The ancient physical and spiritual discipline does more than just keeping you young and fit. Yoga increases flexibility, builds your muscles, refreshes your skin, improves your health, calms your mind, and also reduces stress. The benefits of Yoga are universally known, and inarguable.
Plakor, a Yoga teacher, describes what yoga means to him at the Art of Living Foundation website.
“Practice yoga with patience is what my teacher told me when I first met him. Patience is what I got back from the practice too. My body and mind complex can be totally tensed, but after doing yoga, something magical happens. The replaced sate is just the beginning and many virtues follow.”
For those of you who are looking for stress relief through yoga, must read on to get a good grasp of ways yoga can help.
1. Observe the stress-relieving yoga asanis
There are several yoga asasnis, or poses, that can help reduce stress and body tension. After each pose, take a break to get rid of those body toxins.
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Balasana (Child pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Janu Shirsasana (One-Legged Forward Bend)
- Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
- Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
- Paschimottanasana (Two-Legged Forward Bend)
- Hastapadasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Adhomukha Shwanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
- Shirshasana (Headstand)
2. Breathing techniques
Yoga can’t be done right without careful observation to the breathing. With or without a trainer, every yogi needs to know that the secret to yoga and its ability to calm the mind lies in the breathing technique.
In short, breathing technique requires you to take deep breaths from your abdomen, fill in your lungs with as much fresh air as you can, and then slowly let it out pushing out as much air as you can while contracting the abdominal muscles.
3. Practice mind meditation while performing yoga
Breathing and posture alone are not the only contributors to achieving a relaxed mind. The application of mind-meditation in combination with the other two is essential to attain a sense of calm and peace. Daily stressors and petty issues add to the mind’s clutter and confusion.
Meditation, while performing yoga, is done by relaxing the mind and training your mental attention towards peaceful thoughts. Block external visual stimulation and just focus on calm and peaceful thoughts. This is best done in a peaceful environment. You can use a repetitive mantrato silence the mind and go into a deep meditative state. Learn more about yoga meditation here.
4. Learn the yoga philosophy and apply it in other spheres of life
What is the yoga philosophy? It is a set of the most basic principle that can be applied to daily life. The ultimate aim is to achieve a healthy and happy life. The Ten Living Principles, also known as the Yamas and Niyamas, are ten ethical instructions that enable us to be at peace with ourselves, our family, and our community. They are purity, contentment, austerity, self study, dedication, truthfulness, non-theft, spiritual conduct, non-injury, and non greed.
Lastly, just make sure you pray and keep your faith strong! Since yoga has a lot to do with spiritual awareness, you need to maintain a strong sense of spirituality to fully reap the subjective benefits of yoga. When you are working on reducing stress, you want to concentrate more on the subjective or “mental” benefits of the practice rather than the physical rewards. Pray regularly and instill in yourself a deep sense of faith that recognizes a higher, divine power.
Finally, Stay positive and be happy!