Yoga For Stress Relief
Life can be stressful – a busy schedule, early starts, late nights, juggling work and family commitments can be a lot to balance, with everyday issues adding emotional stress too. With so much on your mind it’s easy to feel stressed and neglect your body, mind and breathing, the three aspects yoga can help with.
Yoga reduces stress because it promotes relaxation, the opposite of stress, but you don’t have to feel stressed out to do yoga! In fact, if you practise a little bit each day, you will find yourself better able to handle stress – yoga practice improves your ability to focus, find balance, calm yourself, and relax.
Yoga Is More Than Just Stretching
Some people think of yoga as mostly twisting the body into impossible ‘pretzel’ shapes, but yoga has simple poses as well as more advanced ones, so there’s something for every ability. Yoga requires no equipment, so you can do it almost anywhere.
Yoga poses can help loosen up the tense muscles of the neck, shoulders and back, which often carry our stress, but other areas of the body, like the face, jaw, fingers and wrists, can also benefit from simple stretches. Yoga is so much more than just physical exercise, though. The key to getting the best out of each pose is to focus not only on your body, but also on your mind and breathing.
Getting The Most Out Of Yoga
When you’re in a yoga pose, think about how you can unite your body, mind, and breathing. Even a simple mountain pose is a great stress reliever when you focus on keeping your breathing slow and even, and visualize yourself as firm and steady as a mountain.
Stay In The Moment
When we’re under stress, we’re often thinking about what we need to do in the future or what we could have done better in the past. Regular yoga practice teaches you to stay in the moment, to think about what your body and breath are doing in this moment, instead of letting your thoughts wander. You will notice how a particular muscle or area of the body feels, focusing on breathing in slowly as your body stretches, and breathing out slowly as you curl up. Being in the moment teaches you to concentrate, and this helps in many aspects of life.
Use your breathing when things get difficult. When a yoga pose feels challenging, imagine sending your breath to the area in your body that feels stiff or tight – it really helps. You can use this skill in other areas of your life, too, whenever something challenges you, focus on your breathing. You will be surprised by how much better you can deal with the situation.
CURRENT CLASSES IN ROSS-ON-WYE:
Monday 9.30 – 11.00 in the Larruperz Centre
Monday 18.30 – 20.00 in the Ross Motorsport Club
Friday 9.30 – 11.00 Royal Hotel
CLASSES IN NEWENT MEMORIAL HALL:
Thursday 10.00 – 11.30 and Friday 18.00 – 19.30
More information at www.indianwellnessacademy.com
Our next EXPLORE FESTIVAL is on 5 – 7 July in Mitcheldean. More information is available at
We also organise regular 10-month TEACHER TRAINING COURSES, with our next one starting in Birmingham in September. For more details please visit www.moseleyyoga.com
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.