Around 40 million Americans and roughly 10 million of us Brits suffer from anxiety, making it the most common mental illness among adults aged 18 and over.
That’s an insanely large number, right?!
However, even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, you probably have felt overwhelmed before, or at least experienced stress at some point in your day-to-day life. I know I certainly have!
This is where yoga comes in extremely handy. Many people know about the common benefits yoga has on our physical health, for example flexibility, muscle tone, balance and strength.
But not as many people understand the mental and emotional benefits of using yoga for stress relief.
It’s a great way to ease your symptoms of stress, anxiety and also depression.
The way we do this is by diverting our focus away from the seemingly chaotic world around you, and focusing solely on the connection between our body and our breath.
This helps you centre your thoughts and feelings, become more aware of yourself and your surroundings, and continue your day in a more mindful state – much like an active form of meditation (you can learn more about meditation for stress relief in this article I wrote).
Even a 20-minute yoga session can leave you feeling calm and peaceful for hours afterwards.
In this article, I’m going to explain the 3 main benefits of using yoga for stress relief, so you can implement them into your daily regimen and experience all of these amazing effects too!
Grab yourself a yoga mat here and you can get started straight away!
Let’s get straight into it…
Tip #1: Yoga Reduces Tension
Stress is an emotion, which means it’s formed within our minds. However, in times of stress, our bodies tend to tighten up, too.
We begin to get backaches, tight shoulders and cranky necks. And guess what? This actually leads to more stress!
When we form a regular yoga practice, we can reduce the tension in our bodies, making it a great stress relief method.
Click here if you’d like to see a great article explaining the best yoga poses for stress relief – it could come in super handy if you decide to create a plan or routine.
Tip #2: Yoga Helps Us Regulate Our Breathing
Our breath, believe it or not, has a lot of control over how we feel, It’s the same vice versa – how we feel tends to affect the way in which we breathe.
Have you ever noticed that when you panic, you begin to take shorter and shallower breaths, then the uncontrolled breathing makes you panic more? They both have an effect on one another.
One of the best ways to regulate your nervous system is to control your breathing.
As I’m sure you know, breathing is a major part of yoga and it can be super useful for helping us stay mindful in times of stress and worry.
Learning to control your breathing will be one of the most revolutionary things you ever learn if your goal is to use yoga for stress relief.
I found this amazing article which gives a simple but in-depth explanation on the best way to breathe when practising yoga. It could be useful for you!
Tip #3: Yoga Helps Prevent Us From Worrying
There is nothing worse than the endless chatter which runs riot inside our heads all day long. It happens to all of us, and it can be incredibly exhausting and draining if left unattended.
Yoga gives us the opportunity to take ourselves out of autopilot and consciously observe our mind, acknowledging all thoughts, yet carefully choosing which ones we want to remain.
Practising being ‘aware’ of our thoughts actually allows us to ‘catch’ ourselves when we think negative or worrying thoughts throughout the day, break the pattern, and let them go straight away.
So those are my three best benefits of using yoga for stress relief.
Let me know if you have any others!
I hope you’ve gained some value from this article. We’ve established that yoga is incredibly useful for stress relief, yet we haven’t even scratched the surface if we look at the full spectrum of benefits that yoga has to offer.
My boyfriend Ryan wasn’t too familiar with yoga before he went to Asia, yet he now gets on the mat multiple times per week and it’s had such a profound effect on his life… and he’s a meathead! (disclaimer… love you Ryan)
What I’m getting at is – it really is for anyone. It’s one of the most effective natural antidepressants out there, and everybody has something to gain from it.
If you’re unsure where to start, I’ve created a great beginner’s routine which you could start doing 3 times a week. It saves you the hassle of trying to sift through all the dodgy information out there!
If you’re getting into yoga with the aim of improving your overall health, both mentally and physically, I strongly suggest you check out the Brilliant Yoga system. It’s a great all-round program which will improve your strength, help you lose weight and improve your mental clarity – all wrapped up in one single program!
Check it out below…
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I appreciate your time, see you in the next article!
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