How to Use Yoga for Stress Reduction

 

Most of the time, yoga is talked about in relation to its fashion (who doesn’t love yoga leggings?), health,  and spiritual benefits. What people often forget is that it can also be really good for your mental health as well.

With extremely demanding jobs, traffic, long days, and our fast-paced society, it is really so easy to fall into a deep pit of stress. Stress is a natural response to our environment so by taking yourself into a mentally healthy and stable environment a lot of people can significantly reduce their stress levels. One of those stable environments is a yoga studio.

Here are Some Stress Relieving Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind for Your Next Yoga Class.

Try out a calm and low impact yoga style. If you have high stress in your life and have not tried out restorative yoga yet, you really should sign yourself up asap. Restorative yoga is a fantastic environment to get your body into to help bring more calm and stable situations into your life. You could always try a gentle hatha class as well or perhaps even a yoga class held in candlelight.

Focus on your breathing. Tapping into your body’s natural rhythm can cause great ease and relaxation. This can be practiced during the entire class but pay extra close attention during the beginning and ending of the class. Most of the time instructors will give you cues to focus into your breathing as well so this is a great option.

Take a yoga class specifically for stress relief. Depending on the style of yoga you do, it can be a very demanding practice. If you turn to yoga for your physical and mental health you might want to try splitting it up into two weekly classes; take one class for physical health and one for mental health. This allows you to really let go of stress you might have about your fitness levels and stress about whether or not your form is correct. You can just give in and focus on your mental state.

Get to class early. Most of the time studios are free for about 15 minutes before the class actually starts. You can use this time to relax on your mat and just focus on your breathing. It can be a great way to get into the right mindset to get the most out of your class.

Pay close attention to the positive feelings that arrive during class. Allow yourself to be pulled into any special lighting, essential oils, textures, sounds and more. If it is difficult to focus on your breathing you can always tune into your instructors voice and use that as a way to silence your mind. This all becomes a sort of meditation and is very beneficial to high stress levels.

Every time your body and mind slip into a content and relaxed state, it becomes easier and easier. It will feel strange at first and this is by no means an overnight fix. If you stick with it you really might be surprised by just how effective yoga really can be for stress relief.

 

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