Yoga and the Stress Cycle

Yoga and the stress cycleBy Faye Martins

What is the relationship between Yoga and the stress cycle? For many of us, Yoga is the perfect remedy, but what makes it so effective? One point often over looked is stress operates in a cycle. In order to prevent it from escalating, we need to recognize our triggers and reactions in their early stages. Doing so requires self-awareness and skill. Significantly, Yoga increases our awareness, but it also helps us to control our physical and emotional reactions. Indeed, everybody struggles with stress these days.

 

The Good and Bad of Stress

The first thing to remember is that not all stress is bad. Imagine you’re on a rollercoaster at an amusement park. You feel out of control as the ride twists and turns through the air, but you know you’ll arrive safely at the bottom in just a few minutes. The excitement you feel results from the hormones that surge through your body, when it thinks it is in danger. That’s what makes the ride exciting. When you’re back on your feet, your body gradually returns to normal.

 

More About Bad Stress

Frequently, good stress helps keep us on our toes, but our sedentary, hectic lifestyles barrage us with a constant stream of events that activate our adrenaline glands and never go away. As a result, we get stuck in “fight or flight” mode and think it’s a normal part of our daily lives.

 

The Stress Cycle

The cycle goes something like this: Something annoys us or triggers a reaction. Often, these are situations we can’t control. In the event that our plane runs late, a kid gets sick at the last minute, or an irate driver tailgates us on the freeway; we start to react. Since we cannot accept circumstances beyond our control, tension begins to rise.

 

The Involuntary Nervous System

Our mind gets the message that something is wrong, and our involuntary nervous system responds to the perceived threat. Adrenaline and cortisol flood our bodies, causing us to breath erratically, tense our muscles, and stiffen our spines. Additionally, our blood vessels constrict, our blood pressure rises, and our heart beats faster.

 

Chronic Stress

Furthermore, when the body stays in permanent overdrive, health declines. When we don’t feel well so we don’t take good care of ourselves. That said, toxins build up in our lymph system, our organs get sluggish, and muscles develop knots and trigger points.

 

Results of Being Swamped

As a result, we become less active, and our performance level deteriorates. Similarly, we react with pain, anxiety, and depression, and the cycle reinforces itself. Eventually, we end up in a doctor’s office getting medications that target symptoms, but might cause side effects.

 

The Need for Yoga

With this in mind, that’s why we need Yoga. Our practice teaches us to tune into our thoughts and our actions, making us aware of the things that trigger us and the steps we need to take. At the same time, Yoga also floods the body with “feel-good” hormones, making us healthier, happier, and more active. Most of all, Yoga poses, meditation, and breathing techniques reset our endocrine systems and put a halt to the physical and chemical stress cycle.

 

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Do you want to become a mindfulness meditation teacher?

To see our selection of Yoga instructor courses and continuing education courses, please visit the following link.

https://aurawellnesscenter.com/store/

Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources

The YOGA MIND:

52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz

RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE:

A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman

YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH

by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

See our teacher community and our selection of online yoga teacher certification intensive programs.

3 thoughts on “Yoga and the Stress Cycle”

  1. Thank you for sharing this information about Yoga for dealing with stress. In fact, stress sometimes is the cause of not feeling well. Sometimes, we get sick due to our emotional feelings. With Yoga practice, we have tools to help us with overwhelming emotions that also cause stress.

Leave a Comment

Your Cart