Stressed Out? Do Yoga!

Most people today live with an extraordinary amount of stress in their lives.  Jobs, family issues, finances, and health concerns are just a few of the areas where people struggle to keep their heads above water.   Living with chronic stress leads to dis-ease in the body and mind.  Fortunately, there are several natural ways you can not only reduce but eliminate the stressors in your life. 

Stress is a matter of perception.  If you perceive a situation as stressful, you will feel stressed when you are around it, engaged with it, or even think about it.  The opposite is also true.  If you perceive the same situation as a positive challenge or an opportunity to learn and grow, you will feel excited, empowered, or even thankful for the situation.  Whatever perception you choose will affect the quality of your mood, sleep, diet, relationships, and overall health and well-being. 

Most of the time, your mind is like a runaway train.  Stressful thoughts come into your head and you automatically believe it, and then imagine the worst possible scenario. Seldom do you slow down your thinking to examine and challenge the dreadful story in your mind by asking questions such as  “Is it really true?”,  “What’s the evidence that it is true?”,  “Is this the only possible outcome?”, or “What if I’m WRONG?”. 

Practicing yoga is a wonderful and effective way to reduce and even eliminate the stress in your life.  The first thing you do in a yoga practice is to become still and pay attention to your breathing.  You are asked to slow and deepen your breath, which calms the nervous system. Problems fade away.  Throughout the practice, you pay attention to what is happening moment by moment.  You’re not worrying about the future or regretting the past.  At the end of class, you are able to think more clearly, see the bigger picture, and identify areas in your life where you are suffering because of your perception that they are stressful.  You are relaxed and better able to see alternatives to the situation. This clarity helps you feel empowered, positive, and hopeful, all of which help to reduce and eliminate the perceived stress. 

If this sounds good to you, you’re in luck! Yoga is available everywhere.  You can go online and search “yoga for stress” or “yoga for beginners” on YouTube.  It’s free and there are some amazing teachers online.  For a more personal experience, check out the yoga studios and fitness facilities that offer yoga in your community. Yoga studios specialize in teaching yoga and often have classes specifically for beginners.  Set a goal to take 4-6 classes in 14 days and watch your stress fade away! 


Author: Mr Jim Redlinger, Yoga Provider