How Yoga Can Help You Reduce Stress

Source :Article Snatch

By: Eddie Lamb

Though developed in India and considered part of more than one spiritual tradition, yoga has become a widespread practice without religious overtones. It is a form of exercise that is appropriate for almost everyone.

In Sanskrit, the word means yoke or bringing together. However, most people use the term to refer to the poses or asanas. Completing a series of poses involves both stretching the muscles in numerous ways and monitored breathing and can result in a strong feeling of well being

The best approach is to establish a consistent schedule of practice. Though most people think of yoga as involving extreme poses, variations are available so beginners who are not fit or flexible can still participate. All one needs is a mat, some comfortable clothing, and a teacher. Many options are available. These range from classes at community centers to events at yoga studios

Not all classes are the same. There are several different branches, each with its own level of intensity and variation on sequences of poses. While experimenting can help a beginner find the style that best suits his or her body, it is best to start with a slower, easier version like Hatha.

People who suffer from asthma or PMS may find relief through yoga. Stress reduction is another problem that can be addressed through practicing the asanas. One reason is that the required breath control takes focus. The mind is forced to relinquish its attachment to other thoughts. The body becomes relaxed and positive energy returns.

One asana that helps with centering and coordinating breath with movement is the cat pose. Trying this pose is a good introduction for anyone who does not have problems with their back. To begin, on a padded surface, get down on hands and knees. Be sure the wrists are directly below the shoulders and the knees are directly below the hips. Shift forward and back softly to discover the spot where the spine is straight and the body is balanced. Breathe in. Upon breathing out, pull the abdominal muscles toward the spine as it curves upward. Lower the head so there is a one rounded line extending from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Inhale and reverse the movement.

Though becoming strong and flexible through yoga requires discipline and the drive to stick with it, the gains justify the effort. A sharper, calmer mind comes with greater physical ability.

About the Author

adminadmin