By Dr Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Are Yoga techniques for stress effective? The short answer is yes, and here’s why. In this stimulating age of never-ending to-do lists, smartphones vibrating with constant notifications, and constant reminders of ever-evolving business and relationship demands, who among us is not stressed? Who has time to get groceries after work, creatively work around the kids’ schedules, and juggle project priorities with other tasks at work without feeling anxious and tense? Yoga was designed to slow you down and put you in touch with your inner self, which makes it the perfect mind and body health maintenance system for relieving stress rather than creating it.
Which Type of Yoga is Best for Stress Relief?
There are many types of Yoga techniques for stress, each offering different benefits. If you’re looking for a yoga practice that can help with stress relief, choosing one specifically designed for that purpose is important. Hatha Yoga is a good option for many practitioners, as it’s often a gentle form of Yoga. Vinyasa Yoga is another good choice, as it involves flowing movements and can be quite active. If you’re looking for a more relaxing form of Yoga, Yin Yoga may be a good option, as it focuses on slow, passive movements.
Which Yoga Techniques are Best for Emotional Release?
There are many Yoga techniques for stress that can help cope with emotions. One technique is to focus on your breath and ensure that you breathe deeply and slowly. This will help to calm your nervous system. Another technique is to practice visualization, which can help to refocus your thoughts and provide a sense of peace. You can also use affirmations to help change negative thinking patterns. Repeating positive statements can help increase feelings of self-worth and calmness.
Where is Anger Stored in the Body?
There are a few different schools of thought on where anger is stored in the body. Some say it is held in the solar plexus, while others believe it is stored in the heart. Yoga techniques for stress and anger focus on releasing these emotions from the body. One way to do this is through breathwork. Taking deep, slow breaths helps to calm the nervous system and release tension from the body. Another technique is to focus on lengthening the spine. This helps to open up the chest and release any pent-up emotions.
Anger is often thought of as a hot emotion, but it can be stored in the body in several ways. For example, you may notice that your shoulders feel tense when you’re angry. This is because the muscles in your shoulders tighten when you’re feeling stressed. You may also notice that your heart rate increases when you’re angry. This is because your body eases up as it prepares to fight or flee the situation.
We all know the feeling of being so stressed out that we could explode. What do we actually do with all that stress? Some people might internalize it and end up getting ulcers or experiencing other health problems. Others might lash out and end up getting into arguments or fights. Neither of these options is particularly healthy or helpful in the long run. Yoga techniques for stress are a great way to release tension in the body and calm the mind.
Trauma can manifest in the body as stress and tension. It can be difficult to release this trauma, but yoga can help. Many yoga techniques can help to release stress and tension from the body. One technique is to focus on your breath. Breathwork can help to calm the nervous system and allow you to focus on the present moment. Another technique is to use props, such as blankets or bolsters, to support the body in certain poses. This allows the body to relax deeply into the pose and releases any held tension.
Yoga’s focus on breathing, especially deep abdominal breathing techniques, is a well-known way to reduce stress levels. Modern science has established that taking short and shallow breaths, which is how the average person breathes throughout the day, can lead to depleted carbon dioxide levels in the body and cause mental agitation. Many people do not realize that lower carbon dioxide levels can cause less oxygenation of tissue because carbon dioxide is a major factor in transporting oxygen from the blood to the brain and the entire body. This is why strong emotions like anger or fear, which lead to rapid breathing, often create a more frenzied level of thinking and an inability to focus.
Yoga teaches practitioners to breathe deeply, using techniques to maximize oxygen flow into the lungs. This has a calming effect on the brain, slowing its information processing and avoiding an overload of the senses. The more a Yoga student practices, the better he or she will be at deep breathing techniques that lead to a relaxed state of the body.
Although some schools of Yoga in the west emphasize physical practice, many forms of Yoga exercise the mind and body. Meditation is a concentrated effort to slow the mind and body down by practicing mantras, Japa, mindfulness, or deep breathing to center one’s ability to focus while blocking audio or visual input. Much like abdominal breathing, meditation has a relaxing effect on a person’s mind and body.
Yoga Pose Series
A typical Hatha Yoga session begins with a centering designed to collect one’s thoughts, followed by a pose (asana) series designed to warm up the body’s muscles and joints. Sun or Moon Salutations may be taught at the beginning of asana practice. These are usually a little more fast-paced and strenuous than the poses that come at the end of a Yoga class, which are aimed at slowing the body down to enable Yoga practitioners to access a more relaxed state of mind and body. Poses like Shavasana (Corpse Pose) should enable practitioners to rest active minds and bodies while Yoga practitioners shed the causes of physical and emotional stress. As a result, Yoga is a practice that can help ease stress overload and improve mental health.
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