There is so much written and we’ve read about the effects of stress on the body and the mind. We know that what we are feeling/thinking affects the body and what we do in our bodies effects us mentally and emotionally. We practice yoga to learn how to be more at ease with ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.
Under stress the body systems restrict muscularly and hormonally and that is observable in shortness of breath, tightness in the abdomen and diaphragm, and tension in the sense organs. Mental and emotional tension affects our moods and rational thinking about how we see things and deal with everyday life and relationships.
Yoga practice can be used to teach us how to relax. In every pose we practice to find a balance of effort and ease. That takes focus and deliberateness. This kind of focus and intention is a break from the ups and downs of our lives we are living and see in front of us.
It is a time out from the whirl of what is going on around us and brings us to a state of balance. This mental and physical state of balance creates a resilient and stable mind and restores a feeling of well being. Yoga relaxation practiced in our poses and at the end of our practice quiets the senses and connects us beneath the restless mind.
Intention on how we practice is as important as what we practice. Breathing slower and deliberately soothes the mind and relaxes tensed muscles and systems of the body. Inversions, poses that open the chest, and holding poses for a length of time are high priorities for times of feeling stressed and under pressure.
Let’s use our yoga practice to restore a sense of inner harmony and peace. Then whatever we face will go as well as possible.