also focusing the mind as well.
In Savasana, the point is to let go of thoughts and a busy mind by focusing on your body and also concentrate on your breath. Only when your mind is relaxed can you get the benefits from complete relaxation.
Tip: Start the relaxation technique by lying on your back in Savasana – arms slightly away from your body, palms facing up and legs slightly apart. Begin at your toes and consciously ‘tell’ your toes to relax. Then move up your body towards your head… telling each body part to rest along the way. By the time you reach the top of your head you will feel your whole body melt and ease into the process… or have fallen asleep along the way, which is also ok:)
3) Stress-free Yoga Postures
In Yoga, the physical postures are called Asanas, which means steady, easy pose.
This is because in traditional Yoga postures are held for some time.
Yoga Asanas are practised slowly reducing lactic acid build-up, fatigue, violent movements and stress on the organs and body.
During Yoga Asana practice the focus is not only on strengthening muscle and fitness like it is with many other types of physical exercise but also increasing health for your whole system.
Optimum health is achieved whereby all the organs are functioning correctly; the endocrine system is stimulated so hormones are kept balanced, and you create strength and flexibility of the spine, therefore, increasing circulation to the nervous system.
Yoga regards your body as a vessel that houses your Soul, and so the Yoga Asanas are designed to develop not only the body; they also broaden the mental and spiritual capacities as well.
4) Moving meditation
Meditation is fast becoming one of the ‘trends’ to cope in our busy day-to-day lives.
Making time for 20min of meditation twice a day certainly reduces your stress and helps with coping with what Life throws at you. However, if you feel it is impossible to carve that amount of time out of your day, get onto your yoga mat every day and you will be indirectly making time for meditation as well. Don’t forget that by doing yoga you are doing mindful and conscious movements which means you are doing a moving meditation.
Tip: Before you start your yoga session sit in silence for 5 minutes and focus on being in your body. Think of a positive intention that you would like to work with during the class. Perhaps you want to feel more at peace, or send some love to someone who needs it most. Sit with these positive and uplifting feelings in your body. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, but don’t get caught up in them. Let them go and then bring yourself back to your breath and positive intention. While you continue your yoga and flow into the postures, keep on bringing yourself back to your breath and positive intention.
A little bit of yoga every day is an excellent way to prevent stress. By introducing a regular yoga practice into your daily life, you will find more time to be calm and still and less time running around being frantically busy.
One hour of practice will give you one hour of exercise, one hour of deep breathing, relaxation and one hour of meditation – working on your body, mind and Soul.
Find the time to relax on your mat. Your body and mind will thank you for it!
Your Life Transformation Cheerleader