Why is Yoga so Amazing at Relieving Stress?

[wp_ad_camp_1]There is no denial that life is a stressful journey. The daily routine of getting up early in the morning, staying up late, working out, stretching your mental and physical boundaries can add stress. Issues such as disagreements with loved ones or a breakup with your significant other can add emotional stress. Traffic, workload, finances, time, physical issues, the list goes on and on. Most daily activities add some kind of stress that builds up over time. Every day can leave you so burdened that it is not unusual to become mentally and physically stressed.

All those who have been through bouts of stress have probably discovered a number of ways to cope with it. Some common ways to deal with stress are exercising, visiting a counselor, talking to friends, joining a support group or practicing yoga.

Yoga is one of the wonderful ways that you can beat the blues of everyday stress and remain fresh, alive,  and kicking. By using yoga as a stress-relieving technique, you are relaxing three major aspects of a healthy existence: the mind, the body and the breath.


We know yoga is stress relieving, but how?

Our nervous system has a number of branches, and one of them is responsible for the internal organ's functions. This branch has been further divided into three sub-parts: the Sympathetic, the Parasympathetic and the Enteric nervous systems. We're mostly concerned with the first two systems, we'll save the enteric nervous system for later. The Sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the "fight or flight" response, which is triggered when you are under an extreme amount of stress. The Parasympathetic nervous system controls the "rest and digest" state, which is in charge of everyday unconscious bodily functions, such as your digestive tract. The key to reducing stress, and remaining under less stress, is the ability to harness the "rest and digest" state and remaining in that state for as long as possible.


Learning control

Beacause both the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic states occur continuously and more or less simultaneously in our bodies and we have little control over them. However, Yoga may be the solution to this problem. Both the states are hugely affected by the bodies particular breathing pattern. The diaphragm, the muscle that helps lift the chest during inhalation, functions independently of our consciousness. However, it can be physically controlled. Yoga teaches the practitioner specific ways of holding and releasing the breath that enable the body remain in "rest and digest" state for a longer period of time

Yoga breathing exercises, called Pranayama, allow the body to de-stress. As a result, your mind and body become relieved of the built up stress and the "fight or flight" system is allowed to relax. All individuals who have not yet become victims of excessive stress need not wait for such a situation to arise. It is wise to include a little bit of yoga and breathwork to be in a better position to handle stressful situations when life serves them to you. Following a fixed yoga routine will build your ability to balance, remain calm, focus and relax even in stressful times.



Allan Hall is the Business Development Manager at Modern Yoga Online and Yogasync.tv. He is a veteran yogi, futurist and technology geek. His series of online quality video classes are designed to help with your daily yoga practice. Allan is also committed to guiding beginners on a path of physical fitness. You can also follow him on Facebook.