Yoga For Stress Relief

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Stress Management Techniques

Fifty years ago, most westerners either knew nothing about yoga or thought it was an arcane mystical practice from India. Many people shied away from it because they mistakenly thought it involved adopting a foreign religion. Little by little, though, the word got out. Yoga is a form of physical exercise and mental control that can be used by anyone. Today, millions are discovering yoga for stress relief as the most effective form of self therapy there is.

There are several types of practices that all come under the heading of “yoga.” Perhaps the most well known is “hatha yoga.” Hatha yoga refers to the physical exercises associated with yoga.

When you look at pictures of yogis getting into the yoga asanas (poses), you might think that hatha yoga was only for the young and very fit. This is not true, though. Yoga is for everyone and even the elderly can benefit greatly from adaptations of yoga postures.

Another aspect of yoga for stress relief that is widely practiced today is meditation. There are many schools of meditation, but basically they all teach similar techniques. At the simplest level, they just require you to close your eyes and clear your mind of distracting thoughts. The specific techniques all lead to this goal. As a way to relieve stress, meditation is easily the safest and most reliable there is and it can be done by anybody.

“Pranayama” is a lesser known yoga technique, but it is vital to an understanding of yoga and the effective practice of yoga. A good definition of pranayama is “breath control.” Our breathing cycle is directly connected to our mental activity. Pranayama teaches you breathing techniques that will quickly eliminate stress, sharpen your mind and enjoy even deeper levels of relaxation when you meditate.

Look into yoga for stress relief. Like millions of others, you just may find your life transformed by simple and highly effective regular yoga practice.

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