So you’re stressed, huh?
Feel better now? Not quite, right?
How about now?
When they hear yoga helps with stress, many people expect instant relief. So they attend a single class and they are thrilled with the calming effects. But the stress hits them full-on shortly after that initial sensation. And they get disappointed. Many never show up again.
That doesn’t mean yoga doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean the AUM meditation doesn’t work.
It works. Yoga helps you fight stress. But you have to show persistence. You have to show up on that mat, day after day.
If you’re willing to make that effort, you can really expect results.
1. Yoga Reduces Stress Hormones
“Cross-sectional observation done among three groups showed that individuals practicing yoga regularly had low serum cortisol levels.” That’s the conclusion from a pilot study that focused on the effects of yoga practice on patients with periodontal disease with stress-related depression and anxiety.
That’s your fact right there. Yoga reduces stress by affecting cortisol levels. Cortisol is the so-called stress hormone, which is supposed to act as an alarm in dangerous situations. But the modern ways of life messed up with our systems. Our bodies are under constant stress, so the cortisol levels get unusually high even when there’s no real danger around.
Yoga helps us find balance.
2. Yoga Relieves Anxiety
This is a serious claim. Anxiety is a serious condition. There’s no playing around with it.
Yoga, however, has a powerful effect over anxiety. One particular study among women who suffered from anxiety disorders showed that a two-month yoga course led to significant reductions in perceived levels of anxiety. With this, the researchers proved that yoga can be considered as an alternative or complementary method in treating anxiety disorders.
3. Yoga Helps You Control your Breath
How do you breathe when you’re nervous or stressed out? The breath gets shallow and fast-paced.
When you’re relaxed, on the other hand, the breath is calm, deep, and slow.
Just like your mood affects your breath, the breath can affect your mood, too.
Riley Smith, who’s been practicing yoga for three years, shares his experience: “I went through high levels of stress throughout my studies. I have social anxiety. So whenever a professor asked something and I knew the answer, I started freaking out inside. I knew the answer and I wanted to speak up, but the battle inside didn’t allow me to do that. I was so afraid of public speaking that I bought presentations from BestDissertation. I thought that if an expert wrote my presentation, I would be more confident and I would stop freaking out.”
But that didn’t help. “It was only after I started practicing yoga that I learned how to calm myself down,” – Riley says. “Pranayama, in particular, was what made me calm down. So whenever I felt anxious, I did the simplest technique: slow, deep abdominal breathing. It didn’t have instant effects, but the regular practice did wonders.”
4. Yoga Helps You Sleep
Lack of sleep makes you nervous. That’s a fact. Insomnia increases the risks of depression, anxiety, frustration, and confusion.
5. Yoga = Union
Yoga means a union of mind, body, and soul.
Any kind of yoga practice is aimed towards such a union.
We’re all imbalanced in one way or another. For most of us, it’s the mind and body taking charge. But when we achieve a balanced state, we realize that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be.
We learn how to listen to our thoughts and emotions. We learn how to listen to the signs the body sends. With such alertness, it’s easier for us to recognize the signs of stress and stay conscious of them. We’re able to recognize its cause, and we can address that cause instead of focusing on the effects.
But it takes practice.
It always, always, takes practice.
So show up on that mat today and do your part. Yoga will definitely do its part for you.