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How Yoga Reduces Stress

How Yoga Reduces Stress
How Yoga Reduces Stress

Worried, Anxious or Depressed? Do Yoga.

Are life problems making you anxious? When worry takes over, stress mounts. Gone is inner peace. Depression often follows. The practice of yoga helps you reduce stress.

Psychologists can help anxiety-ridden people sort out their problems and suggest solutions. But what about the damage stress does to your heart, blood pressure, and immune system? According to Timothy McCallum, M.D., author of Yoga and Medicine, one way to get calm and undo the damaging effects of high anxiety and stress is to practice yoga. His book explains the healing benefits of yoga for 40 conditions or diseases. “The breath is utilized in yoga to relax the neurological system, which in turn helps to quiet the mind,” writes Dr McCall. “Yoga asserts that when the mind is still, more wisdom from within becomes available, promoting both creativity and healing.”

Calm Your Mind

Yoga requires concentration. The postures (asanas) are new, and they need reflective practice. While focusing on correct body alignment to do a pose beneficially, it is hard to dwell on your problems. “In yoga, you do spiritual practice that affects the physical,” Dr McCall explains. “You calm and strengthen the nervous system, which has a positive effect on the mind. You cultivate peace of mind, and it affects the nervous system, the immune system and the cardiovascular system.” In yoga, repetitive, nagging, obsessive thoughts about what you fear, or hate are examples of the “monkey mind.”

Most people think that the constant mental dialogue in their heads is regular. They are thinking continuously about past hurts or failures, or future dreams and hopes, but rarely experiencing the goodness of the present moment. Yoga trains you to live in the now and experience freedom from negative habitual thoughts. That alone will help with stress reduction, according to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spiritual Healing and Life Science Foundation.

Yoga for Physical Fitness

Yoga is a mind-body discipline that dates back to ancient Indian philosophy, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website. In addition, yoga is an involved religious practice for many practitioners worldwide. Yet following the tenants of any religion, or even having any beliefs at all, is not necessary to gain significant benefit from practicing yoga.

While many people practice yoga to elevate their spiritual life, many others are merely seeking improved physical fitness. In the United States, yoga is often offered at gyms and spas and some hospitals as part of a wellness program. “Yoga has been proven in studies to improve mood and sense of well-being, reduce stress, slow the heart rate and blood pressure, and expand lung capacity. In addition, it improves muscle relaxation and body composition, and aids with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia, “states NCCAM.

Yoga Helps Meditation

Yoga has spiritual effects hard to ignore. In the conscious act of controlled breathing and focused awareness of the body, yoga practitioners frequently report an experience of “mindfulness.” In this state, you can achieve an understanding of your being in a non-judgmental way. While doing yoga, the goal is to achieve a harmonious and balanced state of mind and body which can be used as a doorway to meditation. A meditative state of contentment may not last long for the beginner, but with regular yoga practice, it will become prolonged. Teachers will spend time leading the class in a chant or mantra in some techniques, the most popular being the sound “Om” Chanting, especially in a group, calms the nerves.

How to Study Yoga

Yoga is a far more complex system of practices than a few simple exercises. It is an art, according to B.K.S. Iyengar, a yoga teacher whose comprehensive methods are famous worldwide. There are many kinds of yoga classes in almost every major city globally, and they won’t be hard to find. Some are more strenuous than others. The quality of training can pose a problem since some teaching certificates from certain yoga schools are easier to obtain than others.

Teacher training and experience is crucial. One way to get started is to study yoga by watching yoga tapes. They can be rented or checked out of the library. After watching various workout tapes, not necessarily doing them, you will comprehend that yoga has many different forms and styles to accomplish many other ends. One single method, or some schools of yoga and styles, may not be what your body needs for a healthier and happier life. Choose with wisdom.


Yoga has thousands of variations, and some specific yoga poses may not be suitable for you. In addition, you can get injured doing yoga improperly. Yoga is not for everyone. Yoga is not an instant fix. It takes time and patience to undo years of physical neglect. People with medical conditions or diseases should get the advice of their physician before starting a yoga program. Yoga is not a substitute for good medical care but can complement it.


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