YOGA or how to beat the stress of everyday life

Your mobile phone is ringing, your boss wants to talk to you and your husband wants to know what's for dinner… You start feeling overwhelmed, on edge, or panicky…

In these times of competition, modernization and change, every individual in any given walk of life cannot avoid stress, tension and anxiety in their daily lives.

Some measure of stress is essential as a stimulus, but prolonged stress takes its toll physically, emotionally and mentally and can affect everything from sleep and digestion to our relationships, leaving us tense, nervous, short of breath, and even at risk of chronic illness.

A long-term solution to relax

If stress is getting the better of you, you might want to give yoga a try. Yoga, the ancient art and science of healing, can be the answer.

Yoga is a practice that combines physical and mental techniques to help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. When the mind and body are connected, there is generally a greater sense of harmony and ease in our lives. The body sends important signals when something is off-balance, which happens so often when we are under pressure. Having the ability to respond is therefore really important for our wellbeing.

This is why yoga is considered one of the complementary and integrative health approaches. It really can help you manage stress at home and work and give you a long-term solution to relax.

Different styles, same results

There are many styles, forms and intensities of yoga; it all depends on your personal preferences. But the core components are the same:

  • Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility.
  • Control of breathing, to help you control your body and set your mind at rest.
  • Meditation that may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment.

These are the absolute, embodied tools that yoga can offer. They will provide a feeling of roundedness and security, delivering relief from the symptoms of stress, and offering supportive skills to enhance everyday life now and long into the future.

Practising yoga daily may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of wellbeing.

Three simple steps

All you need to do is:

  1. Relax your body: Yoga practiced in the right way can be as soothing as a hug or a massage when it comes to reducing tension and relaxing the physical body. Certain postures have a deeply calming effect on the whole system, particularly forward bends and inversions.

  2. Relax your mind: When we are stressed out or anxious, the mind becomes busy — often to the point of frantic. Learning to focus the mind on one thing at a time may seem like the most difficult thing in the world, but meditation is an incredibly powerful tool for relaxing and slowing down the mind. Over time and with repeated practice, you start to develop new habits towards a more relaxed internal state.

  3. Breathe more effectively: Stress and tension can cause us to breathe in a rapid, shallow way, which can lead to more anxiety. Yoga gives you the opportunity to breathe more effectively, using the diaphragm and utilising the whole lung capacity.

The practice of yoga encourages us to exist in the present moment and to live in a more mindful, conscious and connected way.

If you feel a bit wound-up, take a deep breath, do some yoga and see how you feel afterwards.

Yoga will be a very effective and enjoyable tool to unwind and relax internally and externally… for a much happier, healthier and more chilled out future.