Does Yoga Help You Cope With Stress?

Stress is gradually becoming a constant part of human life. Right from waking up until bedtime at night, there seem to always be a cause of stress in people; be it worries on how to face a burdensome boss at work or thoughts on how best to meet family needs, the list could be unending. The question of how best to manage stress and its consequences then becomes a very important one. There are various means in which people try to manage their stress situation, including yoga. Learn how best to maximize yoga for self-care in the management of stress. 


It goes beyond the positioning 

Humans are made up of a complex combination of the body, soul and spirit, all of which functions depend on each other. Many times, stress stems from inside out, it mostly starts off as an inner feeling before it begins to manifest on the body.

When thinking of yoga, most people only think of positioning themselves in a funny looking position and closing their eyes for the next 30mins or so, perhaps while playing a slow, solemn song in the background, and that’s all. As much as all this is true, it is however incomplete, yoga goes beyond all that. 

Yoga serves as a source of training for us, it teaches us how to guide our minds into the particular state we want it while controlling the way our body responds to this through its positioning. Sounds complex right?

In the real sense, it really is not as complex as it sounds. Yoga involves a combination of various techniques to achieve different aims with the ultimate goal of achieving the highest form of relaxation known.

Techniques involved in yoga include a range from strategic positioning, to stretch, to breathing techniques, to deep meditation. All these helps to alleviate a person mentally from his current surrounding to an entirely different realm in the spirit. 


Trying out yoga for stress

Stress is a psychological state which tends to affect the overall well-being of an individual. When stressed, there are certain tightness felt at muscle ends, making the physical appearance affected by stress also. 

As known, yoga involves a variety of techniques, first of which involves positioning and stretches. Starting with the stretches, these are a good way to relieve stress symptoms in the muscles. Stretches are majorly a way of improving flexibility, but besides this, it also serves as a means to release tension in muscles. Tension as a result of stress can be quite inhibiting on the muscle causing stiffness and rigidity in the muscles. Performing your stretches regularly in the practice of yoga helps to get rid of this. 

Certain yoga poses are especially known as stress and tension relievers. Initially, it could seem really difficult and impossible but once an individual is able to successfully attain that position, the stress literarily drops off one’s body. 

How effective are breath controls?

One very vital aspect of yoga is the breath control aspect, there cannot be any yoga without this aspect. Controlled breathing, as a whole, has been shown over and over to have deep stimulating effects on the brain.  A certain study explained the whole connection of the breathing-brain control, proving that there is strong association between the effects of breathing on the brain. Breath counting has also been shown to fully affect the emotional response of an individual. Besides this, breath control also seems to have various other advantages which can be connected to stress relief in humans.

The ability to voluntarily change your breathing pattern from an irregular, unsteady pattern to a steadier and controlled pattern requires a certain amount of mastery which overtime helps in easing the mind of burdensome thoughts. 

Meditation as an additional mode

Advocates of Ayurvedic self-care believe that the ultimate requirement for good health is the complete harmonization of the major component of a person; the mind, the body and the spirit. They believe that a disruption of this harmony will lead to a sign of abnormality in such individual. This belief is not exactly far-fetched. 

For this reason, the ultimate mastery of the yoga practice is seen in the level of meditation attained. Meditation can be said to be that attaching string between the mind and the body. True meditation comes in the ability to fully empty one’s mind of all thoughts and keeping the mind empty of any thoughts at all. This makes complete relaxation possible. 

Meditation helps a person to study his mind and understand how it really works. Doing this makes it possible to recognize when it is at an uneasy state and more importantly, how to consciously change that state of uneasiness to one of bliss.

The benefits of yoga are not one to be undermined

It can therefore be concluded that yoga does help in the teaching of how to cope with stress and its symptoms. It manages stress by going as far as addressing every symptom that comes with a stressed state. Stretches for the muscular body, breath controls for the inner body, meditation for the mind and soul. These combinations all combine to bring a person to a state of perfect bliss, thereby reducing the overall state of stress and increasing productiveness of such person. 

Although, it should be kept in mind that getting to that highest point cannot be achieved in one day, which is why yoga users keep practicing repeatedly to attain that final point. Advocates of yoga for self-care claim that the beauty of yoga practice is the ability to return your mind back to a particular state where every other thing seems to fade away at will. 

Contributed by Polly