Yoga to Manage Stress

How I Use Yoga To Manage Stress And You Can Too

Published On: February 27th, 2021

Stress is becoming more and more of a problem globally! As people take on more demands, and spend less time on self-care stress can take its toll. But what exactly is stress, and how can yoga help you manage your level of stress?

Using yoga to manage stress is the perfect practice because it addresses stress in three different ways, I’ll fill you in on how.

1. What is Stress

Stress is our body’s response to the demands that we have to meet. This could be an obstacle that pops up in our lives, challenges, added pressure, or just our day-to-day grind. Our response to that stress can manifest itself as physical, mental, or even emotional symptoms.

It’s important to note that stress is a normal part of our day-to-day lives and that everybody experiences stress to some extent. Not all stress is bad, but too much stress can have a very negative impact on our well-being. So when we start to notice that we’re overly stressed we’ll want to take a step back and look at some management practices.

Stress can be very helpful in some situations. For example, if you were to go mountain biking or rock climbing the stress that you experience in those situations is going to keep you alert, focused on the task at hand, and keep you safe. Also, if you’re given a tight deadline stress in that situation is going to keep you motivated and focused on the task at hand. You’ll hear a lot of people say that they feel they work better under pressure and it’s that little bit of stress that’s pushing them.

When is Stress A Problem

Stress becomes a problem when you’re experiencing stress that’s long-term. Where you are never able to come back to a relaxed state. That’s what you hear referred to as chronic stress. When that happens our sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight portion of our nervous system never gets a chance to shut down or reset. This causes wear and tear on your body because your body is constantly in a state of fight or flight, and feeling like it’s in danger.

Symptoms of Chronic Stress

You can experience a variety of symptoms when you start to experience chronic stress. Some of the physical signs could include headaches, digestive issues, trouble sleeping, and your immunity might suffer so you might find yourself getting sick more frequently. The mental and emotional symptoms you experience could include anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and irritability. If you start to experience any of these symptoms it’s very important to start thinking about managing your stress and trying to reduce your stress level.

Managing Stress

How Do You Manage Stress

When it comes to managing your stress and reducing your stress level, the first place to start is trying to eliminate sources of stress. For example, if yard work is a source of stress you can find a neighbor to help or hire a service, but you’re not always able to eliminate sources of stress. If your stress is coming from a stressful job or stress from family for example eliminating those sources of stress isn’t an option. That’s where management practices like yoga can really help.

2. Yoga to Manage Stress

Yoga is excellent for helping manage stress because it combines a physical practice with controlled breathing and then tops it all off with meditation.

Yoga for Stress

Yoga Asana for Stress

The physical portion of yoga, also known as asana, is really great for stress because physical activity gets your heart rate up. When you increase your heart rate, stress your muscles, and build strength during exercise it actually increases the feel-good hormones that your body releases. Your body will start to release serotonin, that’s one of those happy hormones. The physical practice of yoga also acts as a moving meditation. While you’re moving through each asana you can’t focus on what you’re stressed about, you really have to be mindful of each movement.

Physical exercise also reduces the negative effects of stress on your body. When you’re taking care of your body and exercising you will gain cardiovascular benefits, increase strength, increase flexibility, boost your digestion, and you’re going to help your immune system. All of these benefits are going to help counteract the negative effects of stress.

Breathwork & Meditation

Yoga also uses controlled breathing. When you control your breath, slow the breath down, and breathe deeply and purposefully that activates your parasympathetic nervous system. That’s the rest and relax and digest part of our nervous system which is literally the polar opposite of the stress part of our nervous system. Activating our parasympathitic nervous system it’s going to help snap your body out of that fight-or-flight response caused by chronic stress. The last portion of our yoga practice is usually meditation. Meditation again increases our mindfulness. With time and practice meditation allows us to become more objective about the things that stress us out. We can more easily handle those things mentally, and we can learn to take a step back and gain more perspective.

Learn More About Yoga

Using yoga to manage stress is a perfect approach for stress management because it takes a three-pronged approach and really tackles stress from a physical mental and emotional standpoint. I have yoga videos on my youtube channel for stress, anxiety, and relaxation here>>. If you are new to yoga and aren’t sure how to start your yoga practice I have a blog post that has all the information you need here>>.

If you have any questions feel free to drop them in the comments below.

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Welcome!

Andrea Andres
Andrea AndresRegistered Yoga Instructor | Certified Breathwork Coach
Welcome, I’m Andrea, and I help overworked busy people recover from physical and mental stress, and avoid burnout using evidence-based yoga, breathwork, and meditation techniques.

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