When it comes to stress management, there is still a centuries-old tradition I haven’t mentioned yet: Yoga. As we continue our conversation about how to bring more joy into your life, I wanted to share with you the amazing healing powers of yoga.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and it’s become quite popular in North America. It’s no surprise to me why it’s so popular, yoga is incredibly effective as a relaxation and stress management technique.
Doing even just a few minutes of yoga each day really can make a huge difference in your energy.
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Doing even just a few minutes of yoga each day can make a huge difference in your energy. If you’ve been working on something and feel stuck, or are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, stepping away from the desk even for five minutes can dramatically shift your energy. Even by doing something as simple as bending forward and letting your head hang heavy or lying with your legs up the wall, all while breathing deeply.
There are many different styles of yoga as well, which makes it really accessible to all types of people. You can enjoy an active yoga practice, like Ashtanga yoga, when you want to pump it up and feel energized. My Ashtanga days are behind me now, but I used to enjoy that style of yoga. If Ashtanga’s not your thing, you might enjoy restorative yoga when you feel your body needs a rest.
Restorative yoga is such a wonderful gift to give yourself and greatly helps reduce stress and provide relaxation.
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In restorative yoga, you’re invited into a posture that is already fairly easy and then supported by pillows, blankets and bolsters so that your body can really sink into the pose. Restorative yoga is such a wonderful gift to give yourself and greatly helps reduce stress and provide relaxation. While you’re in the poses, breathe deeply, allow your mind to calm and the body to have a supported stretch.
Another wonderful style of yoga is yin yoga. We’ve talked about the yin-yang balance in this series, and yin yoga is really about receiving. Yin yoga, like restorative, invites us to hold postures for a long time. However, unlike restorative yoga, you are not supported by props. All the same, letting our bodies stretch and relax for several minutes in a pose truly rejuvenates and restores us. This gives us the passion and energy we have for our businesses and that good kickstart we need to keep going.
It’s the combination of movement and breath that make yoga such an effective form of stress management. Even if you don’t have time for yoga, you have time to take three deep breaths before you sit down at your desk.
As Laura Gisborne says, oxygen is a great drug! So keep breathing and using that oxygen, knowing all is well.
Yoga is actually a means of keeping the body healthy and flexible so that we can sit in meditation. Every day I meditate in the style of kriya yoga. It helps me immensely I can’t go a day without it! Just to have some time in the day to find that peace and calm within is truly so nourishing.
Whether you do vigorous or relaxing yoga, work with breathing practices or start a daily meditation, take advantage of these modalities to help you manage your stress.