By Lindsay M. Hernandez
Are you overworked and mentally stressed from life’s constant demands? Yoga can help alleviate stress. Yoga is growing fast. You will find yoga in gyms and wellness programs, and yoga studios are becoming more common. Adding yoga to your life can help you relieve stress and give you better balance and strength. It’s convenient to do, too—you can even begin and maintain your yoga practice in your home.
Find A Style That Speaks to You
Do you seldom find time to escape the daily noise of life?
Try a relaxing Restorative Yoga class where you can experience relief from physical and mental stress.
Does your body feel tight?
Find relief and ease muscular tension through a deep stretch yoga class (Yin).
Do you need an energy boost or are you looking for something more active?
Learn to link your breath with movement, so you can experience a full-body workout (Vinyasa class).
Do you prefer structure, with an emphasis on yoga fundamentals?
Ashtanga yoga may be more up your alley. It is a traditional, active sequence with ancient yoga lineage and philosophy.
Evaluate your needs and goals…and listen to your body.
Talk to your yoga teacher, and don’t hesitate to ask questions
Are you recovering from an injury or are you particularly sore in one area? Tell your teacher and he or she can suggest a modification or alternate yoga pose. Having an open dialogue with your teacher helps you learn more about the ways yoga can help you.
Yoga is about improving your mind and body, not about “being a rubber band”
Breath is the key component of yoga, not getting into difficult postures. Many sports teams incorporate yoga, allowing them to:
- Focus on strengthening joints to minimize the potential for injury—giving athletes more longevity;
- Incorporate additional challenges to overcome—translating into mental toughness;
- Improve understanding of how the mind and body work together—allowing them to be conscious of how to maximize physical efforts.
Practice at your own pace and you can overcome any fears in yoga
It’s normal to be reluctant with any new experience. Fittingly, yoga helps you develop a mindset of facing challenges head-on. In my first yoga class, my teacher encouraged me to focus on observing rather than attempting all the poses, and that served me well. I now share this advice with all new students. Initially, I was about as graceful as a bulldozer, but I maintained my practice because I became aware of the physical and mental improvements, the latter of which continues to help me in other areas in my life.
If you are new to yoga, I encourage you to learn about how you can benefit in so many areas of your life. In future articles, I will discuss specific styles more in-depth, so you can decide what areas of yoga you want to explore.
Lindsay Hernandez is a local, certified yoga instructor. For questions, comments, or a free yoga assessment, write Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 615-378-5532.
Yoga is Perfect Way to Alleviate Stress